Before we get into the practical how-to of various yogic poses, we should consider what it is we’re talking about and what it’s for. Yoga has been practiced in India for thousands of years. The word yoga comes from Sanskrit and is related to the English word yoke.
Just as a yoke joins an ox to a cart or a plow, yoga joins mind and body together in a well-integrated union. On a spiritual level, yoga unites the individual’s personal experience to an experience of absolute reality.
Yoga refers to a broad variety of ancient Indian spiritual practices. These practices are designed to liberate the individual from their ordinary, bound, unfree experience of the self and the world, into an expansive, unlimited state of complete freedom.
So right away we can do away with the idea that to do yoga, you need to sign up with a religious group and give up your own beliefs, adopting a new set of doctrines and strange behaviors. If you’re not into the metaphysical ideas behind yoga as spiritual transformation, that’s no problem.
Yoga is, first and foremost, personal, practical, and experiential. What you get out of it depends on what you bring into it; your goals and purposes for doing yoga will determine what kind of positive effect it has on your life.
In particular, the popular perception associates yoga with a system of bendy, twisty physical movements and positions. Some may even think yoga is just glorified stretching. But yoga is about more than just stretching. It’s about creating balance in body and mind, joining the two together, and bringing them into close communication.
Recent scientific research into the effects of yoga on the body and mind has shown that these physical practices have enormous benefits for physical and psychological health. They can help you lose weight, tone muscles, treat several medical problems, improve your flexibility and posture, keep your muscles relaxed and supple, regulate your appetite, etc.
They also decrease the all-too-common psychological sufferings of stress, anxiety, and depression, improve concentration and mindfulness, and boost your mood and brainpower overall.
Yoga offers a profound sense of physical and psychological wellbeing. Through the practice of yoga, your body and mind will become more and more closely integrated.
That’s the central lesson of yoga: by connecting with our bodies more deeply, we go further into our experience as embodied beings in the world. That, in turn, will enrich our lives, as we bring the mindful awareness of yoga into our everyday world.
While this article is intended to give you an introduction to 101 yoga poses or the physical poses and the meditative side of yoga, it’s strongly advised that you learn yoga under the guidance of a qualified and experienced instructor.
A good yoga practitioner can help you avoid mistakes and injury, correct your posture, and guide you into more advanced stages of practice as you get deeper and deeper into 101 yoga poses.
Related: Introduction to Yoga Asana
I. What Is Yoga?
Yoga is known as a type of exercise that strengthens and stretches the body through different poses called Asanas. For some people though, yoga is the understanding of inner self-fulfillment. While some people see it as a religion that they follow. With all of this statement, it is not easy to make a full understanding of what yoga is.
So what is yoga exactly? Yoga is not just a mere exercise that consists of awkward poses. Yoga is the combination of spirit, body, and mind. Yoga originated from the Hindu philosophy used to achieve spiritual understanding and coordination. Yoga commonly denotes the common usage of a system of movements that are done as a portion of this discipline.
Yoga is a varied practice, so regardless of which school you choose to take a yoga class from. You can get numerous benefits from doing yoga practices regularly regardless of what your age is, and asanas could be attuned to fit physical limits and other problems.
If you’ve been running on treadmills, lifting weights, or swimming and want to try something new, yoga would be the next thing you need to try. Not just you’re on your way to better physical well-being, you’re also on your way to better spiritual wellbeing.
Conventionally, yoga has 8 fundamental paths: Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Purna Yoga, Maha Yoga, Tantra Yoga, and Raja/Ashtanga Yoga. The ultimate objective of yoga is to attain deliverance from the suffering of the world and the phase of birth and death.
Yoga involves mastery throughout the mind, body, emotion, and wholeness of desire. It’s said to lead progressively to the knowledge of reality’s true nature.
II. Who is yoga for?
Yoga is for you and everyone. The benefits of yoga can be experienced by everyone who does it regardless of age, gender, and size. People who have pre-existent health conditions like cancer, injuries, and mental disorder can get a lot of benefits from the healing sides of yoga.
It doesn’t matter if your goal is to lessen stress, lose some weight, or develop your physical ability, yoga can help you in reaching your goals.
III. Major Benefits of Practicing 101 Yoga Poses
101 Yoga Poses or yoga benefits can be classified into physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits. This classification tells that yoga offers complete health benefits. It’s a rounded approach towards your wellbeing. Furthermore, it’s an impeccable workout routine that has helped different kinds of people all over the world.
