15 Most Widespread Hatha Yoga Poses for Freshmen

From downward canines to solar salutations to balancing asanas, you have got in all probability achieved hatha yoga poses with out even realizing it. Hatha yoga is among the hottest yoga practices on the planet, and it occurs to be essentially the most newbie pleasant.

You could find hatha yoga asanas in almost each yoga class in america. The truth is, hatha yoga is so ubiquitous that it’s typically simply known as yoga. It’s a broad umbrella time period that additionally homes beneath it Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Bikram yoga, and 6 different kinds of yoga. Many yoga academics combine these postures into vinyasa yoga flows and chakra balancing sequences.

Right here’s the highest 15 commonest hatha yoga poses and the best way to construct your individual hatha yoga sequence with them.

What’s Hatha Yoga?

Hatha yoga is technically synonymous with what we name yoga within the west. It’s the follow of bodily asanas (poses) that intention to stretch, strengthen, and calm down all the physique.

Within the historical Indian language of Sanskrit, the phrase hatha means “effort”, “persistence”, or “pressure”. It implies pushing your bodily and psychological capabilities into dynamic actions that profit your total well being.

Hatha yoga challenges all the physique whereas utilizing respiration strategies like pranayama to assist put together yogis for meditation. This integration of thoughts, physique, and spirit helps convey you into a better stage of consciousness and bodily health.

Historical past of Hatha Yoga

The origins of hatha yoga date all the way in which again to fifteenth century India. Essentially the most well-known hatha yoga textual content is known as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Svātmārāma. It outlines 15 primary poses- each seated and standing- that had been initially designed to assist historical practitioners put together for lengthy intervals of seated meditation.

Nonetheless, this type of yoga follow is way over simply bodily asanas. Conventional yogic philosophy features a healthful weight loss program, purification practices, regulation of breath (pranayama), meditation, mantras, mudras, and ethical codes yamas) to create an built-in system of holistic residing.

Hatha yoga builds on historical yogic philosophies first written by Patanjali within the Yoga Sutras, which outlines the eight limbs of yoga. Whereas bodily motion and train is essentially the most widely known type of yoga within the west, yoga poses (asanas) are just one limb of the entire system.

Advantages of Hatha Yoga

Working towards hatha yoga has remodeled thousands and thousands of lives by integrating train with deep respiration and mindfulness. The well being advantages of this historical follow have been confirmed by trendy science in addition to historical strategies.

The intention of hatha yoga is to awaken dormant power or shakti within the physique. Shakti power is primordial cosmic energy embodied within the 7 chakras (or “wheels”) of power that rise from the foundation to the crown of the human physique. To study extra concerning the hyperlinks between yoga and chakras, try our The Newbie’s Information to Chakra Therapeutic, Alignment, and Stability.

A weekly hatha yoga class may help to:

  • Enhance flexibility
  • Strengthen muscle groups
  • Enhance temper and leisure
  • Enhance focus and focus
  • Scale back stress and anxiousness
  • Help in weight reduction
  • Connect with your interior self or a better energy

Relying on the frequency and depth of your follow, hatha yoga can torch some main energy and drastically enhance your psychological well being. It could possibly even support in regulating your nervous system, enhancing digestion, and diving right into a deeper meditation state.

Listed here are the 15 most necessary hatha yoga asanas for normal follow:

15 Fundamental Hatha Yoga Poses and Asanas

Per the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, classical hatha yoga contains 15 main poses. In most hatha yoga courses, you’ll start with standing poses after which transfer to the ground.

You might acknowledge these asanas from frequent sequences reminiscent of solar salutations or vinyasa flows. Each hatha and vinyasa yoga make the most of all of those asanas (and plenty of extra), nonetheless hatha typically focuses on holding poses for longer whereas vinyasa goals for a flowing motion.

Apply these hatha yoga postures at a sluggish tempo and maintain them for a number of breaths for the utmost advantages.

1- Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Start standing along with your ft hip width aside, heels and toes grounded into the mat. Verify that your backbone is straight and hips sq. to the entrance.

Roll your shoulder blades down your again, open the chest, and maintain your palms open along with your arms alongside your physique. Inhale and exhale slowly to sync your breath earlier than starting your follow.

Advantages: This easy standing pose may help enhance posture and blood move close to the center. It helps begin your hatha yoga follow with grounded focus.

