Being a beginner is not easy but my first yoga class was enough to make me a regular on the mat. Half an hour into the session, I had fallen four of times, felt sweaty and had almost made up my mind. Every pose made me challenge my physical endurance and flexibility and that I seemed to enjoy that, albeit gradually.
Here are my picks for the 20 most essential yoga poses for beginners. Hold each position for 5 to 10 breaths. Seated poses can be kept for longer.
Before you get started: Remember to keep an even and smooth breath through the poses and do not hold any pose longer than you are physically able. You can increase the length and deepness of every pose with practice. One indication that you held a pose is that you don’t have sufficient energy to come out of the position with integrity and grace.
1. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: The key to a stay that is comfortable in Utkatasana bones toward the heels. Bring your hands to your tops thighs. Nestle the bases of your palms into the creases of the groins and push thighs toward the heels’ heads, digging on the heels deep. Against these activities, lift the sitting bones to the pelvis.
How To Do Utkatasana: Start in mountain pose. Lift arms and reach up through hands. As if sitting into a chair Sit down and back. Shift weight and lengthen up through the chest.
2. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: It is possible to challenge your balance. Learn how to balance without any reference.
How To Do Tadasana: Start standing with your feet. Press down through all ten toes as you spread them open. Engage your quadriceps in lifting your kneecaps and lift up through the thighs. Pull your abdominals in and up as you press on the tops of the shoulders down and lift your chest.
Keep your palms facing inwards towards the body; although feel your shoulder blades open your chest and coming towards each other. Imagine a string drawing the crown of the head up and breathe deeply into the torso. Hold for 5-8 breaths.
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: To increase the stretch in the backs of your legs, lift upon the balls of the feet, pulling your heels a half-inch or so away from the floor. Then draw your groins lifting from the heels. Finally, from the height of the groins, lengthen the heels back onto the ground, moving the heels faster than the internal.
How To Do Adho Mukha Svanasana: Come on to all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck under your toes and lift your hips up off the floor as you pull on them up at the back towards your heels.
Keep your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight try while keeping your hips back and straighten your legs out. Walk your hands if you want to, to give yourself length.
Press through your palms and rotate the elbows towards each other. Hollow out the abdominals and keep engaging your legs to keep the torso. Hold for 5-8 breaths before dropping back to hands and knees.
4. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: To increase the strength and lightness of this pose, push in the backs of the knees out and along the calves through the heels. More will be pressed by the tops of the feet firmly against the ground; as they do, lift the sternum up and forward.
How To Do Urdhva Mukha Svanasana: Lie facedown on the ground. Bend elbows and place hands on the mat in line. Reach pull yourself up and forward to straight arms, and back through your legs. Lift legs and legs spread chest broad, and lift up breastbone.
5. Kumbhakasana (Plank Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Open the Distance between the shoulder blades. Push the inner borders of the shoulder blades into this resistance, as you press on the outer arms. Make certain that you don’t narrow across the collar bones to do this. This is an activity to learn for poses.
How To Do Kumbhakasana: By all fours, tuck under your feet and lift your legs up. Slide your heels back enough till you believe you are one line of energy from your head.
Engage the lower abdominals, draw the shoulders down and away from the ears, breathe for 8-10 breaths and pull on your ribs.
6. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: I thought that if I could reach my hand to the ground when I attempted Triangle! I was done. I was not aware that in reaching to the ground, I had sacrificed the alignment of body parts. My knees dropped, my hips flew backward, and my shoulder slumped forward. I had to learn to use my muscles to encourage me so that I had a strong foundation from which to extend.
How To Do Trikonasana: Stand with feet. Turn left toes in slightly and rotate thigh open until toes point straight to the side. Keeping both legs straight, ground through your feet and pull on up your thighs. Spread arms wide at shoulder height, roll your front thigh open and hinge at the front hip. Lengthen your spine toward the front foot and release bottom palm to the front ankle, a yoga block (put outside the front ankle), or the seat of a chair.
