Did you know that yoga leads to weight reduction, a balanced metabolism, and even better respiration and vitality? If you'd like to start reaping the benefits of yoga but don't know where to start, ease into a practice with easy yoga poses for beginners.
What does yoga for beginners look like? Read on for 5 basic yoga poses to launch you on a path to increased energy, vitality, and more advanced yoga poses.
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
While the posture looks static, tadasana involves dynamic stretching and realignment. Begin in a standing position with your heels slightly apart on the mat and your arms hanging loosely at your sides. Bring intention to the pose by assessing your shoulders and neck.
As you move into the pose, keep these elements in mind:
- balance your weight throughout the soles of your feet and toes
- inhale while lengthening your torso
- exhale and move your shoulder blades downwards and toward each other
- firm your thighs turning them inwards
- broaden your collarbone
- elongate your neck
- imagine a straight line running between your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles
Tadasana represents a crucial foundation for any yoga practice as a beginning pose. So, you'll come back to it many times as you progress into yoga classes and series.
2. Balasana (Child's Pose)
Balasana tames tension and relieves discomfort. Escape into it any time you long to relax or need to recover from an intense yoga pose.
To relax into balasana, bend your knees and sit on your heels. Sink your body forward over your thighs and place your forehead on the mat. Rest your arms along the sides of your body relaxing your shoulders forward with gravity.
Close your eyes. Release your chest towards your thighs, and take gentle restorative breaths.
3. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana involves a gentle backbend that opens your chest and heart and begins to prepare you for sun salutations. Start on your stomach with your feet drawn together and your toes flat on the ground. Bring your hands palm-facing down on each side of the mat just below your shoulders.
As you inhale, begin raising your head, chest, and waist from the ground drawing on the strength of your core to elongate your torso. Be aware of the weight you place in your palms as you straighten your arms. This weight should remain evenly distributed to avoid wrist injuries.
Tilt your head back looking toward a point in front of you or the sky depending on your flexibility level. Your arms may remain bent throughout the pose. Just make sure that you're lengthening up and out rather than compressing or constructing your lower back.
4. Paschmottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
After the chest-opening, back-bending motion of bhujangasana, paschmottanasana allows you to melt forward into a seated bend that revitalizes and lengthens your muscles. Take a seat on the mat and raise your hands over your head as you inhale.
On your exhale, lean forward over your legs leading with your chest. Elongate your spine while taking an inhale and relaxing into the pose. Depending on your flexibility, use your hands to hold onto calves or toes.
Don't force the forward bend or you'll create tension in your shoulders and neck. Relax into it with each inhale and exhale stretching your hamstrings, hips, and spine.
5. Sukhasna (Easy Pose)
Many yoga practices end with sukhasna, and it's also a great pose to work on pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation. While this pose may not feel "easy" at first, remember that the other poses you practice will make it more comfortable over time. In fact, it's a great way to gauge your improvement.
Sit on the mat in a cross-legged position. Straighten your spine on an inhalation and place your hands on your knees while assessing your alignment.
Are your shoulders in your ears or drawn together and down your back? Do your hips feel open and relaxed, or are you straining to keep them in the crossed position?
Bring awareness to your body and breathe gently giving attention where needed. Relax into the pose while maintaining good posture and focus on how good you feel.
We've got the yoga equipment and resources you need to start a healing, strengthening practice. Yoga comes with countless health and psychological benefits, so why not start reaping them today?