Common yoga positions include the downward facing dog, the mountain pose, the staff pose and the child's pose. Yoga poses work specific parts of the body and help alleviate ailments.
For the downward facing dog pose, the practitioner begins on all fours, with his hands lined up under his shoulders and his knees lined up under his hips. He walks his hands forward several inches and then presses his palms and toes into the mat. In this position, the body forms an inverted "V." The practitioner should keep most of his weight on his legs. Once he becomes skilled at this pose, he can use it to rest.
The mountain pose is a standing pose. The practitioner stands erect with proper posture and reaches his hands straight up with both palms facing each other. Correct body alignment is crucial for this pose.
The staff pose is a seated position in which the practitioner sits flat with his back straight and his legs extended forward. This pose also focuses on alignment and is a seated version of the mountain pose.
In the child's pose, the practitioner sits on his heels and brings his torso forward so his head is on the ground and his chest is touching his knees. This is a resting pose. If the practitioner needs a break, he should use this pose until he is ready to rejoin the class.