Chakra Affiliation: Coronary heart chakra (Anahata), linked to the air ingredient

Variations: You too can elevate your arms overhead with the arms dealing with one another and shoulders relaxed down away from the ears.

2- Standing Ahead Fold (Uttanasana)

Starting along with your ft collectively in Mountain Pose, add a microbend to your knees. On an inhale, sweep your arms up overhead, and on an exhale, hing ahead on the hips with a straight backbone.

Preserve your core engaged and keep away from curving the again. Calm down your head downward and really feel a deep stretch behind your hamstrings.

Advantages: This basic toe-touching pose stretches your hamstrings and calves whereas difficult the core and releasing rigidity from the decrease again.

Chakra Affiliation: Root chakra (Muladhara), related to the Earth ingredient

Variations: Relying in your flexibility, place your arms in your shins, on either side of your ft, or on a yoga block.

3- Downward Going through Canine Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

From a ahead bend pose, bend your knees as a lot as wanted and place your palms flat on the yoga mat. Step or leap your ft backwards and push your heels towards the bottom. Your physique will appear like an the other way up “v”.

On an exhale, enable your head to calm down down between your shoulders and interact your core to flatten your again. Push your tailbone up towards the sky. On every inhale, lengthen your backbone. On the exhales, draw your heels nearer to the ground and push your torso towards your thighs.

Advantages: Downward dealing with canine pose is a light-weight inversion that improves circulation, opens up the chest, challenges the again muscle groups, and elongates the hamstrings. It could possibly assist relieve stress and rigidity within the neck and again. That is additionally a very powerful “resting pose” throughout solar salutations.

Chakra Affiliation: Muladhara (root chakra), related to the Earth ingredient

Variations: In case your heels don’t absolutely attain the ground, micro-bend your knees or make the most of a yoga block. For ankle or wrist ache, check out a yoga wedge.

4- Warrior 2 Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

From downward canine, inhale to raise your proper leg up towards the sky. On an exhale, convey it via to the entrance of the mat and place your proper foot between your arms.

Angle the again left foot at a slight 45° angle with the wall, opening the center arch ahead and aligning the heel in an imaginary line with the entrance heel. Exhale and bend into the correct knee till you have got a proper angle along with your thigh parallel to the bottom.

Convey your arms out to the facet and level your fingers towards every finish of the room, stress-free your shoulders. Gaze ahead and breathe deeply for 5-10 breaths.

Exhale again into downward dealing with canine and repeat on the opposite facet.

Advantages: Warrior II strengthens your core, quads, calves, and ankles. It stretches the again hamstring whereas opening your higher physique and chest.

Chakra Affiliation: Manipura (photo voltaic plexus chakra, linked to the hearth ingredient

Variations: If there’s any discomfort in your again ankle, modify the angle of your foot. In case your shoulders raise, roll your shoulder blades again down and collectively, holding them away out of your ears.

5- Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

From Warrior pose, straighten the entrance leg and maintain the entrance foot pointing ahead. Your arms ought to nonetheless be out beside your physique like a “t”.

Inhale to elongate your backbone and interact your core, then exhale as you attain your proper arm ahead and down, resting your hand on the within of the correct knee or shin.

The left arm reaches up towards the sky along with your fingers unfold. If it’s comfy, flip your neck to lookup. Your physique must be in a flat airplane as if between two partitions.

Maintain for 3 to five breath cycles and repeat on the opposite facet.

Advantages: This hip-opening pose is nice in your core, stability, and focus. It stretches the interior thighs and hamstrings whereas strengthening the legs.

Chakra Affiliation: Manipura (photo voltaic plexus chakra, linked to the hearth ingredient

Variations: Place a block beneath the decrease arm to assist help alignment. Don’t enable your facet physique to break down over the entrance leg.

6- Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

Return to Mountain pose and shift the load into your proper leg. Have interaction all of the leg muscle groups as you press your foot into the bottom and raise the left leg up in entrance of you.

Seize the within of the left foot and place it simply above your knee. If in case you have the flexibleness, convey the highest of the foot to relaxation in your thigh or in your hip bone. The left knee will externally rotate as you press into your leg.

Optionally, inhale and lift your arms above your head like tree branches. On every exhale, have interaction your muscle groups to maintain your legs straight and preserve stability.

Maintain for five to eight breaths and repeat on the opposite facet.

