101 Popular Yoga Poses for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Yogis

Yoga poses chart setting out 101 common yoga asanas - beginner, intermediate and advanced yoga poses.

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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.

Contents

29 Beginner Yoga Poses (Step-by-step instructions)

1. Mountain Pose

Tadasana mountain yoga pose

Tadasana mountain yoga pose

Sanskrit Name: Tadasana

Level: Beginner

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)

Palm tree upward salute yoga pose

Palm tree upward salute yoga pose

Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Hastasana

Level: Beginner

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)

Standing forward bend yoga pose

Standing forward bend

Sanskrit Name: Uttanasana

Level: Beginner

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

Half Standing Forward Bend - Ardha Uttanasana yoga pose

Half Standing Forward Bend – Ardha Uttanasana

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Uttanasana

Level: Beginner

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

High lunge - Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana yoga pose

High lunge – Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Sanskrit Name: Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Level: Beginner

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

Chair pose - Utkatasana yoga pose

Chair pose – Utkatasana yoga pose

Sanskrit Name: Utkatasana

Level: Beginner

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

Triangle pose - Trikonasana

Triangle pose – Trikonasana

Sanskrit Name: Trikonasana

Level: Beginner

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

Extended side angle yoga pose - Utthita Parsvakonasana

Extended side angle yoga pose – Utthita Parsvakonasana

Sanskrit Name: Utthita Parsvakonasana

Level: Beginner

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

Staff pose - Dandasana

Staff pose – Dandasana

Sanskrit Name: Dandasana

Level: Beginner

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

Easy pose - Sukhasana

Easy pose – Sukhasana

Sanskrit Name: Sukhasana

Level: Beginner

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

Cobbler’s Pose - Baddha Konasana

Cobbler’s Pose – Baddha Konasana

Sanskrit Name: Baddha Konasana

Level: Beginner

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

Half lord of the fishes pose - Ardha Matsyendrasana

Half lord of the fishes pose – Ardha Matsyendrasana

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Matsyendrasana

Level: Beginner

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)

Table pose - Bharmanasana

Table pose – Bharmanasana

Sanskrit Name: Bharmanasana

Level: Beginner

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

Cat pose - Marjariasana

Cat pose – Marjariasana

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

Cow pose - Bitilasana

Cow pose – Bitilasana

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)

Balancing table pose - Dandayamana Bharmanasana

Balancing table pose – Dandayamana Bharmanasana

Sanskrit Name: Dandayamana Bharmanasana

Level: Beginner

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

Reverse table top pose - Ardha Purvottanasana

Reverse table top pose – Ardha Purvottanasana

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Purvottanasana

Level: Beginner

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

Sphinx pose - Salamba Bhujangasana

Sphinx pose – Salamba Bhujangasana

Sanskrit Name: Salamba Bhujangasana

Level: Beginner

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

Cobra pose - Bhujangasana

Cobra pose – Bhujangasana

Sanskrit Name: Bhujangasana

Level: Beginner

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

Big toe pose - Padangusthasana

Big toe pose – Padangusthasana

Sanskrit Name: Padangusthasana

Level: Beginner

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

Childs pose - Balasana

Child’s pose – Balasana

Sanskrit Name: Balasana

Level: Beginner

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

One legged boat pose - Ekapada Navasana

One legged boat pose – Ekapada Navasana

Sanskrit Name: Ekapada Navasana

Level: Beginner

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

Dolphin pose - Catur Svanasana

Dolphin pose – Catur Svanasana

Sanskrit Name: Catur Svanasana

Level: Beginner

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

Bridge yoga pose - Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana

Bridge yoga pose – Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana

Sanskrit Name: Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana

Level: Beginner

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)

Garland pose - Malasana

Garland pose – Malasana

Sanskrit Name: Malasana

Level: Beginner

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

Downward facing dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward facing dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

Sanskrit Name: Adho Mukha Svanasana

Level: Beginner

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

Plank Pose - Kumbhakasana

Plank Pose – Kumbhakasana

Sanskrit name: Kumbhakasana

Level: Beginner

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.

28. Chaturanga

Chaturanga Dandasana

Chaturanga Dandasana

Sanskrit Name: Chaturanga Dandasana

Level: Beginner

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

Upward facing dog - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Level: Beginner

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.

Click here for the PDF version

53 Intermediate Yoga Poses (Step-by-step instructions)

30. Side Plank Pose

Side plank pose - Vasisthasana

Side plank pose – Vasisthasana

Sanskrit Name: Vasisthasana

Level: Beginner/ Intermediate

Benefit: Improves balance and stretches and strengthens the wrist. Can also improve concentration and focus. Tones and strengthens the arms, abdomen and legs.

How to do side plank pose

  • Step 1: Start with the Phalakasana (Plank Pose). Shift your weight gently to your right arm and foot.
  • Step 2: Slowly and carefully swing the left arm and foot over so that your right arm and foot are supporting your entire body. Reach with your left arm towards the sky as if you are picking an apple from a branch above you and rest your left foot on your right foot.
  • Step 3: Hold position for 30 -60 seconds and then return to plank position or roll into Camatkarasana (Wild Thing) before returning to plank position.
  • Step 4: Repeat on opposite side.

31. Wild Thing

Wild thing pose - Camatkarasana

Wild thing pose – Camatkarasana

Sanskrit Name: Camatkarasana

Level: Beginner/ Intermediate

Benefits: Opens up chest, lung and shoulder areas as well as front of legs and hip flexors. Also builds strength in the shoulders and upper back.

How to do wild thing pose

  • Step 1: Start in side plank pose with your right arm and foot supporting your body weight.
  • Step 2: Place your left foot on the floor about 8-12 inches behind your right foot to create a tripod with your right hand and right foot.
  • Step 3: Inhale and reach your left arm backwards over your head as if you were picking an apple from a tree behind you.
  • Step 4: Exhale and return to side plank position.

32. Half Frog Pose

Half frog pose - Ardha Bhekasana

Half frog pose – Ardha Bhekasana

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Bhekasana

Level: Beginner/ Intermediate

Benefits: The Half Frog Pose is a great yoga pose for runners because it rejuvenates the knee joints and can help prevent knee injuries. Great stretch for thigh and hip muscles and also helps strengthen back muscles and improve posture.

How to do half frog pose

  • Step 1: Start in either the Sphinx Pose or Cobra Pose with your elbows underneath the shoulders.
  • Step 2: Lift your left leg towards your buttocks and reach back and clasp your ankle with your left hand. If you start in the Cobra Pose but can’t support your body weight with your arm extended, or can’t reach your ankle, lower down onto your forearms and try again.
  • Step 3: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds, breathing deeply and deepening the pose with each inhalation. Relax back down into Cobra or Sphinx Pose and repeat with opposite leg.

33. Frog Pose

Frog pose - Mandukasana

Frog pose – Mandukasana

Sanskrit Name: Mandukasana

Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Benefits: Another great pose for runners, the Frog Pose stretches the abductors, groin and glutes.

How to do frog pose

  • Step 1: Start from Table Pose (Bharmanasana) and walk your knees out to the sides to widen the gap between them. Knees and hips should be in line and knees and ankles should be in line with you feet turned outwards
  • Step 2: Sink forward on your hips and walk your arms as far forward as possible
  • Step 3: Hold pose for 30-90 seconds. Breathe deeply and deepen the pose on each exhalation. Walk your knees back in together and your arms backwards to exit the pose.

34. Marichi’s Pose I

Marichis Pose 1 - Marichyasana I

Marichis Pose 1 – Marichyasana I

Sanskrit name: Marichyasana I

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens the inner thighs, stretches the hamstrings, spine, hips and shoulders. Softens the back and neck area, helps to open the shoulders and relax the muscular tension. Energizes the entire body, tones the waist and improves digestion and metabolism.

How to do Marichi’s pose I

  • Step 1: Start from the Staff Pose (dandasana). Bend the right knee and move the right foot back towards the right buttock with left knee remaining straight.
  • Step 2: Reach your left arm straight up towards the roof and then drop it behind your back. Wrap your right arm around your right shin and reach back to grab your left hand.
  • Step 3: Bend forward, keeping your spine long.
  • Step 4: Hold position for 20-60 seconds, then return to an upright position before setting your arms free. Return to Staff Pose and repeat on other side.

