Yoga as a practice has been around for centuries, but has become increasingly popular in recent decades. Yoga is a great practice to help reduce stress, foster mindfulness, and keep the body fit and healthy. While there are many different types of yoga, the poses you can use in home practice are suitable for beginners, too. Here are a few easy yoga poses to get you started in the right direction.
This is one of the most well-known and widely practiced yoga poses in existence, and is a great starting point for beginners. Begin by standing on all fours, with hands slightly wider than the shoulders and knees directly beneath the hips. As you inhale, slowly lift and straighten the knees, pressing back with your hips as you press your chest forward. As your heels reach for the floor and your calves stretch, keep your shoulders pulled back and maintain a neutral spine position. To come out of the pose, simply bring your knees back to the floor.
The Cobra Pose can be a great way to warm up the body for a yoga sequence. To begin, simply lie flat on the floor and place your hands just beneath your shoulders. As you inhale, press your hands firmly into the floor and lift your chest away from the ground. Tuck in your elbows and keep your shoulders in line with the elbows, while keeping your feet and thighs hip-width apart. Keep your gaze forward and your neck in a neutral position. To exit the pose, gently lower your body back down to the floor.
Tree Pose is the perfect way to practice balance and steadiness. Begin by standing in Mountain Pose, with hands pressed together and arms extended in front of your chest. As you inhale, slowly lift one foot and press it against the inner thigh of the opposite leg, or against your calf or ankle. Keep your gaze forward and focus on an unmoving point as you hold the pose for 10–30 seconds. To come out of the pose, release the lifted foot and return to Mountain Pose.
The Crescent Lunge is a great pose to stretch out the hips and thighs, while also promoting strength and flexibility. To begin, step your right foot forward and bring your hands together at your heart center. As you inhale deeply, bend your right knee and raise both arms upward. Keep your right knee in line with your right ankle, and gaze forward at the hands. Keeping your hips even, press your chest forward and up, opening the shoulders. To come out of the pose, inhale deeply and bring the hands and the front foot back to the starting position.
Warrior I Pose is a great way to strengthen and stretch the body. Starting in Mountain Pose, step your right foot forward a few feet and turn your left foot out. As you inhale, raise your arms straight over your head and press your palms together. Lower your hips towards the ground, creating a straight line extending from fingertips to the heel of the back foot. Open your chest upward and keep the arms extended, drawing your shoulder blades together. Stay in the pose for 5–10 breaths, and then come out of it by inhaling and releasing your arms and stepping back to Mountain Pose.
These are just a few simple poses that can help you get started in your practice of yoga. With consistent practice and mindful presence, you will soon find yourself diving deeper into your practice. Remember to listen to your body and move slowly and steadily, as you start to explore and connect with your inner strength and wellbeing.