Now days, everyone has heard of yoga! This is great considering how good yoga is for your body and mind. For all levels of yoga these are my top 5 yoga poses that everyone should know about. These popular 5 yoga poses are great reminders for veteran yogis, bringing it back to the basics and are perfect for yoga beginners to know before heading to your first class! The 5 yoga poses are simple but important. They should be included in every practice with all of their great benefits!

5 Yoga poses to know:

1-Child’s Pose

Also known as Balasana in Sanskrit, this resting yoga pose is a relaxing & nourishing pose that most people love to hear when it’s time to go into after a long yoga sequence. Child’s pose is also the perfect pose to start your practice with as it’s simplicity allows you to begin focusing on your breathing… taking full breaths in & out that you will continue to use throughout your practice.

Bala – child           Asana -pose

Benefits of child’s pose include calming effects, reducing stress and relaxing your muscles (a reason it is a great resting pose during your practice). Child’s pose is also opening your hips & stretching the hips, thighs & lower back while lengthening the spine & releasing tension in your back, shoulders & chest.

 

2- Downward dog

Also known as Adho Mukha Shvanasana in Sanskrit, or downward facing dog or just down dog, it’s one of the most well known yoga poses (even to people that don’t practice yoga!) This mild inversion pose is often used as a warm up pose, a cool down pose & a resting pose… when you’re body is just needing to be still & you aren’t feeling the other asanas going on… take downward dog or child’s pose. This pose is also commonly pictured when people think of yoga as it is part of the sun salutations (coming soon).

Adho – downward          Muka – face           Shvana -dog           Asana -pose

Benefits of downward dog provide a great balance between energizing the body while calming the mind. There is also a balance happening between stretching & strengthening parts of your body. This pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, wrists, abdominals, hamstrings, legs & ankles while also stretching the arms, chest, shoulders, spine, back, & legs… whoa! There is a lot going on in this common yoga pose. Another downward dog benefit is that it’s a  mild inversion. For those that don’t know, inversions have many benefits as the heart is above the head stimulating blood circulation & bringing blood flow to the brain. This is where the energizing & calming effects come in. Read more about the benefits of inversion yoga poses here (coming soon).

Here’s a great description of how to do downward dog pose step by step.

3-Mountain pose

Also known as Tadasana or Samasthiti  in Sanskrit, this standing yoga pose is a basic but foundation pose for all standing poses as it helps to prepare you for other yoga poses.

Tada – mountain           Asana -pose

Benefits of mountain pose include improving posture, stability and body awareness. It also strengthens legs and helps body alignment. This pose isn’t just about standing there. Mountain pose is about being aware of your entire body, engaging the muscles in your body, and getting your mind focused and cognizant.

 

4- Lotus Pose

Also known as Padmasana in Sanskrit, this seated yoga pose is often overlooked as a ‘pose’ in the yoga sequence but is still important providing benefits to both your body and your mind. This yoga pose is called lotus pose as it represents the lotus flower.

Padma – lotus           Asana -pose

Benefits of lotus pose include improving posture as it strengthens your back muscles sitting upright, reducing muscular tension and opening the hips. This pose is considered a grounding pose connecting the root chakra. It’s also a great pose for connecting your body & mind and is very popular to use for meditation. Lotus pose is known for increasing your awareness while relaxing & calming your mind.

5- Corpse Pose

Also known as Savasana in Sanskrit, this relaxing yoga pose is a one of the most simple but most difficult of the yoga poses. Confusing right? You’re just lying on your back doing nothing! But that’s actually not the case. While you are relaxing your body & mind, you aren’t doing nothing… you are having to make yourself relax while being completely conscious which is actually a difficult task. Try it!

Sava – corpse           Asana -pose

Benefits of corpse pose of course include relaxing the body and calming the brain but it can also reduce heachaches, fatigue and insomnia and help lower blood pressure. These corpse pose benefits all make sense since the goal is to unwind, relax & calm your body & mind (especially at the end of your yoga practice) promoting balance throughout your entire body. This pose is something I do with my kids when they are having a hard time falling asleep. Once they are in savasana, we start doing a full body scan & generally they fall asleep before they are halfway through the body scan.

Please share your thoughts on these 5 yoga poses & your must have poses for your yoga practice. Have a beautiful day. Namaste.