Yoga is a physical, spiritual and mental discipline, designed to ascertain a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. There are numerous yoga poses for us all to try to reach these goals. At first, seeing the amount of yoga poses available may be a little overwhelming. However, yoga can become an important part of your life, so having a wide variety of yoga poses to experiment prevents you from getting bored whilst maintaining your progression. There will be plenty of time to try all of the exciting and challenging poses out, and as some are more difficult than others, you can start with some of the easier yoga poses and move on to the more complex ones once you yourself become more experienced.
If you are new to yoga, then it is vitally important that you do not try anything too heavy to begin with. There are yoga poses designed for beginners, so start with these and work your way towards the more difficult poses. The aim of the beginner poses is to establish basic strength and flexibility.
The introductory beginner yoga poses include standing, seated and supine poses and also light backbends and balancing poses.
Half moon pose
A basic stretching and balancing pose that mainly benefits the lower back.
The child pose
This is easy for beginners and will stretch and relax the neck, shoulders, thighs and back muscles.
Wind releasing pose
Helps release gastric gas. Also improves other gastric problems like stomach upsets and constipation, this is because the abdominal region is being stimulated.
Good for gentle introduction, relaxes both the mind and body.
Accomplished or adept pose
This is a sitting pose which facilitates relaxation, concentration and ultimately meditation.
Works well as an introduction, trains the body to remain still.
By bending forward, this stimulates blood flow and helps to relax and stretch the back, shoulders, legs and arms as well as increasing the flow of blood to the head. The calves and thighs along with the hamstrings are stretched. Twisting the spine slightly relieves lower back discomfort and creates suppleness in the discs of the spine.
Thunderbolt or diamond pose
Good for meditation, this is a good lead for poses such as the salutation pose and the camel.
Stretches the abdominal muscles and relieves pain and discomfort in the legs. Begin the posture by moving backwards and bend the back to the floor. Your arms should be stretched out straight and above the shoulders, ensure they stay level with the floor.
After mastering the beginner yoga poses, you are ready to move to the next level. Moving onto the intermediate level requires greater strength, flexibility and balance.
The bow pose
Restores flexibility to the spine. This relieves lower back pain and releases tension and strain in the neck and back. The one-legged pose – This will strengthen and tone the muscles in your legs; it also improves balance and sharpens your concentration.
The ligaments and calve muscles are stretched and this improves flexibility in the leg.
Shoulder stand pose
Regarded as one of the best poses. Increases blood flow, stimulates many important organs and calms the nervous system.
Stretches the back, spine, arms and shoulders.
Advanced Yoga Poses
The advanced yoga poses continue to expand the limits of the body mainly through deep backbends, intense arm balances and inversions.
Here are a few examples of yoga poses for advanced yogis:
When using the full variation of the pose, it is excellent for strength and suppleness. It strengthens the arms, shoulders, and upper back whilst also stimulating the cardiovascular system.
This evolves flow that combines stretching and motion. It is of huge benefit to the arms, back, legs, hips and chest. Regular practice will improve balance and strengthen concentration.
The greatest physical benefits are to the neck, spine and brain. When practicing this posture, it will make the spine supple and the flow of blood to the brain is increased. It enhances poise and balance and relieves stress and tension in the lower portions of the body.
One legged pigeon pose
Stretches the thighs, groins and back, whilst opening the chest and shoulders. This is regarded as one of the more complex yoga poses.