How Many Yoga Poses Are There?

by Kate

Although yoga is a famous ancient practice, it has become an exercise in recent years. Many people practice yoga these days, and for a good reason; it has profound health benefits beyond balance and flexibility. Different studies show that yoga helps to fight anxiety, stress, and depression, even reducing inflammation in the body.

Yoga poses or asanas are known to be the main features of modern yoga practice. Different sources reveal that hundreds, if not thousands of asanas, but one figure that generally pops up more than any other answer is 84 asanas or yoga poses.

Historic poses


There are no such instructions for the specific yoga postures, but the two manuals written in the Middle Ages list about 84 poses or asanas that offer detailed instructions on only around two dozen. ‘The Gherand Samhita, ‘ which is a 17th-century work by Chanda Kapali, claims that there were hundreds of thousands of poses but offered detailed instructions for only 32 different poses.

The most popular and basic yoga poses are Mountain pose, known as Tadasana, Chair pose known as Utkatasana, Down dog on a chair known as Uttana Shishosana, and many more. There are 200 modern era poses outlined by the guru BKS Iyengar in his text known as ‘Light of Yoga.’

Different styles

The yoga style known as Ashtanga has a set pattern of asanas that connect different moves known as vinyasas. Bikram yoga, also called the original or ‘hot’ yoga style, has around 26 poses for beginners, and it encourages the learners to practice only those poses that are prescribed.

Kundalini yoga is also a yoga style that incorporates chanting and even movement. It groups different poses or asanas into more than two dozen clusters called ‘Kriyas’ or sets of exercises. Each set is designed to strengthen different parts of our body.


When it is about counting the real number of yoga postures, different variations will also increase this particular list’s length. For instance, the pose of sage or ‘Marichyasnasa’ is divided into four separate variations. Similarly, a lotus pose can be half, full, forward bent, and bound. It can be done with the arms threaded through the legs, hands holding the chin while one balances on the buttocks.

Basic positions

There are five different asana families that one can safely count: standing, sitting, balancing, reclining on the back, and lying on the stomach. The first one is characterized by various balancing challenges that include supporting your weight on one foot like a tree, across the hands and feet in a downwards facing dog. All the other families can be further sub-divided as it depends on how each asana can arrange the backbone, forward bends, twists, and backward bends.

Bottom Line

Whatever yoga poses you work on, you have to remember that it is just yoga. No matter what people message people try to convey, we understand that yoga poses or asanas are not about perfection. It is about progress and becoming comfortable with what can be uncomfortable. It is all about the union of your mind and body by keeping your body safe.

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