Meditative Postures- These are postures designed and developed such that the spine remains straight, the lower body is locked free from fidgetiness and the mind remains steadfast.

Relaxation Postures- These asanas give complete rest to all the body parts. They give a sense of calmness and completely suspend the mind of thought and the body of all physical restlessness.

Cultural postures- These asanas or body postures were developed from different animals and life forms living on this planet, they lend important qualities that we seek to emulate and are characteristic to animals, birds or other life-forms.

The sub-classification of asanas is based on the method in which they are performed. They are Sitting, Standing, Supine, Prone, Hand, Kneeling, and Head Postures.

Sitting postures- All asanas that are performed in the seated posture. These include all the meditative postures eg. Padmasana (The Lotus Posture), Sukhasana (The easy posture ) etc.

Supine postures- These are asanas that are performed lying down on the floor on one’s back. They straighten the spine and involve all spine flexion in the forward direction and limited flexion in the backward direction. Examples include- Shavasana (the corpse pose), Matsyasana (the fish ), Halasana (the plough) etc.

Abdominal Postures or Prone Postures- Asanas performed in the prone position where the flexion of the spine is concentrated more in the backward direction. These include- Bhujangasana (The Cobra), Dhanurasana (The Bow ), Shalabhasana (The Locust).

Hand Postures- When a large part of the body is supported by the hands the asana is claasified under this category. They include asanas like Hamsasana (The Swan Pose), Mayurasana(The Peacock Pose), etc.

Kneeling Postures- The kneel down position is characteristic to Vajrasana (the Thunderbolt posture) and its variations which include Ushtrasana (the Camel Pose), Suptavajrasana (The Supine thunderbolt) etc.

Standing Postures- These are asanas that are performed while standing. Standing Postures commonly practiced are Garudasana(the Eagle Pose), Vrukshasana (The Tree), Tadasana (The Palm Tree), etc.

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Categories: Yoga