Yoga Poses or Yoga Asana are postures aimed at developing a healthy body and mind. The Patanjali Yoga Sutras define Asana as – ‘Sthiram Sukham Asanam’, which means Asana is a pose that is steady and comfortable. Asana is the third step in Maharishi Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga. Asanas or yogic poses gives strength, flexibility, balance and steadiness. Apart from the spiritual benefits, each Yoga pose also has its specific health benefits.
It is a known fact that Yoga Poses or postures can help to relieve common medical conditions like back pain, sciatica, spondylitis, hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, obesity, allergies, headaches and migraines, depression, constipation, reproductive disorders, seminal weakness, hernia, piles, insomnia, etc.
Yoga Poses – Asana List with Images
Here is a list of common yoga poses in alphabetical order. Click on the image of the Asana to see the detailed text of the yoga pose. This asana list is not exhaustive, but contains most of the popular yoga postures practiced today.
ASANAS in this Gallery are in ALPHABETICAL ORDER.
How to learn Yoga Asanas or Yogic Poses?
The Yoga Asanas or Yoga poses vary in difficulty from beginner to advanced levels. It is always advisable to learn Yoga postures from a qualified yoga instructor. Also, make sure you consult a doctor for any pre-existing health conditions before taking up yoga practice. Make sure that you do not cross your physical limits and cause any injury. Practice Yogic postures on an empty stomach, unless otherwise mentioned. Wear comfortable and loose clothing during the practice.
Benefits of Yoga Asana or Yogic Poses
According to Maharishi Patanjali, Yoga Asanas or yoga poses when perfected gives freedom from pairs of opposites such as heat and cold, good and bad, pain and pleasure, etc. This leads to stability of the mind. The mind maintains equanimity in all situations. Hence, yoga poses start working from the gross physical level to the subtle levels of the mind.
Most of the other asanas are classified under the cultural category which build strength and flexibility. Sirsasana, Bhujangasana, Halasana, Sarvangasana, Ustrasana, Paschimottanasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Chakrasana, Dhanurasana, Simhasana, Trikonasana, Naukasana, Ardha Kapotasana, Gomukhasana, Marjariasana, etc. are commonly listed into the cultural category.
Each yoga asana or yoga pose has its own physical and spiritual benefits. For example: Peacocks have good digestive power. Hence by performing Mayurasana or the peacock pose, one gets good digestive power and relieves constipation.
Other series of poses like the Surya Namaskara or sun salutation gives a good workout to the entire body and burns enough calories and hence good for weight management.
Further Benefits of Yoga Asanas or Yogic Poses
Most yogic postures help to develop strength, flexibility and Balance. They also tone the internal organs and maintain optimum physiological health. Yoga therapy uses yogic postures along with breathing exercises to cure mild as well as chronic disorders.
It is a known fact that Yoga Asanas can help to relieve medical conditions like lower back pain, sciatica, spondylitis, hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, obesity, allergies, headaches and migraines, depression, constipation, reproductive disorders, seminal weakness, hernia, piles, insomnia, etc.
Yoga asanas are different from exercises. Practice Yoga asanas slowly and maintain the position for comfortable duration. By doing so, there is reduction in muscle tone and leads to deep relaxation. There is reduction in the metabolic rate. During slow yoga practice, the breathing rate and the heart rate reduces .
There is conservation of energy. Yoga reduces the excessive speed of the mind, leading to removal of stress, worries and tensions. Asanas cures and prevents life style diseases, caused by a sedentary life style.
Yoga Asana form an important limb of the eight steps of Ashtanga yoga. Yogic poses along with breathing exercises or pranayama prepares the practitioner for higher practices of meditation and Samadhi.