35. Marichi’s Pose II

Sanskrite name: Marichyasana II

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens the inner thighs and stretches the hamstrings, spine, hips and shoulders. Tones the waist, energizes the body and massages the liver, kidneys, spleen, stomach, pancreas, small intestines and gallbladder.

How to do Marichi’s pose II

  • Step 1: Start from the Staff Pose (dandasana). Bend the right knee and move the right foot back towards the right buttock. Then curl the left leg in towards the right foot.
  • Step 2: Fold forward and reach your right arm toward your center back and your left arm around your left leg and back towards your right arm. Clasp your left wrist with your right hand.
  • Step 3: Exhale and lengthen the trunk out over the right leg, bringing the chin towards the knee.
  • Step 4: Hold position for 20-60 seconds before returning to Staff Pose. Repeat on opposite side.

36. Marichi’s Pose III

Marichis Pose 3 - Marichyasana III

Marichis Pose 3 – Marichyasana III

Sanskrite name: Marichyasana III

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Stretches the muscles between the ribs, cures mild backache, helps to open the shoulders, strengthens the inner thighs and stretches the hamstrings, spine, hips and shoulders.

How to do Marichi’s pose III

  • Step 1: Start from the Staff Pose on the yoga mat. Bend your right knee and bring it close to your left thigh, with the sole of your foot pressing against the floor.
  • Step 2: Exhale and rotate your torso to the left, twisting slowly until the right shoulder is outside of the left knee. Extend your left arm out behind you, bend your right arm at the elbow and place it just inside the left knee.
  • Step 3: As you inhale and exhale twist a bit more with each breath, gazing over your left shoulder.
  • Step 4: Hold the pose for 60-90 seconds and then untwist. Repeat on opposite side.

37. Twisted Marichi’s Pose III

Twisted Marichis pose 3 - Parivrtta Marichyasana

Twisted Marichis pose 3 – Parivrtta Marichyasana

Sanskrite name: Parivrtta Marichyasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Opens and gently stretches the hips, groins and buttocks, enhances the functions of the abdominal organs. Strengthens the calves, legs and thighs. Requires slightly more flexibility than Marichyasana III.

How to do twisted Marichi’s pose III

  • Step 1: Start from the Staff Pose on the yoga mat. Bend your right knee and bring it close to your left thigh, with the sole of your foot pressing against the floor.
  • Step 2: Place your right hand a few inches behind your right hip and your left hand outside your right knee.
  • Step 3: Exhale and twist to the right. Bring your left elbow over the right knee and draw it as close as possible into your left armpit. Reach the right arm behind you and grab your left wrist, if possible.
  • Step 4: Gaze forward over the left shoulder without leaning back. Keep the front (straight) leg energized by stretching the heel away and deepening the twist.
  • Step 5: Hold position for 20-60 seconds, then exit the pose by releasing the hands and coming back into the Staff Pose. Repeat on opposite side.

38. Warrior I Pose

Warrior 1 pose - Virabhadrasana I

Warrior 1 pose – Virabhadrasana I

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana I

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Helps to strengthen the shoulders, arms and back, stretches and strengthens the thighs, calves and ankles, opens the chest and hips and gently stretches the shoulders, navel and neck.

How to do Warrior I pose

  • Step 1: Start from Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Calm and center yourself, then step your left foot forward about 3-4 feet and bend the leg so that shin and thigh make a 90° angle, without taking your knee past the ankle.
  • Step 2: Turn your right foot out 90°. Reach up high with your arms, either keeping your palms parallel or touching them together. You can look upward or stay looking forward.
  • Step 3: Hold position for 20- 60 seconds. Come back to Mountain Pose and repeat on opposite side.

39. Twisted Warrior Pose / Side Angle Pose With Praying Hands

Warrior Pose Praying Hands - Parivrrta Virabhadrasana

Warrior Pose Praying Hands – Parivrrta Virabhadrasana

Sanskrit Name: Parivrrta Virabhadrasana / Parivrtta Parsvakonasana,

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: The Revolved Warrior Pose is similar to the Revolved Side Angle Pose but the arms are brought into the chest, rather than extending over the head. Some practitioners call this the Revolved Side Angle Pose With Praying Hands because it is the precursor to the Bound Revolved Side Angle Pose. Whatever you choose to call it, this yoga pose improves balance, strengthens the legs, feet, ankles and abdominal muscles, stimulates the abdominal organs and aids digestion. It also increases flexibility in the hamstrings, shoulders and upper back.

How to do twisted warrior pose

  • Step 1: From Warrior I pose, place palms together and bend elbows to bring palms directly in front of chest. Inhale.
  • Step 2: On exhale, bend torso forward from hips and turn torso to right, bringing your left elbow to rest just outside of your right knee.
  • Step 3: Hold pose for 10-20 seconds and then release back to Warrior I or move into either the Bound Revolved Side Angle Pose, or the Revolved Triangle Pose.

40. Twisted Triangle Pose

Revolved Triangle Pose - Parivrtta Trikonasana

Revolved Triangle Pose – Parivrtta Trikonasana

Sanskrit Name: Parivrtta Trikonasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: 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 twisted triangle pose

  • Step 1: From Revolved Warrior Pose, place your left hand on the ground just outside of your right foot. On an inhale, raise your right hand high up into the air. Exhale and turn your head to look upward at your right hand.
  • Step 2: Hold pose for 5-10 beats and then bring palms back together in front of chest before rising back into Warrior Pose on an inhale.

41. Bound Twisted Side Angle Pose

Bound Side Angle Pose - Baddha Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Bound Side Angle Pose – Baddha Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Sanskrit Name: Baddha Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the entire body, opens the shoulders and chest and improves lung function. Stabilizes the front and back of torso and tones the lower body. Improves balance and stamina and can be highly beneficial to people that suffer from asthma or other respiratory issues. It also increases flexibility in the hamstrings, shoulders and upper back.

How to do bound twisted side angle pose

  • Step 1: From a right-facing Revolved Warrior or Revolved Side Angle Pose, reach your left arm around behind your back and thread your right arm under your right thigh. Grasp your left wrist with your right hand, forming a circle around your right thigh.
  • Step 2: Hold for 5-10 beats, then release back into Warrior Pose.

42. Monkey Pose

Monkey pose - Hanumanasana

Monkey pose – Hanumanasana

Sanskrit Name: Hanumanasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens muscles in the thighs, hamstrings, groin area and pelvic floor. Stretches the chest, thighs, arms, shoulders and back. Increases energy and positive thoughts and activates the thymus gland. Increases overall flexibility.

How to do monkey pose

  • Step 1: From Warrior I Pose, gently drop back knee down to floor and extend front leg forward until your pelvis is flat on the floor, using your hands to support yourself as you slide down into position.
  • Step 2: Lift arms high above your head and bring the palms together.
  • Step 3: Hold pose for 30-60 seconds, then press palms down into the ground to lift yourself back to Warrior I position. Repeat on alternate side.

43. Warrior II Pose

Warrior II Pose - Virabhadrasana II

Warrior II Pose – Virabhadrasana II

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana II

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Helps to strengthen the shoulders, arms and back, stretches and strengthens the thighs, calves and ankles. Calms the mind, helps promote balance and improves respiration and circulation.

How to do Warrior II pose

  • Step 1: Start from Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Calm and center yourself, then step your left foot forward about 3-4 feet and bend the leg so that shin and thigh make a 90° angle, without taking your knee past the ankle.
  • Step 2: Turn your right foot out 90°. Reach your right arm straight forward and your left arm straight back, with your head facing forward.
  • Step 3: Hold position for 20- 60 seconds. Come back to Mountain Pose and repeat on opposite side.

44. Warrior III Pose

Warrior III pose - Virabhadrasana III

Warrior III pose – Virabhadrasana III

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana III

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: The Warrior III pose helps open the chest and hips and helps stretch and strengthen the groin, thighs, calves and ankles.

How to do Warrior III pose

  • Step 1: Start from the Mountain pose (Tadasana). Move your right foot forward approximately 8-12 inches on the mat and slowly, but steadily move your body weight forward onto this leg.
  • Step 2: Inhale and bring your arms over your head, interlacing your fingers if you choose.
  • Step 3: Slowly lift your back (left) leg up and out and lower your torso and arms towards the yoga mat. When completed, your body should form a T with your arms stretching in one direction, your back (left) leg the other and your right leg forming the base.
  • Step 4: Hold this position for 20 seconds to one minute and then exit the pose by inhaling, lowering your back leg and returning to Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
  • Step 5: Repeat all steps on opposite side.

