Are you tempted to start yoga? Perhaps you are a little intimidated, especially if you lack flexibility, but regardless of your physical abilities, anyone can do yoga! You just have to start off with the right yoga poses for beginners.
A lot of yoga poses are very beginner friendly, but even better yet, the hard ones can be modified for newbies.
Why Should I Practice Yoga?
Yoga has been proven (again and again) to be extremely beneficial to your physical and mental body.
You will notice many improvements such as:
- Improved Mood
- Better Concentration
- More Energy
- Less Stress and Anxiety
- Lose Weight
- A More Toned Body
- Maintaining a Balanced Metabolism
- More Physical and Mental Flexibility
- A Tranquil Mind
Yoga is as much a physical workout than a mental one. Yes, yoga will challenge and frustrate you. You will even get sore in the beginning!
But stick with it and you will come out the other side a much better person. As you progress, things will get easier and you will be able to create your own sequence. A lot of yoga is concentration and deep breathing.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This is the most basic yoga pose and where most of your practices will start.
When I first saw this, I thought to myself, “it’s just standing! How is this a workout?!” Well, believe it or not, Tadasana has many benefits.
- Improves Posture
- Strengthen thighs, knees, and ankles
- Reduces flat feet
- Improves blood circulation
- Increases energy and enthusiasm
- and many, many more…
To do this pose properly, stand upright with feet together. Hold your hands at your heart and keep shoulders towards the ceiling
Stay in mountain pose for a couple of breaths before moving slowly into your practice.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This is considered a ‘resting’ pose, but to be quite honest it’s not very restful. Especially if you have week shoulders in the beginning,
The benefits of Down Dog are
- Builds Strong Bones
- Improves Posture (especially if you have a desk job)
- Elongates the Spine
- Strengthens the Arms
- Opens the Chest
You’ll see this pose often and it’s a ‘classic’ yoga pose. Most likely, when you think of yoga, you think of downward dog.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
This is considered a symettrical pose, meaning both sides of your body are doing the same thing. It isn’t like lunging where you work one leg and then the other.
Benefit of Chair pose are many:
- Tones the Leg Muscle
- Reduces Symptoms of Flat Feet
- Stretches Chest and Shoulders
- Strengthens Hip Flexors, Ankles, Calves, and Back
You can begin this pose from a Tadasana (mountain pose) and with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart. Raise your arms above your head, perpendicular to the ground. Bend your knees and try to get your thighs as parralel to the floor as possible. Keep your back long, with a slight curv, and breathe into the pose.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
A one-legged balancing pose. This pose helps build confidence and melt away stress.
- Improves Balance and Stability in Legs
- Strengthens Ligaments and Tendon of Feet
- Strengthens and Tones Entire Standing Leg, Including Buttocks
- Builds Self-Confidence and Esteem
In order to get into this pose, stand on one leg and bring the other leg to your ankle, shin, or thigh (depending on your flexibility).When starting out, you can use a wall for balance.
Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)
This is a gentles stretch for your spines and inner organs. It’s absolutely great if you have tense back and shoulder muscles.
Just make sure to move slowly and deliberately following your breath.
- Stretches the Back Torso and Neck
- Opens up the Chest
- Brings the Spine into Alignments and Helps Prevent Back Pain (with regular practice)
To do the cow pose, inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat, lift chin and chest and gaze up towards the ceiling. Next, exhale and move into cat pose, draw your belly to your spine and round your back towards the ceiling. The pose looks like a cat stretching it’s back. Repeat between cat and cow pose for a couple of slow, controlled breaths.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
You’ve probably seen this one a couple of times as bodybuilder use it to grow and strengthen their glutes.
In yoga, you won’t be doing these in quick sets as we move through the exercises in slow, controlled movements, but the benefits are numerous nonetheless.
Benefits of Bridge Pose are
- Strengthens Legs and Feet
- Opens Hips
- Opens Shoulders
- Calms the Mind
- Tones Legs and Buttocks
Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
Yes! We plank in yoga as well. This is a great position to help control your core. There are many variations of the plank, but for all of them, the most important thing is keeping your back straight and pulling in your bellybutton.
The benefits of plank include:
- Tones and Tightens Tummy
- Reduces Back Pain
- Increases Flexibility
- Improves Mood
- Improves Balance and Posture
Crescent Pose (Anjaneyasana)
This is a great introductory pose to work your way up to Warrior I. If you’ve done lunges, you can do this one.
Benefits of the crescent pose are:
- Promotes Stability in Front and Back of Torso
- Tones Lower Body
- Stretches Legs, Lungs, Shoulders, Arms, Neck, and Belly
- Strengthens and Stretches Thighs, Calves, and Ankles
A great pose for increasing your stamina and lung capacity. As always, breath deeply and be patient with yourself as it can be hard to find balance in the beggining of your yoga journey.
Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
I absolutely love this pose. It’s so easy and adjustable for people of all fitness levels. Not to mention the numerous physical and health benefits you receive.
Benefits of the Triangle Pose are:
- Stretches and Strengthens the Thighs, Knees, and Ankles
- Stimulates the Abdominal Organs
- Helps Relieve Stress
- Improves Digestion
- Helps with Anxiety, Flat Feet, and Neck Pain
Garland Pose (Malasana)
We are always sitting and slouching, causing us to (over time) lose mobility in our hips and back. There are certain yoga postures that really help combat the effects of this.
The Garland Pose is a great one to add to your practice, especially if you sit a lot.
Benefits of the Garland Pose include:
- Opens Your Hips and Groin
- Tones your Abdominals
- Strengthens your Metabolism
- Aids in Digestion
- Stretches Ankles, Lower Hamstrings, Back, and Neck