Several of the asana or poses in this blog are beginning poses; others are intermediate or advanced. Most of the poses can be modified for all levels. The asana in this chapter are grouped by their characteristics and/or basic movements, not by the sequence in which they would necessarily be taught in a class. The illustrated asana groupings are the following:
Forward Bending Poses
Reclining or Supine Poses
Backward Bending Poses
Poses for Women (But Not Exclusively)
The chapter concludes with Surya Namaskara, the Sun Salutation, a series of twelve contiguous, flowing poses that are the foundation for many other yoga poses.
No matter which pose or group of poses you choose to practice, start with the most elementary.
The first lesson of yoga is how to stand. Let’s begin with the standing poses.
The standing poses teach the basics of alignment, concentration, and coordination. They help establish a foundation for many of the other poses. Standing poses should be part of a daily practice. One typically jumps into these poses, but you need not jump into a pose to obtain the benefits. If you have back or knee injuries or are pregnant, do not jump into the pose. A number of the standing poses are invigorating. Standing poses can be strenuous, and some are more so than others. Always come out of a pose if you feel fatigued or unsteady.