45. Reverse Warrior Pose

Reverse Warrior Pose - Viparita Virabhadrasana

Reverse Warrior Pose – Viparita Virabhadrasana

Sanskrit Name: Viparita Virabhadrasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Helps to strengthen the shoulders, arms and back, opens the chest, stretches and strengthens the thighs, calves and ankles. Calms the mind, helps promote balance and improves respiration and circulation.

How to do reverse Warrior pose

  • Step 1: Start from Warrior II pose. Draw your left hand down to rest on the left leg, inhale and raise your right up straight up towards the roof and then extend backwards as if reaching for something behind your head.
  • Step 2: Hold position for 20 to 60 seconds. Ext back into Warrior II pose. Repeat on opposite side.

46. Hero Pose

Hero Pose - Virasana

Hero Pose – Virasana

Sanskrit Name: Virasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles and strengthens the arches. Improves digestion and relieves gas. Also therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma. The hero pose can also be used for sitting for longer periods, such as for meditation, rather than the Easy, Half Lotus or Lotus pose.

How to do hero pose

  • Step 1: Kneel on the floor with your thighs perpendicular to the floor, and your knees together. Slide your feet apart, slightly wider than your hips, with the tops of the feet flat on the floor, then sit down between your feet. If your buttocks don’t touch the floor comfortably, you can support them with a block or bolster.
  • Step 2: Stay in position as long as you can. 30 seconds to 1 minute to start, but gradually increase to 5 minutes or more.
  • Step 3: To come out of Hero Pose, press your hands against the floor and lift your buttocks up. Cross your ankles underneath your buttocks, sit back over the feet and onto the floor.

47. Half Reclined Hero

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Supta Virasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Provides all the same benefits as the Reclining Hero Pose, but is less demanding and a good building position for those that can’t yet complete a reclining hero pose.

How to do half-reclined hero pose

  • Step 1: Start from Staff Pose (Dandasana) with legs outstretched. Bend left leg backwards toward left buttock. Place arms behind you and support your torso as you slowly lay back on the ground. You can leave arms at your sides or stretch the high over your head.
  • Step 2: To release, lay hands and your sides and press down with your forearms, to raise torso. Repeat on opposite side.

48. Reclining Hero Pose

Reclining Hero Pose - Supta Virasana

Reclining Hero Pose – Supta Virasana

Sanskrit Name: Supta Virasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Stretches the abdominal organs and the pelvic region. It improves digestion and relieves digestive problems, such as gas, acidity, and diarrhea, which makes it beneficial after eating.

How to do reclining hero pose

  • Step 1: From Hero Pose, place hands behind you and support your torso as you lie backwards on the floor. Stretch your arms high over your head until the backs of your hands are on the floor, palms facing up.
  • Step 2: To release, bring your arms back to your sides and press your weight into your forearms, causing your torso to rise.

49. Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose - Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose – Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana dec22

Sanskrit Name: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens the legs and ankles and improves the sense of balance.

How to do extended hand-to-big-toe pose

  • Step 1: From Tadasana (Mountain Pose) bring your left knee toward your belly. Place your right hand on your hip and reach your left arm inside the thigh, cross it over the front of the ankle and grasp the outside of your left foot.
  • Step 2: Maintaining your grasp on the left foot, inhale and extend the left leg forward. Straight the knee as much as possible, then swing the leg out to the left side.
  • Step 3: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds, focusing on your breathing, which will help you balance. To exit pose, drop left foot to floor and repeat on opposite side.

50. Heron Pose

Heron Pose - Krounchasana

Heron Pose – Krounchasana

Sanskrit Name: Krounchasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Helps improve core flexibility, stability and balance. Strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, legs and chest. Stretches knees, hips, back, hamstrings and the Achilles tendon.

How to do heron pose

  • Step 1: Start from Staff Pose (Dandasana) and then bend left leg back like you are going into a Half Reclined Hero Pose.
  • Step 2: Bend the right knee slightly upward and grip the inside of your right foot with your left hand. Bend slightly backward, lifting your chest upward towards the roof. Lift the leg into a diagonal position to roughly a 45-degree angle between the floor and your chest.
  • Step 3: Keeping your chin up, raise your leg a bit more with each exhale.
  • Step 4: Hold position for 20 – 60 seconds, then exit by bring down the raised leg. Repeat on opposite side.

51. Bow Pose

Bow Pose - Dhanurasana

Bow Pose – Dhanurasana

Sanskrit Name: Dhanurasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Stimulates the function of kidney and liver and massages the abdominal organs, which can help relieve constipation. Strengthens and gives the flexibility for the back muscles. Strengthens the ankles, thighs, groins and chest and relieves back pain. Helps to shape the body and improves the posture. Opens up the chest, neck and shoulders and tones the leg and arm muscles. Improves core strength.

How to do bow pose

  • Step 1: Lie on your belly on the ground. Bending your legs backwards and grasp the ankles with the hands.
  • Step 2: Pull your ankles forward with your hands, drawing your shoulders back towards your feet until your torso lifts off the ground forming a bow shape with your body. Only your stomach and pelvic area should remain on the ground, supporting your entire body weight.
  • Step 3: Hold this position for 20 -60 seconds before releasing back down to mat.

52. Upward Bow or Wheel Pose

Wheel pose - Urdhva Dhanurasana

Wheel pose – Urdhva Dhanurasana

Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Dhanurasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Good relief for back pain, helps stretch the lungs and chest and strengthens the legs, abdomen, buttocks, arms and wrists. Helps improve blood circulation to the entire body.

How to do wheel pose

  • Step 1: Start lying flat on your back on a yoga mat with your arms at your sides. Bend then knees and place arms up overhead.
  • Step 2: Bend your elbows and place palms on floor on either side of your head, extending elbows upward.
  • Step 3: Inhale and lift your shoulders off the yoga mat by pressing palms against the floor and lifting your hips toward the roof. As you lift your body off the floor, take care to not put any pressure on the head or neck. Once you are raised, you can allow your head to drop back loosely.
  • Step 4: Hold position for 10-50 seconds, breathing normally.
  • Step 5: Exit pose by slowly lowering body back down to mat.

53. Lizard Pose

Lizard pose - Utthan Pristhasana

Lizard pose – Utthan Pristhasana

Sanskrit Name: Utthan Pristhasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Helps open up the hamstrings, hip flexor and groin and strengthens the quadriceps and inner thigh muscles. Also helps prepare the body for deeper, hip opening yoga asanas such as the Monkey (Hanuman) Pose and Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana).

How to do lizard pose

  • Step 1: Start in the Downward-facing dog pose. Balance your weight on your arms and left leg, move your right foot forward and place it on the mat just to the right of your hands.
  • Step 2: Slowly walk your hands forwards so that you can lower your forearms to the mat. If it is uncomfortable to place your forearms on the ground, you can place them on a block.
  • Step 3: Look straight forward and hold position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Step 4: Walk hands backwards and move back into Downward-facing Dog Position, then repeat on other side.

54. Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Pose - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Level: Beginner/ Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens the back and relieves back problems such as sciatica. Increases flexibility and stretches the thighs, groins and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders, and neck. Opens the Chest, hips and shoulders, stimulates the abdominal organs and can help solve urinary disorders by increasing circulation to that region. Great starting pose to prepare for more challenging poses such as One-Legged King Pigeon Pose or King Pigeon Pose.

Step 1: Start in Table Pose. Bring the right knee forward between your hands while allowing the right foot to slide over to the left.

Step 2: Place the left leg back, lowering the hips towards the yoga mat. Reach up with the crown of the head, lengthening the spine.

Step 3: Breath normally and hold pose for 20-60 seconds. To deepen the stretch, you can lay forward on the mat over your front leg. Exit the pose by lifting your torso back upright, then moving into either One-Legged King Pigeon Pose or supporting your weight with your hands while you bring the right knee back to form the Table Pose. Repeat on opposite side.

55. One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana I

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the back and relieves back problems such as sciatica. Increases flexibility and stretches the thighs, groins and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders, and neck. Opens the Chest, hips and shoulders, stimulates the abdominal organs and can help solve urinary disorders by increasing circulation to that region. Traditionally believed to help curb sexual desire. The One-Legged King Pigeon Pose is also excellent prep for the more challenging King Pigeon Pose.

