While Yoga may have recently risen to popularity as a type of fitness craze in the Western world, it is actually a centuries-old practice.
During that time, it has been used to cure a number of different physical, spiritual, emotional and even psychological ailments. In addition to increasing physical strength and aiding in weight maintenance, Yoga can help stimulate the liver, kidneys and other organs to help maintain good intestinal health, create better sleeping habits and even improve your mental and emotional well-being. Here are 101 Yoga poses ranging from the most basic to the most advanced for all levels of practitioners.
- 29 Beginner Yoga Poses
- 1. Mountain Pose
- 2. Palm Tree Pose (Upward Salute)
- 3. Standing Forward Bend (Fold)
- 4. Half Standing Forward Bend
- 5. High Lunge
- 6. Chair Pose
- 7. Triangle Pose
- 8. Extended Side Angle Pose
- 9. Staff Pose
- 10. Easy Pose
- 11. Bound Ankle / Cobbler’s Pose
- 12. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
- 13. Table Pose (Table Top Pose)
- 14. Cat Pose
- 15. Cow Pose
- 16. Balancing Table Pose (Balancing Table Top Pose)
- 17. Reverse Table Top Pose
- 18. Sphinx Pose
- 19. Cobra Pose
- 20. Big Toe Pose
- 21. Child’s Pose
- 22. One-Legged Boat Pose
- 23. Dolphin Pose
- 24. Bridge Pose
- 25. Garland Pose (Frog Squat Pose)
- 26. Downward-facing Dog
- 27. Plank Pose
- 28. Chaturanga
- 29. Upward-facing Dog
- Yoga Pose Chart (Popularity of Poses)
29 Beginner Yoga Poses
1. Mountain Pose
Sanskrit Name: Tadasana
Benefits: The Mountain Pose is generally the starting position for all standing yoga poses and the first pose in the Sun Salutation. It is also sometimes known as the resting pose and is a great neutral position as well as a good tool for improving posture.
How to do mountain pose
- Step 1: Start by standing with your feet close together so that your big toes touch, but with your heels just slightly apart. Rock slowly and gently back and forth or side–to-side as needed until your weight is evenly distributed over your feet.
- Step 2: Relax your arms and face your palms forward in a gesture of openness.
- Step 3: Imagine a cord passing up through your feet and through the back of your skull pulling you into a straight line.
- Step 4: Pull your shoulder blades back towards each other as you feel your tailbone pulling down towards the ground.
- Step 5: Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing easily.
2. Palm Tree Pose (Upward Salute)
Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Hastasana
Benefits: Loosens arms, shoulders, neck and upper back. The Palm Tree Pose or Upward Salute is one of the most basic stretching yoga asanas and the second pose in the Sun Salutation. It is often used as a warm up to loosen tension before moving into more rigorous asanas.
How to do palm tree pose
- Step 1: Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Stretch arms high up into the air, reaching as high as you can, lengthening spine and allowing an invisible cord to pull you up onto your toes.
- Step 2: Clasp hands together high over your head and inhale deeply. Come back down to standing flat on your feet and exhale deeply as you lean far to the right. Hold for a beat and then rise back to center as you inhale.
- Step 3: Repeat center stretch and then alternate to right side.
3. Standing Forward Bend (Fold)
Sanskrit Name: Uttanasana
Benefits: The third pose in a basic Sun Salutation, the Standing Forward Bend stretches the hamstrings and calves while strengthening the thighs, can also stimulate the liver and kidneys, which can help improve digestion.
How to do standing forward bend pose
Step 1: On an exhale, release your body forward, folding down as if you were trying to kiss your shins. Bend your knees if there is too much pressure on your back. Wrap your hands around the back of your heels, but don’t pull your body forward. Release your neck so that your head hangs heavily from your spine.
Step 2: Hold position for 10-30 seconds, then on an inhale, either return to standing or move into a half standing forward bend.
4. Half Standing Forward Bend
Sanskrit Name: Ardha Uttanasana
Benefits: Stretches and lengthens hamstrings, calves, and front and back torso. It also strengthens the back and spine, improving posture and is the fourth pose in a traditional Sun Salutation.
How to do half-standing forward bend pose
- Step 1: From the Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), press your hands or fingertips into the floor on either side of your feet, or press your palms into your shins. Inhale as you raise your torso away from your thighs, straightening your elbows until your back forms a straight, perpendicular line to your legs, forming an inverted L shape.
