Plus, striking an impressive asana (yoga lingo for pose) looks ridiculously cool. The only problem? Sometimes it sounds like our yoga teacher is speaking in a different language, which makes it slightly difficult to follow along. With Sanksrit names like utkatasana and trikonasana, yoga poses may sound a lot more like spells you’d learn at Hogwarts than shapes you can actually get your body to make.
Although it’s an ancient practice, yoga has become the exercise du jour in recent years. Everyone from A-list celebs to your co-workers are getting their om on these days—and for good reason. Practicing yoga has serious health benefits, from boosting your immunity, helping you sleep better, fighting stress, and even improving your sex life .
To help everyone from yoga newbies to experienced practitioners, we went to Chrissy Carter, a YogaWorks-certified yoga instructor, to help put together a definitive guide to yoga poses. Consider it your cheat sheet to finally mastering the common poses you’re likely to encounter in most open-level classes.