Floor Poses

Floor poses are helpful to start your practice as they offer support and are grounding. These poses are especially helpful for beginners and yoga practitioners that are newer to their yoga practice.

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

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.

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

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.

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.