- Step 2: Keep your back straight and your hips aligned over your ankles. Keep your knees slightly bent and lift your head slightly to gaze forward without compressing the neck.
- Step 3: Hold the pose for 1 minute and either release back down into Uttanasana or move into a high lunge.
5. High Lunge
Sanskrit Name: Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana
Benefits: Strengthens the lower body, opens the chest, increases balance and flexibility for beginners. Prepares base for more challenging poses like Warrior I, II or III. Also the 5th pose in a traditional Sun Salutation.
How to do high lunge pose
- Step 1: There are two ways to move into a high lunge. From Downward-facing Dog, lift one of your back feet and move it forward to rest between your hands. From a Half Standing Forward Bend, place your hands on the ground by your feet and extend one foot backwards.
- Step 2: Center your front knee over the heel so that your shin is perpendicular to the floor, and bring your thigh parallel to the floor. Center your weight between your feet and lift your torso until it is upright. Inhale, lift your arms high into the air stretching towards the ceiling.
- Step 3: Hold pose for 10-30 seconds, breathing normally. Lengthen the torso with each inhalation, looking forward without strain. To exit pose, place your hands on the ground outside of your front foot and either bring your back leg forward to rise or move your front leg backwards to return to Downward-facing Dog Pose.
6. Chair Pose
Sanskrit Name: Utkatasana
Benefits: Strengthens thighs and ankles, while toning shoulders, butt, hips, and back. Also stimulates the heart and diaphragm.
How to do chair pose
- Step 1: Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). As you inhale, raise your arms perpendicular to the floor, with your palms facing inward.
- Step 2: Exhale and bend your knees, as if you are sitting down in an imaginary chair until your torso forms a right angle to your thighs. Keep your inner thighs parallel to each other and push backwards with your shoulder blades as if you were pushing back on the back of a chair.
- Step 3: Lift arms up over your head and hold pose for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Step 4: To come out of this pose, inhale while you straighten your knees.
7. Triangle Pose
Sanskrit Name: Trikonasana
Benefits: The Triangle Pose is one of the most basic yoga poses that offers dozens of variations. In fact, no two sources often agree on the proper way to do a Triangle Pose or its many variations. Triangle Pose strengthens the ankles, legs, thighs and feet as well as the core. Stretches the hamstrings, spine, calf muscles and hips a well as improving balance and opening the chest to help improve breathing.
How to do triangle pose
- Step 1: Start by standing on your mat with legs spread wide (3-4 foot distance between legs) and toes pointing forward.
- Step 2: Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in about 45 degrees. Bring your hands to your hips and square your hips so you are now facing the end of the mat
- Step 3: As you exhale, bend from the hips and lean your torso to the right until it is parallel with the floor. Keeping your left hand on your hips, lengthen the spine and lower your right hand to the floor just behind your right foot. If you can’t place your hand on the floor, you can either rest your hand on your lower calf or ankle or use a block behind your right foot to stabilize.
- Step 4: As you inhale, raise the left arm straight into the air.
- Step 5: Exhale and turn your head to look up to your top hand.
- Step 6: Hold position for 10-30 seconds, then bring your left hand down and rise back to center.
- Step 7: Repeat on opposite side.
8. Extended Side Angle Pose
Sanskrit Name: Utthita Parsvakonasana
Benefits: Stretches the thighs, knees, ankles, calves, groins, chest, and shoulders and strengthens the quadriceps and ankles. It also stimulates and tones the abdominal organs and lungs, which improves digestion, elimination, metabolism, and breathing capacity.
How to do extended side angle pose
- Step 1: Start with your feet in Triangle Pose position with your right leg in front, or you can move into Extended Side Angle Pose directly from Triangle pose. Bend your right knee and shift your weight forward over your knee.
- Step 2: Either leave your right hand on the ground by your right foot or rest it on your right thigh.
- Step 3: Inhale and bring your left arm up high over your head. Exhale and lean forward, extending your left arm forward. Turn your head and look upward at your left arm.
- Step 4: Exhale and hold pose for 10-30 seconds, lengthening your spine and stretching your arm high overhead.
