All Poses

Mountain Pose

This pose improves your posture, strengthens your legs and glutes, and awakens your feet.

Stand with feet firmly planted on the mat
Feet are hip width apart
Quads engaged
Palms face forward
Shoulders draw together behind you
Gaze is forward

Modification (for low back): Place a block in between your legs, above your knees.

Table Top Pose

Table Top helps to strengthen muscles along the spine, which supports alignment of the spine. It also allows for spinal extension without pressure which can alleviate back pain.

Hands underneath shoulders, fingers are wide and palms are pressed into the mat
Knees underneath hips
Biceps spin forward
Back is neutral, low belly is drawn in towards spine
Gaze is between your hands and slightly forward
Toes can be tucked (curled) or untucked

Modification (for knees): Roll a blanket underneath your knees.

Downward Facing Dog

DFD is likely the most identifiable pose in yoga. This pose is often taught as a resting pose but it is very active. Down dog pose tones the arms and legs, stretches and strengthens the back body and shoulders, and helps you connect to your core.

Upside down “V” shape
Hands are shoulder width apart
Fingers are wide, Pointer fingers are forward
Hips high towards the ceiling
Chest is pressing towards your thighs
Feet are hip with apart
Heels press toward the mat (Heels don’t have to touch mat)
Gaze is between belly button or between feet

Modification (for tight hamstrings): Bend your knees!

Cow Pose

Cat/cow pose is great for strengthening your spine. During cow stretch, activate the tailbone and neck. While in cat, release the tension in your neck and upper back. The pose will also improve the blood flow and articulation in your spine.

Hands underneath shoulders, fingers are wide and palms are pressed into the mat
Knees underneath hips
Biceps spin forward
Belly melts towards the floor
Shoulder blades draw towards each other
Tailbone is towards the ceiling
Gaze lifts to the ceiling

Cat Pose

Cat/cow pose is great for strengthening your spine. During cow stretch, activate the tailbone and neck. While in cat, release the tension in your neck and upper back. The pose will also improve the blood flow and articulation in your spine.

Hands underneath shoulders, fingers are wide and palms are pressed into the mat
Knees underneath hips
Biceps spin forward
Belly pulls in and up (navel to spine)
Press belly away from the ground
Round through the back
Tailbone is towards the floor
Tuck chin, gaze is down

Cobra Pose

Cobra pose is a gentle grounded pose that offers extension of the spine while stretching muscles in the shoulders, chest and abdominals.

Lie on belly with hands planted on mat next to the lowest ribs
Elbows are bent and squeezed towards the ribs
Press front of your legs and top of your feet into the mat
Engage the low belly drawing it in and up
Lift chest and squeeze shoulder blades together
Neck is long and gaze is forward and down

Upward Facing Dog

This pose is a more active extension of the spine that strengthens the spine, arms and wrists. Also improve posture by stretching the anterior spine and strengthening the posterior spine.

Lie on belly with hands planted on mat next to the lowest ribs
Engage the low belly drawing it in and up
Lift chest and squeeze shoulder blades together & down
Lift hips, knees & legs off the mat, engaging quads & pressing into the tops of your feet
Arms are straight, biceps spin forward
Neck is long and gaze is forward

High Plank Pose

High plank strengthens all of the core muscles of the body, including the abdomen, chest and low back. It also helps improve posture and strengthens the arms, wrists and shoulders.

Push up position with hands shoulder width apart (shoulders stacked above wrists)
Fingers are wide, palms pushing strongly away from mat
Heels over the balls of your feet
Thighs are engaged and strong
Hips in line with shoulders
Shoulder bladers draw away from each other
Arms are straight
Low belly draws in towards the spine
Neck is long, gaze is forward and down

Modification (for beginners): Drop your knees to the mat.

Low Plank Pose

Low plank is a challenging pose which strengthens all of the core muscles of the body, including the abdomen, chest and low back. It also helps improve posture and strengthens the arms, wrists and shoulders.

