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Yoga - Physical Poses

Disclaimer: Although I am a Certified Personal Trainer equipped to teach yoga, I am not an expert in the art of yoga nor do I know the intricate workings of the different types of yoga. I am a counselor and trainer who uses yoga to help myself and my clients to cope with all four pillars of wellness.

This article with includes a comprehensive list of most of the common yoga poses including their name in Sanskrit, the benefits that come from the specific pose, and the contraindications or the reasons you may need to avoid the pose. There is no explanation of exactly how to get into the pose, but there is a picture. This information is for reference only and should not be used as a replacement for formal yoga instruction or personal training. If you have medical conditions, please talk to your doctor before taking up new physical activities!


The yoga poses discussed will be listed by category including:

  • Standing

  • Seated

  • Supine and Prone

  • Inverted

  • Twists and Backbends

  • Balance & Strength

  • Hip Openers


These categories are not exclusive, there are many poses that are listed in one category, but would also fit in multiple other categories.


Standing Postures


Mountain Pose – Tadasana


Tree Pose – Vrksasana


Upward Salute – urdhva hastasana


o Good for – fatigue, asthma, indigestion

o NOT for – shoulder/neck injury


Extended hand-to-big-toe – Utthita Hasta Padangustasana


o Good for – balance

o NOT for – ankle/back injuries


Triangle –Trikonasana


o Good for – organs, digestion, backache, pregnancy, neck pain, sciatica, anxiety

o NOT for – diarrhea, headache, HBP, LBP, neck probs, heart conditions

o Extended -Utthita Trikonasana



o Revolved - Parivrtta Trikonasana



o Reverse – Viparita Trikosana



Extended Side Angle – utthita parvasakona


o Good for – constipation, low backache, sciatica, osteoporosis, menstruation

o NOT for – headache, BP, insomnia

o Revolved - Parivrtta Parsvakonasana




Gate Pose – Parighasana


o Good for – open shoulders

o NOT for – knee injuries


Half Moon – Utthita Tirkonasana


o Good for – anxiety, backache, osteoporosis, sciatica, fatigue, constipation, gas, indigestion

o NOT for – headache, LBP, diarrhea, insomnia, neck injuries


Garland Pose – Malasana


o NOT for – low back injuries


Warrior Pose – Virabhadrasana 1


o Good for – strength, stretching

o NOT for – HBP, heart problems, shoulder problems, neck issues


Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II


o Good for – strength, stamina, backache, carpal tunnel, flat feet, sciatica

o NOT for – diarrhea, HBP, neck issues


Warrior III - Virabhadrasana III




High Lunge – Ashta Chandrasana


o Good for – sciatica, constipation

o NOT for – knee/neck injuries


Low Lunge – Anjaneyasana


o Good for – sciatica

o NOT for – heart problems


Intense Side Stretch – Parsvottanasana


o Good for – flat feet

o NOT for – back injury, HBP


Forward Bend – Uttanasana


o Good for – racing thoughts, stress, depression, liver/kidneys, digestion, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, sinusitis, HBP, asthma


Chair Pose – utkatasana


o Good for – flat feet

o NOT for – headache, insomnia, LBP


Eagle Pose – Garudasana


o Good for – asthma, low backache

o NOT for – knee injuries


Dancers pose - Natarajasana


o Good for – balance, strength, grace


Standing Split - Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana


o Good for – brain, liver/kidneys

o NOT for – back/ankle/knee injuries



Seated Poses


Stick/Staff – Dandasana


o Good for – posture

o NOT for – back problems


Easy Pose – Sukhasana


o Good for – racing thoughts, stretching

o NOT for – knee problems


Lotus – Padmasana


o Good for – brain, pelvis, spine, menstruation, sciatica

o NOT for – ankle/knee injuries


Boat Pose - Navasana


o Good for – stress, digestion, hormones

o NOT for – asthma, diarrhea, headache, LBP, heart probs, insomnia, menstruation, pregnancy, neck injury


