Top 10 Popular Yoga Poses

Script written by Brandon Stuhr. This Indian practice is used to stimulate and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. In this video, MsMojo counts down our picks for the Top 10 Popular Yoga Poses. For this list, we’re taking a look at popular yoga poses that are perfect for beginners and experts, as well as that have the most benefits for practitioners. Special thanks to elsafreezer, yourbestfriend and Elliott Blanchette for submitting this idea on our interactive suggestion tool at

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Script written by Brandon Stuhr.

Top 10 Popular Yoga Poses

This Indian practice is used to stimulate and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for Top 10 Popular Yoga Poses.

For this list, we’re taking a look at popular yoga poses that are perfect for beginners and experts, as well as that have the most benefits for practitioners.

#10: Pigeon Pose

Let’s start this list off with our first animal-named pose. Also known as the Kapotasana, the pigeon pose takes a high level of flexibility to master, as it involves completely arching your body backwards. This pose is a must if you want to open up your chest or are in need of strengthening your back and groin, as continued use will work those all important muscles. While the pigeon pose is not necessarily for people just beginning in the art of yoga, when you are able to nail this pose - you will feel great.

#9: Tree Pose

Time to a take a step back to the basics. Commonly included as an essential for beginners, the tree pose involves shifting all weight to one side of the body, all while keeping the body vertically aligned as a whole. Need help balancing so you don’t fall over? We recommend focusing your gaze on a small non-moving object in front of you. Continued practice of this pose, also known as Vriksasana, will show great improvement of the practitioner’s concentration, balance, and - perhaps, most importantly - posture.

#8: Mālāsana

It’s time to leave all the stretching and move over to some squats. Also known by the more common name of “Garland pose”, malasana is a perfect introduction to squats in the yoga world. Encompassing a wide variety of squatting variations, malasana is designed to work your calves and inner thighs. This is a highly popular pose, especially with pregnant women, as it also relieves backaches and pain. While the pose is rather easy and common among beginners, mastering malasana can open up another entire realm of positions to work and tone your muscles.

#7: Forward Bends

Let us now resume our stretches. Including many different popular stretches, Forward Bends work out all of those stiff muscles from a long day at work with a combination of exercise and relaxation. These poses are actually relatively easy to learn for beginners as they involve stretching out key muscles in rather simple poses. Is your lower body not flexible enough? Master just a few of these forward bends and you will be satisfied with your life.

#6: Cat-Cow Stretch

It’s time to embrace your inner animal. A rather basic movement, the chakravakasana helps maintain a healthy spine when used in combination with inhalation and exhalation breathing exercises. Focusing on abdominal strength and spinal flexibility improvement, the “cat-cow stretch” is a yoga essential for every aficionado. If you are suffering from back pain prior to performing the position, you should consider another position as this can actually worsen your pain, [but as the locker room poster says: no pain, no gain.]

#5: Camel Pose

Our next pose allows the practitioner to show off his or her flexibility. Also known as the Ustrasana, the “camel pose” is a rather challenging backward bend, as it is difficult for most people. To master this deep bend, flexibility in your core muscles is key. This pose is great for individuals suffering from problems with glands or lungs, as it focuses on the increase of lung capacity and the stimulation of glands. The pose is also apart of the Bikram Yoga sequence, which means it is designed to give yourself a fit body.

#4: Triangle Pose

Let’s step away from the modern poses and jump back to a classic. Known by yoga masters as the Trikonasana, this traditional standing pose improves your spinal flexibility as well as correcting shoulder alignment. The actual practice and performance of this pose is widely debated by yoga professionals, as there are many stylistic differences depending on the teacher. While this pose has many different benefits, it is not recommended for practitioners with lower back pain as it can exacerbate already painful areas.

#3: Warrior 1 Pose

Our next pose will help you release your inner warrior. While there are a few different variations, such as the insanely popular Warrior 2 pose, we decided on the first in the Warrior series due to its strengthening of the muscles from the shoulders to the arms and legs. Warrior 1 works the key psoas abdominal muscle, as well as relieving tension to your entire body. Interestingly, the titular Warrior, also known as “Virabhadrasana I”, is named after “Virabhadra,” who was believed to be a powerful warrior created by the Hindu supreme ruler Shiva to punish another god for the death of his wife. So, if you're struggling with this one, just let the power of Shiva flow through you...

#2: Bridge or Spinal Lift Pose

Our next entry is when yoga and common exercise clash. Widely used around the world for a variety of purposes, the bridge or spinal lift pose opens up your core and increases the strength of your lower back. If you are unable to maintain the position for long, feel free to use a block to support your arch until you are able to master the position. Also called Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, it is also great for training your body in a wide variety of self-defense practices, such as judo or wrestling. It is also used to enter into the more rigorous backbend known as the wheel or chakrasana.

Before we ease into our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

• Child’s Pose [aka Balasana]

• Wheel of Life

• Sun Salutation [aka Surya Namaskara]

• Mountain Pose [aka Tadasana]

• Crescent Pose [aka Anjaneyāsana]

• Revolved Chair Pose [aka Parivrtta Utkatasana]

#1: The Downward and Upward-Facing Dog Poses

Our gold crown is synonymous with the world of yoga. While technically classified as a forward bend, both versions of the dog poses work many of the arm and leg muscles, such as your triceps and hamstrings. The benefits don’t just stop there, as it is believed they improve the overall health of your whole body as well as boost your immune system. Perhaps the most common pose in yoga, the downward dog – or Adho Mukha Svanasana - and upward facing dog – or Urdhvamukhasvanasana - are a must for anyone even remotely interested in the practice. Now pour yourself a glass of water and try out your own preferred yoga pose!

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite yoga pose? For more rejuvenating top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

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