Push up position with hands shoulder width apart
Fingers are wide, palms pushing strongly away from mat
Heels over the balls of your feet
Thighs are engaged and strong
Hips in line with shoulders
Shoulder bladers draw away from each other
Elbows are bent and hugging in towards ribs
Low belly draws in
Neck is long, gaze is forward and down

Locust Pose

Locust pose strengthens the muscles of the spine, buttocks and backs of the arms and legs. Stretches the shoulders, chest, belly and thighs. Also a great pose for improving posture.

Lie on belly with arms by sides, palms facing down next to hips
Lift up chest, legs and hands
Legs can zip together or keep legs hip width apart
Find broadness across the chest, shoulders away from ears
Squeeze & engage glutes
Lift hands above the hips, palms facing down
Gaze is forward and down, neck is long

Modification (for low back): Place a block in between your legs, above your knees.

Bow Pose

Stretches the entire front of the body, while strengthening the back muscles and improving posture.

Lie on belly, bend knees and reach both hands back for outer part of ankles
Kick feet into hands to lift chest
Keep knees within hip distance apart
Lift feet towards the ceiling
Straighten the arms, elbows soft
Thighs lift off of the mat
Chest is forward, shoulder blades draw toward each other
Gaze is forward and down, neck is long

Chair Pose

Chair pose strengthens the thighs, ankles, glutes, hips and back. It stretches the Achilles tendons and shins, and is known to be therapeutic for flat feet.

Big toes touch and bend into your knees
Lower your tailbone and slide your weight into your heels
Squeeze your legs towards one another
Keep knees together and in line
Reach your arms to the ceiling and spin pinky fingers slightly in
Engage core, thighs & glutes
Gaze forward

Modifications (for tight shoulders & hips): Press your palms together at your chest & step feet and knees hip width apart. For low back relief, place block in between your legs, above your knees.

Chair Pose Twist

Chair pose twist builds strength and heat in the lower body. The twist encourages a stretch through the core and the shoulders while energetically detoxing the body.

Big toes touch and bend into your knees
Lower your tailbone and slide your weight into your heels
Squeeze your legs towards one another
Keep knees together and in line
Press palms together at your chest, fingers spread apart
Twist towards one side, with bottom elbow connecting with opposite thigh
Spin fingers & thumbs in towards chests
Elbows & shoulders stack
Stay low in your legs and sit back (like you’re sitting in a chair!)
Soft gaze over shoulder

Low (Kneeling) Lunge

This pose stretches and strengthens the hips and hip flexors. Strengthens the lower leg muscle groups which help to support knee joint stability.

Front knee is stacked above the ankle
Press your front foot into the mat
Back knee rests on the mat
Back toes are untucked with top of back foot resting on mat
Hips facing forward, shoulders stacked over hips
Arms reach high, biceps frame ears
Fingers are spread wide
Gaze forward

Modification: Add a blanket or towel under back knee for support.

High Lunge

This pose stretches and strengthens the hips and hip flexors. Strengthens the lower leg muscle groups which help to support knee joint stability.

Front knee is stacked above the ankle
Press your front foot into the mat, front toes face forwards
Hips facing forward, shoulders stacked over hips
Inner thighs squeeze together
Arms reach high, biceps frame ears
Fingers are spread wide
Shoulders relaxed away from ears
Back leg is engaged, back heel over back toes
Gaze forward or slightly up (if comfortable for neck)

Warrior 1 Pose

Warrior 1 is a more challenging yoga pose than it sounds. Strengthens your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back while stretching your hips and chest.

Hips square (as best you can) to the front of the mat
Front knee is stacked above the ankle
Press your front foot into the mat, front toes face forwards
Back heel is down & back toes point towards the front of the mat, or at an angle
Press outer edge of back foot onto the mat and lift the arch off the floor slightly
Low ribs draw in
Shoulders stacked over hips, spine is long
Shoulders relaxed away from ears, draw shoulder blades towards each other
Arms reach high, biceps frame ears, or press hands together at chest

Modification: Lift the back heel so your thigh can draw forward, or widen through your stance.

Warrior 2 Pose

Warrior 2 is one of the most popular poses on the mat. An energizing pose, it stretches your hips, groin and shoulders while broadening your chest and shoulders.

