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11 Seated Yoga Poses to Make You More Flexible and Stronger

Seated yoga poses are the most suitable for beginners and everyone is able to do them. Learn more about sitting yoga postures and how to practice them right to improve your body flexibility and strength.
The practice of yoga has changed over the last 5,000 years. Ancient yoga was more about mental focus and spiritual energy compared to modern yoga which focuses on strength, flexibility, physical energy, and stimulating inner peace. It emphasizes the many different types of poses or asanas that promote holistic health. Yoga includes standing postures, sitting, and lying asanas. While all these asanas have their unique health benefits, seated yoga poses are great for improving flexibility and building strength.
a man practicing yoga on yoga mat and trying to do seated yoga poses

What are the benefits of sitting poses in yoga?

Sitting yoga poses are great for beginners because it is easier to regulate breathing as you stay in each pose. Those who have problems with balance, difficulty standing for long periods, or problems in the legs can be seated while doing the sitting asanas. Sitting yoga postures are great for increasing stamina by stretching and strengthening the lower back, thighs, and abdomen region. The most practical benefit is in space utilization as a small corner of a room is sufficient.

11 seated yoga poses to start with

1. Sukhasana or Easy Pose

Sukhasana or Easy Pose
The 'Sukhasana' or the Easy Pose is a great pose for beginners. As the name suggests, it is an easy seated pose. However, you should avoid this asana if you have hip or knee injuries or both, or if you have experienced slipped disc problems.


  • lengthens the back muscles and the spine
  • makes your back stronger and steadier
  • provides a good stretch for your knees and ankles
  • relaxes the mind and the body

2. Vajrasana or Thunderbolt Pose or Diamond Pose

Vajrasana or Thunderbolt Pose or Diamond Yoga Pose
The 'Vajrasana' is a simple pose where you kneel and then sit back on your legs to take the weight off your knees. When done after a meal, this sitting yoga pose is effective in improving digestion, curing stomach acidity problems, and burning extra fat on the belly, thighs, hips, and waist. However, this asana should not be practiced by those who have knee problems or joint pain.

  • helps improve circulation
  • helps alleviate urinary problems and relieves pain during periods
  • strengthens the thigh muscles and pelvic muscles
  • calms the mind and relaxes the nerves

3. Dandasana or Staff Pose

Dandasana or Staff Yoga Pose
The 'Dandasana' is a simple seated yoga pose where your spine is in an upright position. It strengthens the deep muscles of the lower back, the abdomen, and the muscles deep in the pelvis. This asana is not recommended if you have a lower back or wrist injury.

  • strengthens back muscles, shoulders, and chest
  • lengthens and stretches the spine
  • helps to relieve complications related to the reproductive organs
  • promotes your body's resistance to back and hip injuries

4. Upavistha Konasana or
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend Pose

Upavistha Konasana or Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend Yoga Pose
The 'Upavistha Konasana' is a seated position that includes a forward bend. The hamstring muscles and the lower back are strengthened. The bending and breathing intervals stimulate core muscles and improve digestion. This pose should be avoided if you have a hamstring or groin tear or lower-back injury.

  • lengthens hamstrings
  • stretches adductors
  • relieves arthritis and sciatica
  • increases blood flow to the brain

5. Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend Pose

Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend Yoga Pose
The 'Paschimottanasana' is a seated yoga pose where you bend forward from the hips as far as possible while keeping the knees straight. It is an awesome yoga pose that has a deep calming effect on the nervous system. It is best to practice the Paschimottanasana pose early in the morning while your stomach is empty. Those with a disc-related condition or sciatica should avoid this pose.

  • stretches your posterior chain (the back side of your entire body)
  • helps to open your hips
  • tones the shoulders and stretches the lower back, hamstrings, and hips
  • helps stimulate the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus

6. Janu Sirsasana or Head-to-Knee Pose

Janu Sirsasana or Head-to-Knee Yoga Pose
The 'Janu Sirsasana' is a seated forward bend with one leg straight and the other folded. This pose combines elements of a forward fold, twist, and side body stretch and is considered a great hip opener. It should be avoided if you have severe low back pain or an injury to the shoulders or neck.

  • stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and groin
  • improves digestion
  • helps relieve stress and calms your mind as it is a restorative pose

7. Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose

Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Yoga Pose
The 'Baddha Konasana' lets you bend both knees while seated with the soles of your feet together, then allowing the legs to release out to the sides. Loosening up areas of the body and strengthening your back muscles can help to improve posture. However, this asana should be avoided in case of groin or knee injury. Also, be careful if you suffer from high blood pressure or any cardiac problems.

  • loosens the hips
  • lengthens the spine
  • helps in improving whole-body circulation
  • relieves fatigue from long hours of walking and standing
  • helps release shoulder and neck stress or tension

8. Ardha Matsyendrasana or Sitting Half Spinal Twist

Ardha Matsyendrasana or Sitting Half Spinal Twist
The 'Ardha Matsyendrasana' is a seated twist pose that stretches the back muscles and the spine. Your stomach and bowels must be empty when you practice this asana. This pose may be difficult and painful for those with internal organ issues.

  • improves posture and relieves the stress of sitting and computer work
  • helps maintain the spine's natural range of motion
  • relieves backache and tension
  • stretches your hips, shoulders, and neck
  • strengthens your abdomen, particularly muscles supporting your spine

9. Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose

Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose
The 'Gomukhasana' is one of the most important seated yoga poses with lots of health benefits. It is extremely beneficial because it stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders, arms, and chest—almost every part of your body. Extra precaution should be taken if you have back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, or hip pain.

  • alleviates stress and mental tension
  • makes the body flexible
  • strengthens thighs muscles and the hip joint
  • opens up the chest
  • gives the body a complete massage

10. Paripurna Navasana or Boat Pose

Paripurna Navasana or Boat Yoga Pose
The 'Navasana' is the yoga pose where you form the letter V with your body owing to the weight of your legs and back. The arms and the legs are balanced in the air using your core strength. Somehow you mimic the shape of a boat. Avoid this pose if you have low blood pressure, lower back pain, severe headaches, and migraines.

  • tones and strengthens your abdominal muscles
  • stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines
  • strengthens the core, hip flexors, and spine
  • improves digestion

11. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or One-Legged King Pigeon Yoga Pose
'Eka Pada Rajakapotasana' benefits the whole body as it strengthens, stretches, and tones the spinal column and extends the chest and rib cage. It also reinforces and stretches the muscles of the groin and hip joints. You should avoid this pose if you have injuries to the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.

  • opens the hip joint
  • stretches the thighs, gluteals, and piriformis muscles
  • increases hip flexibility
  • improves posture, alignment, and overall suppleness
  • diminishes lower back pain and stiffness


When you are strong and flexible, it is easier to do everyday activities and tasks. As you grow older, you may notice your body losing its flexibility and strength. But age is just one of the many factors. Stress, a sedentary lifestyle, and improper posture and movement all contribute to decreased flexibility and strength. Practicing yoga, sitting poses specifically, may be one of the best ways to boost muscle strength and flexibility.
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