Seated Yoga Poses Library

Looking for seated yoga postures to add to your practice? This list includes all the seated poses we have featured on About.com's yoga site, arranged in order from basic to advanced. Clicking the links will take you to full instructions for each pose. If you are looking for seated alternatives to standing poses, check out our list of chair poses.

Easy Pose - Sukhasana

Easy Pose - Sukhasana. © Barry Stone

This is one way to do easy pose, but as the name suggests, this pose is intended to be a comfortable seat. If this configuration doesn't work for you, take any cross-legged position. Sitting on a blanket to elevate the hips is also encouraged here.

Thunderbolt Pose - Vajrasana

Thunderbolt Pose - Vajrasana
Thunderbolt Pose - Vajrasana. Ann Pizer

Vajrasana is a basic kneeling position with the seat resting on your feet. It's a good alternative to easy pose (above).

Staff Pose - Dandasana

Staff Pose - Dandasana
Staff Pose - Dandasana. Ann Pizer

Staff pose is often called the seated equivalent of mountain pose. Just as mountain sets up the alignment for many standing poses, staff pose is the starting point for many seated poses.

Seated Forward Bend - Paschimottanasana

Seated Forward Bend - Paschimottanasana. Ann Pizer

There are several approaches to coming into paschimottanasana, but my preference is to try to keep the back flat and as you tip the pelvis forward.

Seated Wide Legged Straddle - Upavistha Konasana

Seated Wide Legged Straddle - Upavistha Konasana
Seated Wide Legged Straddle - Upavistha Konasana. Ann Pizer

When setting up for upavistha konasana, you don't have to go for a super wide angle with the legs. Feeling some stretch in the inner thigh is common, but you don't need to go for a full split.

Cobbler's Pose - Baddha Konasana

Cobbler's Pose - Baddha Konasana. Ann Pizer
Cobbler's pose can be taken into a forward bend if your groins allow it. Light pressure with your forearms on your legs can intensify the stretch.

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose - Ardha Matsyendrasana

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose - Ardha Matsyendrasana. Ann Pizer
Half lord of the fishes is also known as a seated spinal twist. It's important to keep your front foot and sit bones grounded to the floor here so that you have something to anchor the twist.

Cow Face Pose - Gomukhasana

Cow Face Pose - Gomukhasana
Cow Face Pose - Gomukhasana. Ann Pizer
Cow face pose gets into parts of the shoulders and upper arms that are rarely used by many of us. Don't be surprised to discover that it's much easier to bind the hands on one side than the other. This kind of asymmetry is very common since most people favor one hand over the other.

Half Lotus Pose - Ardha Padmasana

How to Do Half Lotus Pose - Ardha Padmasana
Half Lotus Pose - Ardha Padmasana. Ann Pizer
Half lotus is a nice stopping off point on the way to full lotus (see below). Since full lotus can be very hard on the knees, many yoga students prefer this version, which can be used for seated meditation.

Hero Pose - Virasana

Hero Pose – Virasana. Ann Pizer
Hero pose is also a good meditation posture. Many people find it easier to keep the spine erect in this pose than in cross-legged positions when seated for a long time. It's also a great quad stretch.

Boat Pose - Navasana

Boat Pose - Navasana
Boat Pose - Navasana. Ann Pizer

If you find it difficult to maintain that nice V shape with your legs straight in boat pose, bend the knees, keeping the shins parallel to the floor. This should help your keep your spine straight and your thighs lifted.

Head-to-Knee Pose - Janu Sirsasana

Janu Sirsasana
Janu Sirsasana. Ann Pizer

When forward folding in janu sirsasana, try to align your torso so you are folding over your extended leg rather than the space between your legs.

Revolved Head to Knee Pose - Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Revolved Head to Knee Pose - Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Revolved Head to Knee Pose - Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana. Ann Pizer

Students often grab for their big toe in revolved janu sirsasana at the expense of opening the chest to the ceiling. If holding your toe is causing your chest to turn downward, bend your elbow and hold the back of your head instead.

Pigeon Pose (Prep) - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Pigeon Pose
Pigeon Pose. Ian Hootan/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

If your butt is way off the floor in pigeon prep, use blankets under your hips to bring the floor up to meet it before forward folding. Those who are bendy in the spine and shoulders can also work on full pigeon.

Knee to Ankle - Agnistambhasana

Seated Hip Openers Series: Knee to Ankle Pose
Knee to Ankle - Agnistambhasana. Ann Pizer
Knee to ankle is also called double pigeon and you can see why. Keep the feet flexed and bring the shins as parallel as possible to the front of your mat.

Heron Pose - Krounchasana

Heron Pose
Heron Pose. Ann Pizer

Like boat pose (see above), it's better to bend your extended knee in heron than to keep it straight and end up with the spine rounded forward. A nice straight spine is more important than a straight leg.

Marichi's Pose - Marichyasana I

Marichi's Pose - Marichyasna I
Marichi's Pose - Marichyasna I. Ann Pizer

In marichyasana I, make sure that you can take the bind before you start to forward bend. If the bind isn't there, stay in an upright position.

Lotus Pose - Padmasana

Lotus Pose - Padmasana
Lotus Pose - Padmasana. Ann Pizer
Lotus is often thought of as the quintessential yoga pose, but it should be approached with caution by beginners. For an alternative, see half lotus (above).

Compass Pose - Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Compass Pose - Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana
Compass Pose - Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana. Ann Pizer

If you're the kind of person who can easily throw your leg behind your head, compass pose is going to be right up your alley. Otherwise, there are plenty of other hamstring stretches to work on.

Monkey Pose - Hanumanasana

How to Do Monkey Pose - Hanumanasana
Monkey Pose - Hanumanasana. Michelle Haymoz Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images

Unless you have very open hamstrings, work on hanumanasana with two or three block handy. You'll need once block under each hand and you can slide one under your front thigh for support when you get close enough to the floor. Proceed slowly here to avoid a strain.

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