Yoga Yoga Videos

An Introduction To Common Yoga Poses

Yoga involves an assortment of poses (also called asanas). Each pose has a specific purpose and offers a unique set of benefits. Together, the poses are designed to increase the flexibility of your body, encourage blood circulation, hone your concentration and help you balance your mind, body and spirit. Though many believe yoga is simply the practice of stretching, it involves taking the body and mind through a formulated series of poses that maximize your control and awareness.

Poses To Warm Up

Because many yoga poses can be physically challenging, it's important to warm up at the beginning of your session. This includes eye training exercises and stretching your neck, shoulders and back gently to prepare for more difficult poses. It's normal to feel stiffness in your muscles and joints when you start practicing yoga. However, this stiffness can cause injury if you neglect these stretches. Simple shoulder lifts and "cat poses" can be extremely beneficial in loosening tight muscles.

Standing Poses

These poses are designed to help increase your strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. For example, the Revolved Triangle Pose requires concentration in order to perform it properly. The Crescent Moon Pose seeks to improve your balance while building the strength in your legs and arms. Meanwhile, the Warrior Poses encourage balance, stamina and strength in your shoulders, back, arms and ankles.

Poses While Seated

While some seated poses are designed to encourage meditation, others are focused on building your strength, stamina and stability. The Easy Pose seeks to slow your metabolism while fostering a tranquil experience that allows your mind to explore. The Hero Pose promotes a good posture while building strength in your ankles and the arches of your feet. The Child Pose gently stretches your hips, shoulders and back muscles and encourages circulation throughout your body.

Twist Poses

Twist poses are primarily focused on increasing the strength and flexibility of your back and spine. But, these exercises can also improve your digestion and build your abdominal muscles. The Half Spinal Twist seeks to lengthen your spine while the Sage Twist strengthens your spine and massages the organs in your abdominal area. Practice these poses slowly. Quick, jerking movements can increase the likelihood of injury. If possible, have a trained yoga instructor guide you to ensure you're performing them correctly.

Supine Poses

These poses are done while lying on your back. While most of them are beneficial to your legs, they also benefit other areas of your body such as your back, neck, arms and digestive system. For example, the Leg Reclining Lunge and Leg to Side Yoga Pose both focus on building your leg muscles. The Single and Double Leg Raises also helps your lower back and strengthens the muscles in your abdominal area.

Back bends

Back bends are performed to increase the flexibility of your spine. However, they also benefit other areas of your body. For example, the Bow Pose strengthens your back while building support for your posture and providing help for many gastrointestinal issues. The Locust Pose helps your lower back while the Cobra Pose encourages your spinal flexibility. Because these poses target your back and spine, great care should be used in order to avoid injury.

Finishing Your Yoga Session

The poses that you take your body through during your yoga session can be both relaxing and challenging. Some require concentration to maintain balance. Others stretch your muscles and joints beyond the point they're accustomed. After completing the poses above, take a few moments to relax your body. Both the Corpse Pose and Final Corpse Pose focus on relaxation. Both poses can be a great way to wind down after a challenging yoga session.

Try to find a trained yoga instructor who can watch you perform these poses. They can help you build good habits and avoid bad ones. Once you've learned how to practice the poses properly, you can perform them confidently and safely on your own.