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Seated Yoga Poses

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Updated November 05, 2012

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 have trouble standing for long periods, check out our chair poses.

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, so 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
© Barry Stone
Vajrasana is a basic kneeling position with the seat resting on your feet.

Staff Pose - Dandasana

Staff Pose - Dandasana
© Barry Stone
Staff pose is often talked about as the seated equivalent of mountain pose. Just as mountain sets up the alignment for many standing poses, so staff pose is the starting point for many seated poses.

Seated Forward Bend - Paschimottanasana

© Barry Stone
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
© Barry Stone
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

© Barry Stone
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

© Barry Stone
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
© Barry Stone
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

© Barry Stone
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

© Barry Stone
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.
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