Most popular yoga poses on Instagram
Written By: SportsShoes
Yoga is the ancient philosophy and practise of bringing together the mind and body through improved control of breath and movement. Renowned for both its mental and physical benefits, such as greater flexibility, reduced anxiety and improved mental wellbeing, many people are looking to take up yoga in 2021. Searches for ‘beginners yoga’ are up by 49% YoY (UK) as people seek ways to help cope with the increasing uncertainty and anxiety induced in a post-pandemic world.
Many yoga fans have their favourite positions – the poses the make them feel relaxed, strengthened or powerful. However, there’s also the poses that, while offering plenty of fantastic health benefits, also happen to look the most impressive, whether that’s for showing off in class or showcasing your skills on social media.
With this in mind, we wanted to find out which yoga poses are the most popular for skilled yogis displaying their talents on Instagram. We analysed Instagram hashtags for 115 yoga poses, combining hashtags for their traditional Sanskrit names (the most common language used by yogis) and common English names, to act as inspiration for those interested in taking up yoga in 2021 or those looking to strengthen their practise this year.
The 10 Most Instagrammed Yoga Poses (based on number of hashtags)
And these were the results! The research reveals that the Headstand (Sirsasana) is the most popular pose to post on Instagram, amassing a massive 2.4 million hashtags on the social media platform. In second and third are Crow Pose (Bakasana) and tree pose (Vrksasana), with 912K and 726K hashtags respectively.
- Headstand / Sirsasana - 2,460,154
- Crow Pose / Bakasana - 912,021
- Tree Pose / Vrksasana - 726,379
- Wheel Pose / Chakrasana - 624,197
- Downward Dog / Adho Mukha Svanasana - 543,321
- Camel Pose / Ustrasana - 518,770
- Corpse Pose / Savasana - 373,115
- Monkey Pose / Hanumanasana - 337,317
- Lotus Pose / Padmasana - 326,423
- Lord of Dancers Pose / Natarajasana - 298,155
How to achieve Instagram’s most popular Yoga positions
So, it’s one thing knowing which poses you’d like to do, but another to actually do it yourself. This guide from Strength Conditioning and Yoga (SCY) trainer, Carla Molinaro will help you to perfect the five most popular yoga poses on Instagram and improve your health while you’re at it. Bear in mind, that none of these poses should be taken lightly or rushed – build your skills and strength gently over months to make sure you don’t injure yourself. Also, ensure you’ve fully warmed up before attempting any of these so your muscles are stretched in preparation.
How to teach yourself to Headstand / Sirsasana
Alongside being visually impressive, the Headstand is an advanced move which improves balance and focus, whilst strengthening the upper body. As you start learning this position, practise next to a wall to aid your balance.
- Either fold your yoga mat a couple of times or use a towel or blanket to cushion your head as you practise – place this against the wall.
- Beginning in Child’s Pose, pull your elbows back so they’re even with your shoulders and clasp your hands together, fingers entwined. Tuck your little fingers into your palms as much as possible - that way they don’t get in the way when you lean on your hands.
- Place the crown of your head on the mat or blanket just with your hands cradling your head, so you can support it with the interlocked fingers. Make sure you’re not putting too much pressure on your head, but instead are pushing up from your shoulders with the weight on your arms.
- Straighten your legs as if you’re going into downward dog or dolphin pose.
- In this position, slowly start bringing your feet closer to your face with small steps.
- Once your upper body is in a straight vertical line and your thighs are close to your stomach, you should take some time to ensure your upper body balance feels strong.
- If you’re feeling secure, you can start to slowly lift your feet off the floor, keeping them in your eyeline for now, before bending your knees and pulling them into your chest.
- Engage your core and start pushing your feet to the ceiling, starting with them still in the bent position while you ensure you're feeling secure.
- Once you’re comfortable with this position, you can start to straighten your legs, extended further above your head.
- Don’t forget that coming out of a Headstand should be just as controlled as getting into it, so focus on keeping your core activated. Sink your knees back into your chest and gently lower your feet back into child’s post.
- Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
- Childs Pose arms by side (Balasana)
How to master the Crow Pose / Bakasana
The Crow Pose is an intermediate pose which requires supreme arm and shoulder strength, as the entire body weight is tipped on to the arms. The move is highly beneficial for the spine and neck and you’ll need good flexibility in your hips and a strong core to master it.
- Starting from a standing position, bend at the waist and plant your palms firmly on the mat about a foot in front of your feet, shoulder-width apart. Spread your fingers wide and press into the top joint of each finger.
