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31 Types of Yoga Poses & Their Benefits

In this post, we have included 31 different types of yoga from the rich Indian culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Today’s blog post is dedicated to finding the most common poses that you see in yoga classes as well as to see some benefits of different yoga poses.

It can be very confusing when you come into a class and your teacher starts taking all the Sanskrit names of yoga asanas that sound all gibberish to you.

Sanskrit is much like Latin, a dead language and not a lot of people understand or speak Sanskrit today. 

We will illustrate 30 yoga poses and their meanings with all their benefits in this blog so you can figure out which postures to practice.

Types of Yoga in Indian Culture

1. Sukhasana 

Sukh means “pleasure or happiness” and Asana, or as it’s called in Sanskrit “aasan” simply means pose. 

You will see the name “asana” come up over and over again. Any word attached to Asana makes it a pose.

sukhasana yoga pose
Fig. 1: Sukhasana

Benefits of Sukhasana.

  1. It will make your backbone stronger and steadier.
  2. Sukhasana will elongate your spine.
  3. If your practice sukhasana with soothing incense sticks it can relax your mind.
  4. This asana will unlock your hips and open your ankles

P.S, if you are also looking for something to cure your insomnia, here’s a good read: How to Meditate to Sleep

2. Bhujang Asana

Bhujang means “Cobra or serpent”. And there’s that word again – Asana,  BhujangAsana-  Cobra pose.

bhujangasana yoga pose
Fig. 2: Bhujang Asana

 Benefits of Bhujangasana

  1. It Strengthens the spine and Stretches the chest and lungs.
  2. Practising bhujangasana helps relieve stress and fatigue.
  3. It’s therapeutic for asthma.
  4. It can rectify Irregular menstrual cycle problems too.

3. Dhanur Asana

Dhanur means “boat” and you’re lifting up against gravity and building up tension, just like a boat. And hence, the asana is called that.

Dhanurasana yoga pose
Fig. 3: Dhanurasana

Benefits of Dhanurasana.

  1. It Stimulates the reproductive organs
  2. It tones the leg and arm muscles
  3. It Adds greater flexibility to the back
  4. Women can practice dhanurasana while they’re menstruating as it Relieves menstrual discomfort.

4. Chaturanga Dandasana

“Chaturanga Dandasana” translates to “four-limbed” staff pose. 

Chaturanga Dandasana also known as Yogi push-up.

four-limbed-staff-pose-chaturanga-dandasana
Fig. 4: Chaturanga Dandasana

Benefits of Chaturanga Dandasana.

  1. Practising this asana will strengthen your arm, shoulder, and leg muscles.
  2. It Develops core stability.
  3. It will Increase stamina.
  4. It will give strength & energy to the mind and body.

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5. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

“Urdhva”means upwards, “mukha” means facing, and “svana”= dog.

Also known as upward-facing dog posture.

Urdhva mukha svanasana
Fig. 5: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Benefits of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

  1. Strengthens triceps.
  2. Stretches abdomen.
  3. Strengthens back muscles.
  4. Strengthens hip extensors.

6. Adho Mukha Svanasana

“Adho” = downwards, “mukha”= facing“svana”= dog.

Also known as downward-facing dog posture in English.

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downward facing god adho mukh svanasana
Fig. 6: Adho Mukha Svanasana

Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana

  1. It can solve hair problems like hair loss, greying hair as well as baldness, and bald patches.
  2.  This asana can affect the pituitary gland, thus helping all diabetic patients.
  3. It solves the problems related to digestion like gas, and acidity.
  4. The asana is great for curing constipation and piles

7. Tadasana

“Tada” means a mountain 🗻

It is a simple standing posture, which forms the basis for all the standing asanas. In this asana, body looks like a palm tree that’s the reason.

Tadasana is also known as “Mountain Pose”

Tadasana-Mountain-Pose-or-Samasthiti
Fig. 7: Tadasana

Benefits of Tadasana

  1. It helps in correcting your body posture.
  2. It improves your balance by making your spine more agile.
  3. It tones the hips and abdomen.
  4. It creates a sense of physical and mental balance.

8. Virabhadrasana I

Virabhadrasana describes a series of poses named after Virabhadra, a powerful warrior in Hindu mythology. 

Virabhadrasana 1  pose is known as “warrior one”. 

The arms are raised overhead with the palms facing each other or touching.

Fig. 8. Virabhadrasana 1

 Benefits of Virabhadrasana

  1. It Stretches the chest and lungsshoulders, neck and belly.
  2. It Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back.
  3. It also Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles.
  4. It Improves focus, balance and stability.

9. Virabhadrasana 2 

This pose, known as “warrior two” in English, represents the warrior sighting his enemy and preparing for battle. 