Physical Benefits –
101 Yoga Poses for Weight Loss: Three Reasons Why You Must Lose Weight with Yoga
- Reason #1: You Can Enjoy a Development of Overall Wellbeing
- Reason #2: There Are No Bad Side Effects
- Reason #3: You Can Achieve Permanent Weight Loss
101 Yoga Poses and Exercises in Yoga for Weight Loss
There are much yoga poses you can do to lose weight. Some of those effective yoga poses or asanas you can try are:
Pranayama is a series of breathing routines that have a great impact on losing weight. Deep breathing performed in the right method can help in losing body fat. There are many breathing methods you can do; some of them are bhastrika, kapalbhati, bharamari, anulom vilom, and ujjayi pranayama.
Kapalbhati is known to be effective because it includes powerful exhalation. You have to be careful and do it only when your stomach is empty. This is not only beneficial for people fighting obesity, but also for those who have problems with acidity and indigestion.
Sun Salutations is a set of twelve poses that is also good for weight loss and toning up your entire body. These poses together with sequenced breathing offer many benefits to the mind and body. You have to begin with single or double rounds and gradually increase to at least ten up to twelve rounds. This pose is not advised for people who are suffering from high blood pressure and going through pregnancy.
Bhujanga Asana is also known as the Cobra Pose. This pose targets the back, shoulders, arms, and other internal organs of the body.
Yoga Spinal Twists
Yoga spinal twists focus on your abdominal area and your whole digestive system. Spinal Twists can help in burning the calories of the body and toning the abdominal. Similarly, there are a lot of other yoga poses that will help you in losing weight. You just have to remember that it is important not to push yourself or go on advanced yoga if you are still a beginner.
Yoga for weight loss is going to be effective as long as you combine it with the right diet. Get rid of the junk food and sugar from your diet. Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits to provide your body with the essential vitamins and proteins that you need.
Always do yoga regularly and be committed to it. You might not get a quick result, but if you be patient and persistent, you will be satisfied in the end. It’s an important thing that you perform do yoga under the guidance of an expert.
Psychological Benefits- Yoga for Stress Relief
Doing yoga to get rid of stress does not need to be a complicated routine. If you do not have enough time to do the complete yoga routine, you can consider using the distinct parts of yoga to unwind and revitalize.
Taking a deep breath, meditating, and doing poses can do wonders in getting rid of stress levels. Easy yoga methods that you can perform in a few minutes can be added to your workout routine. You are also able to do them every time you feel stressed and anxious.
You can take advantage of yoga for stress relief by performing a full routine. To do that, follow what’s indicted below:
If you would like to immediately relax and recuperate, performing deep breathing would be a nice thing to do. People normally breathe through the chest. This light breathing is produced by stress and tension.
Breathing intensely through the stomach oxygenates the body muscles and relieves the tension. Refill your lower stomach by breathing in. Contract the same region by exhaling. Breathe from your nose. This is the simplest part of performing yoga to fight stress.
Spend a couple of minutes a day calming your mind. This might sound hard if you have a busy schedule. Take some time to sit in a quiet place. You can lock yourself in your office or go inside a bathroom. Sit restfully and keep your eyes closed.
Breathe intensely and focus on the region between and just over your nose bridge. This is what we know as the third eye. When you think of something, imagine it having wings and make it fly away from you. Keep doing this until you feel relaxed and focused.
Yoga poses are a form of meditation as they focus on body movements. You can try these two easy poses below that will help you relax your mind and body.
Yoga has manifold benefits. While most people chase the physical and mental, and emotional benefits of Yoga, there is no denying the fact that the Spiritual benefits of Yoga are the most fulfilling and long-lasting. Having once achieved the true spirit of Yoga, one can start to know oneself at leisure. The greatest part of Self Discovery and enjoying one’s true Self is a journey in itself.
The theory and practice of Yoga result in greater self-knowledge. This is not just that of the practical sort of knowledge concerned with methods and processes. They are specifically spiritual. They pertain to comprehending something about the nature of the Self itself.
From the yogic perspective, we experience the spiritual by cultivating our awareness and taking this awareness deep into the subtle dimensions of our being. Awareness allows us to experience the subtler aspects of life and marks a step on our inner journey toward self-realization.
Once we have forged a conscious relationship with that which is beyond the “little” us, then we can bring that connection and understanding into our everyday lives. Only then can we truly permeate our lives and teachings with depth and meaning.
Emotional Benefits of Yoga
Although it is sometimes overlooked, emotional wellbeing is an important factor of overall health, especially if done together with physical fitness. Depression, stress, and emotional problems can all create roadblocks, which make it even harder to reach your fitness objectives with just an exercise.
For many years, specialists have claimed that yoga can give emotional benefits together with progressive physical effects.
IV. Exploring the Different Types of Yoga
With many different yoga types that are being used in the present day, it might be hard for you to know which style is going to benefit your body and mind the most. You need to learn which kind of yoga gives what you need, so here is a quick guide to 5 of the most common styles of yoga used the world over.
