Common Yoga Poses Explained

There are hundreds of different yoga asanas, from standing, seated, supine, twists, inverts and more. There are yoga poses to help with back pain, knee pain, tight hips, alignment and so much more.

There are many styles of yoga. So to list the extensive selection of postures would take all day.

However, there are some common key postures, which are great for most practitioners and help with a great range of overall fitness.

Here are 4 common yoga poses.

Downward Facing Dog  – Adho Mukha Svanasana


Downward facing dog is one of the most well-known yoga poses.

Begin on all fours, with your knees under your hips and hands slightly ahead of your shoulders.

Tuck your toes and exhale to lift your knees from the mat and take your bottom towards the ceiling.

Push through your palms, as though pushing your chest down towards your toes, straighten your legs and ease your heels down to the floor.

Hold this position helps to stretch the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, hands, wrists and hands.

It also calms the brain and can relieve depression, improves digestion, help fight osteoporosis, aids asthma, sciatica, high blood pressure and back pain.

Plank Pose – Phalakasana


Another well-known posture, used in a variety of other workouts as well as yoga, is the plank position.

From standing forward bend, step back into a push up position, tuck your hips and keep your body aligned, straight as though you would imagine a plank of wood.

Holding this position strengthens your shoulders, wrists, abdominals, lower back and glutes, as well as improving posture. It is a great basic pose for overall strength and toning.

Tree Pose – Vrksasana


Begin in a standing position, spreading your toes, with your feet directly under your hips; take time to feel completely rooted to the spot.  At the same time, extend up through your spine.

Place your weight onto your left foot and pick your right foot up with your right hand. Rest your right foot onto the inside of the left leg, into your groin if you can manage.

Clasp your hands and extend up towards the sky with your arms, stretching out your torso.

As well as improving balance, Tree pose is great for strengthening thighs, calves and ankles and stretching your shoulders, chest and inner thighs.

By improving your balance, you prevent falls in later life.

Child’s Pose Balasana


Kneel on the floor with your big toes together. Sit back on your heels, and fold forwards as you exhale.

Take your head down to the floor, without lifting your sitting bone from your heels.

Rest your arms by your sides, palms face up.

Child’s pose is a restorative pose. It is great for relaxation as well as relieving stress.

Child’s pose helps to gently stretch the hips, thighs and ankles and can help to relieve back pain.