9 Yoga Asanas For Beginners, Intermediate, & Advanced Stages

You can always incorporate more asanas, regardless of the stage in your yoga journey.

Medically Reviewed by Vandana Gujadhur, RD & Yoga Expert
By Shirin Mehdi

We are all familiar with yoga asanas. But did you know that there are some best yoga asanas? And there are different levels, and you must master a specific practice pattern before moving on to the best one?

Doesn’t it sound like a video game? That is, almost. Except for this time, you must battle your inner demons instead of facing an external foe.

Each yoga asana has a different level of difficulty, so you should know which ones to start with and which ones to progress to. Does it appear to be overly complicated?

Don’t be concerned. It is quite straightforward. We have put up a list of basic, intermediate, and advanced yoga poses for you to learn.

Let’s take a look at the importance of asanas in yoga first. Scroll down.

Asanas

Vandana Gujadhur, Yoga Expert, explains, “ Asanas are static positions which are held for a limited duration according to your comfort.” Asanas play a huge role in increasing your physical flexibility and broaden your thoughts. The asana method of practice is to exert pressure and relax. Each asana is designed that way, allowing you to use force to assume an asana and relax when you release the pose.

However, she warns, “Before attempting asanas there must be preparation. Movement for the joints and ligaments, and simple stretching for more than a week or so depends on the body’s aptitude. Asanas have specific positions which can cause harm to ligaments, muscles, and even organs. The purpose of preparation is to improve circulation in the muscles and the organs. Asanas may stress certain body parts, cause ligaments tearing, and even affect organs.”

Through the practice of yoga asana, the practice of balancing transcends into your day-to-day life, helping you apply your best efforts to do a job and let go of the tension of its results by relaxing. Yoga asanas are beautiful. Gliding from one pose to another is like a dance and makes you feel and look good. Also, each pose has a plethora of health benefits.

Curious to know what each asana has to offer? We have covered some here for you. Read on.

Beginner, Intermediate, And Advanced Yoga Asanas

For the sake of convenience, yoga asanas have been divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced poses. As the names suggest, the level of difficulty increases with each level, and along with it, the flexibility of your body and the stability of your mind also increase.

Some of the asanas mentioned below are well-known while some are not too popular. However, one thing for sure is the long list of benefits that each has to offer. Check them out.

Beginner Yoga Poses 

  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose
  2. Malasana (Garland Pose)
  3. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Image: iStock

About The Pose: Tadasana or the Mountain Pose is the most basic of all poses. Any other pose has to emerge from the Tadasana. Tadasana is a Hatha yoga asana, and you need not necessarily be on an empty stomach to practice this pose. Hold it for 10 to 30 seconds while you practice it, though.

Benefits: Tadasana improves your body posture and strengthens your thighs. It reduces flat feet and expels dullness. The pose harmonizes your body and mind and makes you feel refreshed. It also helps in concentration.

Precaution: People with low blood pressure should limit the timing according to their comfort.

To know more about the pose and how to do it, click here: Tadasana 

2. Malasana (Garland Pose) 

Image: iStock

About The Pose: Malasana or the Garland Pose is a simple sitting posture in the Eastern countries. It is a simple squat, a position commonly assumed while excreting in the East. Malasana is a Hatha yoga asana and requires an empty tummy to practice. Hold the pose for 60 seconds.

Benefits: Malasana opens your hips and stretches your ankles. “It strengthens the ankles, knees, hips, and uterine prolapse. Useful for low back pain. It can also prevent constipation. It is also useful for those with varicose veins. Begin to practice with your back against the wall,” says Vandana Gujadhur. It keeps your hip joints healthy and improves your metabolism. The pose works well for pregnant women as it increases hip mobility.

3. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Image: iStock

About The Pose: Savasana or the Corpse Pose is usually practiced at the end of a yoga session or any time of the day, and on an empty stomach. Otherwise, Savasana does not require an empty tummy. For better results, you should relax for 5-15 minutes.

Benefits: Savasana relaxes your entire body and releases tension. It calms your mind and helps with neurological problems. The pose cures insomnia and improves your concentration.

To know more about the pose and how to do it, click here: Savasana

Intermediate Yoga Poses

  1. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
  2. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
  3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

1. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Image: iStock

About The Pose: Garudasana or the Eagle Pose is named after Garuda, the king of birds in the Indian mythology. This Vinyasa yoga asana is a standing pose and works best when practiced in the morning on an empty stomach. Hold it for 15-30 seconds.