Step 1: From Pigeon Pose, lift your back leg so that the sole of your foot reaches towards the back of your head. Lift your arms high in the air, then reach back and hold sole of foot to back of head.

Step 2: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds, then release back foot down to ground. Exit to either a Deep Lunge Pose or to Table Top Pose.

56. Tree pose

Tree pose - Vrksasana

Tree pose – Vrksasana

Sanskrit Name: Vrksasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: The tree pose helps to improve balance and increase concentration and focus. It can help open the hips and increase strength in the calves, ankles, thighs and spine. It can also help reduce flat feet and provide relief from sciatica as well as lengthening the spine.

Step 1: Start in Mountain pose (Tadasana). Bring palms together in front of you and raise them high over your head.

Step 2: Shift your entire body weight onto the left leg, then bend your right knee and draw your right foot slowly up your left leg towards the inner thigh.

Step 3: Carefully place the sole of your right foot against the inner left thigh, with the toes pointing towards the front of your mat, while ensuring that your pelvis remains pointing straight forward.

Step 4: Hold this position for one to three minutes, breathing deeply. As you inhale, you can bring your hands down in front of your chest and raise them again as you exhale.

Step 5: Exit the pose by unfolding slowly back into mountain pose (Tadasana) and repeat with opposite leg.

57. Eagle Pose

Eagle Pose - Garudasana

Eagle Pose – Garudasana

Sanskrit Name: Garudasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens the calves and Ankles, opens back of pelvis, creates space between shoulder blades. Improves balance and stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders, thigh, calves and upper back. Helps alleviate sciatica, low backache, asthma and rheumatism and improves concentration.

Step 1: Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Bend your knees slightly, lift the left foot up and cross it over the right one.

Step 2: Balancing on the right foot, sit back down a bit deeper and wrap the left ankle behind the lower right calf, crossing your legs at the thighs.

Step 3: Bring your hands parallel to the floor. Cross your right arm over the left one and bend your elbows so that they are not perpendicular to the floor, with the backs of your hands facing each other. Slowly turn your hands until the palms are facing each other and press them together gently.

Step 4: Stay calm and focused, retaining your balance for 20-60 seconds. Slowly exit the pose by releasing your hands and unwrapping your legs back into Mountain Pose. Repeat on opposite side.

58. Head To Knee Pose

Head to knee pose - Janu Sirsasana

Head to knee pose – Janu Sirsasana

Sanskrit Name: Janu Sirsasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Stretches the vertebral column, groin, hamstrings and shoulder. Stimulates the nervous system, reproductive system, endocrine system and urinary systems, improves digestion and helps reduce high blood pressure, sinusitis and insomnia.

Step 1: Start from Staff Pose (Dandasana). Bend the right knee and draw the right foot in to the left inner thigh.

Step 2: Lengthen the spine and turn slightly towards the left leg, bending the hips forward. Reach forward and try to hold your foot, without bending the left leg. If you cannot hold your foot, you can hold your ankle, knee or wherever your hand can reach on your left leg. If you can hold your foot, try and reach forward to hold your right wrist with your left hand around the left foot.

Step 3: Hold position for 30 to 60 seconds. Exit the pose and repeat on other side.

59. Lord of the Dance Pose

Lord of the dance pose - Natarajasana

Lord of the dance pose – Natarajasana

Sanskrit Name: Natarajasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens ankles, legs, chest and hips; stretches the thighs, chest, thorax and groin; improves balance and opens the hips.

Step 1: Start from Mountain Pose. Slowly bend right leg backward and grab right ankle with right hand. Pull right leg upwards as far as you can, extending your left arm straight out in front.

Step 2: Hold pose for 30 – 60 seconds.

Step 3: Exit pose by returning to Mountain Pose. Repeat on opposite side.

60. Twist Chair Pose

Twist chair pose - Parivrtta Utkatasana

Twist chair pose – Parivrtta Utkatasana

Sanskrit Name: Parivrtta Utkatasana

Pose Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens thighs and ankles, while toning shoulders, butt, hips, and back. Also stimulates the heart and diaphragm.

Step 1: Start in Chair Pose (Utkatasana). Bring palms together and lower palms to the center of your chest, with elbows pointing outward.

Step 2: Twist your torso to bring your left elbow outside of your right knee, head looking straight forward over your right knee, or if you prefer, you can turn your head gently and carefully to look up towards the ceiling.

Step 3: Hold pose for 10-30 seconds, then return to center. Repeat on opposite side.

61. Yoga Rabbit Pose

Rabbit pose - Sasangasana

Rabbit pose – Sasangasana

Sanskrit Name: Sasangasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Gently strengthens the abdomen, stretches and relieves tension in the arms, shoulders, neck and back. Lengthens the spine and increases mobility and elasticity of the spine and back muscles. Stimulates the endocrine and immune systems and helps feed the nervous system with oxygen and blood.

Step 1: Start from the Child pose. Reach back and grab your heels with your hands, pulling your forehead in towards your knees.

Step 2: Place the top of your head on the yoga mat, breathing normally and holding tightly to heels.

Step 3: Inhale, lift hips upward toward the roof and roll onto the crown of your head.

Step 4: Hold position for 30 to 60 seconds.

Step 5: Exit the pose by returning to child pose.

62. Half Lotus Pose

Half Lotus pose - Padmasana

Half Lotus pose – Padmasana

Sanskrit Name: Padmasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: The lotus pose is one of the most widely recognized yoga poses practiced by yogis. Experienced yogis will often assume the lotus pose for prayer and meditation, but less advanced students might find it uncomfortable for long periods. The lotus pose is thought to calm the brain, which is perhaps why it is used for prayer and meditation. It also stimulates pelvis, spine, abdomen, and bladder and stretches the ankles and knees. It can also ease menstrual discomfort and sciatica. The Half Lotus Pose is more difficult than the easy pose, but less difficult than the full Lotus Pose.

Step 1: Start in the Easy Pose

Step 2: Bend your right knee and hug it to your chest. Then, bring your right ankle to rest on the crease of your left thigh with the sole of your foot facing upward.

63. Lotus Pose

Lotus pose - Padmasana

Lotus pose – Padmasana

Sanskrit Name: Padmasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: The full Lotus Pose is similar to the Easy Pose and the Half Lotus Pose and offers the same benefits, but requires a greater opening of the hips.

Step 1: Start in Half Lotus Pose

Step 2: Bend your left knee and cross your left ankle over the top of your right shin with the sole of your left foot facing upwards as well. When you are in position, your legs should be twisted into a pretzel shape, close to the body with the soles of both feet facing upward.

64. Scale Pose

Scale pose - Tolasana

Scale pose – Tolasana

Sanskrit name: Tolasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: The scale pose helps strengthen the shoulders, hands, abdomen, wrists and arms and stretches the leg muscles and outer hip areas. It increases balance, calms the mind and can help get a better supply of oxygen to the lungs.

Step 1: Start in the Lotus Pose (Padmasana) and place hands on mat next to your hips with palms facing down.

Step 2: Exhale and press the palms downward against the floor, lifting the upper body. Remain balanced with your chin up and face forward.

Step 3: Hold position for 10 to 60 seconds

Step 4: Lower the body back into the Lotus Pose

65. Crow Pose

Crow pose - Kakasana

Crow pose – Kakasana

Sanskrit Name: Kakasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Crow Pose and Crane Pose are often confused or thought of as being the same thing, but they are not. Crow Pose is the starter pose to moving into Crane Pose. Sometimes, newer practitioners may need to practice Crow Pose for some time before they can move into the more challenging Crane Pose. Both poses increase flexibility, strengthen the arms, forearms, wrist, hips, shoulders and abdominal organs, stretch the upper back and increase balance.

Step 1: Start in a squatting position with your toes together and your heels lifts. Place your fingertips on the floor in front of you, shoulder distance apart. Bend your elbows and draw your knees in so they touch your arms just above the elbows.

Step 2: Lean forward, pulling the navel in and up and squeeze the knees into the triceps. Practice lifting one or both feet off the ground. Ultimately the goal is to balance on your arms with both feet off the ground, with your knees resting just outside of your elbows. For new practitioners, you can start by supporting your knees with your bent elbows.

Step 3: Hold position for 20-60 seconds before releasing or move into Crane Pose.