- Keeping your shoulders away from your ears, bend your elbows straight back to around 90 degrees whilst bending your knees into a squat position.
- Come up onto the balls of your feet and open your knees so that they line up with your upper arms, leaning your shins on your triceps.
- Begin to lean forward into your hands, keeping your head raised.
- Raise your heels so you’re balanced on your toes, before lifting one foot and then the other off the floor – if you have trouble bringing both up, just start by practicing one foot at a time.
- Engage the inner thighs and core for support while keeping your upper back rounded, your knees on your arms and tucking your feet in towards your body.
- To come out of Crow Pose, exhale and ease your weight gently back until your feet meet the floor.
- Plank (Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana)
- Cat (Bidalasana)
How to achieve a Tree Pose / Vrksasana
This beginner’s pose is excellent for balance, alongside strengthening the ankles, knees and toe grip. You may need some additional support when you start out, but you can work up to holding a firm, steady, balanced position.
- Start in a standing position with your legs and feet pressed together.
- Keep your shoulders down and press your hands together in the prayer position around chest height.
- Gently ease your weight onto your right foot, ensuring your balance is centred over that leg.
- Start to bend your left knee, keeping it turned out to the side. Slide your left foot up your right leg until it comes to rest on your calf making sure that you avoid your knee joint.
- Keep your tailbone lengthened, your gaze in front of you (to help with balance), press your left foot into your right calf and press through you’re the four corners of your right foot into the floor.
- With both hips facing forwards, your chest lifted, your shoulder blades down and your core engaged, take a few long slow breaths, before gently placing your left leg down.
- If you want to progress this pose place the left foot on the inner thigh – it’s absolutely fine if you need to use your hand to help your foot into the correct position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Mountain (Tadasana)
- Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
How to do a Wheel Pose / Chakrasana
Wheel Pose is said to release pent-up emotions such as anger, whilst inducing happiness and a sense of wellbeing. This is an advanced yoga pose and you need to build up to it progressively. The move, which is also known as a back bridge, is fantastic for the reproductive, urinary and digestive systems, as well as improving spinal mobility and strengthening the arms, shoulders and legs.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor parallel to each other and hip distance apart, tucked in close to your buttocks.
- Bring your arms up over your head and bend your elbows until the palms of your hands tuck under your shoulders, fingers facing into your body.
- Inhale as your start to press into your palms and feet, gently lifting your hips and shoulders up off the floor.
- To start, lift until you can balance the crown of your head on the mat and take a moment to check your posture.
- Your elbows need to be tucked in to your sides parallel to each other, not sticking out to the sides. Likewise, your feet and knees should stay in line with your feet.
- Once you’re well balanced, continue to lift your head off the floor by pushing through your hands and feet and straightening your arms.
- Lengthen the front of your body, pushing your chest in the direction of the space above your head. Keep an even arch in your back and your tailbone scooped.
- Ideally, you’ll work towards holding this pose for five to ten deep breaths.
- To come out, gently lower yourself to the floor as you exhale, keeping your chin tucked into your chest so you don’t hurt your head.
- Bow (Dhanurasana)
- Knees to chest lying on your back (Apanasana)
How to Downward Dog / Adho Mukha Svanasana
One of the key beginners’ yoga poses, Downward Dog is a fantastic way to relieve back pain, strengthen and stretch out your shoulders and spine and toning your arms. There’s also the added benefits of improved circulation and digestion.
- Start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Tuck your toes under your feet and, while exhaling, start to straighten your legs while pushing your hips backwards and upwards.
- Push through your hands and engage your core, lifting up through your knees until your arms and legs are straight and your bottom is raised towards the ceiling. It’s fine if you need to keep your knees bent, you’ll still feel the stretch and increase of space throughout your body.
- Have your eyes gaze back to your knees, shoulder blades away from your ears towards your hips, press your chest towards your thighs to straighten through the spine while pushing your heels gently into the floor.
- Take a few deep breaths and sink into the stretch, before slowly releasing your knees down into the floor.
- Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
- Mountain (Tadasana)
Thanks to Carla Molinaro for these fantastic tips and check out her website if you’re interested in yoga and the benefits it can have on your body – she’s not just a SCY teacher, she’s also a record breaking ultra-runner, adventurer and running coach.
If you’re perfecting your favourite yoga moves, whether it’s for the ‘Gram or just for yourself, you’ll want to make sure you’re kitted out with everything you need. Our yoga store is fully stocked with a wide range of yoga clothing and accessories, so whether you’re a seasoned pro, or just getting started, you’re sure to be well prepped.