Yoga Poses Meaning

If you’re looking for an effective way to get your daily workout in or just looking for a way to relax and unwind, yoga offers a unique blend of stretching and strengthing both your body and your mind. The sheer number of postures, or asanas, available can be a bit overwhelming to beginners, so we’ve compiled a list of 12 poses specifically designed to ease you into the practice. Starting out with these postures will help you build an understanding of the essential yoga moves that form the foundation of various sequences.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose Tadasana

The mountain pose is usually the first asana practiced during any yoga session. It involves standing with your feet together and your hands at your side, with a straight spine, shoulders back and chin parallel to the floor. This stance helps relieve tension on the spine, hips and shoulders and educates practitioners on proper posture.

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward dog is one of the most iconic yoga poses and can be found in most sequences. It requires you to push your hips up towards the ceiling with your legs straight. Strengthen your palms, fists and arms to support your body and lengthen the spine as you begin to relax into this asana. Concentrate on your breath while enjoying the feeling of your muscles lengthening and proceeding through the practice.

Cat-Cow Pose (Marjariasana)

Cat-Cow Pose Marjariasana

This pose is perfect to help lengthen and warm-up the spine. Alternating between the cat and cow positions helps to massage the spine, gently strengthening and stretching the core muscles. Begin in tabletop position and then arch your back when transitioning into Cat Pose. When transitioning into Cow Pose, drop your belly and lift the chin. This is a great exercise for beginners wanting to gain more awareness about their alignment.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Cobra Pose Bhujangasana

Cobra Pose is a great way to open the heart and work into hard-to-reach back areas. It’s also excellent for strengthening and toning the abdominal muscles. Begin by lying flat on your front and using your abdominal muscles to lift your chest upwards while keeping your elbows close to your sides. Relax the shoulders and breathing normally while continuing to maintain the pose and concentrate on your breath.

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Upward Facing Dog Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Upward Facing Dog is a great pose as it lengthens and strengthens the entire body. To perform this pose, position your pelvis on the floor and bring your body and legs off the ground. With your arms straight and palms flat on the ground, lift your chest high and keep your chin close to your chest. Take a few deep breaths into the pose and engage your abdomen to keep your legs off the ground.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)