Yoga Alignment 101

cobra pose - Yoga Alignment 101

What is yoga alignment?

Yoga alignment indicates how your body is presented in yoga postures. It is not about creating picture like perfect pose, it is about using your body’s physical structure and ability to drive out the best benefits of yoga poses. 

An example of yoga alignment is to keep your head, neck and spine all in one straight line. This example explained how the spine should inherently line up and by achieving the kind of alignment, your body is properly integrated together and will benefit from this kind of alignment for long term health and mobility.

Why yoga alignment is important?

  1. Yoga alignment boost functional ability of your physical body. Aligned body drives out the best biomechanics performance of each muscle and joint by enabling them function optimally. 
  2. Yoga alignment aims for safety or injury prevention. Proper yoga alignment ensures that each area will not go beyond its limitation or performs movement that can not be inherently perform. 
  3. Properly aligned body looking more attractive. Right angled and properly aligned body indicates certain level of balance and strength, even when they are far from achieving full limits, making practicer looking more powerful and attractive.

Key principals of yoga alignment

  1. Pay attention to build a solid base and start from the ground. Whatever yoga pose you are performing, start from the ground and step by step align each part of your body, a solid base is the key to achieve balance in postures.
  2. Stay focus on the present, focus your attention on each move along with your breath, because move with attention and focus can make a big difference in the way you practice by helping you obtain more body awareness.
  3. Engage the right muscle is crucial to maintain right yoga alignment. Making sure the right muscles are activated and the right connective tissue are stretch, are important for posture accuracy. This in turn requiring practicer to stay focus on the present and move mindfully, in this way to gain a better understanding of poses and arrange the best yoga alignment.
  4. Mind your joints at all times. Joint is not working alone in better yoga alignment, arranging joints in line with each other promote for further support to your body weight, also it serves as a key sign to judge whether your body is best aligned or not.
  5. Do not over exercise, know your own limits. Try not to over compensate during poses and respect your own limitation is crucial for preventing injury. 
  6. Take advantage of feedbacks from all channels. Take your coach’s words seriously, watch your posture from wall mirror or listen to feedbacks from students of the same class, are all good source of doing self assessment. 

7 Classic yoga poses to achieve better yoga alignment

We have selected 7 beginner level yoga poses that can help you get started on the path of healthier, better aligned body, each pose comes with step by step instructions.

1. Shoulder Stand Pose.

  • Start from corpse pose, then roll on your back, bringing the weight towards your upper back and shoulders. 
  • Bend your elbows and place your palms on your back to hold body weight. 
  • Stretch both legs up towards the ceiling. 
  • Draw your elbows in towards each other, and walk your hands up your back, towards the upper back to help lift your spine off the floor.
  • Hold for a few breathes and release.

2. Cat Cow Pose.

  • Star from all four on the ground, keep your hands shoulder width apart and your knees directly below your hips. 
  • Inhale, curve your lower back and bring your head up, tilt your pelvis up. 
  • Exhale and bring your abdomen in, arch your spine and bring your head and pelvis down. 
  • Repeat for several times.

3. Tiger Pose.

  • Start from all fours on the ground, bring your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Inhale, reach your right foot toward the sky, as well as arch your spine and look up.
  • Exhale, draw your right knee toward your nose, as well as round your spine.
  • Hold for a few breathes and release, repeat on the other side.

4. Cow Face.

  • Start from seated position, stretch the left arm up, fingertips pointing towards the ceiling, the palm of your hand still facing forward. 
  • Bend the elbow and reach down for the right fingertips. 
  • Firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs and open your chest.
  • Hold for a few breathes and release.

5. Cow Face With Eagle Arms.

  • Start from cow face pose, bend your elbows, raise and cross your forearms, so that the palms of your hands are facing each other. 
  • Hold for a few breathes and release.

6. Cobra.

  • Start from lie on your stomach, toes pointing straight back, hands underneath the shoulders, elbows close to the body. 
  • Inhale, lift your chest from the back of your heart, remember to lift your head last.
  • Come down again as you exhale, then come up again.
  • Meanwhile, use your hands to find your full expression of the pose.

7. Seated Twist.

  • Start from sitting cross-legged with one leg folded in front of the other and your back straight. 
  • Bring your left hand to your right knee and place your right fingertips on the mat behind you. 
  • Inhale, sit up tall – lengthen your spine. 
  • Exhale, twist from the base of your spine to the right.
  • Hold for a few breathes and release.

Final Thoughts

It is said that wearing matching yoga set will boost your yoga performance, check out our sports bra and leggings set that can take you from a casual stroll downtown to an intense workout session.

newsletter cover image



T & C applies, reserve the right of final explanation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *