Back to Basics: Foundational Yoga Postures

I thought I'd use today to talk asana. It seems like awhile since, on this yoga blog, I've used this top section to talk about yoga on that mat. Now that I have started a regular teaching schedule again, and students new to yoga are coming to my class, I've started thinking about the foundational postures of yoga.

Every style has different postures that they teach first. Some, like Ashtanga, "give" you postures as you progress. Most classes, however, will instill a strong base in similar postures before moving on to more challenging asana. I've said it before, but it's like playing jazz: first you need to learn the scales before you can improvise.

This, then, is my opinion (opinion! opinion!) on the musical scales of yoga. Some of the first postures to teach students as they are beginning their practices. Provide good instruction and clarity on these, and then let the jazz come.

Back to Basics

Because I'm a fool for metaphor I'll keep this one going. Remember that everyone's instrument (aka body) is different. Therefore, even in these basics, different music will come out of it. There are variations for all of these. Work with your teacher and/or student to work out the best for you. 
  1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose) or Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
  2. Matsyendrasana (Seated Twist). Repeat other side
  3. Maha Mudra (Great Seal)
  4. Janu Sirsasana (Seated Head to Knee Pose)
  5. Dandasana (Staff Pose)
  6. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 on other side
  8. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  9. Navasana (Stomach down boat pose)
  10. Garbasana/Balasana (Child's Pose)
  11. Table
  12. Cat/cow in table
  13. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  14. Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose)
  15. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)
  16. Adho Mukha Svanasana
  17.  Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
  18. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
  19. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  20. Prasarita Padottanasana (Standing Wide Leg Forward Fold)
  21. Repeat steps 17-20 on other side
  22. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  23. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
  24. Uttanasana (Forward Fold)
  25. Tadasana
  26. Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
  27. Pavana Muktasana (Standing Wind Relieving Pose)
  28. Repeat steps 25-27 on other side
  29. Come down to seated
  30. Upavistha Konasana (Seated Wide Angle)
  31. Gomukhasana (Face of Light Pose). Repeat other side
  32. Come onto back
  33. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
  34. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand Pose)
  35. Halasana (Plow Pose)
  36. Savasana
*Sirsasana (Headstand) before Savasana optional, although I think it may be in there as "Foundational"

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