Yoga instructors and yoga schools may differ on their top 10 yoga positions. Across yoga disciplines, you can find some poses that occur often, even if instructors teach them with arm variations or different cues. Try yoga classes in some of the most common styles such as Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, Anusara, Forrest and Integral to see which popular poses appeal to you the most.
Mountain Pose or Tadasana
You can practice mountain pose in between other poses or use it alone to improve posture, according to "Yoga Journal." In many yoga sequences, you return to mountain pose before continuing to the next segment of postures. Focus on your core muscles when you hold mountain.
Standing Forward Bend or Uttanasana
Use standing forward bend to release tension, stress and fatigue. Think of this pose as more than just trying to touch your toes. If you let your knees bend, you can help your spine to elongate.
Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana
Famous yoga instructor Rodney Yee lists cobra as one of the top 10 essential poses. Use cobra to warm up and strengthen your back muscles. Rather than trying to lift your chest entirely off the floor, focus on keeping your shoulders down and your elbows to your sides.
Downward-Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-facing dog is another go-between pose and staple in many yoga styles. Your hands and feet are roughly four or five feet apart. The hips rise up. Become aware of your body being stretched in every direction.
Warrior Two or Virabhadrasana II
Warrior poses include warrior one, two, three, reverse warrior and sometimes extended side angle. Warrior two stretches the legs and opens the hips. Keep your front knee over your ankle to stay in alignment.
Triangle or Utthita Trikonasana
Triangle is both aesthetically interesting and physically rewarding. "Yoga Journal" recommends using triangle pose to relieve stress and backaches, and to stretch the hips, groin, shoulders and hamstrings. Most yoga styles refer to this pose as triangle, but its full name is extended triangle pose.
Tree Pose or Vrkasana
Yoga includes numerous poses that require balancing on one foot, and tree is one of the most widely taught and practiced. Many students try stepping off the yoga mats for poses such as tree so they feel more grounded. You can also try using the wall or a chair as support.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose or Ardha Matsyendrasana
Twists improve mobility in the spine, aid digestion and help to remove toxins from the organs. Baby Center advises pregnant women not to go too deep in twists. During pregnancy, women should twist gently from the shoulders. In half lord of the fishes pose, you can bring your elbow to the outside of your opposite knee for deeper sensation.
In supported headstand, the hands cradle the back of the head. Students should have strong control and awareness of their core muscles before trying headstand. Practice headstand against a wall or in a corner to build confidence.
Relaxation or Savasana
Students practice savasana at the end of yoga classes in nearly every style of hatha yoga, which is the yoga of physical practice. In savasana, students learn to relax the entire body, as well as the mind. Yogis often find it challenging to achieve one of relaxation's goals, which is to be aware without focusing on anything.