Head to Knee Pose – Janu Sirasana


o Good for – brain, depression, digestion, menopause, anxiety, headache, menstruation, HBP, insomnia, sinusitis

o NOT for – asthma, diarrhea, knee injury


Revolved Head-to-Knee – Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana


o Good for – back pain, anxiety, fatigue, headache, insomnia

o NOT for - diarrhea


Seated Forward Bend – Paschimottansana


o Good for – brain, liver, kidneys, uterus, digestion, menopause, menstruation, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, HBP, insomnia, sinusitis, obesity

o NOT for – knee injury, low back pain, asthma, diarrhea


Wide-Angle Forward bend – Upavistha Konasana


o Good for – spine, brain, groin

o NOT for – low back injury


Bharadvaja’s Twist – Bharadvajasana I


o Good for – back/neck pain, stress, digestion, pregnancy, carpal tunnel

o NOT for – diarrhea, headache, HBP, insomnia, LBP, menstruation


Bound Angle Pose - Baddha Konasana


o Good for – circulation, depression, anxiety, menopause, fatigue

o NOT for – groin injury


Cow Face – Gomukhasana


o Good for stretching

o NOT for – neck/shoulder injuries


Half Lord of Fishes – Ardha Matsyendrasana


o Good for – posture, body awareness, digestion, constipation, core strength, gas, bloating

o NOT for – injuries, arthritis, herniations, SI pain


Heron pose – Krounchasana


o Good for – gas, flat feet

o NOT for – knee/ankle issues, PMS


Marichi’s Pose – Marichyasana III


o Good for – constipation, digestion, asthma, fatigue, low back pain, sciatica, menstruation

o NOT for – BP, Migraines, Diarrhea, Headache, Insomnia

o Intermediate Marichi – Marichyasana II


o Advanced Marichi – Marichyasana I




Monkey – Hanumanasana


o Good for – sciatica

o NOT for – groin/hamstring injury


Half Monkey Pose




Supine and Prone Postures


Hero Pose – Virasana

o Good for – digestion, gas, menopause, swelling, HBP, asthma

o NOT for – heart problems, headache, knee or ankle injury


Hero Reclining



Cobra – Bhujanga


o Good for – asthma, stress, sciatica

o NOT for – headaches, back injury, carpal tunnel, pregnancy


Locust - Salabhasana


o Good for – fatigue, gas, constipation, indigestion, low back pain, stress

o NOT for – headaches, back/neck injury


Bow – Dhanurasana


o Good for – posture, stretching

o NOT for – insomnia, back/neck injury, BP issues


Fish Pose - Matsyasana


o Good for – constipation, respiratory ailments, back ache, fatigue, menstruation, anxiety

o NOT for – BP issues, migraine, insomnia, severe low back/neck injuries


Inverted Poses


Downward Dog – adho mukha svanasana


o Good for – brain, stress, depression, energy, menopause, menstruation, osteoporosis prevention, digestion, sinusitis, insomnia, back pain, asthma, sciatica

o NOT for – HBP, pregnancy (late), carpal tunnel, diarrhea


Dolphin Pose – Catur Svanasana


o Good for – brain, stress, depression, menopause, menstruation, osteoporosis prevention, digestion, insomnia, back pain, fatigue, HBP, asthma, flat feet, sciatica

o NOT for – shoulder/neck injuries


Feathered Peacock – pincha mayurasana


o Good for – balance, brain, stress

o NOT for – injuries, headache, HBP, menstruation, heart condition


Handstand – Adho Mukha Vrksasana


o Good for – balance, brain, stress

o NOT for – heart conditions, headache, HBP, menstruation, injuries


Peacock – Mayurasana


o Good for strength

o NOT for elbow/wrist injuries


Headstand – Sirsasana


o Good for – energy, thought

o NOT for – back injury, headache, BP, menstruation, neck injury, pregnancy


Shoulder stand – Salamba Sarvangasana


o Good for – calm, stress, thyroid, digestion, menopause, fatigue, insomnia, asthma, sinusitis

o NOT for – diarrhea, headache, HBP, menstruation, neck injury


The Plough – Halasana


o Good for – calm, menopause, stress, fatigue, backache, headache, insomnia

o NOT for – diarrhea, menstruation, neck injury, asthma, HBP, pregnancy


Bridge – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana


o Good for – calm, stress, depression, digestion, menopause, menstruation, anxiety, fatigue, back/headaches, insomnia, asthma, HBP, sinusitis

o NOT for – neck injuries


Legs Up Wall Pose – Viparita Karani


o Good for – anxiety, arthritis, digestion, headache, BP, insomnia, migraine, depression, respiratory issues, urinary disorder, varicose veins, menstruation