Hips open to the side of the room/mat
Front toes face forward, back foot is parallel to the back edge of the mat or slightly turned toward the front of the mat
Front knee over ankle
Press outer edge of back foot onto the mat and lift the arch off the floor slightly
Low ribs draw in
Shoulders stacked over hips, spine is long
Arms pull apart in opposite direction, reach evenly to front & back of mat with fingertips
Gaze is over the front middle finger

Triangle

This is a full body pose that stretches and strengthens the thighs (outer and inner), lower back, knees and ankles.

Hips face the side of the room/mat
Front toes face forward, back foot is parallel to the back edge of the mat or slightly turned toward the front of the mat
Front leg is straight, try not to lock the front knee
Arms pull apart, front forearm gently rest on the front shin and back arm is reaching towards the sky
Shoulders & hands stacked, fingers gently reaching away from each other
Core is strong supporting your back
Gaze is towards the sky or towards your bottom hand

Modification (for beginners): Place a block under your bottom hand for support & balance.

Extended Side Angle

Extended side angle pose builds strength throughout the lower body muscles. It requires intense core engagement and lengthening through the sides of the torso.

Hips open to the side of the room
Front toes face forward, back foot is parallel to the back edge of the mat or slightly turned toward the front of the mat
Front knee over ankle
Press outer edge of back foot onto the mat and lift the arch off the floor slightly
Front forearm rests gently on the inside of the front thigh and top arm reaches over your head
Chest & outer hip rotating upward slightly
Gaze is towards the sky or towards your bottom hand

Modification: Bring your bottom hand to a block inside your front foot or leg for extra support & balance.

Reverse Warrior Pose

Reverse warrior pose builds strength throughout the lower body muscles and lengthens through the sides of the torso. It requires intense core engagement.

Hips open to the side of the room
Front toes face forward, back foot is parallel to the back edge of the mat or slightly turned toward the front of the mat
Front knee over ankle
Press outer edge of back foot onto the mat and lift the arch off the floor slightly
Reach the front arm towards the sky and back
Back arm rests gently on back leg
Relax shoulders away from the ears
Gaze high towards your top hand

Runner's Lunge

Engage and stretch your hamstrings, thighs and calves in this very active stretch. Also builds core strength.

Front knee is stacked above the ankle
Heel of back leg is over the ball of the foot
Hands are framing the front foot, hands or fingertips on mat
Engage back leg to keep hips in line with shoulders
Back is long and chest is hovering over the thigh
Inner thighs squeeze together
Gaze is forward and down

Modification: Place both hands on blocks at the top of your mat.

Lizard Lunge

This grounded hip stretch opens the hips, hamstrings, groin and hip flexors.

Front foot placed at the edge of your mat
Front knee is stacked above the ankle
Hands are on the inside of your front foot, arms are straight
Hands can stay pressed into mat or option to place forearms on the mat (shoulders above elbows)
Back knee can stay lifted or rest on the mat, back toes can stay tucked or untucked
Lengthen out of your spine
Shoulder blades draw towards one another
Inner thighs squeeze together
Gaze towards the top of the mat, head in line with spine

Modification: Place hands or forearms on blocks at the top of your mat.

Squat Pose

Yogi squat helps to relieve lower back pain, opens hips, ankles, groin and Achilles while feeling grounded.

Feet wide on the mat, toes turned out, heels dialed in
Feet stay flat on the ground (may need to widen stance or lift hips up)
Palms pressed together at your chest
Elbows on the inside of your knees
Crown of your head towards the ceiling
Shoulder blades draw towards each other
Weight is in your heels
Gaze is forward

Modification: Place a block underneath your tailbone for support.

Child's Pose

This pose often starts practice and helps to begin a steady breath pattern, while stretching the side and back part of the torso.

Big toes touch at the back of the mat
Knees wide to the width of the mat
Hips reach back towards the heels
Forehead rests on the mat
Arms reach forward, hands shoulder width apart
Press palms into the mat to engage the arms.

Modification (for tight hips): Knees can be closer together if wide knees bring discomfort.

Wide Legged Forward Fold

This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, spine, pelvis and groin. It also massages and stimulates the kidneys, which helps improve their ability to remove toxins from the body.

