Best Yoga Poses: Total Body and Mind Health
Great for the body and the mind, yoga is becoming more and more popular. In this list of the best yoga poses we detail 25 yoga poses that will help you gain the most from yoga. And, with the yoga poses on this list ranging from beginner to advanced, there is sure to be several poses for you to try out, regardless of your level.
Even if you just take a few minutes every day to practice your yoga, you will be doing your mind and body a favor. So get off the couch, and start doing your yoga today.
For even more yoga and fitness related lists, check out our list of the best workout videos and list of the best fitness websites. Here’s to health and wellness!
Top 25 Yoga Poses:
Half Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Great for athletes, the half pigeon is the perfect hip-opener pose. Benefits of the pose include increased mobility and a good stretch in the butt and hips. If you are constantly feeling tight in the hips, you should definitely practice this pose.
Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
The corpse pose may be the easiest yoga pose out there, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with a lot of benefits. Best done at the end of your yoga routine. The corpse pose is going to allow you to really stress reduce and allow all of your tension to fall away.
Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
A foundational yoga pose, the extended triangle pose helps to relieve stress and fatigue. The pose is also a great full-body stretch, making it an ideal daily pose. This pose is going to provide a deep stretch in the hamstring, groin, and hip areas. Along with stretching, this pose is also going to strengthen these areas as well.
Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Great for both stretching and strengthening, the downward facing dog pose is a great pose for all levels. The pose stretches the spine, hamstrings, and butt, as well as strengthening the deltoids and triceps. Make this an every day pose.
Eight Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)
A beautiful pose, the eight angle pose is an intermediate to advanced pose. Benefits of the pose include upper-body strengthening, as well as a great core workout. If you can’t get it the first time, keep practicing – you will get there!
Garland Pose (Malasana)
A good squat pose with tons of different variations, the garland pose is a great everyday position. The pose opens the hips and releases the lower back, making it a good pose for athletes and those who sit for long periods. Try this pose on your next office break.
Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
A good foundational pose that aids in other twist poses, the revolved chair pose is a good pose for all levels. Practicing this pose with the correct form is crucial for adding other more advanced poses.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
The camel pose comes with a lot of variations and provides a good all-around stretch. To keep the neck and back safe proper alignment is a must. As you get comfortable with this pose add in some of the variations for a nice mix-up.
Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)
Similar to downward facing dog, but easier on the wrists, the dolphin pose is going to help to alleviate stress. The pose also stretches the neck, shoulders, and spine, making it the ideal pose for those plagued with neck and back issues.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
One of the more common yoga poses, the low lunge pose is going to stretch the hips, glutes, and quads. Along with stretching these different muscles, this pose is also going to help improve balance and core stability. For best practice make sure that you are nice and balanced during this pose and really focusing in on great breathing techniques.
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Named after a mythological Hind warrior, the warrior I pose is one of the staples of yoga. It will help you improve your range of motion, flexibility, and strength. The primary areas that this pose is going to focus in on are the thighs, ankles, and back.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
The second of the warrior poses on this list, the warrior II pose is going to focus primarily on strength, stability, and concentration. The parts of the body that this pose will lock in on are the the legs, groin, and chest. Holding this pose will also help to increase stamina. It has also been known to help relieve backaches and improve digestion as well.
Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana)
A pose that builds power and grounds the legs, the warrior III pose is a great standing pose. The pose offers a number of variations and consistent practice will build strength. The Warrior III is a great pose for everyday practice.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
When doing the bridge pose really lock in and focus on having a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. This will help to maximize the benefits of the pose that include extending the thoracic spine, lengthening your hip flexors, strengthening the legs, and more. This pose is also one of our favorite bodyweight exercises.
Handstand Pose (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
Who says that handstands are just for kids? The Adho Mukha Vrksasana or handstand pose is going to allow you to work on strengthening your shoulders, arms, and wrists. It is also going to help stretch your belly and improves your sense of balance. Don’t be afraid though, you can start out with a wall handstand to help you work your way towards a handstand all on your own.
Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
Known as a pose that is going to “invigorate the entire body.” The locust pose was an easy choice for this list of the best yoga poses. Along with invigorating the entire body, this pose is going to specifically tone and strengthen your lower back, as well as a few different other muscle groups. Try out this pose next time you are in the mood for some yoga and experience the benefits of the locust pose.
Wheel Pose (Urdvha Dhanurasana)
This pose is known by a few different names; wheel pose, upward bow pose, and Urdvha Dhanurasana. Regardless of what you call this pose though, it is really going to allow for you to be able to open up your chest and shoulders muscles and stretch your core. These are just a few of the muscles though that this pose stretches and strengthens. So make sure that you give this pose a try sometime soon.
Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
Not the easiest of poses, but definintley still worth learning. The cow face pose is going to open up your arms, shoulders, chest, hips and glutes, that is pretty impressive for just one pose. This pose may not come easy for everyone, but it is going to be a great pose to you should definitely start working towards.
Single Leg Downward Dog Pose (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)
A variation of the downward dog pose, the single leg downward dog pose is going to crank up the difficulty a little bit and force you to balance on one foot rather than two. This pose is going to allow you to strengthen your arms, stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors, and develop your balance.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
More of a beginner pose, the chair pose is still a must when it comes to doing yoga. This pose is going to allow you strengthen the lower back while simultaneously stretching the upper back. The chair position will also help to strengthen and tone your legs as well.
Crescent Lunge Twist Pose
The crescent lunge twist pose is going to strengthen, lengthen and stretch your body. It will help to strengthen your thighs, upper back, shoulders and arms. The lengthening is going to happen in your spine and chest muscles. Lastly it will really help stretch and open your hip flexors and quads.
Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
One of the essential yoga poses, the cat pose is going to allow you to stretch your back and help you to maintain a healthy spine. As you round out your back you will be able to really lengthen your spine and help to increase the flexibility of your back. You can also do this pose seated in a chair. So if you are feeling tightness at work or somewhere else that you are prone to sitting a lot, give the seated cat pose a try.
Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)
The counterpart pose to the cat pose, the cow pose is going to also work on lengthening your back and spine. You can even do these two poses in an alternating fashion where you are lowering and raising your midsection. By itself or in combination with the cat pose, this is one pose that definitely needs to be added to your yoga routine though.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
The cobra pose is really going to allow you to be able to stretch and loosen up your chest and lungs, shoulders, and mid section. It will also help to strengthen your spine and tighten your glute muscles. Another great thing about this pose as well is that you are able to control how much you push up with your hands. This means that you are easily able to control the difficulty of the pose.
Superman Pose (Viparita Shalabhasana)
Its a bird! Its a plan! No, its the superman pose… Sorry that was terrible, but this pose is definitely worthy of the recognition. This pose is going to target the lower back muscles and really help to develop strength in the lower back and also help to improve posture. The superman pose is also going to help stretch and strengthen the chest, shoulders, arms, legs, and abdomen.
Best Yoga Poses Conclusion
One of the great things about yoga is that it can be done pretty much anywhere that you have a flat hard surface. So pull this list up on your smart phone (if you aren’t doing that already) and try out some of these different poses. Start developing your body and mind.
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We would love to hear your feedback about these yoga poses in the comments below.