- Step 5: Pull your left arm back in, rise to center and center your weight back over both feet. Move into another pose or repeat on opposite side.
9. Staff Pose
Sanskrit Name: Dandasana
Benefits: The staff pose is another of the most fundamental yoga asanas that can act as a bridge when moving between one pose and another. It also provides full body strengthening and increases overall flexibility.
How to do staff pose
- Step 1: Start from a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Step 2: Place your hands palms down on the ground on either side of you.
- Step 3: Feel one cord pulling up on your spine and another pulling you forward from your heels. Feet should be erect with toes pointing upward.
- Step 4: Inhale deeply and exhale slowly, keeping your body erect and your spine in alignment. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
10. Easy Pose
Sanskrit Name: Sukhasana
Benefits: Unfolds the hips and stretches the spine, encourages inner calmness and tones and straightens the backbone. The easy pose is also a good beginner yoga asana for those that don’t quite have the flexibility yet for the lotus pose.
How to do easy pose
- Step 1: Start in staff pose, then pull your left leg in so your left foot rests under your right thigh. Then pull your right leg in so it rest under your left shin. If your hips are tight, you can place a rolled up towel or block under your buttocks.
- Step 2: Breathe in and elongate your spine, sitting up as tall as you can.
- Step 3: Maintain pose for several minutes, breathing easily. This is a good yoga asana for meditation.
- Step 4: Uncurl your legs and repeat in opposite position.
11. Bound Ankle / Cobbler’s Pose
Sanskrit Name: Baddha Konasana
Benefit: The bound angle pose helps improve flexibility in knees, groins and the inner thigh. It is also beneficial for helping to relieve menstrual cramps and can help ease delivery for pregnant women. It also opens the chest, hips and lower back. It is sometimes called the Cobbler’s Pose because this is how cobblers generally sit when they work.
How to do cobbler’s pose
- Step 1: Sit on the floor with your spine straight. Bend your knees and bring your feet
- together with the soles touching, or as close as possible, so your legs form the shape of butterfly wings.
- Step 2: Interlace your fingers around your toes. With your back flat and your chest open, gently pull your torso forward, holding your feet tightly with your hands.
- Step 3: Inhale deeply and press your thighs and knees down into the floor with your elbows. Hold for a count of 10 or up to 30 seconds.
- Step 4: Exhale and release your thighs, rising to an upright position. Repeat until you feel relaxed and comfortable.
12. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Sanskrit Name: Ardha Matsyendrasana
Benefits: Stretches shoulders, hips, and back; increases circulation; tones abdomen; strengthens obliques.
How to do half lord of the fishes pose
- Step 1: Start on the floor in Staff pose. Cross your right foot over the outside of the left thigh, bending your knee so it points towards the ceiling. Bend your left knee to bring your left foot under your right buttock.
- Step 2: Bend your left arm upward and place your left elbow outside of your right knee and place your right hand on the floor behind you. Twist as far to the right as you can, while keeping both buttocks on the floor.
- Step 3: Hold pose for one minute breathing easily and deepening twist on each exhalation.
13. Table Pose (Table Top Pose)
Sanskrit Name: Bharmanasana
Benefits: Table pose is one of the most basic neutral asana poses. From Table Pose, you can move into a number of other poses, such a Cow/ Cat or Balancing Table Pose. It also strengthens the wrists, arms and shoulders, stretches the spine, tones the back muscles and expands the chest to improve lung capacity.
How to table pose
- Step 1: Kneel on all fours with your knees are aligned under the hips, and the hands under the shoulders. Keep your back flat and your head and neck aligned with the spine. Your back should form a completely straight line from the back of your skull to the top of your tailbone. This forms a neutral position to move into and out of Cow/ Cat pose, among others.
14. Cat Pose
Sanskrit Name: Marjariasana
Pose Level: Beginner
Benefits: Both Cow Pose and Cat Pose are two of the simplest and easiest beginner yoga poses. Together, they provide an excellent spinal stretch, which can prevent back pain, help maintain good posture and create a healthy spine. They are a great part of an evening or morning routine to help loosen you up in the morning or relax you and prepare you for sleep at night.
How to do cat pose
- Step 1: Start on your hands and knees, with your back straight in a table-top position. Your wrists should be directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
- Step 2: Inhale and arch your back by feeling a cord pulling your abdomen towards the ceiling. Hold for a count of 10.
