Hatha Yoga Poses and Purpose
There are many hatha yoga poses named in both Sanskrit and English. There are standing postures, seated postures, prone postures, supine postures and inversions. Yoga poses move the spine into forward bends, back bends, side bends and twists. Yoga postures can stretch muscles and strengthen them. Hold a posture to promote a deep stretch or muscular endurance. Gently come into and out of a yoga pose several times for a dynamic stretch or muscular conditioning. Hold a yoga pose for just one breath before moving to the next, maintaining constant movement for several minutes, to promote cardiovascular conditioning. Modify any yoga posture for beginners through advanced, including the injured. My favorite yoga postures work several muscles at once.
Examples of yoga postures are in the slideshow below. View more example poses in Yoga Journal Magazine.