Because the practice of yoga includes learning so many new postures, yoga asana images are great learning tools both for remembering the postures as well as learning to execute them correctly.
Using Yoga Asana Images
Taking yoga classes with an experienced instructor is the best way to learn yoga properly, but supplementing these yoga classes with your own at-home study can help you learn more quickly and more thoroughly. Asana images can be found online, as well as in yoga books and magazines. There are also yoga cards that resemble flash cards, which enable you to learn the correct name for each yoga pose.
A yoga teacher can provide invaluable amounts of feedback for you in regard to your execution of yoga postures. For example, if your spine is out of alignment, or if your knees should be slightly more or less bent, your instructor will see these details and help you correct your placement. In addition to your teacher's advice, studying yoga asana images on your own can help you learn the exact way to perform each new yoga pose you want to learn.
Practice yoga in a room with a mirror in order to compare your own form to the form of the person in the photograph. Remember though that yoga is not about attaining a certain height in leg raises or a certain amount of extension in a stretch; if your forward bend does not resemble that of an accomplished yogi, remember that yoga is about accepting your own version of the pose instead of striving for a certain amount of flexibility. Executing the pose correctly is important, but how far you can get into a pose is an individual difference. Accept your own body's version of the pose.
Yoga Standing Asanas
When beginning a yoga practice, it is best to start with beginner poses.
Try learning the following standing yoga poses by using asana images of experienced yogis:
As you master these beginner poses, remember to check with your yoga teacher frequently in order to evaluate your form. With his or her tips, you should be able to move on to more advanced standing poses in no time at all, such as One-Legged Downward Facing Dog in the image to the right.
Seated Yoga Poses
In addition to standing poses, seated poses are an excellent collection of body movement. Rest assured that even though these poses are done sitting down, they are still strength-building, flexibility-enhancing, and a good workout all around. Try these beginner seated postures:
Pigeon Pose, shown in the image to the right, is a more advanced pose, but you can extend into this gradually if you take care of your knees.
Meditation and Relaxation
Finally, it's a good idea to learn some poses that help focus your thoughts and invite relaxation at the end of your yoga practice. Even if you are not going to start a yoga practice, you can use these poses for meditation or simply to relax at the end of the day. Try these beginner positions:
- Lotus Pose
- Child's Pose
- Corpse Pose
Child's Pose is shown by these young ballet dancers; it is an excellent position for coming to both physical and mental rest.
For those who are very handy on the Internet, there are more than enough yoga images online from which to learn a wide variety of yoga asanas. Simply type the name of the pose into Google, and then choose the 'image' results filter.
For those who prefer print sources, try a book such as Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses or a stack of yoga cards such as The Yoga Deck. Regardless of the format of the images you choose, looking at photographs of the poses you are trying to master is bound to have a positive effect on your learning.