- Step 3: Exhale and release the arch in your back to return to table top pose, before moving into Cow Pose
- Step 4: Flow back through cow, table and cat pose 5-7 times, holding each pose for a count of 10.
15. Cow Pose
Sanskrit Name: Bitilasana
Pose Level: Beginner
Benefits: Work with Cat Pose and Table Pose to offer a complete spinal stretch.
How to do cow pose
- Step 1: Start on your hands and knees, with your back straight in a table-top position. Your wrists should be directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
- Step 2: Exhale and feel a cord pulling your abdomen towards the ground and your hips towards the ceiling. There should be a reverse bow in your spine, opposite the curvature created by Cat Pose
- Step 3: Inhale, pulling your abdomen back upwards into Table Top Pose
- Step 4: Flow back through Cow, Table Top and Cat pose 5-7 times, holding each pose for a count of 10.
16. Balancing Table Pose (Balancing Table Top Pose)
Sanskrit Name: Dandayamana Bharmanasana
Benefits: Builds core and lower back strength, while bringing flexibility to the spine, shoulders, and hips and gently stretching the torso. The challenge of balancing also helps to improve focus, coordination, and overall physical equilibrium.
How to do balancing table pose
- Step 1: Start in Table Pose. Imagine pulling your belly button into your spine, without arching your back. Extend your right leg straight out behind you, keeping your spine straight and strong.
- Step 2: With your abdominal muscles engaged, reach your left arm forward at shoulder height, parallel to the ground. Imagine a cord pulling your left arm forward and your right leg straight backward, keeping your spine straight.
- Step 3: Hold for a count of 10, exhale and release back to Table Pose. Repeat on opposite side.
17. Reverse Table Top Pose
Sanskrit Name: Ardha Purvottanasana
Benefits: Stretches the front side of the body and the shoulders, strengthens the arms, wrists and the legs, improves posture and gives you a nice boost of energy.
How to do reverse table top pose
- Step 1: Start in Staff Pose (Dandasana) with your legs straight in front of you. Bend your knees so that both your feet are flat on the ground. Leave some space between your hips and the feet, so that when you come up, your knees will end up in a 90 degree angle.
- Step 2: Place your hands behind you on the mat, inhale and lift your hips while pressing firmly onto your hands and feet. Straighten your arms and make sure that your knees are at a 90-degree angle, with your thighs and torso parallel to the floor and your wrists directly beneath your shoulder.
- Step 3: Keep your neck neutral or drop your head back if it feels better. Relax your buttocks and try to hold the pose with just the strength of your legs.
- Step 4: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds, then relax back down to the floor. Repeat 2-3 times.
18. Sphinx Pose
Sanskrit Name: Salamba Bhujangasana
Benefit: The Sphinx Pose is a modified version of the Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana). Like the Cobra pose, it lengthens the abdominal muscles, strengthens the spine, and firms the buttocks while stretching and opening the chest, lungs, and shoulders, but it distributes weight on the forearms rather than the wrist, and creates a slightly less curve to the spine.
How to do sphinx pose
- Step 1: Begin by lying face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, hip-width apart.
- Step 2: Inhale and bring your arms forward, pressing your forearms into the floor. This will lift your shoulders off the ground. Press your shoulders backward and your pubic bone down into the floor, creating a small bow in your spine.
- Step 3: Hold for 10-20 seconds and then exhale as you slowly lower your torso, head and chest back to the floor.
19. Cobra Pose
Sanskrit Name: Bhujangasana
Benefits: Lengthens the abdominal muscles, strengthens the spine, and firms the buttocks while stretching and opening the chest, lungs, and shoulders.
How to do cobra pose
- Step 1: Start by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. Place your hands directly under your shoulders as if preparing to do a push-up.
- Step 2: Hug your elbows in to the sides of your body and press down on the floor, lifting your torso off the ground, but keeping your lower ribs and pubic bone pressed into the floor. Only straighten your arms as much as your body allows. With practice, you will be able to straighten your arms completely, but do not lock the elbows.
- Step 3: Hold pose for 30-60 seconds before releasing back down to the mat.