This form of yoga was originated in the 15th century in India. This is a gentle, slow-paced yoga that is focused on meditation and breathing.
- Purpose: To make beginners familiar with yoga using basic poses routines and relaxation methods
- Benefits: Releases stress, offers physical workout, and develops breathing pattern
- Good for: Beginners and those who want to be familiar with the basics of yoga
The same as Hatha, Vinyasa focuses on the basic poses and breath-harmonized movement. This range of Hatha yoga highlights Sun Salutation, which is a series of twelve poses where every move matches the breathing pattern.
- Purpose: To connect the breathing pattern with movement and to develop lean muscle mass all through the whole body.
- Benefits: Helps in improving flexibility and strengths, tones the muscles in the abdominal area, and lessens the risk of having heart problems, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
- Good for: Both experienced and beginners in yoga who want to make their bodies stronger.
Ashtanga yoga representationally focuses on 8 limbs. It is considered a type of power yoga, Ashtanga is intense and fast-paced with pushups and lunges.
- Purpose: To help in improving the spiritual self of the individual
- Benefits: Releases stress, develops coordination, and helps in losing weight
- Good for: Fit people who won’t keep stamina and strength, and people who want to have a connection with their spiritual being.
Iyengar covers Ashtanga yoga’s all 8 aspects and emphases physical arrangement. Different props such as blankets, straps, and blocks are being used to help strengthen the body. Standing postures are highlighted, and are usually held for a long time.
- Purpose: To fortify and arrange the body in the proper position
- Benefits: Helps in improving the body balance, makes recovery from an injury faster, and strengthen the body
- Good for: Beginners who would like to know the right placements in every pose and individuals that are suffering from injuries, balance problems, and chronic conditions such as arthritis.
This is also called hot yoga and is done in a 35°C to 37°C room. It is a series of 26 different poses that lets you lose tight muscles by making you sweat.
- Purpose: To wash down toxins and to intensely expanse the muscles
- Benefits: Makes the recovery from an injury faster, improves flexibility and purifies the body
- Good for: Both beginners and experienced yogis who would like to advance and those who are suffering from physical injuries
Those written above are only some of the many types of yoga you may want to get into. Try at least one of them or even each of them to know which one is perfect for your needs.
Again, the styles that are mentioned above are different from the other, and there’s no right or wrong one. There are more than a thousand different types of yoga, but the ones that are included in this article are the main branches for the practical part of yoga.
In selecting 101 yoga poses or practices, choose the one that has features that fit your individuality and personality. From here you will have a good relationship with yoga, and eventually, it will be easier for you to apply this to your life. Regular and consistent practice gives you the best chance to develop yourself and make your lifestyle even better.
V. 101 yoga poses
From the outside yoga can seem like an esoteric, mystical endeavor exclusively reserved for Tibetan monks and spiritual adepts. This could not be further from the truth. Yoga is not only accessible to anyone, but it is also easy to learn if you have the right mindset, and the benefits are only a few minutes away.
Several studies have confirmed that a single yoga class for inpatients at a psychiatric hospital could significantly reduce tension, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, and fatigue.
In this article, you will learn why many highly successful people like Robert Downey Jr, Jennifer Aniston, and Russel Brand set aside time off their busy schedules to engage in the life-changing practice of meditation and 101 yoga poses.
This article will show you how to instill simple 101 yoga poses and techniques into your daily routine, inevitably leading you to a healthier, happier, and more successful life. The Beginner’s Yoga Bible will show you how to instill simple 101 yoga poses or techniques into your daily routine, inevitably leading you to a healthier, happier, and more successful life.
You will discover how yoga can have profound effects not just on your body, but on virtually every aspect of your life – your mind, relationships, health, and even your career.
VI. 101 yoga poses for beginners
If you’re new to yoga, you might feel overwhelmed with this practice. All the 101 yoga poses and postures feel strange and somewhat not familiar. Your yoga instructor and other yogis might know what they are doing and move with poise from one pose to another but for someone new to yoga, this might be too much to handle.
To help you to get through this process, in this article you will learn some easy 101 yoga poses for beginners that you can do at home.
When doing any of these 101 yoga poses, remember to always respect and listen to what your body says. Keep in mind that you have to breathe deeply and slowly through your nose and to know, you’re a beginner and it’s not going to be easy, you have to give some of your energy and be patient to be successful at doing this beneficial practice.
The Beginner’s Yoga Bible: 101 yoga poses
101 Yoga Poses #1: Mountain Pose
- Stand up with your two feet together, relax your shoulders, evenly distribute weight through your soles, and keep your arms at your sides.
- Breathe deeply and put your hands up, your palms facing one another with your arms straight. Your fingertips point to the sky.
