Prone poses are postures performed with the belly or torso touching or facing the floor. Most prone yoga poses are backbends, which energize the body, tonify the kidneys, and strengthen the heart and lungs. Many of the Belly down postures also open the chest, and build core body strength in the low back, abs, and gluteal muscles.
Prone postures are simple enough for beginners, yet can be very challenging to hold for longer periods. Some of the most common prone yoga poses include Cobra, Up Dog, and Bow pose. These asanas are usually performed throughout an asana practice, but are often sequenced in the middle or towards the end of a yoga class.
Prone yoga poses are beneficial for building strength, heat and endurance. They can be used to increase stamina and strength in the leg muscles, hip muscles, and back. Prone yoga poses are also helpful for increasing flexibility in the hamstring muscles, shoulders, and chest.
Belly down yoga poses are a great way to build confidence because you feel strong and stable in your body with the chest lifted and open. Asanas practiced in the prone position help to combat stress, improve digestion, encourage good posture, reduce anxiety, and increase blood circulation.
There are approximately 13 primary prone asanas in hatha yoga. Check out our list of prone poses by image, name and level below. You will find step-by-step instructions, pose benefits, modifications, and Sanskrit pronunciation for each yoga pose.