20. Big Toe Pose
Sanskrit Name: Padangusthasana
Benefits: Similar to the Standing Forward Bend, the Big Toe Pose stretches the hamstrings and calves while strengthening the thighs, can also stimulate the liver and kidneys, which can help improve digestion.
How to do big toe pose
- Step 1: Start by standing upright with your feet parallel to each other and about 6 inches apart. In one smooth, slow, fluid motion, bend all the way forward from your hips as if you are trying to kiss your knees. Keep your knees straight and exhaling as you bend.
- Step 2: Wrap your fingers around your big toe, or alternatively, you can place one hand beneath each foot.
- Step 3: Inhale as you lift your torso as if you were going to straighten up, but your toes are holding you firmly rooted in place. This tension should create a stretch that you will feel in your hamstrings and thighs.
- Step 4: Hold the tension for a count of 8-10 before slowly exhaling and relaxing.
21. Child’s Pose
Sanskrit Name: Balasana
Benefits: Gently stretches the lower back, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles; relaxes the spine, shoulders, and neck and increases blood circulation to the head. This is one of many yoga asanas that is an excellent warm up or a great way to relax in the evening before bed.
How to do child’s pose
- Step 1: Start by kneeling with your knees spread about as wide as your hips.
- Step 2: Exhale and lean forward all the way so your torso is laying between your thighs and your forehead resting on the floor. Lay your arms next to your outer thighs with the palms facing up or extend them on the floor in front of you, over your head.
- Step 3: Rest, relax, inhale and exhale slowly. With each exhale, slowly lengthen your spine, sinking deeper down into the pose. Hold for 3-5 minutes, breathing slowly and deepening the pose with each breath.
22. One-Legged Boat Pose
Sanskrit Name: Ekapada Navasana
Benefits: The Boat Pose strengthens the abdominals and builds core body strength. This posture also helps improve balance, focus and concentration. The One-Legged Boat Pose is great for beginners that don’t yet have the core strength to hold either a Half Boat Pose (Ardha Navasana) or Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana).
How to do one-legged boat pose
- Step 1: From Staff Pose (Dandasana), bend the left foot in towards the right thigh. Inhale and lift both arms over the right leg, parallel to the floor, with the palms facing each other.
- Step 2: Exhale as you slowly lean back and lift the right leg up to a 45 degree angle, keeping your arms extended. Relax your shoulders and draw the shoulder blades back towards the spine to lift and open the chest.
- Step 3: Hold pose for 10-30 seconds, breathing evenly and putting as much effort into holding up the chest as holding up your arms and leg.
- Step 4: Slowly release arms and legs down to floor and repeat on opposite side.
23. Dolphin Pose
Sanskrit Name: Catur Svanasana
Benefits: Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and arches. Strengthens the arms and legs and helps prevent osteoporosis. Improves digestion and relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue. Therapeutic for treating high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, and sciatica.
How to do dolphin pose
- Step 1: Start from Table Top Position (Bharmanasana). Lower your forearms down onto the floor and place your palms together.
- Step 2: Curl your toes under, then exhale and lift your knees away from the floor so that you are standing on your feet with your knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lift your hip bones high towards the ceiling while pressing your forearms into the floor. Hold your head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang or press heavily against the floor.
- Step 3: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds before lowering your knees back to the floor.
24. Bridge Pose
Sanskrit Name: Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana
Benefits: Strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings. Opens chest and hips and stretches the neck, spine, chest and hips. Helps relieve back pain, improves digestion and can help relieve headaches. Improves blood circulation and calms the brain and nervous system. Great beginning pose to help create spinal flexibility for more challenging back bend poses.
How to do bridge pose
- Step 1: Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent directly over your heels.
- Step 2: Place arms at sides, palms down. Exhale and press your feet into the floor as you lift your hips high.
- Step 3: Clasp hands under lower back and press arms down, lifting hips until they are parallel to the floor, bringing your chest towards your chin.
- Step 4: Hold pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing steadily and easily. Exit by releasing back down to floor.
25. Garland Pose (Frog Squat Pose)
Sanskrit Name: Malasana
Benefits: Strengthens the ankles, groin and back torso while toning the abdomen.
How to do garland pose
- Step 1: Squat with your feet as close together as possible. Keep your heels on the floor. If you can’t squat with your heels on the floor, you can use a rolled up towel to support them. Spread your thighs until they are slightly wider than your torso.