Wide stance along length of mat, with toes turning in and heels spinning out
Hips open to the long side of the mat
Quads are engaged and lifted
Press into the outer edges of your feet into the mat
Hands on the mat under your shoulders or on blocks for support
Shoulder blades draw together to elongate the spine
If comfortable, bend elbows and walk hands back slightly or option to spin fingers and walk hands back to opposite edge of mat
Gaze straight down or behind you

Pyramid Pose

Pyramid pose is particularly helpful in simultaneously stretching the hamstrings and shoulders. Also stretch the spine, chest and hips.

Feet hip width apart and back foot steps half-way down mat, both feet flat
Hips as square as you can to the front of the mat
Equal weight in both feet
Long through the spine
Fold over front leg
Hands to the floor or blocks framing out the front foot
Back heel grounds down
Long through the neck
Hips are squared forward, legs active

Modification: Place both hands on a block at top of the mat.

Table Top Extension

This beginner pose helps to bring balance in the body while many muscles are equally stretched. The gentle stretch is at the arms, shoulders, wrists, hips, core, thighs, knees and the spine.

Hands underneath shoulders, fingers are wide and palms are pressed into the mat
Knees underneath hips
Back is neutral, low belly is drawn in towards spine
One arm reaches forward, the opposite leg lifts & extends back
Back foot is flexed and energetically presses back
Front arm is straight and bicep frames your ear
Gaze is down and slightly forward

Standing Forward Fold

This stretch activates the muscles along the back of your body including your hip muscles, hamstrings and lower back. These same muscles often feel tight and sore after several hours spent sitting at a desk.

Feet are hip width apart
Legs straight, knees are not locked
Knee caps are lifted to engage quads
Bend at knees, and fold upper body forward
Head and neck relax towards the ground
Hips are lifting towards the ceiling
Hands or fingertips on mat

Modification: Place your hands on a block at top of mat for support or tight hamstrings.

Seated Forward Fold

This stretch activates the muscles along the back of your body including your hip muscles, hamstrings and lower back. Since this pose is grounded you can hold it longer for more flexibility.

Sit on your mat with legs extend long in front of you
Flex the feet towards you
Hinge at the hips and fold towards legs
Lengthen out of the spine, shoulder blades draw towards one another
Arms reach forward towards the feet
Gaze is slightly forward

Modification: Use a strap or towel around the bottom of both feet and bring hands to strap/towel instead of feet. Option to also bring hands to shins or thighs.

Halfway Lift

This pose is often a stop in the journey of the flow but it allows the shoulders, chest and hamstrings to engage, and allows lengthening of the spine.

Feet hip width apart
Legs straight, knees soft (not locked)
Knee caps lift to engage quads
Hands on shins or quads, press hands into legs
Lengthen out of the spine, shoulder blades draw towards one another
Gaze is slightly forward

Eagle Pose

Strengthens through the hips and thighs, and allows a stretch in your calves and ankles. While your arms are in the eagle bind, enjoy a nice stretch in the upper back.

Top thigh wraps over the bottom thigh, squeeze legs towards one another
Wrap opposite arm under top arm, option to bring palms together
Arms squeeze together and elbows lift to shoulder height
Forearms press away from face, shoulder blades draw apart
Bend knees and bring weight into heels, hips sit low & face forward
Press firmly into all corners of bottom foot
Gaze is forward and soft

Modifications: Kickstand your foot out wide if balance is a challenge. Grab opposite shoulders with your hands if your shoulders are tight.

Dancer's Pose

Strengthens the legs, improves balance and core strength, and stretches the shoulders. Dancer's pose also opens the hip flexors if the hand is able to bind onto the foot. This pose improves balance, focus and concentration as well.

Bring weight into one leg (grounded leg), press firmly into the grounded foot
Bend the opposite knee and send this leg behind you so your heel is close to your glutes
Reach the same side hand back towards your floating foot
Start with your knees together, then hinge at the hips and let your torso move towards the floor while kicking your floating foot into your hand
Reach your opposite arm high to the ceiling or forward
Hips are squared forward, level with each other
Chest expands forward and up
Gaze is slightly forward

Tree Pose

Tree post improves balance and stability in the legs while strengthening the torso. If your gaze is forward or lifted, find additional challenge to find stability and a sense of balance.