101 Yoga Poses #2: Downward Dog
- Begin with your hands placed directly below your shoulders and knees below your hips.
- Walk your hands some inches forward and extend your fingers wide, and press your palms onto the mat.
- Curl your toes below and press your hips slowly to the ceiling, making your body shape like an inverted V, press your shoulders away from your ears. Feet have to be hip-width away from each other, your knees a little bent.
- Stay in this position for about 3 full breaths.
101 Yoga Poses #3: Warrior
- Stand with your legs 3 up to 4 feet away from each other; turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in a little.
- Place both of your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then spread your arms out on your sides while your palms are down.
- Bend your right knee 90 degrees, keep your knee on your ankle; stare out over your right hand. Hold this position for about 1 minute.
- Switch to the other position and do the same.
101 Yoga Poses #4: Tree Pose
- Stand with both of your arms at the sides of your body.
- Shift the weight onto your left leg and put the sole of your right foot in your left thigh, keep your hips facing headfirst.
- Once stable, bring your hands in your front in a prayer position, touching both of your together.
- On an inhalation, extend your arms on your shoulders, palms detached, and facing each other. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
- Lower and do the same on the other side.
101 Yoga Poses #5: Bridge Pose
- Lie down on the floor with your knees bent down and directly on the top of your heels.
- Put your arms at your sides and your palms down. Exhale, then press your feet into the floor lifting your hips.
- Place your hands below your lower back and push your arms down, lift your hips until your thighs are parallel on the floor, put your chest to your chin. Stay in the position for about 60 seconds.
Note: You can put a stack of pillows below your tailbone to make you more comfortable
101 Yoga Poses #6: Triangle Pose
- Spread arms out on your sides and then lean down to your right leg.
- Stand with both of your feet 3-feet away from each other and turn your right foot 90 degrees while turning your left foot to 45 degrees.
- Let your right hand touch the floor or hinge on your right leg underneath or beyond your knee, and spread the fingertips of the left hand on the way to the ceiling.
- Look at the ceiling and stay in that position for about 5 breaths.
- Switch to the other side and do the same.
101 Yoga Poses #7: Seated Twist
- Sit down on the floor extending your legs.
- Cross your right foot on the outside of your left thigh and then bend your left knee. Keep your right knee, pointing to the ceiling.
- Put your left elbow out of the right knee and your right hand on the floor at your back.
- Twist on the right side as far as you could while moving down from the stomach; keep both sides of the buttocks down the floor. Keep in that position for about 60 seconds.
- Switch on the other side and do the same thing.
Note: To make it easier for you, keep your bottom leg straight and put both of your hands on an elevated knee. If the lower part of your back rounds forward, you can sit on a blanket to support you.
101 Yoga Poses #8: Cobra
- Lie facing down the floor with your thumbs placed directly below your shoulders, legs stretched over your feet on the floor.
- Make your pelvic floor tighter, and fold your hips down as you’re squeezing your glutes.
- Press your shoulders down and away from your ears.
- Force through your index fingers and thumbs as you’re raising your chest through the wall in front of you.
- Relax your body and repeat the same process.
101 Yoga Poses #9: Pigeon Pose
- Start with a complete push-up position; put your palms aligned below your shoulders.
- Put your left knee over the floor close to your shoulder with your left heel next to the right hip.
- Low down to forearms and put your right leg down over the foot on the floor.
- Keep your chest lifted through the wall in your front, facing down.
- If you have a flexible body, carry your chest down to the floor and spread your arms in your front.
- Pull your navel through your spine and stiffen the muscles on your pelvic floor; contract the glutes’ right side.
- Bend right toes below while pressing the ball of the foot on the floor, pressing through the heel.
- Bend your knee to the floor and release; do this about five times, then switch to the other side and do the same process.
101 Yoga Poses #10: Crow Pose
- Do the downward dog position and walk your feet forward up until your knees touch your arms.
- Bend down your elbows while lifting your heels off the floor, and then rest your knees against your upper arms. Keep both of your toes on the floor, your abs engaged, and your legs pushed against your arms. Stay in that position for about 5 up to 10 breaths.
101 Yoga Poses #11: Child’s Pose
- Sit up on your heels. Stay relaxed.
- Roll the torso onward, bringing the forehead to hang on the bed in your front.
- Low down your chest touching your knees but make sure you’re comfortable, spreading your arms in your front.
- Stay in this pose and breathe.
When you’re starting to learn yoga, you have to be aware of the main poses categories. Every pose category and every pose has its distinctive benefit not only for the body but as well for the spirit and mind. It’s advisable to look for the best yoga DVDs for beginners and to also look for a good teacher to teach you the proper postures.
Also Read: Mental Health in The Workplace