Virabhadrasana 2  warrior 2
Fig. 9: Virabhadrasana 2

The arms extend out in opposition directions at shoulder height with the gaze looking over the forward arm.

10. Virabhadrasana 3 

Known in English as “warrior three” or flying warrior

This pose symbolizes the warrior moving quickly to attack the enemy. 

warrior-3-pose-Virabhadrasana-3
Fig. 10: Virabhadrasana 3

The arm position is the same as Virabhadrasana 1, but the back leg lifts off the ground and the arms, torso and that leg are parallel with the ground.

11. Trikonasana

The word “Trikonasana” comes from the Sanskrit words 

“tri,” meaning “three”  &,“kona” meaning “angle”

It refers to the triangular shape created by your body in the full version of the pose. 

trikonasana yoga pose
Fig. 11: Trikonasana

Benefits of Trikonasana

  1. Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles.
  2. Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves.
  3. Stimulates the abdominal organs.
  4. Helps relieve stress.

12. Parivrtta Trikonasana

Parivrtta Trikonasana is an Asana Yoga pose. 

It is translated as Revolved Triangle Pose from Sanskrit, the name of this pose comes from

parivrtta meaning revolved, tri meaning three, kona meaning angle and asana meaning posture or seat.

parivrtta-trikonasana-revolved-triangle-pose
Fig. 12: Parivrtta Trikonasana

Benefits of Parivrtta Trikonasana

  1. Tones stretch and strengthen the muscles of the hamstring.
  2. Massages reproductive organs and pelvic region of the body.
  3. Gives an intense stretch to the spine and enhances its flexibility.
  4.  Releases the thoracic spine.

13. Utthita Parswakonasana

The name comes from the Sanskrit words utthita meaning “extended”, parsva meaning “side or flank”, kona meaning “angle”, and asana meaning “posture or seat”.

Utthita-Parsvakonasana-extended-side-angle-pose
Fig. 13: Utthita Parswakonasana

Benefits of Utthita Parsvakonasana

  1. It tones the muscles that run along the sides of your body.
  2. It Provides Therapeutic Relief.
  3. It helps in developing muscle endurance of the whole body. 
  4. It increases the blood flow, relaxes muscle tension.

14. Ustrasana

Ustra means camel.

Ustrasana is a deep backward bend from a kneeling position.

 The completed pose has the hands on the heels. The backs of the feet may be flat on the floor, or the toes may be tucked under for a slightly less strong backbend.

Camel-pose
Fig. 14: Ustrasana

Benefits of Ustrasana

  1. Diminishes fat on thighs
  2. Opens up the hips, extending profound hip flexors
  3. Stretches and fortifies the shoulders and back.
  4. Expands the stomach area, improving assimilation and elimination.

15. Vrikshasana

Vrikshasana  or Tree Pose is a balancing asana. 

It is one of the very few standing poses in medieval hatha yoga, and remains popular in modern yoga as exercise.

Vrikshasana | Tree Pose
Fig. 15: Vrikshasana

Benefits of Vrikshasana

  1. It fortifies the legs, and opens the hips
  2. It improves your neuromuscular coordination
  3. It assists with equilibrium and perseverance
  4. It improves readiness and fixation.

16. Ardha Chandrasana

The Ardha Chandrasana or the half-moon pose pronounced as (are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna) is a yoga asana that holds great importance.

This is a combination of three words, the word 

“ardha” means half“chandra” means moon &  “asana” means posture.

Ardha Chandrasana half moon yoga posture
Fig. 16: Ardha Chandrasana

Benefits of Ardha Chandrasana

  1. Fortifies lower legs, knees and legs.
  2. Roots thigh bones to help ease back pain.
  3. Improves assimilation.
  4. Lessens uneasiness, melancholy.

17. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

The name comes from the Sanskrit words that means-

Utthita meaning “extended”, Hasta  means “hand“, Pada means “foot“, Angustha means “thumb” or “toe“, & Asana means “pose”.

utthita_hasta_padangusthasana
Fig. 17: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Benefits of Utthita hasta padangusthasana

  1. Reinforces the legs and lower legs 
  2. It profoundly extends the hamstrings 
  3. Improves feeling of equilibrium 
  4. Improves focus.

18. Natarajasana

The name comes from the Sanskrit words nata meaning “dancer”, raja meaning “king”, and asana meaning “pose.

Nataraja is one of the names given to the Hindu God Shiva in his form as the cosmic dancer.

How-To-Do-The-Natarajasana-And-What-Are-Its-Benefits-1.jpg
Fig. 18: Natarajasana

Benefits of Natarajasana

  1. can boost energy and fight fatigue
  2. Can help build confidence and empowerment
  3. Improves posture and counteracts the effects of sitting and computer work.
  4. Strengthens your core and back muscles

19. Malasana

Malasana is the Sanskrit name for this posture.

