Yoga is an ancient practice with many benefits, including increased flexibility and improved balance. It’s a great way to become fit and to take a break from the stress of our modern lives. It can also be a great way to get started with an exercise program if you’re just beginning to take care of your body. With these 11 yoga poses for beginners, you can start your journey to better health and wellness.
Child’s Pose is a great way to start. It opens up your hips and back and helps you to relax and center yourself before moving on to more difficult poses. This pose is done while sitting on your knees with your big toes touching and your feet slightly apart. Reach your arms out in front of you and lower your torso to the floor. Allow yourself to relax your neck and the rest of your body. Hold for a few breaths and then slowly come up to a seated position.
This is a gentle, but incredibly effective back-opening exercise. Start on all fours with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. As you inhale, drop your belly and raise your head and tailbone up, arching your back. As you exhale, round your back, bringing your head and tailbone toward the floor. Repeat several times, allowing your spine to move with each breath.
Downward-Facing Dog is one of the most popular yoga postures. It requires some strength and flexibility, but the benefits are great. Beginners should start in a modified version of this pose with their knees bent and their hands on a chair or wall. Slowly press your body back until you are in an inverted “V” shape with your hips in the air and your arms and legs straight. Allow your head and neck to relax and focus on your breath as you hold this pose for five to 10 breaths.
Mountain Pose is a great way to improve your strength and balance. Stand tall with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Lift your chest and draw your shoulders down and back. Keep your tailbone tucked in, engage your core, and shift your weight onto your feet. Take a few deep breaths in and out as you hold this pose and feel your strength building.
When you’re ready for something a little more challenging, Tree Pose is a great way to practice your balance. Start with your feet together, then raise one foot and place it as high up your inner thigh as you can. Allow your arms to relax at your sides, or reach your arms up over your head, feeling your core engage as you hold the pose. Be sure to take frequent breaks and switch sides.