Stand with feet hip width apart
Shift weight into one leg (grounded leg), press firmly into the grounded foot
Lift the opposite knee into your chest
Grab the angle of your lifted knee and bring the bottom of your lifted foot into your inner thigh, calf or kickstand (not into your knee joint!), pressing firly
Palms are pressed together at your heart or reaching above to the ceiling (grow branches)
Option to lift your gaze towards the ceiling or keep it forward

Modification: Try this pose against a wall or chair for extra support & balance.

Standing (Sway) Half Moon

This is a grounding pose that finds extension throughout the neck and torso. Also allows for stretching the side body at the ribs and hips, which can allow for more meaningful breath work.

Stand with feet firmly planted on the mat, hip width apart
Quads engaged
Arms reach up high, palms pressed together or steeple fingers (fingers interlaced with first fingers pointing straight up)
Navel pulls in towards spine
Crown of head lifts towards the ceiling
Neck is long
Begin to sway upper body to one side of the mat, pressing firmly through opposite foot
Stretch and open through opposite side of sway
Gaze is forward or towards upper arm

Pigeon Pose

This pose offers a grounding hip strengthening which can help to alleviate back pain and provide a rest at the end of practice.

Front leg is bent at the knee, front foot is flexed
Front knee is wider than the hip, possibly along the side edge of mat
Back leg is straight behind you, top of back foot presses on the mat
Hips squared to the front of the mat
Upper body can stay upright, fingertips on the mat & shoulders over hips w/ spine long
If possible, fold forward and relax upper body over front shin on the mat, arms can extend long in front of you on the mat, shoulders relax away from ears
Front shin does not have to be parallel to the front edge of mat

Modification: If the front hip is hovering off the mat, place a block or rolled up towel under that hip.

Bridge Pose

Stretches the chest, neck and spine while strengthening the glutes, hamstrings and thighs. This is a great pose to counteract sitting for long periods of time.

Lie on your back with knees bent & feet flat on mat, feet are hip width apart
Heels are close to your glutes
Hands are at your side, palms facing down
Hips lift towards the ceiling, knees in line with hips
Press heels into the mat down and forward
Option to interlace fingers underneath your back and press fists into the mat w/ straight arms
Pelvis and chest lift up, back of neck is on the mat, heart is open
Gaze is straight up, neck in one line

Modification: Place a block in between your thighs for low back support.

Wheel Pose

Wheel pose is a huge strength pose for your arms, wrists, abdomen, legs, shoulders and chest. This pose also helps to broaden through the chest and front of the shoulders.

Lie on your back with knees bent & feet flat on mat, feet are hip width apart
Heels are close to your glutes
Hands are next to ears, pinkies towards the outer edges of the mat
Hips lift towards the ceiling
Press heels into the mat down and forward
Straighten arms, fingers face the back of the mat
Lift & open chest, chest pulls through between the straight arms
Gaze between hands

Modification: Place a block in between your thighs for low back support.

Happy Baby Pose

This pose is an accessible grounding pose that helps relax the lower back and hamstrings. It is also an incredible opener for all the muscles that support the pelvis, which helps to offset long periods of sitting.

Lie on your back & bring knees to chest
Hold onto outer edges of feet with hands and widen legs
Shoulders relax onto mat
Feet flat (like you’re walking on ceiling)
Pull down on your feet so the knees reach outside your ribs
Lower back presses into the mat

Spinal Twist

Reclined Spinal Twist is a restorative yoga pose that promotes good digestion and encourages outer hip and spinal mobility. Often performed towards the end of a sequence and used as a “feel good” pose before rest.

Lie on your back & bring knees to chest
Hips in line with the shoulders
Twist at the navel and bring both knees stacked to one side
Arms can be in a “T” shape or goal post arms
Gaze over opposite shoulder away from knees

Final Rest

This pose is usually the last pose in class, meant to offer grounding relaxation for several minutes to soak in all the positive movement and breathwork. This pose is calming and can help reduce stress.

Legs extend long, heels out wide
Feet open towards the front corners of the mat
Arms relax by the sides palms face up
Neck is long
Jaw is relaxed
Eyes closed if comfortable

Modification: If pregnant, you may want to lay on your side with a pillow between your legs.