66. Crane Pose

Crane pose - Bakasana

Crane pose – Bakasana

Sanskrit Name: Bakasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Increases flexibility, strengthen the arms, forearms, wrist, hips, shoulders and abdominal organs, stretch the upper back and increase balance. Increases endurance, opens the groin and aids digestion.

Step 1: From Crow Pose, point your toes backward and move knees upward towards biceps until your knees are resting on the back of your biceps. Arms should remain bent, creating a slight shelf for the knees.

Step 2: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds. Release back down into Crow Pose and then back to mat.

67. Side Crow Pose

Side Crow pose - Parsva Bakasana

Side Crow pose – Parsva Bakasana

Sanskrit Name: Parsva Bakasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the arms, wrists, shoulders, abdominal muscles, and spine and stretches the upper back and groin. Improves flexibility of the spine and lower back. Twisting the torso also massages the abdominal organs, which improves digestion and detoxification. The strong mental focus required to practice this pose improves the ability to concentrate in everyday life and increases body awareness, self-confidence, and physical coordination.

Step 1: Start from Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana) facing to the right. Deepen the bend of your knees and place both hands on the floor by your right foot. You may need to raise your heels to do this.

Step 2: Bring the outer armpit of your left arm as high as possible along the outside of your right thigh. Spread your fingers wide and press your weight evenly onto both hands, keeping your elbows slightly bent.

Step 3: Start shifting your body forward, resting the outside of your right hip on the back of your right upper arm and the outside of your right knee against the back of your left upper arm. Your right hip and knee should create a flat plank across the backs of both arms. Keep your knees together.

Step 4: Press down through your right hip and lift both feet off the floor. Work toward bringing your feet and legs parallel to the floor. Straighten your arms as much as possible. Raise your chest and head to look straight forward

Step 5: Hold for 20-60 seconds. To release, gently lower your feet to the mat and return to Chair Pose. Repeat on opposite side.

68. Half Boat Pose

Low boat pose - Ardha Navasana

Low boat pose – Ardha Navasana

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Navasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Tones muscles and increases overall body strength. Improves balance, strengthens spine and increases confidence. Stimulates the Thyroid gland, which helps to regulate menstrual cycle and tones the kidneys which helps improve digestion.

Step 1: Start in Staff Pose (Dandasana) bend knees slightly straight up, pulling your legs in just a bit.

Step 2: Place your hands on the floor behind your back raise your half-bent legs until the portion of your leg below the knee is parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Balance on your pelvic bones and bring your arms around to the front. Hold them straight in front of you, just below knee level, then raise your lower legs straight up into the air, keeping your back as straight as possible. Your body should form an inverted A shape, with your arms crossing your body at the knee.

Step 4: Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, breathing evenly. Relax back down into Staff Pose or raise arms into Full Boat Pose.

69. Full Boat Pose

Boat pose - Paripurna Navasana

Boat pose – Paripurna Navasana

Sanskrit Name: Paripurna Navasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: The Full Boat Pose provides all the same benefits as Half Boat Pose, but requires greater core strength. When you have significantly mastered, the Half Boat Pose, you can move into Full Boat Pose

Step 1: From Half Boat Pose, raise arms to a 45 degree angle above your legs. Engage abdominals, keep back straight and balance on pelvic bones.

Step 2: Hold for 30-60 seconds breathing evenly, then relax back into Staff Pose.

70. Fish Pose

Fish Pose - Matsyasana

Fish Pose – Matsyasana

Sanskrit Name: Matsyasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Reduces the belly fat, stretches the chest and neck, expands the chest and lungs, stimulates the pituitary, pineal glands and parathyroid. Excellent for relieving asthma and bronchitis, improves digestion and helps relieve headaches.

Step 1: Start lying flat on your back. Slide your hands beneath your buttocks, palms down.

Step 2: Press the elbows and forearms against the floor, slowly arching your back until the top of your head touches the floor.

Step 3: Lift your chest towards the ceiling, supporting your body weight mostly on your buttocks and head, stabilizing with your hands.

Step 4: Hold the pose 30-60 seconds, then slowly release to laying flat your back. Repeat 3 times.

71. Supported Headstand Pose

Supported headstand pose - Salamba Sirsasana

Supported headstand pose – Salamba Sirsasana

Sanskrit Name: Salamba Sirsasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the legs, back, spine, arms, lungs, neck, shoulders and core. Calms the mind and increases mental awareness and clarity. Improves balance and stimulates the nervous system.

Step 1: Start by kneeling on your mat. Interlace your fingers and place your forearms on the mat with your elbows shoulder-width distance apart, forming a basket with your arms.

Step 2: Place the crown of your head on the mat, lift your hips and slowly walk your feet towards your head. Tense your thighs and bell, extend your hips, firm your shoulder blades and lift both legs straight up into the air. Your head should be by your hands and the pose supported by your outstretched elbows.

Step 3: Hold pose for 10-50 seconds before slowly lowering feet back to the mat.

72. Supported Shoulder Stand

Supported shoulder stand - Salamba Sarvangasana

Supported shoulder stand – Salamba Sarvangasana

Sanskrit name: Salamba Sarvangasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Tones legs and buttocks, stimulates the prostate glands, thyroid and abdominal organs. Gently stretches the back, neck, spine and shoulders. Helps regulate the metabolism and promotes good sleep. Also helps reduce fluid retention in feet and legs.

Step 1: Start by lying flat on your back. Keep your legs together and place your arms at your side.

Step 2: In one swift movement, lift your legs high into the air, so that your buttocks and lower back rise off the mat. Support your lower body with your elbows, and use your hands to support your back if necessary.

Step 3: Straighten your spine and legs and try to move your elbows closer together. Make sure your full body weight is being supported by your upper arms and shoulders, not your head or neck.

Step 4: Hold pose for 20-90 seconds before slowly lowering legs back down to the mat.

73. Plow Pose

Plow pose - Halasana

Plow pose – Halasana

Sanskrit Name: Halasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the abdominal muscles, helps to make the spinal cord strong and flexible and stimulates reproductive organs. Also high beneficial for people with diabetes, since it normalizes blood-glucose levels and stimulates the internal organs.

Step 1: From Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana) exhale and bend from the hip joints to slowly lower your toes to the floor above and beyond your head. As much as possible, keep your torso perpendicular to the floor and your legs fully extended.

Step 2: With your toes on the floor, lift your tailbone toward the ceiling and press your hands against your back, pushing your back up toward the ceiling. Release your hands away from your back and stretch the arms out behind you on the floor.

Step 3: Hold position for 3-5 minutes. To release, bring your hands back to support your lower back and slowly roll out of the pose.

74. Ear Pressure Pose/ Knee-to-Ear Pose

Knee to ear pose - Karnapidasana

Knee-to-ear pose – Karnapidasana

Sanskrit Name: Karnapidasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Stimulates the thyroid gland and abdominal organs, stretches the shoulders and spine and improves the lung strength, which is beneficial for asthma sufferers

Step 1: From the Plow Pose (Halasana) slowly bend your knees and bring them towards the ears. Keep the hands interlaced behind your back or hold your hands by wrapping your thighs.

Step 2: Hold position for 20 to 60 seconds before slowly releasing the pose. Repeat 3-5 times.

75. Half-Moon Pose

Half-moon pose - Ardha Chandrasana

Half-moon pose – Ardha Chandrasana

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Chandrasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Improves posture and energizes the body. Expands chest and shoulders and helps reduce mental stress. Helps improve digestion and is great for relieving menstrual pain, gastritis, fatigue and anxiety. Reduces lower back pain and provides a good stretch for calves, spine, shoulders, chest and groin.

Step 1: Start from mountain pose and lift your arms high above your head while inhaling. Cross your fingers together with index fingers pointing upwards. Keep your arms close to your ears but relax the shoulders.

Step 2: Turn your right foot 90 degrees, so it faces the front of your mat. Bending at the waist, lean straight to the right on an exhale, lifting your left foot back behind you as you bend.

Step 3: Reach your right hand down to the ground and your left hand up to the ceiling. Keep your head looking straight forward or turn it gently to look up at your left hand.

Step 4: Maintain pose for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing evenly. On an inhale, return to an upright position. Repeat on opposite side.

76. Compass Pose

Compass Pose - Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Compass Pose – Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Sanskrit Name: Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens back, arms, thighs, stomach muscles and shoulders, opens the hips and calms the mind. Stretches the groin, hamstrings and spine.

Step 1: Start in Easy Pose (Sukhasana). Hug your right knee to your chest and stretch your left leg out in front of you or leave it bent.

Step 2: With your left hand, lift your right leg up towards your ear. Thread your right arm under your right knee, bringing your fingertips to the floor just outside of your right hip. Use your left hand to position your right knee as high up on the right arm as you can. Ideally the right knee will intersect the right shoulder.

Step 3: Keeeping your spine straight, gaze towards your left arm. Hold position for 20-60 seconds.

Step 4: Release back into Easy Pose and repeat on opposite side.

77. Twisted Head-to-Knee Pose

.Twisted head-to-knee-pose-Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

.Twisted head-to-knee-pose-Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Sanskrit Name: Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings, spine and shoulders, opens the hips and helps stimulate the liver and the kidneys.

Step 1: Start in either the Bound Angle or Easy Pose. Extend your right leg out 45 degrees and bring your left foot in closer to your hips.

Step 2: Bring your right arm over the right leg, with your right palm facing up. Inhale and reach your left fingers up toward the roof. Exhale and arch over to the right, slowly reaching your left fingers toward the right food, bringing your left arm directly over your left ear.

Step 3: Turn your chin up and look up at the roof. Hold pose for 20-40 seconds.

Step 4: Exit the pose by exhaling and releasing the arms down. Repeat on opposite side.

78. Standing Split Pose

Standing split pose - Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Standing split pose – Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefit: Strengthens the legs, ankles, thighs and knees as well as increasing blood flow to the brain. It improves balance and increases core strength as well as stimulating the liver and kidneys. The increased blood flow to the brain can also help improve concentration and memory.

Step 1: Start from Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana) but do not grab your toes. Instead, place hands flat on floor and lift your left foot off the floor.

Step 2: Slide your hands forward about 12 inches and shift your weight onto the right leg and allow your head to drop, placing your forehead near your right shin.

Step 3: Lift your left leg towards the ceiling as high as you can and hold position for 10-50 seconds.

Step 4: Come back to Big Toe Pose and repeat on other side.

79. Archer Pose

Archer pose - Akarm Dhanurasana

Archer pose – Akarm Dhanurasana

Sanskrit Name: Akarm Dhanurasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the thighs, calves, shoulder, arms, buttocks, neck and legs and stimulates the abdominal organs. The Archer Pose is a highly beneficial yoga asana for individuals who spend several hours a day sitting at a desk or in a relatively prone position.

Step 1: Start in Staff Pose with your hands resting on your thighs. Slide down your hands down your legs until your fingertips touch your toes. Curl your left index finger around your left big toe.

Step 2: Take a deep breathe and raise your right foot and place it against your head so the sole of your foot touches your right ear, without letting go of your left big toe with your left hand.

Step 3: Breathe deeply as you hold the position for 30-60 seconds, deepening the stretch on each exhalation. Replace your right foot and repeat with opposite leg.

80. Yoga Handstand Pose

Handstand pose - Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Handstand pose – Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Sanskrit Name: Adho Mukha Vrksasana

Level: Intermediate/ Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the arms, shoulders and core muscles, improves balance and body stability, helps regulate blood circulation throughout the entire body and can even help relieve depression, stress and anxiety. Good for stretching the belly and stomach. When you first begin practicing Adho Mukha Vrksasana, it is best to practice against a wall until you learn to stabilize your body, and then you can move away from the wall.

Step 1: Start in Downward-facing Dog Pose a few inches away from a wall, bringing your legs as close to your upper body as you can.

Step 2: Bring your upper body over your wrists and bend your knees. Slowly lift and straighten your legs until they are up against the wall, dropping your head down between your arms.

Step 3: Try to support your body weight with just your hands and use the wall as little as possible. Eventually, you should be able to balance just on your hands, without needing the wall for support. You need to engage your legs against the gravity.

Step 4: Hold pose for 30-90 seconds, depending on balance. To exit the pose, slowly bring legs down one by one.

81. Camel Pose

Camel Pose - Ustrasana

Camel Pose – Ustrasana

Sanskrit name: Ustrasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefit: Helps improve flexibility in the spine, which helps avoid lower back pain problems. This yoga asana opens and stretches the hips and chest, which also helps increase oxygen intake and strengthens the arms and thighs.

Step 1: Kneel on your yoga mat and place hands on hips, making sure that shoulders and knees are in alignment and the soles of your feet are facing the ceiling.

Step 2: Inhale slowly and imagine a cord pulling you forward from the navel. As your back slowly arches, reach behind you and grab your heels. Your neck should be in a neutral position so it does not strain.

Step 3: Hold position for 30-60 seconds breathing normally, before returning to starting pose. Advanced yogis can deepen into the Little Thunderbolt Pose.

82. Elephant Trunk Pose

Elephant Trunk Pose - Eka Hasta Bhujasana

Elephant Trunk Pose – Eka Hasta Bhujasana

Sanskrit Name: Eka Hasta Bhujasana

Level: Intermediate

Benefits: Strengthens the shoulders and arms and helps stabilize the pelvic girdle. Strengthens and opens hip. Improves focus, coordination and balance and increases endurance.

Step 1: From the Staff Pose (Dandasana), bring the right knee up towards your chest, leaving your right foot on the ground. Thread your right hand under your right knee and place it on the ground with the fingers pointing forward. Place your left hand on the floor outside of your left hip.

Step 2: Move your right leg up your right arm until the right knee is next to the right tricep. Keeping the right knee bent, slowly press down on your hands and lift your body off the floor.

Step 3: Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds and exit the pose by releasing back to the ground and straightening both legs. Repeat with opposite leg.

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19 Advanced Yoga Poses (Step-by-step instructions)

83. Full Lord of the Fishes Pose

Sanskrit Name: Purna Matsyendrasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: The deep spinal twist of Purna Matsyendrasana stretches the vertebrae and discs, and frees the nerves from tension, while making leg muscles more supple. The twisting motion also massages the internal organs and is useful in the treatment of abdominal ailments, such as constipation, dyspepsia and diabetes. This pose also helps regulate the secretion of adrenaline, increasing vitality and calmness and alleviating stress or tension headaches.

Step 1: Start in the Staff Pose and bend your left knee outward. Place your left foot on the right hip in a Half Lotus Pose. The left heel should touch the lower right portion of the belly.

Step 2: Draw your right leg up and place the foot flat on the floor just outside your left knee, toes pointing forward. Begin to twist by turning the belly to the right and pushing out through the left knee so that the pelvis turns to the right along with the torso.

Step 3: Inhale and bring your left arm up high overhead. Place your right arm behind you for balance. On an exhale, bring the left arm forward and wrap it around the outside of your right thigh. Continue to inhale and exhale deeply, deepening the twist on each exhalation.

Step 4: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds, deepening with each exhalation. Exit the pose and repeat on other side.

84. Feathered Peacock Pose (Forearm Stand)

Feathered peacock stand pose - Pincha Mayurasana

Feathered peacock stand pose – Pincha Mayurasana

Sanskrit Name: Pincha Mayurasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Opens the back and shoulders, increases balance, proprioception and overall blood circulation. Strengthens the arms, core, back and shoulders while stretching the neck, thorax, navel and shoulders.

Step 1: Start in Dolphin Pose. Beginners can use the aid of a wall, so if you are trying this pose for the first time, start facing the wall with your fingertips just a few inches from it.

Step 2: Make sure your elbows and palms are placed shoulder distance apart, with the forearms parallel. Gaze forward between your hands and walk your feet forward as much as you can, bending your knees as much as you can.

Step 3: Engage your core and draw your shoulder blades gently back. Press down firmly into your elbow and slowly extend your right leg into the air. Now slowly extend your right leg up into the air. Come up onto the ball of the left foot, keeping your elbows tightly hugged in, reach out through the ball of your right foot. Shift your body weight forward by bending the left knee, then bring the left foot up to meet the right.

Step 4: Squeeze your legs together and extend your feet upwards pushing down strongly through your elbows and forearms. Draw in the ribs and lengthen the tailbone towards your heels.

Step 5: Hold position for 30-60 seconds, then slowly release legs to the ground. From here, you can move into Downward-facing Dog or down to the floor into Child’s Pose.

85. Scorpion Pose

Scorpion pose - Vrschikasana

Scorpion pose – Vrschikasana

Sanskrit Name: Vrschikasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Increases the focus and the concentration. Strengthens the thighs, legs, forearms, and shoulders as well as the vertebral column, torso, back and legs. Stretches the chest, hip flexors and shoulders, stimulates and tones abdominal muscles and improves flexibility to the entire body.

