Beginning Hatha Yoga Poses
In this article, we will explain the 5 Basic Hatha Yoga Poses with pictures, descriptions, benefits, and commonly asked questions about these poses. Click to Read and Share.
One of the most popular branches of yoga in the United States is Hatha Yoga. There are approximately 36 million Americans practicing yoga. 72% are females & overall yoga is a 16 billion dollar per year industry. This study was conducted by the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal.
Hatha yoga focuses on the physical aspects of yoga and also widely considered as the yoga of postures or poses. It uses both breathing techniques and physical postures or asanas to build a healthy mind and body.
As a beginner, one might reach the conclusion that some of the postures performed in this form of yoga are quite difficult to perform. But this does not mean that Hatha Yoga is not for beginners. In this article, we are giving you a list of the most common and beginner-friendly Hatha yoga poses to help you in including yoga in your daily life.
For more in-depth knowledge of Hatha Yoga, read our article What is Hatha Yoga?
So Let’s Start with our list of Basic Hatha Yoga Poses With Pictures
1. Mountain Poses
What is mountain pose good for?
Mountain pose is a very basic foundational pose of Hatha yoga. It is also considered to be the foundation of all standing poses in yoga. Posture improvements or posture corrections can be done by regularly practicing this posture.
This pose also helps in increasing the strength of your thighs, knees, and ankles. In some cases, it can also help in relieving sciatica related pains.
Regular practice of this pose improves blood circulation in the body which keeps you active and fresh all day.
The alignment that you develop in this pose will carry over in all the advance poses. In addition to alignment, mountain pose balances your weight evenly between your feet which results in better stabilization in more advanced balancing postures.
How do you do Mountain Pose?
- Start by standing nice and tall like a mountain on your yoga mat or on the floor. Your feet should hip-width apart about 3 to 5 inches. Spread your toes nicely on the floor pointing forward.
- Roll your shoulders up back and down, broaden across your collar bones and look straight ahead.
- Let your arm fall by your sides and palm facing inwards and fingers soft.
- Gently engage your abs, straighten up your back, and open up your chest
- Balance your weight evenly between both feet to create a firm foundation.
- Relax your jaw and the muscles in your face.
- Breathe normally.
- You hold this pose from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
2. Tree Pose
What is tree pose good for?
Helps you in balancing yourself but also stretches your legs, arms, and back. Including this pose in your daily routine will increase the strength of your core, thighs, ankles, calves, and spine.
How do you do tree pose?
- Stand nice and tall on your Yoga mat. Relax your shoulders and engage your core.
- Imagine pushing your right foot through your yoga mat.
- Now let the left knee fall open to the side.
- Place the left foot either slightly above the right ankle, a bit higher on the calve, or use your left hand to lift it even higher and place it on the right thigh. In this poses avoid pressing in the knee joint. Place your left foot above or below the knee joint.
- Bring your hands to your heart’s center.
- To come out of this pose, just bring your left leg to the center with control and place your left foot back on your yoga mat.
3. Corpse Pose
What is corpse pose good for?
A perfect pose to end your yoga session is Corpse pose also know as Shavasana.
In a corpse pose or Shavasana, you lay down on your back and try to relax your body & mind. It is a fully conscious way of listening to your body by just doing nothing.
Corpse pose helps in relaxing your whole body and muscles. It is also well known for reducing stress and fatigue levels. It improves your awareness of your body and helps in calming your mind.
It is also good for people who have constipation or indigestion issues.
This deep meditative state at the end of your yoga session will help in releasing stress and anxiety.
How do you do a corpse pose?
- Lie flat on your back.
- Tuck your pelvis in, scooping the tail bone up to find length in the lower back.
- Extend your right leg out long followed by extending your left leg out long.
- Arms come to rest gently on your sides.
- Palms facing up.
- Close your eyes.
- Breath normally.
4. Downward Facing Dog Pose
What is downward facing dog good for?
It is the most common and popular pose or posture in Hatha Yoga. If you are fatigued downward-facing dog pose can help in releasing all the stress and stiffness in your body. It also another great foundational pose.
It stretches muscles in your arms, legs, and back all the same time. If you suffering from shoulder and back pain you should include this pose in your daily yoga routine.
This posture helps in building upper body strength and building bone density. It also gives a boost to your blood circulation because in this pose your heart is above your head. Resulting in flushing toxins from the body and boosting your immune system.
How do you do a downward facing dog pose?
- Bring your hands underneath your shoulder and hips stacked right over the knees.
- Tuck your toes under to get a little foot stretch.
- Spread your fingers as wide as you can.
- Lift your hips upwards.
- Drop your gaze between your toes.
- In this position, your shoulders should be stable.
- Because you are pressing down and forward the energy in your arms is active.
- Breath normally.
- Eventually, it will get into a resting posture as you get deeper into your practice.
Should your feet be flat in Downward Dog? The heels do not have to touch the ground. As you progress deeper into your practice and with the passage of time the heels will eventually start touching the mat.
Is Downward Dog a resting pose? For a beginner, Downward Dog is not a resting pose. Having said that including this pose in your yoga routine will help build the strength required to perform this pose. After building that strength it will eventually become a resting pose for you.
5. Bridge Pose
The Sanskrit name of Bridge pose is Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Practicing this pose regularly can increase your ability to perform more complex backbend yoga poses.
What is bridge pose good for?
Bridge pose can be performed for various different benefits. It can help you in energizing your body. In this pose the muscles of your chest, back, and neck is stretched. This stretch results in building strength in your back and hamstring muscles.
If you are one of those who sit in a chair for hours at a length this pose is for you. As it could help you in opening your upper chest. This pose also works on your upper and lower back muscles, giving you relief in back pain.
Regular practice of this pose can result in increased blood circulation, improved digestion, and reduced anxiety levels.
This pose puts a burden on your neck. If you have any neck injury avoid including this pose in your routine. Do not adjust your neck while you are in the pose.
How do you do bridge pose?
- lie on your back.
- bring your feet parallel to each other hip-width apart.
- Spread your toes.
- Draw your feet into your hips so you can touch them with your fingers slightly.
- Arms next to the body with palms down.
- Now press the shoulders and upper arms down.
- Press the feet into the floor and begin to lift your hips.
- Breath normally.
- Come out of the pose by releasing the shoulders, bringing the hips back down and let the knees rest against each other.
How long should you hold the bridge pose? You can hold this pose from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Is bridge pose a backbend? Bridge pose is one of the many backbend poses in yoga. In this poses all your body parts work together to form a bridge. It also is a pre-requisite to other advanced backend poses.
What muscles does bridge pose work? Bridge pose engages muscles in your hips, hamstrings, and lower back. It also helps in enhancing your core stability. It is a great pose to include in your daily yoga routine.
Do let us know in the comments below. What is your favorite Hatha Yoga pose?