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12 Essential Hatha Yoga Poses

The vast styles of yoga and its significant benefits are renowned all over the globe. With many of its styles, a certain type of yoga helps in mastering the mind, body, and soul called Hatha Yoga. Here are 12 Hatha Yoga Poses that are common and beginner-friendly for anyone to do from anywhere.

Generally, Hatha yoga is a gentle yet balancing type of yoga that focuses primarily on breathing and relaxation. It is encouraged to practice Hatha yoga postures with eyes closed to be hyper-aware of one’s movement through the Hatha yoga poses with breath.

This is said to increase the amount of concentration and awareness one can gain while doing hatha yoga poses because, with eyes shut down, we tend to move slowly and carefully which benefits in mastering the body and mind.

12 Hatha Yoga Poses to Try

There are many nadis in the human body which are channels that authorize the flow of energy through the body but among them, there are three most important ones namely Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna.

Hatha yoga classes focus on these three nadis where Ida allows the flow of energy on the left side of the body specifically the left side of the spine to the left nostril whereas Pingala allows the flow of energy on the right side of the spine to the right nostril. Sushumna helps in opening the path of enlightenment. With all this flow of energy achieved doing hatha yoga poses, one arrives at a point to master one’s mind, body, and soul.

Hatha yoga asanas predominantly focus on proper breathing while maintaining positive thinking and meditation. Here are 12 Hatha Yoga poses that are both beginner-friendly and also for advanced yogis.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Hatha Yoga Poses
By 220 Selfmade studio/Shutterstock

This is how you perform Tadasana:

  • Stand on your foot taking the standing posture.
  • Spread your legs by a few inches and straighten your legs dropping both hands on either side loosely.
  • Take a deep breath as you raise both your hands above your head, palms facing each other or palms stuck to each other, and exhale.
  • Take another deep breath slowly raising upwards on your toes stretching the whole body up toward the ceiling as much as the body can and exhale.
  • Slightly tuck your stomach in while you concentrate ahead on an unmoving object in front of you try to hold the pose for five breaths and work your way up.
  • Always remember to breathe in the pose.
  • Slowly bring your hands down to either side of you and gently drop your ankles without blocking out the knees.


2.Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Hatha Yoga Poses
By Viktor Gladkov/Shutterstock

This is how you perform Vrikshasana:

  • Stand at the top of your yoga mat with legs a little apart from each other.
  • Ground your left foot firmly on the ground and lift your right foot placing it either below or above your knee but never on the knee itself. You can always use your hands to guide you to place your foot.
  • Either bring your palms together in a prayer position in front of your heart or above your head.
  • Always remember to breathe in the yoga pose.
  • Slowly bring your hands to either side and drop your right foot on the ground.
  • Repeat the asana exactly on the other side.

3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)

This is how you perform Uttanasana:

  • Stand tall on the front of your yoga mat.
  • Take your feet a foot apart.
  • Take a deep breath and slowly bend your upper body toward your legs, letting your head hang and the top of your head faces the ground.
  • Either place your hands on the ground if your body allows you to or on your shins as you take deep breaths. If your hands don’t reach the ground then everyday practice will help you achieve it.
  • To get out of the pose, slowly lift your upper body from the forward fold and stand up tall.

4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing dog)

This is how you perform Adho Mukha Svanasana:

  • Get down on all fours so that you resemble a table. Keep your hands in line with your elbows as well as keep your legs in line with your hips.
  • Tuck your toes under, exhale lift your hips towards the ceiling and try to stretch and straighten your legs as much as you can. Keeping your knees bent is always an option but stretch your back and try to get your heels toward the ground.
  • Press your hands firmly on the ground as you try to lengthen your upper body and lower body by reaching your heels to the ground and breathing through the stretch.
  • Try to hold the pose for at least half a minute, more or less.
  • To come out of the pose, exhale and lower your knees to the ground.


5. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Hatha Yoga Poses
By fizkes/Shutterstock

This is how you perform Bhujangasana:

  • Lie flat on the ground with your stomach facing the yoga mat and your chin touching the ground.
  • The legs are straight behind you with the toes pointed.
  • Bring your palms next to the shoulders and your elbows bent pointing right behind you.
  • With the palms strong on the ground, lift your chest and shoulders off the ground eventually arching your back.
  • The elbows should stay at least a little pointed behind you as you lift your gaze at the sky with your navel still on the ground.
  • This pose stretches the upper body strengthening the muscles in the back and removing their stiffness
  • Hold the pose for three to five breaths and work your way up.
  • Slowly bend your elbows as you drop your shoulders and chest back to the ground.

6. Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)

This is how you perform Setubandhasana:

  • Lie flatly on your back with your hands on either side of you with the palms facing down on the mat.
  • Fold up your legs planting the feet firmly on the ground but maintaining a hip-width distance from each other.
  • Raise your hips so that your thighs are less than at a 90° angle with your shins which helps in strengthening the glutes and the back muscles.
  • Hold the posture taking deep breaths.
  • To come out of the pose, slowly lower your hips till it hits the ground. Bridge pose is one of the hatha yoga poses that are great for strengthening the glute muscles.

7. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Hatha Yoga Poses
By antoniodiaz/Shutterstock

This is how you perform Sarvangasana:

  • Lie flat on the ground with your feet out in front of you.
  • To lift your feet off the ground, place your palms flat on the ground and try to use your abdominal muscles as you lift your feet to a 90° to your torso.
  • Try to place your upper arm firmly on the ground, and use the hand to support the hips.
  • With the support of the hands try lifting your hips off of the ground and holding the inversion by keeping your shoulder blade firm on the ground as any jerky movement may lead to serious injury.
  • Try holding the inversion for a few breaths which stimulates the blood flow in the brain as it is the easier inversion among many other hatha yoga poses.
  • To come out of the pose, first, slowly drop the hips to the ground with or without the help of your hands and then your feet on the ground so you are lying flat on the ground as you started.

8. Halasana (Plough Pose)

This is how you perform Halasana:

  • Lie flat on the ground your leg stretched out in front of you and your hands at either side of your body.
  • Take a deep breath and lift your feet with the help of your abdominal muscles forming a 90° with your body.
  • Now, lift your hips slowly trying and reaching your feet right behind your head till your toes land on the ground, and hold the pose for a few breaths.
  • Slowly lift your hips off as the feet elevate and softly land your hips on the ground without rushing or jerking out of it.
  • Then plant your feet back on the ground.

9. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

This is how you perform Trikonasana:

  • Stand tall facing the front wall.
  • Place your right foot far away from your left foot behind it, the toes facing the right side of the wall while the toes of the left foot face forward making a triangle with your legs.
  • Hinge a little from your hips as you lean your torso toward the front leg and fall forward as much as you can.
  • Once your torso is on top of your front leg, place your left hand either on your left leg or if you can on the ground.
  • Twist to the right side a little lifting your right hand, the fingers facing the wall, and try holding the pose for a few breaths.
  • To come out of the pose, frame your left foot bring your right foot next to your left one and stand up.
  • Repeat on the other side.

10. Salabasana (Locust Pose)

Hatha Yoga Poses
By Aykut Erdogdu/Shutterstock

This is how you perform Salabasana:

  • Lie flat on your stomach with your hand on either side of you, the fingers reaching back to the feet.
  • Inhale and lift your upper body.
  • Inhale and lift your legs straight behind you without bending them at the knees. If you can add your hands too but if not use them as support to hold the pose.
  • This Hatha yoga asana helps in strengthening the back body as you hold the pose maintaining stability by holding your weight on your abdomen.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths or more and to come out of it place your legs and your torso back on the ground. Among many hatha yoga poses this is a great backbend.

11. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

This is how you perform Dhanurasana:

  • Lie flat on your stomach and bend your knees behind you.
  • Reach your arms behind you and hold your feet with your hand.
  • Inhale and use your hands to lift your feet off the ground with only your stomach on the ground.
  • Lift your gaze at the ceiling as you hold the pose for a few breaths always trying to go as high as possible.
  • Release your feet slowly and stretch out your legs as you unwind from the pose.

12. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)

Hatha Yoga Poses
By New Africa/Shutterstock

This is how you perform Paschimottanasana:

  • Sit on the yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Lift your arms at the sky lifting up and out of the waist.
  • Exhale and fold forward on your outstretched legs trying to touch your forehead to the knees.
  • If it’s possible, reach your hands out to your feet as you flex your feet.
  • Hold the pose and relax taking nice deep breaths.
  • To come out of the pose, slowly straighten yourself so that your back is parallel to the wall.

Key Takeaways

Hatha yoga poses are known for their relaxing sessions that affect both mentally and physically. Thus in this article, we have listed these 12 hatha yoga poses which are a must-do if you want to control your mind, body and soul.

We have vividly discussed the steps of performing hatha yoga so that it becomes easy for you to follow.


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