We tell you about the benefits of 6 postures that are common to the different practices of yoga. 

Over the years, several variations of yoga have gained prominence. While Hatha yoga is an easy-to-learn basic form, a fast paced variation known as Ashtanga yoga has become quite popular in the west. Then there is Viniyoga, a therapeutic practice to help people recover from injuries; Bikram Yoga, a specific set of postures performed in a heated environment; and Iyenger Yoga that concentrates on flexibility, endurance and balance. Several postures are common to these practices of yoga forms, as these originate in ancient scriptures. Here are six most popular yoga postures with many benefits:

#1 Padmasana (lotus pose)
This is the most common position that comes to mind when we think of yoga. A basic sitting posture, which is famous as a meditative pose, it calms the mind and nerves. This pose keeps the spine erect and improves posture. Since the ligaments are stretched, padmasana also improves the flexibility of limbs.

#2 Back bending poses
Bhujangasana (cobra pose) and Shalabhasana (locust pose) are the two most popular back-bending asanas. Both benefit the muscles of the back and abdomen. By stretching, they tone the spinal column, simultaneously toning the abdominal muscles. The pressure applied on the stomach helps provide relief from constipation and flatulence. These postures also benefit uterine muscles and ovaries and alleviate menstrual problems in women, as well as activate the adrenal glands to supply blood to the body.

#3 Forward bending poses
Padahastasana (feet to hands pose) and janusirhasana (head to knee pose) are the two most common forward bending postures. Padahastasna is a standing position while janusirhasana is done while sitting. Padahastasana provides relief to people suffering from a bloated stomach and gastric problems, tones hamstring muscles and also massages the abdominal and pelvic regions. The posture is especially beneficial for people with low sex drive since it increases blood circulation to genitals. Janusirhasana helps improve metabolism, enhances kidney and thyroid function and increases blood circulation to liver, spleen and pancreas.

#4 Standing poses
Trikonasana (triangle pose) and tadasana (tree pose) are the most common standing poses. While doing trikonasana, you stretch the groins, hamstrings and hips, thereby increasing their flexibility. This also helps open up the chest and shoulders, and increases the lateral flexibility of the spine. Done on a regular basis, this asana help to reduce fat around the waist, hips and thighs. Tadasana, strengthens the leg muscles, in particular the calf muscles, and is advised for those who want to increase their height and improve their posture. It strengthens the abdominal and back muscles too.

#5 Garudasana (eagle pose)
This is a balancing pose, which provides a number of benefits. It stretches the hips, shoulder, thighs, and upper back, and helps to relieve any tension that has collected in these areas. It is also a good exercise for strengthening the calves and ankles. This posture is also useful for relieving any cramps in the legs and is good for sexual disorders.

#6 Relaxation poses
Savasana (corpse pose) and advasana (reverse corpse pose) are gentle meditative positions recommended after a yoga session to help the body cool down. They help refresh the body and mind of a person, and are especially beneficial for people suffering from nervousness, fatigue, asthma, constipation, diabetes, and insomnia. Advasana is also recommended for people with slipped disc, stiff neck and a tendency to stoop.