Advantages: Enhance stability, open your hips, and strengthen your legs with tree pose.

Chakra Affiliation: Muladhara (root chakra) and the Earth ingredient

Variations: For individuals who lack flexibility or vary of movement of their knee, tree pose may also be practiced with the foot on the decrease calf or with a yoga strap.

7- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Lay in your mat flat in your abdomen with the tops of your ft urgent into the ground. Bend your knees, attain again with each arms, and seize the outer edges of your ft and flex them.

On an inhale, let your ribcage and shoulders raise ahead. With an exhale, start kicking into your palms and lifting your glutes upward to arch to again. Preserve lifting the pinnacle and coronary heart as you gaze upward and push your thighs and abdomen down in to the mat.

Maintain for 3 to five breaths, aiming to rock ahead onto your higher abdomen if attainable.

Advantages: Bow pose is extremely energizing as a result of it stimulates the adrenal glands, which assist battle fatigue. Balancing on the small gut can also be nice for exciting the digestive system. It counteracts the damaging results of hunching over a desk all day and opens up the backbone for extra flexibility and improved posture.

Chakra Affiliation: Manipura (photo voltaic plexus) and the hearth ingredient

Variations: Should you can’t attain your ankles along with your arms, use a yoga strap wrapped across the tops of the ft to increase your attain. Maintain the strap overhead and raise with the glutes, opening your backbone as a lot as is comfy utilizing the stress on the strap.

8- Locust Pose (Shalabasana)

From bow pose, exhale and calm down again to laying face-down on the mat. Straighten your legs and press the tops of your ft into the mat. Convey your arms on both facet of the physique slightly below the hip bones with palms dealing with down.

On an inhale, have interaction your core and again as you raise your chest ahead and up. Preserve the tops of your thighs and ft urgent downward. Maintain for 3 to five breaths, opening your coronary heart and chest to the sky as you have interaction all your decrease physique and again muscle groups.

Advantages: Strengthen your legs, glutes, again, and stomach muscle groups whilst you stimulate blood circulation and stretch the higher again.

Chakra Affiliation: Svadhistana (Sacral chakra), linked to the water ingredient

Variations: Should you don’t wish to relaxation the arms beneath the torso, rotate your shoulders backwards and clasp the arms collectively above your low again.

9- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Returning to face-down place, straighten your legs and convey your ft collectively. Place your arms beneath your shoulders with fingers dealing with ahead.

On an inhale, have interaction your core and raise the chest up as you gaze towards the sky. Elongate the backbone and interact the legs so that you don’t crunch into the low again. If in case you have the spinal flexibility, straighten your arms and press into the ground to totally open the entrance physique.

Advantages: Cobra pose strengthens your again muscle groups and opens your coronary heart. It feels unimaginable in your backbone and higher torso. It can also enhance respiratory and cardiovascular operate.

Chakra Affiliation: Anahata (coronary heart chakra), correlated with the air ingredient

Variations: For a extra restorative stretch, maintain the forearms and arms pressed into the bottom.

10- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Start laying in Savasana (corpse pose) flat in your again along with your arms prolonged to your facet, palms down. Bend your knees and press your ft into the mat on the level the place your center fingers can attain your heels.

On an inhale, draw your chin ahead so your neck is elongated. On an exhale, have interaction the glutes and raise your hips up towards the ceiling.

Preserve your legs engaged and aligned with out permitting the knees to splay inwards or outward. The thighs must be straight consistent with the physique, ribcage lifted, and knees at roughly a proper angle. Take 4 to eight deep breaths, being certain to not overextend your backbone. Then, gently decrease to the bottom.

Advantages: This backbend is nice for spinal well being and strengthening the legs. As you convey your chin to your chest, you additionally stimulate the thyroid gland, which regulates hormones.

Chakra Affiliation: Manipura (photo voltaic plexus) and the hearth ingredient

Variations: You may clasp your arms collectively or maintain your palms flat as you press into the bottom. Clasping will create a bit extra of a shoulder rotation and higher physique stretch.

11- Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

To proceed a back-bending sequence, return to Savasana (laying flat in your again) and bend your knees to position your ft on the ground. Inhale and raise your pelvis to slip your palms beneath your butt. You may be sitting on the tops of your arms.