The breakdown for the Sanskrit name is as follows, “Mala” meaning “Garland”, and “Asana” meaning “Posture or Pose”.

Some believe that “Garland” refers to the arms hanging around the neck like a necklace.

 

garland-pose_-squat-pose-malasana
Fig. 19: Malasana

Benefits of Malasana

  1. Opens your hips and crotch 
  2. Stretches your lower legs, lower hamstrings, back and neck 
  3. Tones your abs 
  4. Helps in absorption

20. Bakasana 

Bakasana (Crane pose), and the similar Kakasana (Crow pose) are balancing asanas in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.

In all variations, these are arm balancing poses in which hands are planted on the floor, shins rest upon upper arms, and feet lift up.

Fig. 20: Bakasana 

Benefits of Bakasana

  1. The normal act of this posture will increment mental and actual strength. 
  2. Causes in to make your body more adaptable. 
  3. It expands the perseverance limit. 
  4. Rehearsing this stance on a day-by-day schedule causes you in fortifying your lower arms, wrists, and shoulders.

21. Baddha Konasana 

It is a Bound Angle Pose, Throne Pose, Butterfly Pose, or Cobbler’s Pose.

(after the typical sitting position of Indian cobblers when they work), and historically called Bhadrasana.

It is a seated asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.

4 Benefits of Baddha konasana (Butterfly Pose)
Fig. 21: Baddha Konasana 

Benefits of Baddha Konasana

  1.  This asana significantly benefits pregnant ladies, assisting them with having a smooth and simple delivery
  2. This asana upgrades the working of the regenerative framework in ladies.
  3. It improves blood flow everywhere in the body. 
  4. It animates the kidneys and the prostate organ alongside the bladder and stomach organs also.

22. Dandasana

The name comes from the Sanskrit words daṇḍa meaning “stick” or “staff”, and āsana meaning “posture”.

The 19th century Sritattvanidhi uses the name Dandasana for a different pose, the body held straight, supported by a rope.

Staff Pose dandasana
Fig. 22: Dandasana

Benefits of Dandasana

  1. Improves pose. 
  2. Reinforces back muscles. 
  3. Extends and stretches the spine
  4. May assist with easing complexities identified with the reproductive organs.

23. Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana is a Sanskrit word, consisting of three words: 

Paschima means West or BackUttana means intense stretch & Asana means a yoga pose

Its different name is Seated Forward Bend, Intense Dorsal Stretch, Fierce or powerful pose and ugrasana.

Paschimottanasana Benefits Seated Forward Bend)
Fig. 23: Paschimottanasana

Benefits of Paschimottanasana

  1. It can help improve digestion whenever rehearsed routinely. 
  2. It conditions the shoulders and stretches the lower back, hamstrings, and hips. 
  3. It can help invigorate the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus. 
  4. It assists with the side effects of a sleeping disorder and advances great rest.

24. Purvottanasana

It is commonly translated into English as an intense eastward-facing stretch

Purvottanasana means an intense eastward facing stretch

Note: if you are a beginner struggling with Purvottanasana, practice your posture with the support of a chair.

Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose).jpg
Fig. 24: Purvottanasana

 Benefits of Purvottanasana

  1. Fortifies your rear arm muscles, wrists, back, and legs 
  2. Stretches your shoulders, chest, and front lower legs 
  3. Liberates your brain 
  4. Help keep your mind open to additional opportunities.

25. Janu Sirsasana 

It is the combination of three Sanskrit terms: 

Janu means knee, Sirs means head. Hence, Janusirsasana is Knee Head Pose. 

For easy understanding, it is commonly translated into English as Head to Knee Forward Bending Pose.

privritta-janu-sirsasana-revolved-head-to-knee-pose.jpg
Fig. 25: Janu Sirsasana 

Benefits of Janu Sirsasana

  1.  Quiets the mind and alleviates gentle melancholy. 
  2. Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and crotches. 
  3. Invigorates the liver and kidneys. 
  4. Improves absorption.

26. Setu Bandhasana 

Setu Bandhasana translated as Bridge from Sanskrit. 

The name of this pose comes from setu meaning bridge, bandha meaning bound, and asana meaning posture or seat.

Bridge-Pose-1.jpg
Fig. 26: Setu Bandhasana 

Benefits of Setu Bandhasana

  1. Reinforces the back, rump, and hamstrings. 
  2. Improves flow of blood. 
  3. Eases pressure and gentle wretchedness. 
  4. Quiets the mind and focal sensory system.

