Yoga has steadily been growing in popularity over the last decade, and it isn’t hard to understand why. Not only is it a great way to reduce stress and work towards inner peace, it also comes with an array of physical benefits. In addition to improved strength, stamina and flexibility, yoga also helps to improve posture, balance and coordination. It’s no wonder it has become such a popular form of exercise. For those who are new to the practice, these simple beginner poses can serve as a great starting point.
Mountain Pose, also known as ‘Tadasana’ in Sanskrit, brings together the core principles of balance and grounding. Standing tall with feet together and your arms raised above your head, this pose helps to open up your chest, create length in your spine, tone your abdomen and strengthen your legs. One of the most important things to remember when practicing the mountain pose is to keep your knee muscles soft, allowing your hips to stay relaxed and your navel pulled towards your spine.
Cat Cow Pose
Cat Cow Pose, or ‘Marjaryasana’ in Sanskrit, is great for beginners as it helps to awaken the spine, creating movement and passion throughout the body. Starting off on all fours, with your spinal cord in a neutral position, slowly arch your spine upwards and backwards in a “cow”-like position. Following this, round up your spine inwards while tucking in your abdomen and tailbone, in what is known as a “cat”-like position. Continue to alternate between these poses and observe the subtle energy changes created in your body.
Cobra Pose, also known as ‘Bhujangasana’ in Sanskrit, is a fantastic way to start building strength in your shoulders and upper back. Lying flat on your stomach, with your palms pressing into the ground and your legs and feet together, slowly inhale and press your belly into the ground, using your feet and arms to support the lift. Make sure to keep your elbows tucked in, your hips on the ground, and your neck and chest lifted up towards the sky.
Triangle Pose, or ‘Trikonasana’ in Sanskrit, is an excellent way to ease your body into proper alignment, as well as to learn how to use your breath to create a balance of strength and flexibility. Starting from a standing position with feet together, take a few steps forward, stretch your arms and ground your feet into the ground. Then, lift your arms, exhale and stretch your chest and torso to the right side. Push your hips towards the left side and turn your right foot in lightly, while extending your chest and arms away from your body.
Downward-Facing Dog, or ‘Adho Mukha Svanasana’ in Sanskrit, is one of the most well-known poses in yoga, yet many struggle to perform it correctly. Start on all fours, with your toes pushed towards the bottom, and your hands firmly placed on the ground. Then, inhale and press your heels upwards towards the sky, while keeping