Hatha Yoga Poses

Hatha yoga poses and exercises are being taken up all over the world to promote health and reduce stress.

From the stars of Hollywood to Supreme Court judges, people from all walks of life are benefiting from yoga exercises.

Basic yoga poses combined with deep breathing provide a break from your high pressured life and provide you with a deep sense of relaxation and inner peace.

These basic yoga poses tune the mind-body connection and give you the opportunity to de-stress!

The core principles of Hatha yoga are the poses (asanas) and breathing. The physical movements of yoga are known as asanas.

Some of these hatha yoga poses include:

  • the Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Head of Cow (Gomukhasana)
  • the Cobra (Bhujanghasana)
  • the Human Triangle (Trikonasana)
  • the Corpse Pose (Shavasana).

Often performed at the beginning or the end of the Hatha yoga session is the Salute to the Sun.

The Salute to the Sun consists of 12 positions.

The Salute to the Sun Hatha Yoga Poses

The Salute to the Sun consists of 12 hatha yoga poses that are performed in coordination with the breathing.

As you stretch you inhale and as you fold or contract you exhale.

Different versions of yoga have their own way of doing the Salute to the Sun. However, the version described below covers the core steps used in many styles.

The Salute to the Sun is great as a warm up for more Hatha yoga poses. If you don't have time you can do one or two rounds of the Salute to the Sun to feel the difference in your mind and body.

hatha yoga pose 1

Posture #1: Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

Begin in the mountain pose with your weight evenly distributed over both feet. The feet are about hip width apart.

Take a few deep slow breaths and center your body.

At the same time bring your hands down in front of your face to the midpoint of the chest.

Hold your palms together and exhale.

hatha yoga pose 2

Posture #2: Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hand Pose)

On you next inhalation, gently raise your arms directly overhead into the Upward Hand Pose.

Pushing from the waist, look towards the sky and greet the sun.

Gently arch your back as much as feels comfortable and safe.

hatha yoga pose 3

Posture #3: Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Leading with your hands bend forward and exhale as you lower your head.

Keep your back straight by slightly bending your knees as you fold into the Standing Forward Bend.

Reach only as far as comfortable.

hatha yoga pose 4

Posture #4: Lunge

Placing your hands on the floor, place your right foot slightly in front of the hands and extend the left leg backwards and lower your knee.

Inhale as you step the left leg back and arch your back and look to the sky.

hatha yoga pose 5

Posture #5: Plank Pose

Exhale and step your left right leg back into the Plank Pose. Raise your hips and keep your head down looking towards your feet.

Arms should be straight and hands flat on the floor at shoulder width. Hold the position and inhale.


hatha yoga pose 6

Posture #6

Exhale slowly and lower yourself like a push-up. Lower your knees to the floor, followed by your chest, then your head.

Hips should be slightly bent and raised off the floor and only the feet and hands should be touching the floor.

hatha yoga pose 7

Posture #7: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)

Inhale and move into the Upward Facing Dog. As you stretch forward, use your arms to lift your torso as your hips move to the floor.

Pull your shoulders back and open your chest.

Look up towards the sky and only arch your back and head as much as is comfortable.

Only the tops of the feet and your hands should be touching the floor.

hatha yoga pose 8

Posture #8: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

Exhale and raise your hips and buttocks into the Downward-Facing Dog.

When doing this pose try to roll over the toes and make sure that your hands and feet are grounded as you lengthen your spine.

Keep your head down and look towards your feet.

You can choose to remain here for a few breaths if you choose.

hatha yoga pose 9

Posture #9: Lunge

Place your hands on the floor, place your left foot slightly in front of the hands, extend the right leg back, and lower your knee.

Inhale as you step the right leg back, arch your back, and look to the sky.

hatha yoga pose 10

Posture #10: Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Leading with your hands, bend forward and exhale as you lower your head.

Keep your back straight by slightly bending your knees as you fold into the Standing Forward Bend.

Reach only as far as comfortable.

hatha yoga pose 11

Posture #11: Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Hand Pose)

On you next inhalation, gently rise slowly and raise your arms directly overhead into the Upward Hand Pose.

Pushing from the waist, look towards the sky, and greet the sun.

Gently arch your back as much as feels comfortable and safe.

hatha yoga pose 12

Posture #12: Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

Exhale and gently lower your arms into a mountain pose with your weight evenly distributed over both feet.

Complete the Salute to the Sun by bringing your hands up into the prayer position.

Repeat the sequence with the opposite leg.

Precautions before starting yoga

Yoga is generally considered a safe exercise for most people.

However, if you are new to yoga or exercise in general then start with small steps and slowly build up your relaxation yoga program.

If you are new to physical exercise or have problems with balance, severe osteoporosis, high blood pressure and/or are pregnant, among other conditions, then you should seek that advice of your local health professional.

If you have any concerns about yoga before or during the class, please talk to your local health professional and yoga teacher.

Other stress reducing exercises

The above Hatha yoga poses are a great way to start the day as they reduce stress and invigorate the mind and body. Other stress relief exercises include:

Search here for other quick stress reducers



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