27. Salamba Sarvangasana 

The name Salamba Sarvangasana is derived from the Sanskrit words:

 Salamba meaning supportedsarvanga means the whole body and asana means posture

It has been described as the queen of all yoga poses because it engages the entire body. The king is, of course, the headstand.

shoulder-stand-salamba-sarvangasana
Fig. 27: Salamba Sarvangasana 

Benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana

  1. Quiets the cerebrum and diminishes pressure and mellow melancholy. 
  2. Animates the thyroid and prostate organs and stomach organs. 

Stretches the shoulders and neck. Tones the legs and posterior.

28. Sirsasana 

It is widely known among yoga practitioners as Headstand Pose

It is also known as Shirshasana. The name of this asana is derived from the Sanskrit language words:

Sir means head and asana means posture

supported-headstand-yoga-pose
Fig. 28: Sirsasana 

Benefits of Sirsasana

  1. Flushes the lymphatic framework.
  2. Calms the pressure on the brain. 
  3. Builds up a sound cerebrum

29. Balasana 

It is an easy yoga asana that can even be performed by beginners. 

In Sanskrit, bala means child. Thus, this pose is also called Child Pose. 

It is a ‘counter’ asana for many asanas and is performed preceding and following Sirsasana as it is a resting pose.

Balasana-child-pose.jpg
Fig. 29: Balasana 

Benefits of Balasana

  1. It lengthens and stretches the spin8:
  2. Relieves neck and lower back pain when performed with the head and torso supported
  3. It gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles
  4. Normalizes circulation throughout the body

30. Ananda Balasana

The asana Means “blissful” or “pure bliss”.

 Bala: “baby” Ananda Balasana is one of the beginner-level poses found in the Hatha Yoga texts and is quite popular in the contemporary world. 

It stretches the hips, groins, chest and shoulder areas. Along with that, it also lengthens the spine.

ananda balasana (happy baby pose) and health benefits
Fig. 30: Ananda Balasana

Benefits of Ananda Balasana

  1. Releases lower back and sacrum.
  2. Opens hips, inner thighs, and groin.
  3. Stretches the hamstrings.
  4. Relieves lower back pain.

31. Shavasana 

It is known as Corpse Pose, or Mrtasana, is an asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.

It is often used for relaxation at the end of a session.

Corpse-Savasana.jpg
Fig. 31: Shavasana 

Benefits of Savasana

  1. Quiets the focal sensory system, supporting the stomach-related and invulnerable frameworks. 
  2. Quiets the brain and lessens the pressure. 
  3. Lessons migraine, exhaustion, and uneasiness. 
  4. Assists in lower with blooding pressure.

The End

If you found this article helpful let us know in the comments. 

Also, we are really curious, which one of these yoga poses is your favourite?

You can explore our range of natural incense sticks to help you while performing yoga!

FAQs

What are Some Things to Remember Before Starting Yoga at Home?

Beginner yoga postures performed at home are a terrific place to start. Here are some reminders for when you do yoga:

  • Start with a simple exercise for beginners.
  • Purchase a yoga mat.
  • Create a special area.
  • Get warmed up before practising.
  • Concentrate on correct alignment
  • Inhale deeply.

Is 30 Minutes of Yoga a Day Enough?

Yes, newcomers who practise yoga for 30 minutes a day can reap a variety of physical, mental, and emotional advantages. It’s a terrific way to fit a regular practise into a hectic schedule and to learn how to move and breathe more deliberately and mindfully. However, how long you should perform yoga may vary depending on your personal objectives and requirements.

Can Practising Yoga Poses Change Your Body Shape?

Yes, consistent yoga practise may alter your body’s form by enhancing your strength, posture, and flexibility. Yoga asanas can also help you develop lean muscle mass, which will give you a body that is more toned and defined. In addition, yoga can encourage good eating habits and lower stress levels, which can help reduce body fat and improve overall body composition.

Is It Better to Do Yoga in The Morning or at Night?

Although practise yoga postures in the morning or at night has advantages of its own, the optimal time for you will depend on your schedule and personal preferences. A complete practise of yoga may be done in the morning and can be fairly physically demanding. A yoga class in the evening or at night can be more calming and aid in improving sleep at night.

Can You Practise Yoga For Beginners By Yourself?

Some introductory yoga poses may be practised alone in the privacy of your own home. To prevent accidents or injuries, it is always advised to train with a certified trainer.

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Mekhala

Mekhala, a law student and avid reader, has a deep passion for spirituality and meditation. She finds solace in these practices, using them to cultivate inner peace and mindfulness each day. Nature, yoga, and varied spiritual pursuits captivate her outside her studies and writing. Mekhala's devotion to mindfulness enriches her blogs with inspiration and insight.

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