FAVORITE AND MOST USEFUL YOGA POSES

I've never been more excited for a list request!!! I structured this list loosely in order, as certain asanas require you to be warmed up, so you could actually do this as a sequence. Asana = pose.
  1. 1.
    Child's Pose
    Such a good pose for relieving back pain but also for grounding. Feeling your head on the floor can be very calming. Your knees can be wide apart or together -- whatever is most comfortable. You should always feel free to move into this pose at any time during any yoga class and if you feel that you can't, then practice with different people or a different teacher or better yet, it's your time on the mat so figure out what you need to do for yourself, and who cares about the people around you?
  2. 2.
    Ujjayi pranayama or Ocean Breath
    Yeah, breathwork counts as a pose. In fact, yoga teachers love to be all like "breath is the most important" and you know what? They are right because if you don't breathe you literally die. I like practicing ujjayi -- inhale & exhale through your nose, with a rushing noise that's made by constricting the back of your throat so your breath sounds like the ocean. It's incredibly calming to just sit and focus on making slightly noisy breath sounds. It's also great for pacing your practice.
  3. 3.
    Supta Parivartanasa or Reclined Twist
    This one feels so good to do in the morning and at night before you go to bed. Shit, do it in bed! It will feel so nice to get a little stretch -- sometimes it will crack my back and I'll just be like oh yesssssssssssss that's good. Also all twists are detoxifying, even when you're basically just laying there.
  4. 4.
    Cat/Cow or the pose that can look kinda sexual but whatever it feels awesome also every pose can look kinda sexual
    Feels so good on your back. Great to do after sitting at a computer all day. Also really looks like a cat and a cow! It looks sexual when you "stir your own pot" as I've heard one yoga teacher call it -- which means that as you transition to/from Cat and Cow you kind of undulate your body like Miley Cyrus in that video for "Adore You" so if you are in a class ignore everyone else and do your thing or you can take this time to check out everyone's butts just don't be a creep about it.
  5. 5.
    Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog or an actual stretch dogs do and I love seeing them doing it they always look like the cutest little yogis!!!!
    Try to disperse your weight evenly between your hands and feet. Hard to do but good for you, and this is an inversion which is great for you! Also it's so nice to just sort of move around in this pose -- pedal your feet, bend one leg, then another, move your butt around. Seriously! When you first get into down dog it's so nice to wiggle around! And then once you can settle and stop moving and just sit in your dog, well it's quite invigorating!
  6. 6.
    Wild Thing/Flip Your Dog
    A variation on regular down dog/down dog split where you drop your lifted leg behind you and sort of take it into a slight back bend so you want to make sure you have the strength or feel warmed up enough, but again this is just one of those things that makes you feel like you're really stretching out the sides of your body, and hitting some spots you don't normally get to move around.
  7. 7.
    Kapalabhati or Breath of Fire or that crazy breath thing that's a lot like snorting and makes you sometimes shoot snot but it's basically just pumping your stomach muscles as you forcefully exhale through your nose
    This is such a good thing to do to warm up your body and also to clean out your nostrils. It can be hard (especially if you're holding, like, Utkatasana/Chair Pose and then you also want to kill your teacher) and you'll feel silly doing it, but if you make it through a sequence, that first big breath you take at the end of kapalabhati is amazing and you'll feel the benefits almost immediately -- like you are now circulating all this nice warm air through your system.
  8. 8.
    Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation (A or B) or the thing yoga teachers make you do a bunch of so you'll start sweating
    Not so much a pose but a linked series of them, aka a vinyasa. I looooove doing Surya B (which is Surya A including Utkatasna/Chair and either Crescent or Warrior 1) a few times just to get a quick stretch in, get my heart rate up, warm up my body, or if I want to just a few minutes of a non-distracting distraction. Do a few of these and you'll feel great. Do more than a few and you'll understand why yoga can be just as good of a workout as anything else and also you will be dripping sweat.
  9. 9.
    Malasana
    Yogi squat. Feels soooooooo dope. Gets into those hips again. Also really nice to put a block right under your bum for support, especially if you can't get your heels down. Important to look up and not round your back here.
  10. 10.
    Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon or the pose I once did in a crowded class and kicked the girl behind me in the head (she was fine, it happens)
    Sometimes I feel like I wish I could lay down and someone could pull each of my limbs in a different direction. Kinda like that stretching torture device in The Princess Bride only it feels good. That is what Ardha Chandrasana feels like. Balancing it makes it hard but when you're in it and you just stretch in every direction, you feel AMAZING.
  11. 11.
    Parsvottanasa
    I think this one is also called Pyramid Pose but mostly I know it can feel FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC! You are just stretching the shit out of your hamstrings. Use blocks if your hands can't reach the ground, because that will make it easier to get into the pose. You should NEVER shy away from using blocks because they only make your practice better.
  12. 12.
    Vasisthasana or Side Plank
    There's a reason this is a pose yogis swear by and so do fitness fanatics -- I mean it's part of the Seven Minute Workout. It's also hard, at least at first, but the more you do it the better you get and it's truly a fantastic way to strengthen your core and obliques and shoulders and arms and sense of balance and all that jazz
  13. 13.
    Dolphin Pose
    This is really useful for building upper body strength and for when you're working your way up to some inversions. It's not fun, that's for sure, but the more you do it the better you get and maybe eventually you can push up into Pincha Mayurasana aka forearm stand.
  14. 14.
    Adho Muka Vrksasana or Handstand
    I know I just mentioned Pincha, which is great, but this is my preferred inversion. You don't have to be an advanced yogi to do it if you have a wall nearby, just try not to kick up as you want to employ core strength. Inversions are amazing and addicting -- they quite literally force you to flip your perspective, which is an incredible thing to be able to do and grow comfortable with, and certainly something that applies to your life off the mat as well.
  15. 15.
    Pigeon Pose or that hip opener pose that sometimes makes people cry
    To really feel the benefits of this pose you need to sit in it for a while. For just about any hip openers or yin poses it takes a bit for the body to settle into the pose, but once it does, it's like you release all this tension. One of the reason people often cry in this pose or in yin classes is because that's exactly what's happening -- you're relieving tension you hold in your hips that you maybe didn't even know was there. Sooooo good for you.
  16. 16.
    Baddha Konasana
    I think some people call this Butterfly pose but I definitely know that it's a real nice stretch for those hips and thighs. Make it Supta (reclined) if you are a lady on her period (and then also maybe use a bolster or cushion to prop yourself up) and just lay there for like, ten minutes. Feels real nice.
  17. 17.
    Bridge Pose
    Yoga teachers love to say Bridge is as energizing as a cup of coffee and look, that's like so not true, but this definitely is a great pose to add a little pep in your step. Bridge is not always properly taught, so some important things to note: don't clench your butt, don't move your head side to side while you're in it, and don't hug your knees in immediately after doing this pose unless you're done back bending, and even then, do it slowly. Putting a block under your sacrum is also nice.
  18. 18.
    Happy Baby
    My favorite yoga pose. Yeah you look INSANE doing it but it feels so good. Especially nice to rock from side to side, stretch out one leg while holding the other in (aka Ecstatic Baby), but make sure you're keeping your spine grounded, all the way to your tailbone. But it's fun to be in this one and realize you kind of do feel like a happy little baby who has just discovered their feet!
  19. 19.
    Legs up the Wall
    Exactly what it says. Has many of the same benefits as any other inversion except it requires a lot less strength because it's passive. Sometimes I like to do this as my savasana, because it feels so nice to relieve your legs and feet
  20. 20.
    Savasana or Corpse Pose or congrats you made it now it's time to lay on your mat and try not to fidget like a toddler in pre-school naptime
    And now you get a picture of a dog!!! Also I hope that when ListApp goes wide all these overzealous insta yogis don't get mad at me for taking screenshots of their photos. Although some of these people I know and have practiced with! Not this dog though. How cute is this dog??????
  21. 21.
    Other yogis (@katmills @mwepper @Lookatbecca @Adubs anyone else?) please feel free to add to this!
    Obviously I left off some of the big ones like the Warrior series and Trikonasana but I was trying to think of how @Aisha wrote "most useful" as a description for this list, and I think while every asana is useful, these are the ones especially useful for me, and hopefully now for all of you too!
  22. 22.
    Siddhasana
    Useful in meditation and pranayam (breathing exercises). Also called "perfect pose".
    Suggested by   @katmills