Benefits: Garudasana helps balance your body. It strengthens your leg muscles and lessens sciatica and rheumatism. The pose loosens your legs and makes them flexible. It also helps to create mental poise and fight against varicose veins.

 To know more about the pose and how to do it, click here: Garudasana

2. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) 

Image: iStock

About The Pose: Utkatasana or the Chair Pose is like sitting on a chair, except that there is no chair. It is not as easy and simple as sitting on an actual chair. The pose is a Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it on an empty stomach and hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.

Benefits: Utkatasana strengthens your lower back, torso, and calves and stretches your chest. The pose stimulates your heart and tones your knee muscles. It also strengthens your thighs.

To know more about the pose and how to do it, click here: Utkatasana

3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) 

Dhanurasana

Shutterstock

About The Pose: Dhanurasana or the Bow Pose is named so because it resembles a stringed bow. It is a good back bend and works great when you practice it in the morning on an empty stomach. Dhanurasana is a Vinyasa yoga asana. Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds.

Benefits: This pose helps to strengthen the arm, lower back, and neck muscles. It helps to improve memory and eyesight and should not be done with effort as it can push the blood too fast to the brain.

Precaution: Gujadhar adds, “Those with High blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, eyes conditions such as AMD, glaucoma, bleeding nose, and ear problems should avoid this pose.”

Advanced Yoga Poses

  1. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon Pose)
  2. Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose)
  3. Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

1. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana 

Image: iStock

About The Pose: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or the King Pigeon Pose resembles the stance of a pigeon. The pose is a Vinyasa yoga asana. It is a seated backbend that you can practice in the morning or evening on an empty stomach. Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds with normal breathing.

Benefits: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana stimulates your internal organs and helps treat urinary disorders. It releases undesirable energy stored in your body and stretches your shoulders and neck.

Those with cervical spondylosis, high blood pressure, eye problem, heart issues, or discal hernia should avoid this pose. This posture should go with mild forward bending as a complementary posture!

To know more about the pose and how to do it, click here: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

2. Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose)

Image: iStock

About The Pose: Vrschikasana or the Scorpion Pose resembles the stance of a scorpion. The pose is an Astanga yoga asana and is extremely challenging to perform. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach. Hold it for as long as you can.

Benefits: Vrschikasana improves your focus. It strengthens your shoulders, arms and spine and tones your abdominal muscles. The pose also increases your stamina.

3. Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Pose) 

Image: iStock

About The Pose: Similar to the beautiful peacock, this asana named after it also looks great and is equally tough to assume. It is an Ashtanga yoga asana. Early morning is the best time to practice Pincha Mayurasana. Hold it for 1 to 5 minutes.

Benefits: Pincha Mayurasana improves the strength of your arms and upper back. The pose stretches your neck and calms your brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.

Note: Those with high blood pressure and eye problems should avoid this posture as blood rushes with force to the upper part of the body and the brain.

Now, let’s answer some common queries on yoga asanas.

Infographic: Mental Health Benefits of Yoga Asanas

Yoga is an ancient movement practice with a host of benefits. Individuals can perform it at different difficulty levels, and we have seen how they physically benefit us. But yoga is majorly a spiritual experience that helps you combat stress and keep mental illnesses at bay. Check out the infographic below on how Yoga Asanas benefit your mental well-being.

mental health benefits of yoga asanas [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Yoga’s physical activities are known as asanas. They have a huge impact on how you look and how you feel. Furthermore, the best yoga asanas play an important role in enhancing your physical flexibility and extending your mind. They are split into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, with each level increasing in difficulty. The asanas mentioned above are effective and come with several health benefits. So, begin exploring and working your way through each stage to the most difficult level of asanas. But keep a mind that each asana is distinct from the others. So, get started on your practice and enjoy the rewards from these exercises.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does asana mean?

Asana means posture.

What is the ideal attire to practice asanas?

Loose and comfortable clothing in light colors work best for practicing asanas.

We hope that you now understand the division of yoga asanas. The ones mentioned here work wonders. There are many more in each category. Begin exploring and strive to pass each stage to reach the toughest level of asanas. But remember, each asana is unique, and one is not less than the other. With that in mind, begin your practice and reap its countless benefits.

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Shirin is a writer and a fashion designer. She specializes in writing articles on yoga and has extensive knowledge about... more

Vandana Gujadhur

(RD & Yoga Expert)
Vandana is a registered dietitian with the Dietitians of Canada and part of the Cardiovascular, Obesity and Diabetes networks. She... more

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