Yoga Poses For Stretching – Broad Classification And Benefits


Yoga poses or Asanas make yoga a unique way of attaining physical, psychological and spiritual health. The secret of increasing awareness and popularity of yoga internationally lies to a greater extent in various yoga poses. The objective behind performing yoga is attaining both strength and flexibility. And this unique combination hardly found in any other work out is an outcome of yoga positions. These positions are several combinations of stretching and breathing. Yoga poses are classified into several types depending on the posture and the resulting benefits. Some of them are for a certain part of the body and benefit that particular part while some are performed using whole body and offer benefits to the whole body. These poses are broadly categorised as standing poses, seated poses, back bends, forward bends, balance, twists, supine and prone poses, inversion and relaxation poses.

Standing positions

Mountain pose (Parvatasan) is considered to be the most basic standing pose and can be used to form several other asanas. These poses are mainly intended to benefit legs and hips and they help attain improved posture. Remarkable benefits of standing positions are strong leg muscles, increased mobility in neck and shoulder and improved flexibility in pelvis and lower back.

Seated positions

Lotus Pose (Padmasana) is a basic seated pose and is used in several other asanas. There are mainly two types of seated poses, one with legs crossed and other with legs folded back. These poses are intended for strengthening back, lower back and hips. These poses offer agility to spine and flexibility to hips, knees, ankles and groins. Combinations of deep breating, normal breathing, fast breathing and breath control with the basic seated position are used for attaining benefits like mental peace and curing breathing related ailments.

Back bends

As the name suggests, the positions aim at strengthening chest, rib, cage, arms and shoulders. The poses result into relaxing the front body, hips, arms and shoulders and improving the stability of the spine. Proper back bends help cure old backache and shoulder pain.

Forward bends

The positions are beneficial for strengthening lower back, back, spine, shoulders and neck. The positions are ideal for escaping from old neck stiffness and spinal pain. These positions are helpful in attaining a feeling of relaxation and calmness.


Balance or Santulan poses are intended for improving body posture, muscle toning, concentration and co-ordination. It aims at strengthening the spine and obtaining control on it to stop you from falling an increasing your stamina. However, these type are poses should be performed only by advice of and in presence of yoga experts.


Even though the name sounds strange, these poses performed properly with expert guidance help to release body tension and stiffness. Performed to the both sides of the body, twists result into increased shoulder and hip mobility, spine flexibility and escape from backache.

Supine and prone poses

There are several asanas in supine and prone poses. Supine poses are performed on one’s back and ideally offer improved spinal mobility and strong abdominal and hip muscles. In some combinations of these poses the body is either totally kept flat on the floor or is lifted up from the floor totally or partially with the support of hands or legs or both.

Prone poses are performed facing the floor. These poses help strengthen arms, shoulders, spine and legs. They also help relaxing back and lower back and are used as a solution for backache. In some of the combinations in these poses, upper half or lower half or both the parts are stretched and lifted a little up supporting them by abdomen.


As the name suggests, these poses are performed keeping legs at higher position than heart. This leads improved blood circulation in the upper body. One of the most famous asanas in this pose is Sheershasana, which is keeping your body upside down for few seconds.


These poses are simple relaxing positions, which calm the body and mind after performing other poses. They help to cool the body down and attain mental peace.

There are several poses in each of the above sections. From its origin in ancient times, there have been several additions, modifications in yoga poses and their combinations. Yoga poses can effectively be used as therapy for curing some of the old ailments and pains which otherwise do not respond to modern medicines.