Subsequent, tuck your forearms near your sides. On an inhale, press into the bottom as you raise your head and torso off the ground. Exhale and launch your head again onto the ground, arching your again as a lot as is comfy to totally open your neck upwards.

The again of your head or the crown will relaxation on the ground, however there shouldn’t be a lot weight in your head. Keep away from crunching into your neck by utilizing your arms to press into the bottom and arch your chest upward.

Advantages: Fish pose helps battle fatigue and stretch open the shoulders. It combats the impression of poor posture and helps cut back neck rigidity.

Chakra Affiliation: Anahata (coronary heart chakra) and Vishuddha (throat chakra)

Variations: As a newbie, it’s safer to follow fish pose with the assistance of a yoga bolster or block to stop crunching into your neck or backbone.

12- Hero Pose (Veerasana)

Start with bent knees, kneeling on the mat. Place your palms on the ground to raise your butt up barely. Convey your knees collectively and slide your ft wider than your hips with the tops of the ft resting on the mat. Regulate your toes to angle inward.

On an exhale, start to take a seat again along with your torso leaning barely ahead. If wanted, modify your calf muscle groups out of the way in which to shimmy your tailbone right down to the ground between your thighs. Sit up and breathe.

Advantages: Hero pose is a seated meditation pose designed to deeply stretch the quads and enhance blood circulation to the joints.

Chakra Affiliation: Swadisthana (sacral chakra) and Muladhara (root chakra), related to the water and Earth parts

Variations: Should you wrestle with knee ache, attempt inserting a folded yoga blanket or bolster beneath your sit bones or wedged beneath your calves.

13- Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)

From a tabletop pose, inhale and convey your proper knee ahead. Externally rotate the knee and convey the correct foot beneath the left hip bone.

On an exhale, slide your left leg again straight behind you. Regulate your hips to make sure they’re aligned dealing with ahead. Maintain whereas upright, then on an exhale, slowly decrease your higher arms to the bottom. If you need a deeper stretch, convey your torso ahead and lay over your leg.

Maintain for 3 to five breaths and repeat on the opposite facet.

Advantages: This deep hip opener is extremely helpful for joint mobility and lowering low again ache.

Chakra Affiliation: Muladhara (root chakra) and the Earth ingredient

Variations: A yoga blanket or bolster beneath the hip may help cut back hip ache and cut back the depth of the pose. These with much less flexibility could want to maintain their torso

14- Spinal Twist Pose (Matsyendrasana)

Begin sitting along with your legs stretched out in entrance of you. Inhale to elongate and straighten your backbone. Bend the left leg and place your left foot on the other facet of your proper knee.

On an inhale, have interaction your core and start to barely twist as you elevate your proper arm to the sky. Convey the correct elbow to the surface of the left knee and exhale as look over your left shoulder.

Maintain for 3 to five breaths, lengthening your backbone on the inhales and deepening the twist on the exhales.

Advantages: This twist improves digestion in addition to vertebrate mobility and posture. It helps relieve again ache and stretch the outer hips.

Chakra Affiliation: Swadisthana (Sacral chakra) and the water ingredient

Variations: You too can follow an identical pose whereas laying down and twisting one knee over your physique.

15- Again Stretching Pose / Seated Ahead Fold (Paschimottanasana)

From a seated place, stretch your legs straight out in entrance of you. Micro-bend your knees. Inhale your arms up after which exhale as you fold ahead and attain in your toes. Slowly scoot your tailbone backwards to straighten your legs as a lot as attainable. Keep away from hunching your backbone over in a curved place.

Advantages: Ahead bend pose is a wonderful hamstring stretch.

Chakra Affiliation: Manipura (photo voltaic plexus) and the hearth ingredient

Variations: Should you can’t attain your toes, attempt using a strap looped beneath the underside of your ft.

Hatha Yoga FAQs

What’s hatha yoga good for?

Working towards hatha yoga can radically enhance your flexibility, energy, muscular tone, joint mobility, and mind-body connection. It encompasses the basic yoga rules of asana, pranayama, and meditation. Hatha yoga holds poses for longer to encourage extra stability and energy.

What number of poses are there in a hatha class?

Not like Bikram or Ashtanga, hatha yoga courses don’t essentially have a set quantity of poses. There are 15 main hatha yoga poses, however dozens of different asanas and variations could also be integrated into a category relying on the yoga trainer.


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