Yoga is an ancient practice with a myriad of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that have led to its ongoing popularity across the globe. If you are new to the world of yoga, the sheer number of options can feel overwhelming, so it’s important to get started on the right foot. Fortunately, there are a few basic poses that provide an excellent introduction to yoga and set the foundation for more complex postures down the road.
Mountain pose is the most fundamental of all yoga poses, and a great starting point for people new to the practice. To get into the pose, stand up straight with your feet together, and your arms by your side. Push your shoulder blades into your back, slightly engage your abdominals, and rest the palms of your hand lightly on the sides of your thighs. Keep the neck and shoulders relaxed and breathe deeply.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog is one of the most recognizable poses in yoga, and is a great way to work on improving your balance and flexibility. To get into the pose, kneel on the floor and place your hands on the ground about shoulder-width apart. Push your hips up and back to bring your body into an upside-down ‘v’ shape, with your arms and legs straight and your head in line with your arms. Make sure that you keep your shoulders pulled back away from your ears and your heels pushing towards the floor. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for a few breaths before lowering your body back to the floor.
Plank is deceivingly simple, but surprisingly difficult. From an all-fours position, you simply push your body up into a straight line, with your feet together and your body parallel to the ground. To stay in the pose, be sure to engage your core and remember to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. Plank offers excellent strength training benefits, which is why it often serves as a base for more-complicated poses and exercises.
Cobra is an effective pose for strengthening the core and gently opening the entire front side of your body. To get into the pose, start by lying face-down on the ground, with your legs and feet together. Place your hands on the ground just underneath your shoulders and, with your feet and legs pushing into the ground, activate your core and lift your chest off the ground. As with all poses, be sure to keep your neck and head in line with the rest of your spine.
Chair pose is an incredibly effective way to work your quads and strengthen your core. To get into the pose, stand with your feet together, your hands in prayer position at your heart, and your pelvis pulled in tight. Bend your knees and push your hips back, like you’re about to