Illustration of Posture

English Name
Sanskrit Name

Description of pose

  Opening Postures

3 Part Breathing, Recumbent
Dirga Pranayama

Isolation of inhalation to abdomen, mid-thorax, upper thorax and reverse for exhalation


From starting position on hands and knees, a fluid alternation between spinal flexion and extension


Mountain Pose

Standing tall with hands at sides and feet hip-width apart

Partial Sun Salute
Surya Namaskar

Standing tall, transition to standing forward bend with knees extended and up to 90° of hip flexion (anteriorly)
  Middle Sequence


Standing posture that emulates sitting in a chair, with buttocks leaning against wall, hips flexed to a maximum of 90°(anteriorly) and shoulders flexed to maximum of 180°


A standing push up, done facing a wall; starting position is hands positioned on wall slightly below shoulder height and feet arm’s length from wall


A one-legged standing balance; less-weight bearing hip is externally rotated to approximately 45; less-weight bearing foot placed on medial aspect of ankle of the support leg (toes touching ground); chair in front for balance aid

*picture shows hand at wall rather than on chair

Warrior II
Virabhadrasana II

A lateral lunge; forward hip is externally rotated and knee is flexed to approximately 45° (posteriorly); rear hip is internally rotated and rear heel braced against the angle made by the floor-wall; rear foot turned in 30°.  One arm placed on chair for balance and other arm abducted to a maximum of 90°, with shoulder in neutral rotation

Warrior I
Virabhadrasana I

A forward lunge; forward knee is flexed to approximately 45° (posteriorly); rear heel braced against the angle made by the junction of the floor and wall; rear foot turned in 30; one arm flexed at the shoulder  to a maximum of 180° with shoulder in external rotation; other arm placed on chair for balance

Downward Facing Dog
Adho Mukha Svanasana

A standing forward bend; feet hip-width apart and hip flexion to a maximum of 90° (anteriorly) with shoulders flexed to a maximum of 180° and hands pressing on wall

Side Stretch

A standing forward bend; feet in semi-tandem position, hip-width apart. As much distance placed between front and rear foot as is comfortable; forward leg hip flexion to a maximum of 90° (anteriorly) and shoulders flexed to a maximum of 180°,  hands pressing on wall

Chair Twist

A seated twist, on a firm chair; feet are planted on ground hip-width apart, thoracic and cervical spine are axially rotated to right and then to left


A prone back extension; with blanket under hips and lower ribs, palms are pressed to the floor beneath shoulders, elbows are bent, scapulae are retracted and depressed

Setu Bhandasana

A recumbent back extension; from a recumbent (supine) position with knees flexed to 45° (posteriorly), torso is elevated as hips are moved into bilateral extension

Abdominal Cultivation

A recumbent abdominal strengthening position; starting with hips flexed to 90° (anteriorly) and knees flexed to 90° (posteriorly), hips are alternately extended to a maximum of 120° (anteriorly); neutral spine is maintained
  Finishing Postures

Supine Pigeon
Supta Kapotasana

  A recumbent posture with bilateral hips, knees and ankles flexed; one leg remains neutral with knee flexed to 45°(posteriorly) and foot pressed into floor; hip of the opposite leg in external rotation to a maximum of 45°, knee flexed to a maximum of 90° (posteriorly) and ankle flexed to 90° resting on the knee of the supporting leg

Simple Reclining Twist
Supta Ardha Jathara Parivarttanasana

  A recumbent twisting posture; starting with arms in abduction, shoulders in external rotation, feet next to each other and knees flexed to a maximum of 45° (posteriorly); shoulders are maintained on floor, pelvis and lumbar spine are slowly rotated so that knees fall together towards the right; asana is repeated to left.

Corpse pose

Recumbent complete relaxation, with normal breathing
Table 1: Yoga Empowers Seniors Study, Asana Series I.