Yoga Poses Beginner

Yoga—mainly, stretching and focusing on the breath—is an easy practice to incorporate into your daily routines. Let’s look at 11 beginner poses that anyone can do.

Downward-Facing Dog

This pose is a staple in yoga classes around the world. It can be recognized by its signature “V” shape and its full-body, head-to-toe stretch. Start from your hands and knees. Spread your fingers wide, and press firmly into the palms and knuckles of your hands. Lift your hips and buttocks up and back into the shape of an upside-down V. Stretch your legs and heels down toward the floor. Your body should resemble an A-frame. Keep your head between your arms and look towards your navel.

A woman practicing the Downward-Facing Dog yoga pose

Mountain Pose

Standing along, this pose may look like you’re just standing still. But there is a lot happening to make sure it looks and feels correct. Start by standing tall with your legs close together. You can separate your feet slightly if it’s more comfortable. Roll your shoulders back and place your hands together in front of your chest. Feel the crown of your head reaching toward the ceiling, your neck lengthened and your core engaged. This is the easiest yoga pose for a beginner, and it has many benefits including improved concentration and posture.

Child’s Pose

This beginner yoga pose is a resting posture often used in between more difficult yoga poses. Start on your hands and knees. Widen your knees slightly wider than your hips and bring your big toes to touch. Then, sit back onto your heels and lower your forehead towards the ground. Stretch your arms in front of you, with your palms facing down. You can also use your arms to extend over your head. Remain in this pose anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes.

Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose works the whole body and its strengthening and elongating effects can be felt all the way from your upper abdomen up to the base of your head. Lie down on your stomach and place your hands under your shoulders. Exhale and gently start to lift your head and chest up off of the ground. Keep your elbows slightly bent, and make sure your lower back is relaxed. Your thighs should also be resting on the ground. Draw your shoulder blades together, but keep your chest wide open. Lower your head gently.

Tree Pose

The Tree Pose engages both the body and the mind. Start by standing firmly in the Mountain Pose. Then, shift the weight of your body onto one foot. Bend the other leg and place the sole of your foot onto the inner thigh of your standing leg. Gently press your foot onto the thigh. Your eyes should be looking straight ahead still. Arms should be raised above your head. Keep your palms together and parallel to the floor. Remain in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to up to one minute.

Crescent Lunge

The Crescent Lunge is an excellent pose to focus on stretching the hips and legs while toning the core. Begin in a low lunge position—your right foot flat and your left knee dropped. Lift up both hands above your head and focus on pushing your hips down and forward. Look up to the sky, keeping your neck elongated. Return to the starting low lunge position and switch legs.

Cat/Cow Pose

The Cat/Cow Pose is an excellent combo for any beginner yogi. Start by coming onto all fours. Make sure your elbows are parallel to each other and your shoulders are directly over your wrists. Inhale and tilt your tailbone up towards the ceiling, bringing your heart towards the middle of your mat, also known as the Cow Pose. Exhale and curl your spine, bringing your head and tailbone towards each other, now known as the Cat Pose. Alternate between Cat and Cow while focusing on your breath.

Bridge Pose

This pose has many benefits including aiding in digestion, reducing menopausal symptom, and strengthening the back