List of Poses for One-Hour Hatha Yoga

List of Poses for One-Hour Hatha Yoga

A Hatha yoga class is slower paced than the more upbeat flow of a Vinyasa practice or the rigorous intensity of Ashtanga. However, if you practice Vinyasa, Ashtanga, even Bikram yoga, you are practicing under the umbrella that is the school of Hatha yoga, which includes hundreds of poses. Practicing a Hatha yoga sequence with standing poses and balancing poses, beginning with warm-up poses and ending with a relaxing Savasana, can make up an hourlong yoga practice. Before practicing yoga at home, take classes with a certified yoga teacher to ensure you are using correct form and alignment and to avoid pain or injury.

Spend 10 to 15 minutes warming up your body to avoid straining or pulling muscles. Start seated in a cross-legged position. Stretch your neck by rolling your head from side to side, then warm up your shoulders by raising your arms overhead and lowering your hands to your knees. Do the shoulder stretch three to five times before walking your hands forward and folding your torso over your legs to stretch your back and hips.

Bring your body to a table top position and hold for three to five inhales and exhales. Curl your toes under, engage your arms, straighten your legs and lift your hips for Downward-Facing dog. Stay in Downward Dog for a few breaths, making each inhale and exhale last from six to eight seconds, then walk your feet forward to meet your hands so you are in a Standing Forward Fold.

Sun Salutations
Inhale to standing, and begin the Sun Salutation sequence. Exhale into a Forward Fold, inhale and lift into a Half Fold -- spine straight, hands on your shins. Release into another Forward Fold, step into Plank position, lower your body down, arching into Cobra pose, then release back to Downward Dog. Step to a Forward Fold after holding Downward Dog for a few breaths, and begin the sequence again. Practice three to five Sun Salutations.

Warrior Sequence
Standing poses such as Warrior I and Warrior II are a good way to build strength and create some heat within your body. Step your right foot back about 3 feet from your front foot. Bend into your left leg, so your knee makes a 90-degree angle. Turn your back foot out about 45 degrees, and keep your hips square by pulling the right hip forward and the left hip back. It also helps to inch your back foot out to the side to get your hips squared. Extend your arms overhead for the full expression of the pose.

Move into Warrior II by keeping your feet where they are and opening your torso to the side of the room. Keep the deep bend in your front leg and extend your arms to shoulder level, gazing over your front fingertips. Take three to five inhales and exhales in Warrior II, then step back to the front of your mat and begin Warrior I on the other side.

Balancing Poses
Balancing poses are a good way to improve physical balance, but also improve mental balance off your mat and in your daily life. Warrior III is a strong balancing pose that requires focus. Exhale into a Forward Fold, step your right foot back into a High Lunge, lift your torso off of your front leg, shift your weight into your bent leg and lift your back leg off your mat behind you while straightening into your front leg. Extend your arms in front of you or to either side and balance here for about five breaths. Carefully bring your extended leg back to your mat into your Forward Fold position, and begin the second side.

Dancer pose is an intense balancing pose where you use your entire body, and it opens up your chest, shoulders and hips. Shift your weight to your right foot, bend your left knee, lift your left heel toward your seat and grab the inside of your foot with your left hand. Once you're balanced, take your right arm and extend it over your head. Push your left foot into your left hand, feeling a stretch in your left quadriceps, and lower your torso down while trying to maintain balance on your right leg. Hold, then slowly come out of the pose and start the other side.

Cool Down and Savasana
Cool down from your sequence with twists, hip opener poses and Seated Forward Folds. The best part of every yoga practice is Savasana, also known as Corpse pose. This is where you lie flat on your back, arms at either side of your body, shoulders relaxed down your back and your palms facing upward. Let your feet fall out to either side, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. The purpose of Savasana is to cool down and relax your entire body, helping you reach a state of calm and serenity. Try not to move at all in Savasana, and stay in it with your eyes closed for at least 10 minutes.