101 Popular Yoga Poses for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Yogis

Here's your ultimate yoga pose directory featuring 101 popular yoga poses (asanas) for beginners, intermediate and advanced yogis. Includes photos, benefits and step-by-step instructions.

53 Intermediate Yoga Poses

Level

Beginner | Intermediate | Advanced

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

Sanskrite 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.

Level

Beginner | Intermediate | Advanced



One Response

  1. Peggy Merrill March 5, 2019

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