Categories of yoga postures…

Once you start to practice yoga for some time, you will realize that most of the postures can be categorized. Different teachers categorize differently. My way of grouping it all together is the following:

STANDING POSTURES: These are when you are, of course, on your feet all the way. Some of the postures in this category include the standing mountain, the side bend, forward bend, wide-legged forward bend, Hero and its variation, Triangle, pyramid, etc. You can include balancing postures in the category or keep them separate. These include, Tree, one-legged Bird, Lord of the dance posture.

ON THE MAT POSTURES: On the mat postures, while sitting, include seated twist, variations of the seated twist, seated Mountain, Symbol of Yoga and its variations, seated Forward Bend, seated Side Bends, Plank, Reverse Plank, Side Plank, Child, Seated Bird, etc.

LYING ON THE MAT POSTURES: While on the belly, these include Cobra, Locust, Bow, etc. Lying on the back postures include, lying Bound Angle, lying Twist, Leg stretches both up and to the sides while holding the toe, Bridge, Wheel. Balancing on the mat postures include, the Crane and the Peacock, both fairly advanced.

INVERSIONS: These include Shoulder stand, Downward Dog and the Head Stand. The Standing, wide-legged forward bend is an inversion of sorts as well.

A more dynamic sequence of postures is the Sun Salutation. I introduce the Half Sun Salutation, Intermediate and the Full Sun Salutation to the class based on the profile. Only in classes where I feel the participants can manage, do I teach the Full Sun Salutation.

There are numerous postures that are not listed above, but these cover many of the more known ones.

You can’t have a categorization without the ultimate relaxation posture, the Corpse.

You will no doubt say, hey, I don’t know what these terms or postures names truly indicate. You can search of the web for one. I found the yogajournal site to have pretty nice descriptions of the postures. Also, many of these postures I regularly teach and you can find instructions at my web site – vikasayoga.

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