15 Yoga Asanas – Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced You Should Know July 25, 2016

Finding it difficult to choose the best yoga asana for you? Now that’s no reason to worry! StyleCraze now offers you information on the best and unique yoga styles, the proper techniques to perform them, their benefits, tips and contraindications.

The practice of yoga dates back to the ancient times when it used to be practiced as a means of achieving salvation and uniting with the almighty. In today’s fast-moving scenario, we look up to yoga as a means of staying fit and healthy and achieving mental and physical health.

Yoga is a unique way of nurturing your mind, body and soul with warm up exercises, yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation. You get the right kind of exposure to learn all of these things in a complete yoga session.

Yoga is not just mastering different postures and increasing flexibility, but it is something beyond that. Over the years, the practice of yoga has changed to some extent. Yet, its roots remain the same. It focuses on main aspects like physical, mental and spiritual practices to attain a state of permanent peace.

Yoga asanas are of various types depending upon the type of practitioner. They have been classified into basic/ beginner, intermediate and advanced. Basic asanas often include warm up exercises or simple poses which anyone can practice easily at home without much effort. Intermediate poses are the ones which involve small twists, backbends. They are advanced form of basic yoga postures. Advanced yoga asanas include those which have intense backbends, twists and inversions. These yoga poses are often difficult to master and require years and years of practice.

Beginners Poses:

Those asanas which are often recommended to those who are new to the world of yoga are often termed as basic/beginners pose. These basic yoga asanas also include warm up exercises which help in making your body flexible and ready for the next level of yoga asanas.

To learn a few basic/beginners poses, follow the steps mentioned below and get started:

1. Dandasana:

Sit down on the floor. Extend your legs straight out in front of you. Stretch them. Do not bend your legs from the knees. Roll your toes towards your body. Stretch them. Keep your back/spine, hands and legs straight. Now place your hands besides your body in such a manner that your palms touch the ground. Try to stretch your spine and your body as much as you can. Do not stretch beyond your capacity. Stay in this position for 2 minutes and then release.

2. Vajrasana:

Vajrasana

By Thamizhpparithi Maari (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Kneel down on the floor in such a manner that the upper part of your feet should touch the ground. Your knees, big toes and ankles should be parallel to each other and should touch the ground. Place your palms on the knees. Keep your spine straight. Look in the front direction, close your eyes. This is the best position to meditate and relax your body. Expand your chest. Sit in this position for 2-5 minutes and then release.

3. Majariasana: 

Sit down on the floor in Vajrasana pose. Place your hands on the floor in such a manner that your palms and elbows touch the ground. Also, your elbows should touch your knees as well. Now without moving your hands just come into a tabletop position. Tilt your head and look upwards. At the same time, lower your back; push your stomach and your navel region downwards. Try to raise your buttocks and stretch your body. Remain steady in this position for 30 seconds and then release.

4. Tadasana:

Tadasana

By Kennguru (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Stand on the yoga mat in a straight position. Place your heels slightly apart from each other. Balance your whole body’s weight properly on both the legs. Extend your hands up in the air and try to stretch them. As you stretch your arms, lift up your body in the upward direction and try to balance on your toes. Look straight. Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds and then release. Do not stretch beyond your capacity. Tadasana is the best balancing yoga asana for those who wish to improve their balancing skills.

[ Read: King Pigeon Pose Benefits ]

5. Balasana:

Kneel down on the floor in Vajrasana pose. Set your knees a little wide apart in the same way as your hips. The distance between both the hips and both the knees should be the same. Place your toes facing towards the ground. Bend your body forwards towards your thighs with your forehead touching the ground. Place your hands besides your legs in a way that they should completely rest on the ground and should be relaxed. Close your eyes and stay in this pose for 30 seconds and then come back to Vajrasana pose and release from Balasana.

[ Read: Downward Facing Dog Pose ]

Intermediate poses

Once you master all the basic asanas, you move on to the next intermediate level of yoga asanas. These asanas are not very difficult to master, yet one needs continuous practice to become an intermediate yoga practitioner.

1. Salabhasana: 

Salabhasana

By Kennguru (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lie down on your belly with your chin resting on the ground. Toes should be placed on the floor with knees touching the ground. Place your hands on the ground below your hips with your palms resting on the ground. Lift up your head a little. Lift up your upper body, thighs and legs off the floor. Balance your body on your belly. Stay in this position for about 15 seconds and then release.

2. Dhanurasana:

Dhanurasana

By Kennguru (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lie down on your belly. Rest your hands besides your torso with your palms resting on the ground. Lift up your thighs and bring your heels close to your buttocks. Stretch your chest in the upward direction. Try to hold your feet with your hands and stretch your spine as much as you can. Do not stretch beyond your capacity. Stay in this position for 15-20 seconds and then release.

3. Matsyasana:

Matsyasana

By Kennguru (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lie down on your back. Keep your legs and hands straight. Bend your legs from your knees and place your feet on the floor. Lift up your body from your chest in the upward direction. Lift your buttocks in the air and slide your hands below our buttocks. Rest your buttocks on the upper side of your palms. Place your hands and elbows on the floor beside your body. Lift up your upper body/ chest away from the floor. Stay in this position for 10-15 seconds and release from the pose.

4. Gomukhasana: 

Gomukhasana

By Kennguru (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sit on the floor in Dandasana pose. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Slip your left foot under your right knee and place it to the outside of right hip. Place your right leg on top of your left leg. Place your right knee on top of your left knee. Move your right foot to the outside of your left hip. Bend your elbows and stretch them in the upward direction. Place the palm of your left hand behind on your back and exactly below the neck. Lower your right hand and bend it from the elbow. Try to catch your left hand with your right from behind your back. Keep your back straight. Stay in this pose for 10-15 seconds and release.

5. Garbhasana:

Garbhasana

By Marcocarvalho (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sit down on the floor in Padmasana pose. Insert your left hand between your thigh and calf muscle of your left leg. Repeat the same on the other side as well. Insert your right hand between your right thigh and right calf muscle. Raise your legs and fold your arms in the upward direction. Hold the left earlobe with the right hand and the right earlobe with the left hand. Stay in this position for 10-15 seconds depending upon your capacity and then release.

[ Read: Bhujangasana ]

Advanced poses

Those poses which have intense backbends, twists or inversions are usually classified under advanced yoga asanas. After you master intermediate yoga asanas, it’s time you move on to the next level which is advanced yoga asanas. Follow the steps mentioned below and get started with the top 5 advanced poses:

1. Sarvangasana:

Lie down on the floor with the back of your head resting on the ground. Lay your arms on the floor next to your body. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Lift up your legs in the upward direction. If needed, take the support of your hands by resting your palms on your back. Fold the hands from the elbows and place it on your back in such a manner that your palms rest on your lower back. Keep your legs straight and try to bring them in a straight alignment with your body and stretch it as much as you can. Stay in the pose for 10-15 seconds and then release.

2. Patangasana: 

Stand on the floor in a straight position. Raise your arms sidewise. Bring it to the shoulder level and try to balance them. Inhale and exhale deeply. Lower your upper body until and unless it becomes parallel with the ground. Do not stretch your body beyond your capacity. Slowly raise your left leg from behind until it comes in a straight line with the body. Balance your body in this position for 20 seconds and then release.

3. Mayurasana:

Kneel down on the floor, sit on heels. Place your hands on the floor with your fingers turned back towards your body and thumbs pointing outwards. Lean forwards. Position your elbows in such a manner that they are firmly pressed against your belly and are at an appropriate distance from each other. Straighten the knees and stretch legs behind your torso. The top of your feet should be placed on the floor. Lift up your body on your hands and legs. Remember, your body and your legs should be parallel to the floor. Stay in this position for 10 seconds and then release. Do not stretch your body beyond its capacity.

[ Video : Yoga Poses For Beginners ]

4. Dwikonasana/ Double Angle Pose:

Stand straight on the floor with your feet little apart from each other. Place your arms behind your back and interlock your fingers. Exhale and bend in the forward direction from your hips until your back and your face are parallel to the floor. Raise and stretch out your hands behind your back in the upward direction. Bring your face close to your knees as you bend downwards.

5. Kukkutasana: 

Kukkutasana

By Kennguru (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sit down on the floor in Padmasana pose. Insert your left hand between your thigh and calf muscle of your left leg. Repeat the same on the other side as well. Insert your right hand between your right thigh and right calf muscle. Spread your fingers and place both your hands on the floor in such a manner that your palms touch the ground. Both your hands should be at a distance of 4 to 6 inches from each other. Try to lift up your body off the floor and balance on both the hands. Do not forget to breathe normally and deeply. Stay in this position for 10-20 seconds and then release.

[ Read: Baba Ramdev Yoga for Diabetes ]

Meditation is a very important aspect when a person learns yoga. It is the first step when learning yoga asana. One needs to have full concentration while practicing yoga asanas. Also, during meditation one can chant OM. The vibrations that it creates give you a positive energy and keep you away from stress and depression. Meditation is the best way to end your yoga session. After a complete and fun-filled yoga session, always make sure that you chant OM and meditate or simply relax for a while.

Yoga exercises / asanas are a perfect workout regime for those who aim to lose or gain weight. Needless to say, yoga poses also help you in staying fit and healthy and keep you rejuvenated throughout the day. Do try practicing these above mentioned asanas according to their intensity levels. All you have to do is choose an asana that suits your body, a yoga mat, a place where you can relax and practice asanas and get started. Do leave us a comment.

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