Every single aspect of yoga poses is designed to increase the awareness level of you mind and body, thereby inculcating a sense of harmony and well being. When you experience an elevation in your self-awareness element, you would automatically be able to play a more fulfilling and proactive role in your immediate surroundings without being overwhelmed or disoriented.
As a beginner, as always, you may want to be slow and start using simpler poses before experimenting with other advanced poses. Any onset of discomfort should be taken seriously and you should stop doing the pose right away.
Types of Yoga Poses
There are several different types of yoga poses that is classified into various divisions and sub divisions.
Here is a list of various yoga types.
Seated and Twist Poses
Here, most of the exercises would be done while you’re sitting and twisting your body. Twist with style!
The seated and twist poses are meant to help you relax, meditate, and move your body in predefined positions to cleanse your body of its toxins. Those who are accustomed to the gymnasium modes of workouts can consider these as warm up exercises that also help improve their posture.
Great examples include Bharadvaja’s Twist (Bharadvajasana) and also Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)
Standing poses serve multiple purposes because they not only impart strength to the legs and lower components of the body, but also allow you to achieve better balance in your body. They also let you know as to how you can improve your body alignment to bring it in line with the principles of Mother Nature.
Standing poses include Warrior Pose (Viradbhadrasana), Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana). However, Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is said to be the base of all standing poses.
Arm Balance Poses
Arm balance poses strengthen your upper body, especially arms, because you would be depending on your arm to support your body weight. Beginners must not try these poses at home.
Some of these poses include Plank Pose (Dandasana), Four-Limbed staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana), Crane Pose (Bakasana), Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana) and Eight Crooked Limb Pose (Astavakrasana).
Forward Bend Poses
Forward bend poses lend strength and stability to abdomen, stomach, hamstrings and back. Like backbend, these are specialized poses and must be done under supervision.
Good examples include Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana), Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana), and Intense Side Stretch Pose (Parsvottonasana).
They are one of the most important and interesting types of poses because of the sheer variations they offer in terms of experimentation. Here, you would be curving your spine backwards to attain a specific goal.
For example, students wanting to build concentration or physical strength (especially on the legs) are advised to do Dhanurasana (Bow Pose). Other examples include: Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), Lord of The Dance Pose (Natrajasana), King Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana), and Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana).
Inverted poses not only improve your balance, but also strengthen your back and shoulders like nothing else. They help eliminate depression/stress and make you feel rejuvenated. Some of these poses also have therapeutic value.
Popular examples include: Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana, also one the most effective poses of all), Crane Pose (Bakasana), Plough Pose (Halasana), and Head Stand (Sirhasana).
The name should say it all; these poses focus on perhaps the most important muscle group of the body- core. They impart strength, stability and balance to your overall being.
Many experts opine that it is better to do yoga in a meditative state than doing it in supine or lying down postures, so as to make you feel relaxed.
Some of the more popular ones include Full Lotus Posture (Padmasana), Burmese Pose, Egpytian Pose, and Half Lotus Pose (Ardha Padmasana).
Calming or Restorative Poses
Restorative or calming yoga poses help you feel good about yourself and relax amidst the stresses of life. These include Child’s Pose (Balasana), and Corpse Pose (Savasana, which is also one of the easiest poses to perform).
Pranayamas are fantastic because they teach you how to breathe properly and remove toxins from your body, thereby reducing the symptoms of many health ailments. The idea of these poses is to inculcate the technique of deep breathing, as opposed to the hazardous shallow breathing that we are so acclimatized to.
Examples include: Half-Lotus Pose (Ardha Padmasana), Easy or Happy Pose (Sukhasana) and Lotus Pose (Padmasana).
Mudras and Bandhas
Bandhas mean lock or ‘to seal’, which and refer to the locking of certain points of the body to cleanse and restore our hidden energy system. Bandhas are not to be used in isolation; they must always be used in conjunction with pranayamas, asanas and meditation to impart benefits. If they are done correctly, they can have a massive impact on our health and well being.
Similarly, mudras means hand gestures and involve the movement of your fingers and palms in a certain manner to derive spiritual, mental, and physical benefits. Examples include Life Gesture (Pran Mudra), Air Gesture (Varun Mudra), Meditative Gesture (Gyan Mudra), Earth Gesture (Prithvi Mudra), and Fire Gesture (Agni Mudra).
There are dozens of mudras which will be covered later.