Twists and Backbends


Camel – Ustrasana


o Good for – posture, stretch

o NOT for – migraine, insomnia, injury, BP


Cat Pose – Marjaryasana


o Good for – stretch/breathe

o NOT for – injuries


Cow Pose – Bitilasana


o Good for – back stretch

o NOT for – neck injury


Noose – Pasasana


o Good for – asthma, digestion, gas, menstruation, sciatica

o NOT for – knee problems, herniation


Half Frog Pose – Ardha Bhekasana


o Good for – posture, strength

o NOT for – BP, migraine, insomnia, injury


Frog Pose - Bhekasana




King Pigeon pose – Kapotasana


o Good for – posture, stretch

o NOT for – BP, migraine, insomnia, injury


One Leg King Pigeon – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana



o Good for – chest open

o NOT for – sacroiliac, knee, hip, or ankle injuries


Sphinx Pose – Bhujangasana


o Good for – stress

o NOT for – headache, back injury


Upward Bow – Urdhva Dhanurasana


o Good for – asthma, back pain, infertility, depression, energy, hormones

o NOT for – injury, diarrhea, headache, BP


Upward Two-Foot staff – Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana


o NOT for injuries


Upward Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana


o Good for – posture, depression, fatigue, sciatica, asthma

o NOT for – injury, headache, pregnancy


Wild Thing – Camatkarasana


o Good for – fatigue, depression, open chest and hips

o NOT for – injuries (shoulder/wrist)


Balance and Strength


Dolphin Plank – Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana


o Good for – calm, osteoporosis

o NOT for – injuries (neck/shoulder)


Eight-Angle Pose – Astavakrasana


o GOOD for – strength

o NOT for – shoulder/elbow/wrist injury


Firefly Pose – Tittibhasana


o Good for – balance/strength

o NOT for – shoulder/elbow/wrist injury


Four-Limbed Staff – Chaturanga Dandasana


o Good for – strength

o NOT for – carpal tunnel, pregnancy


Dedicated to Sage Koundinya – Eka Pada Koundinyanasana I


o Good for – strength, core

o NOT for – wrist/arm injury

o Dedicated to Sage Koundinya II



Scale Pose – Tolasana


o Good for – strength

o NOT for – injuries, tight hips/thighs


Shoulder-pressing pose – Bhujapidasana


o Good for – strength, core. Balance

o NOT for – injuries


Side Crane (Crow) – Parsva Bakasana


o Good for – strength, core, balance

o NOT for – injuries


Side Plank – Vasisthasana


o Good for – strength, balance

o NOT for – injuries


Upward Plank – Purvottanasana


o Good for – strength

o NOT for – injuries


Wide-Leg Forward Bend – Parasarita Padottanasana


o Good for – Headache, fatigue, depression, core, calm, back

o NOT for – low back problems



Hip Openers


Bound Angle Pose – Baddha Konasana


o Good for – kidneys, ovaries, bladder, kidneys, prostate, circulation, depression, fatigue, anxiety, sciatica, menopause, HBP, asthma, flat feet, pregnancy

o NOT for – groin or knee injury

o Reclining Bound Angle – Supta Baddha Konasana



Child’s Pose – balasana


o Good for – calm, stress, fatigue, back/neck pain, stretch

o NOT for – diarrhea, knee injury


Cow Face Pose – Gomukhasana


o Good for - Stretch

o NOT for – neck/shoulder probs


Fire Log Pose – Agnistambhasana


o Good for – stretch

o NOT for – low back/knee injury



Thanks for reading! I hope this helps with understanding the poses involved in yoga and what benefits they include along with which ones you should avoid based on your body. Questions and comments are always welcome!

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