Step 1: Start with Forearm Stand Pose (Pincha Mayurasana) on your yoga mat. Slowly bend the knees and raise the head to form a C with your body, supported by your forearms.

Step 2: Try and keep your knees together. Beginners may have to settle for just keeping your toes together.

Step 3: Hold pose for 10 to 50 seconds, breathing steadily and normally. Exit pose by raising legs and returning to Forearm Stand Pose (pinchamayurasana).

86. Firefly Pose

Firefly pose - Tittibhasana

Firefly pose – Tittibhasana

Sanskrit Name: Tittibhasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Stretches the back, torso and inner groin area. Strengthens the wrists and arms, tones the belly and improves balance and concentration.

Step 1: Start from Downward-facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Walk your legs towards your hands until your feet are in front of your hands, with your hands between your legs. Continue to crawl deeper through the legs until your arms and shoulders are behind your thighs.

Step 2: Place your palms firmly behind your feet and hold the heels with the thumb and index finger. Gently bend knees into a squat. Rest the back of your legs as close to your shoulders as you can. Spread the palms and fingers and shift your entire body weight onto them.

Step 3: Lift your feet off the floor and straighten the legs, keeping your arms straight. To lift further off the floor, squeeze the thighs against the upper arms.

Step 4: Breathing should be regular and even. Hold position for 20-60 seconds before releasing back into Adho Mukha Svanasana.

87. Bird of Paradise Pose

Bird of paradise pose - Svarga Dvidasana

Bird of paradise pose – Svarga Dvidasana

Sanskrit Name: Svarga Dvidasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the thigh, leg, ankle and knee. tones the legs and improves balance. Opens the hips and helps to open the hamstrings and groin.

Step 1: Start from the Garland Pose (Malasana). Wrap the left arm around your back and the right arm under the right inner thigh, then clasp hands together. If you can’t quite make the connection, you can use a strap.

Step 2: Straighten your bent legs slightly and fix your gaze at one unmoving point on the ground. Shift your weight onto your left foot and keeping a strong bend in your left leg, round your spine as you slowly begin to lift your right foot.

Step 3: Straighten completely on the left leg and lift your gaze, keeping your right knee bent. Make sure that your right knee is between your elbow and the shoulder. Straighten the right knee, raising your foot high up into the air.

Step 4: Hold position for 30 to 60 seconds, then exit back down into Malasana. Repeat on opposite side.

88. Peacock Pose

Peacock pose - Mayurasana

Peacock pose – Mayurasana

Sanskrit Name: Mayurasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Stimulates the intestines, spleen, liver, pancreas, kidneys and stomach. Tones up the abdominal portion of the body and strengthens the lungs, hands, legs, back torso, shoulders, forearms, wrists, elbows and neck bones. Increases sexual vitality and energy and helps to reduce constipation, indigestion and diabetes.

Step 1: Start from the Garland Pose (Malasana). Lean forward and press your palms down into the yoga mat, turning your wrists and fingers backwards between your thighs.

Step 2: Slowly lean forward and press your abdomen into your elbows, moving your legs back as you shift your weight. Straighten your legs with your toes still touching the floor.

Step 3: Lift the whole body by tensing the abdominal muscles, holding your weight entirely on the palms. Keep the abdominal muscles activated so that your entire body is horizontal and parallel to the floor.

Step 4: Hold position for 20 to 40 seconds for beginners and up to 5 minutes for advanced practitioners. Slowly exit the pose by releasing back down to floor.

89. One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the back and relieves back problems such as sciatica. Increases flexibility and stretches the thighs, groin, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and neck. Stimulates the abdominal organs and can help solve urinary disorders by increasing circulation to that region. The One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II is slightly more challenging than the One-Legged King Pigeon Pose because it is raised onto the knee and requires better balance.

Step 1: Start from a low lunge with right leg forward and foot flat and grounded and the left leg back. Bend the left knee and drop it to the mat. Raise the left foot upward towards the back of the head.

Step 2: On an inhale, raise arms high over head, then bend arms at the elbows and reach back to hold the toes of your left foot. Gently lower head back to make contact with the sole of the left foo.

Step 3: Hold pose for 10 – 30 seconds or as long as is comfortable. Allow left leg to lower to mat, return to Low Lunge position and repeat on opposite side.

90. Little Thunderbolt Pose

Little thunderbolt pose - Laghu Vajrasana

Little thunderbolt pose – Laghu Vajrasana

Sanskrit Name: Laghu Vajrasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Opens and widens the throat, quadriceps and chest, stretches and increases flexibility in the spine and back. Strengthens the chest, shoulders and abdominal region. Tones the pelvic organs, limbs and thighs.

Step 1: Form the Camel Pose, then slowly drop your head back and lower the crown of your head to the yoga mat.

Step 2: Bring your chest high to form the backbend, keeping your arms straight and holding your ankles.

Step 3: Hold in this position for 10-30 seconds before exiting the pose by lowering your torso to the mat or move even deeper into King Pigeon Pose

91. King Pigeon Pose

King pigeon pose - Kapotasana

King pigeon pose – Kapotasana

Sanskrit Name: Kapotasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Opens and widens the throat, quadriceps and chest, stretches and increases flexibility in the spine and back. Strengthens the chest, shoulders and abdominal region. Tones the pelvic organs, limbs and thighs.

Step 1: From Little Thunderbolt Pose, drop your forearms down onto mat and press your body weigth onto them, freeing your head. Lift your chest high and gently tilt your head back until you are looking at the floor. Push your hips high to create a deep bend.

Step 2: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds. To exit pose, lift up on forearms, lift head slightly and come back to rest on crown of head.

92. Sage Koundiya I Pose

Sage koundiya I pose - Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I

Sage koundiya I pose – Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Both the Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I and II are highly challenging poses. You should not attempt them until you have mastered the Side Crane/ Crow Pose and can hold it steadily for a full minute or more. Benefits include reducing fat in the abdomen, strengthening the shoulders, wrists and arms and improving overall body strength. Improves flexibility and increases the ability to center and find balance, both physically, spiritually and emotionally. Requires intense concentration which helps to increase focus. Rejuvenates and strengthens the spine.

Step 1: Start from a low lunge position with your right knee forward and your left leg extended backward. Drop the left knee to the mat. Turn your left foot so it points to the right and sit back on the heel. Cross your right foot over your left thigh and place it, sole down, beside your left knee with your right knee pointing toward the ceiling.

Step 2: Gently twist your torso, bringing your left side around to the right. Place your left upper arm across your right thigh and slide your left outer armpit down the outside. Make sure there is good contact between your left upper arm and right outer thigh. Maintaining this contact high on the arm and far to the outside of the thigh is the secret to the pose.

Step 3: Lean slightly to the right and straighten your left elbow. Put your left palm flat down on the floor. Carefully lift both hips without losing the left-arm-to-right-thigh placement. Lean even farther to the right, and put your right hand on the floor. Your hands should be shoulder width apart, with your middle fingers parallel to each other. Most of your weight will still be on your knees and feet.

Step 4: Maintaining the contact between your left arm and your right outer thigh, lift your hips so you can flip your left foot and stand on the ball of the foot, heel up.

Step 5: Lift your left knee off the floor so most of your weight is on your feet. Lift your hips a little higher and start shifting your weight to bring your whole torso above and between your hands. Leaning slightly forward, bend your left elbow slightly, then tilt your head and shoulders gently toward the floor. This should leverage your right foot up in the air. When your right foot is up, lean your weight farther forward until your left foot becomes light, then lifts up with an exhale.

Step 6: On an inhale, straighten both knees simultaneously. Lift the left leg until it’s parallel to the floor and adjust the height of your right shoulder so it’s the same as the left. Lift your chest to bring your torso parallel to the floor.

Step 7: Keeping your breathing steady and even, hold the pose for 20-60 seconds. On an exhale, exit the pose by releasing both feet to the floor. Repeat on opposite side.

93. Sage Koundiya II Pose

Sage koundiya II pose - Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II

Sage koundiya II pose – Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II is sometimes referred to as the flying splits. It is similar to the Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I, but the hips are not rotated. Reduces fat in the abdomen, strengthen the shoulders, wrists and arms and improves overall body strength. Improves flexibility and increases the ability to center and find balance, both physically, spiritually and emotionally. Requires intense concentration which helps to increase focus. Rejuvenates and strengthens the spine.

