Since the gamut of Yoga is very dynamic, there is no definitive way to categorize Yoga asanas. Some asanas are done with proper breathwork, while some are concerned with stimulating the chakras to redirect the prana or energy. Give below is a broad classification of Yoga.
Standing yoga positions are called the foundational yoga poses. These require the practitioner to keep the feet grounded and spine straight up, in a standing position. In these asanas, the practitioner uses lower extremities muscles in the upper body, to tone the muscles and give the body a nice posture. Most Yoga sessions here begin with the most basic standing –Tadasana(Mountain Pose). There is a myriad of forwarding and backward bending postures, which need a strong grip of the feet, as most poses are directly associated with standing asanas.
This category of poses requires the weight of the upper trunk to be lifted through buttocks instead of the feet. Most yoga sessions have some seated postures to be started with. These poses help practitioners to watch the sensations of the body very quietly. Sitting positions are most apt for meditation as they help in aligning the body and mind by practising the erectness of the spine in order to activate the chakras which are located on the same (spine). Most common sitting postures are Baddha Konasana, Paschimonttanasa, Janu Sirsasana, Navasana etc.
Here, the bodyweight is lifted through the upper chest and stomach region. A persistent practice of the same helps in toning the abdominal muscles and flatten the tummy. These poses are also called the reverse corpse poses as these practised by lying down on the opposite side of the back. Some of the common poses here are Locust Pose, Cobra Pose etc.
These postures are essentially directed to get stability and balance in the whole body weight. They require a strong foundation of preparatory asanas for some time. Here the flexibility of the body is as important as a focused mind. Examples of balancing poses are Eagle Pose. Tree Pose, Dancer Pose etc.
Twisting Pose are those in which the spine has revolved around their central axis. It enhances the spine’s natural range of motion and toning of the abdominal organs. They help in neutralizing any blockages in the spine and enable the free flow of energies (prana). Pasana, Trikonasana etc. are some of the examples of twisting Pose.
See Also: 10 Must-have Yoga Accessories
Also Visit: Meditation 101: The Workshop for beginners