Turn your gaze up to the top hand and hold for 5-8 breaths. Lift up repeat and to stand on the Other Hand. Hint: I like to imagine I’m stuck between two walls when I’m in triangle pose.
7. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: As with Tadasana, you can challenge your balance by practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Learn how to balance without any reference to the atmosphere.
How To Do Vrikshasana: Start with your feet together and place your right foot left thigh. Press on your hands in prayer and find a spot in front of you that you can hold in a steady gaze.
Hold and breathe for 8-10 breaths then switch sides. Be sure to don’t lean into the standing leg and keep your abdominals engaged and shoulders relaxed.
8. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Advanced students can raise the arm, with an inhalation. Firm the scapula from the rear. Imagine there’s a wall in front of you, and press on the hand actively into this wall that is pretending. Then, if your balance is constant, try the head slowly to gaze up at hand.
How To Do Ardha Chandrasana: Start in triangle pose. Bend front knee, tracking it. Step back foot in and walk bottom hand approximately 12 inches. Line up thumb with pinky toe. Shift your weight into a foot and lift the foot. Reach back leg firmly toward the wall behind you lift the arm up. To challenge your balance, rotate up your chest toward the ceiling and gaze up at your hand.
9. Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1 Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Virabhadra’s Pose is also called the Warrior Pose (there are three variations of Warrior, of which this is customarily numbered I). It may look strange to name a yoga pose, after all, are known for their non-violent ways; after a warrior? But remember that among the most revered of all the yoga texts is the conversation between two feared and famous warriors, Arjuna and Krishna, set on a battlefield between two great armies.
How To Do Virabhadrasana I: You can have a step back with your left foot angle your left toes forward 75 degrees and then turn down your left heel.
Lift your chest and press against up your hands overhead. Step and repeat on the opposite leg.
10. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: To increase the arms’ length and strength turn as you pull the shoulder blades down the back, inner elbow creases and the hands to face the ceiling. Keeping up the rotation of the arms, turn the hands in the wrists to face the floor.
How To Do Virabhadrasana II: Stand with your feet one leg’s length apart. Turn your right toes out your feet in 45 degrees and 90 degrees. Bend your right knee until it is directly over your right ankle while keeping the torso between the hips.
Stretch your arms out and graze your hand over. Hold before turning your feet to repeat on the left side and straightening the leg.
11. Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3 Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Advanced students can enter Virabhadrasana III from Virabhadrasana I. Perform the Warrior I with the arms stretched Upwards. Exhale the front chest down onto the top of the leg.
How To Do Virabhadrasana III: Hinge forward at the hips and break your belly arms, on your front thigh. Step back foot in and shift your weight. Lift leg that is back up and reaches through the back heel. Spin inner back thigh around the ceiling. Press palms and gaze at hands.
12. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: When you begin practicing Savasana, it can be a battle. You may lie there feeling tense and staring at the ceiling. Or you might fall asleep. Savasana’s gist is to unwind to stay conscious and alert while still being at ease. Remaining aware while relaxing can help release and you start to notice stresses in mind and your body.
How To Do Savasana: Lie faceup, separating legs and letting feet apart. Place arms along sides, palms facing upwards. Close eyes and relax.
13. Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: There are two ways to place the torso. Beginners must align the chest on the side of the thigh’s midline. Advanced students should rotate the body and bring down its midline above the midline of the thigh.
How To Do Parsvottanasana: Start in mountain pose. Step left foot and put it flat on the ground at an angle. Ground down into both feet and lift through both legs. Lift arms up to shoulder height. Turn arms in slightly and join the hands to touch behind the back. (To modify for tight shoulders, join fists to reach, grab opposite elbows, or put hands on the hips) Hinge forward at your hips and lengthen the spine. Lift shoulders and spread chest.
14. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Ustrasana can be a pose for your neck if your shoulders are tight. You can use a wall as a prop. Prepare for the pose with your back to a wall turned under and your feet as possible. Exhale as explained in step 3 in the description above and lean back. Press the crown of your head and, contrary to this pressure, lift the shoulder blades deeper. Keep your hands or bend them back to press on your palms.
How To Do Ustrasana: Kneel with shins. Rest hands. Press down into shins and reach up through the torso. As you stretch arms back to reach hands lift up the chest.
15. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: you may re-extend the elbows after you’re totally from the bend. There are lots of ways to accomplish this. You can clasp your hands or turn the back of one hand with the hand to the soles and grip its wrist. You grip its sides and can put a block.
How To Do Paschimottanasana: Start feet flexed rather than turning in or out, and your hands on your hips. Lift your chest and begin to hinge forward from your waist. Engage your abdominals and visualize your tummy button moving towards the top of your thighs.
Stop as soon as you hit your max and breathe for 8-10 breaths. Ensure your shoulders, neck and head are released.
16. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Once in the pose, lift your heels off the ground and push on your tailbone up, somewhat closer to the pubis. From the lift of the tail, stretch the heels back to the floor.
How To Do Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Lie down on your back and put your feet hip-width apart. Press onto your feet and lift up your butt. Interlace your hands as you open up your chest 20, and press on the fists to the ground.
Imagine pulling your heels on the mat towards your shoulders. Hold for 8-10 breaths then repeat two more times and lower your hips.
17. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Imagine you have two partners, each pressing inward (toward the pelvis) to a knee. Along the legs against this resistance, push out from the center of the sacrum. Then push on the heels together.
How To Do Baddha Konasana: Sitting on the ground, bend knees and open them wide like a book. While sitting erect, join the bottoms of your feet. Place hands on the floor directly and lengthen up through the spine. You hinge forward at hips and can hold onto ankles.
18. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: We do not breathe completely and consciously. Balasana provides a superb opportunity to us to do that. Imagine that every inhalation is “dominating” the rear torso toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the spine. Then exhalation releases the body a bit more deeply.
How To Do Balasana: Start on all fours stretch your arms and bring your feet and knees together as you sit your butt back to your heels. Decrease your forehead to the ground (or block or pillow or blanket) and let your whole body release. Hold for as long as you desire!
19. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Beginners find it difficult to lift their thighs. You can give your legs by lying with your legs supported on a blanket, a little boost.
How To Do Dhanurasana: Lie facedown lift legs, arms, and torso. Bend knees and reach back to grab ankles. Lift toes spin inner thighs and lengthen tailbone. Spread and lift the chest.
20. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Beginner’s Tip: Through the cradle warm-up the ankle is overstretched. Push through the border of the foot against the arm to equalize both ankles. When you pull across the foot see that you keep this stretch of the inner and outer ankles.
How To Do Padmasana: without dropping your shoulders – sit on the ground with spine and your head right. Expand forward your legs, so your heels and knees are touching. Bend your right leg and pull the bent knee. Maintain your calf touching the thigh and set the bent knee. Hold your foot heels right with the hand with the hand and the toe and pull the right foot over the left thigh.
Keep the leg bend your left leg and put it such your sole is under the thigh. Touch the thumb of each hand to the index finger at the tips to form a circle. Make certain that the other three fingers are straight. Rest your left hand on your left knee and your right hand on your right knee with the hands facing upwards. Keep your arms straight. Remain in this last posture with your eyes closed for approximately a couple of minutes (at the early stages) or your ‘edge’. Repeat on the opposite side!
Yoga Advice For Newbies
Your yoga practice reduces stress and can do much more than giving muscle strength. A study suggests that short phases of yoga can help your brain work and keep your mind focused. A lot is dependent upon the sort of gifts you perform – a number of them are energizing while bends have a calming effect, like back bends. Standing poses build balancing and stamina raises concentration. Twists can allow you to detoxify the body and release tension. Start with these asanas if you are new to yoga.