- Step 2: On an exhale, lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs. Press your elbows against your inner knees, bringing your palms to together in front of your chest.
- Step 3: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds before exiting into another pose.
26. Downward-facing Dog
Sanskrit Name: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Downward-facing dog is one of the most well known yoga asanas, and for good reason. It is an incredibly versatile pose that provides an all-over stretch with arm, leg and core strengthening. It is also an excellent transition between standing poses and floor poses and between various types of floor poses. It is also the 6th step in a traditional Sun Salutation.
How to do downward facing dog pose
- Step 1: Start on the floor on your hands and knees, with knees directly under your hips and your hands just forward of your shoulders.
- Step 2: Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor, creating the shape of an A with your body. Gently straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Do not walk your feet towards your hands, keep the extension in your whole body.
- Step 3: Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Step 4: To release, gently bend your knees as you exhale and come back to your hands and knees, move your hands forward into plank pose, or move a single foot forward into a lunge position.
27. Plank Pose
Sanskrit name: Kumbhakasana
Benefits: Plank pose is another of the most-used yoga poses and is often borrowed for use in other types of fitness regimens as well. It is a simple pose, but quite effective and can be beneficial for both beginning and advanced practitioners, since the longer you hold the pose the more difficult it becomes. The plank pose strengthens the arms, wrists and spine, but is particularly useful for toning and strengthening the core. It is the 7th pose in a traditional Sun Salutation.
How to do plank pose
- Step 1: Start in Downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Then inhale and draw your torso forward until the arms are perpendicular to the floor and the shoulders directly over the wrists with your torso parallel to the floor, ending in the raised portion of a push-up position.
- Step 2: Firm your back to create one long, smooth line from the back of your skull to the back of your heels – or a solid plank.
- Step 3: Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds. The longer you hold the pose, the more difficult it becomes, so you can increase strength and difficulty by increasing the amount of time you hold the pose.
- Step 4: Release the pose by lowering your knees to the floor and moving into cow/ cat pose or for more advanced practitioners, lift one arm to move into a side plank.
Sanskrit Name: Chaturanga Dandasana
Benefits: The Chaturanga Dandasana is another of the most common and versatile beginner yoga poses and the 8th pose of the Sun Salutation. Chaturanga Dandasana actually means four-limbed staff pose and is one of the hardest poses for beginners to perform properly. When done properly, the Chaturanga strengthens and tones the wrists, arms, abdominal muscles, and lower back and prepares the body for more challenging arm balances.
How to do chaturanga
- Step 1: Start in Plank Pose. Keeping your elbows directly over your wrists, slowly lower your body until it hovers just a few inches over the floor.
- Step 2: Lift through your chest, and keep your abdominal and leg muscles fully engages. Do not let your chest drop or sag toward the floor. Your spine should create a long, straight line extending from the back of your heels to the crown of your head. Do not let your elbows splay to the sides. Keep them hugged along your ribcage, pointed toward your heels.
- Step 3: Hold pose for 20 – 60 seconds or as long as you can. Beginners will have difficultly holding this pose for long, but with practice you will build up endurance. To exit, push back up into Plank Pose, lower yourself to the mat or move into Upward-facing Dog.
29. Upward-facing Dog
Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Like the Cobra or Sphinx Pose, Upward-facing Dog Pose lengthens the abdominal muscles, strengthens the spine, and firms the buttocks while stretching and opening the chest, lungs, and shoulders. Upward-facing Dog is slightly more challenging, however, because unlike the Cobra or Sphinx pose, you actually lift your pelvic bones into the air. It is the 9th pose in the Sun Salutation.
How to do upward facing dog
- Step 1: From Plank Pose, lower your tailbone to hover just a few inches over the floor, keeping your shoulders extended high into the air and forming a bend in your back. From Chaturanga, push up with your arms, leaving your pelvic bones hovering just a few inches off the ground.
- Step 2: Hold pose for 10-60 seconds, keeping your legs active and engaged. Look straight ahead or slightly upward. Release down to the floor or push up into Upward-facing Dog to complete a Sun Salutation.
Yoga Pose Chart (Popularity of Poses)
Below is a chart setting out the popularity of many yoga poses based on monthly search volume. We use 3rd party software that gathers this data for search terms.