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.

18 Advanced Yoga Poses

Level

Beginner | Intermediate | Advanced

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.

Level

Beginner | Intermediate | Advanced

 



One Response

  1. Peggy Merrill March 5, 2019

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