Step 1: From Downward-Facing Dog, step your left foot forward and place it just to the left of left hand, with your right leg extended back.

Step 2: Lower the shoulders to the height of the elbows. Turn your left hand on the mat just slightly in order to angle your left elbow under your left knee. Engaging your core, extend your left leg straight out over your left elbow.

Step 3: Lean forward slightly to balance your weight directly over your hands, then slowly raise your right leg off the floor, extending it as far back as you can, keeping it straight.

Step 4: Hold position for 30 to 60 seconds before returning to Downward-facing Dog Pose. Repeat on opposite side.

94. One-Legged Crane Pose

One-legged crane pose - Eka pada bakasana

One-legged crane pose – Eka pada bakasana

Sanskrit Name: Eka pada bakasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Similar to the Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I the Eka Pada Bakasana also reduces fat in the abdomen, strengthen the shoulders, wrists and arms and improves overall body strength. It also requires intense concentration which helps to increase focus and build confidence. Do not try this pose until you have fully mastered the Crane Pose. The key to this pose is getting the hips as high up in the air as possible. If your hips are low or dragging, they will not be able to support the weight of the back leg being lifted high into the air.

Step 1: Start from a condensed Downward-facing Dog, with the feet and hands slightly closer together and the hips higher. Lift the right leg, bend the knee and place it as high up the outer edge of the right arm as possible. Bring the back leg forward as much as possible to gain as much height in the hips as possible.

Step 2: Bend the elbows slightly to create a platform. Shifting your weight forward onto your arms, drag the back foot in, with the sole facing up until it starts to lift. As soon as the back leg leaves the ground, engage the core and extend it straight backward. Keep the gaze forward, elbows tight and a round in the upper back.

Step 3: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds, then quickly drop the back leg down to the floor. Repeat on opposite side.

95. Flying Crow Pose

Flying Crow Pose - Eka Pada Galavasana

Flying Crow Pose – Eka Pada Galavasana

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Galavasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: This is another incredibly challenging pose that requires arm strength, balance, concentration and endurance. Conversely, it can also build strength, endurance, balance and confidence.

Step 1: Form the Utkatasana (Chair Pose), with your palms together at the center of your chest. Balance of your right leg and lift your left foot off the foor. Place the left outer ankle on top of the right knee.

Step 2: Maintaining a long spine, lower your hips and align your chest with the left outer hip. Bend forwardly and wrap your right triceps around your left foot, bringing your palms to the floor.

Step 3: Bend your elbows, and shift your weight forward until your elbows form a 90-degree angle and your entire body weight is resting on your hands. Straighten your right leg until it is parallel to the ground.

Step 4: Hold position for 30 to 60 seconds, then exit and repeat on opposite side.

96. Upward-facing Two-Footed Staff Pose

Upward-facing two foot staff pose - Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana

Upward-facing two foot staff pose – Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana

Sanskrit Name: Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: opens the chest, calms the body and mind, stretches the entire front body. Reduces fat in the abdominal area and can reduce uterine issues in women. It is particularly useful for keeping women’s anatomy healthy and gives the good shape.

Step 1: Start with upward bow pose. Slowly walk hands towards feet, lowering your torso until you can rest your forearms on the mat.

Step 2: Bring both arms under the head, and press your body weight onto your forearms to maintain balance. Slowly lower the head and place it between your forearms. Lace your fingers together with index fingers pointing upward and create a cup for your head. Your body weight should be supported by your forearms, not your head.

Step 3: Straighten your spine and legs and elongate as much as possible, keeping your heels firmly planted on the ground.

Step 4: Hold position for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing normally, before exiting the pose.

97. Bharadvaja’s Twist

Bharadvajas twist - Bharadvajasana

Bharadvajas twist – Bharadvajasana

Sanskrit Name: Bharadvajasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Stretches the spine, shoulders, and hips and massages the abdominal organs.

Relieves lower backache, neck pain, and sciatica. Helps relieve stress and improves digestion. Especially helpful for women in the second trimester of pregnancy for strengthening the lower back

Step 1: Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose). Bring your left leg into Ardha Virasana (Half Hero) and the right into Padmasana (Half Lotus)

Step 2: Inhale and elongate the spine. On an exhale, begin to wrap the left arm completely around the body until they reach the toes of the left foot. Inhale, lengthening again before twisting to the left on the exhale. Extend the right arm to the left, placing the back of the right hand to top of the left knee. Gaze to the left.

Step 3: Hold position for 30-60 seconds before gently untwisting. Repeat on opposite side.

98. Eight Angle Pose

Eight angle pose - Astavakrasana

Eight angle pose – Astavakrasana

Sanskrit Name: Astavakrasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Improves balance, tones thighs and abdominals, strengthens the wrists, arms, shoulders and upper back. Increases confidence.

Step 1: Start from Easy Pose. Lift your right knee and hug it to your chest. Cradle the heel of your right foot in the crook of your left elbow. Hook your right arm under your right calf and work your leg up your arm until your knee is resting over your shoulder.

Step 2: Plant your palms on the ground, shoulder width apart. Cross your left ankle over your right.

Step 3: Bend your elbows and squeeze your legs together aroung your right upper arm as you reach your chest forward and slowly transfer your weight onto your hands.

Step 4: Maintain this pose for about half minute or more, before releasing back to the ground.

99. Sage Half Bound Lotus Pose

Sage Half Bound Lotus Pose - Kasyapasana

Sanskrit Name: Kasyapasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Builds overall body strength, increases balance and endurance and opens hips.

Step 1: Start in Staff Pose, the come into Half Lotus poe with your left leg on top and the outer edge of your foot drawn deeply into your hip crease. Wrap your left arm behind your back and take hold of your foot.

Step 2: Place your right hand on the floor in line with your right hip and about a foot away from your pelvis. Rotate your arm and draw your shoulder blade down your back. Lean into you arm, partially straighten your bottom and point your right leg in the opposite direction. You are essentially preparing to end up in a Side Plank pose, so think of preparing your body for that.

Step 3: Keeping the external rotation and scapular engagement of your right arm, lean more of your weight on your right hand. Press the outer edge of your right foot into the floor and lift your hips, keeping your knee straight. Open the left side of your chest towards the ceiling and lift your hips as high as possible.

Step 4: Hold pose for 30-60 seconds, breathing evenly, then release the Lotus leg and come into Adho Mukha Svanasana before repeating on opposite side.

100. Shoulder Pressing Pose

Shoulder pressing pose - Bhujapidasana

Shoulder pressing pose – Bhujapidasana

Sanskrit Name: Bhujapidasana

Level: Advanced

Benefits: Strengthens the shoulders, abdomen, arms, and thighs. Improves balance and focus and can stimulate the thyroid and help reduce anxiety and stress.

Step 1: Start in Garland (Frog) Pose. Place your right hand on the floor just inside your right thigh and your left hand just inside your left thigh. Lean forward onto your forearms and raise your body by shifting your weight forward onto your forearms. As you straighten your arms, your body will lift off the ground, shifting your center of gravity.

Step 2: Press the outer part of your arms with your inner thigh and cross your ankles together.

Step 3: Hold pose for 30 seconds, looking straight ahead and breathing normally before releasing back to the ground.

101. Skull Shining Breath

Sanskrit Name: Kapalabhati Pranayama

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Benefits: Skull Shining Breath is a breathing technique that calms the mind, improves health and can help reduce anxiety and regain emotional balance. You can combine Kapalabhati Pranayama with meditation for even better results.

Step 1: Start in a comfortable meditative position, such as Easy Pose, Half Lotus, Full Lotus or Hero Pose.

Step 2: Close your eyes and lengthen your spine. Place your palms on their respective knees.

Step 3: Take a deep breath

Step 4: Exhale with an explosive hiss so that the stomach collapses. Imagine yourself pushing out toxins, illnesses and evil thoughts as you exhale, cleansing your insides.

Step 5: After each exhale, inhale deeply. Repeat for 5-10 minutes. Rest a few moments and repeat again.

Click here for the PDF version

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.

Yoga pose popularity chart by Yogabaron

5 Comments

  1. Peggy Merrill March 5, 2019
  2. Cheri September 20, 2019
  3. Yoga Baron September 20, 2019
  4. Cheri September 20, 2019
  5. Yoga Baron September 20, 2019

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