Yoga is a popular form of exercise that centers on physical and spiritual health and wellness. Whether you are just getting started with yoga or are an experienced yogi, familiarizing yourself with the beginner poses will help you get the most out of your practice. Here are some of the common beginner poses for you to try:
Cobra Pose is a backbend that adds flexibility to your spine and strengthens your abdominal muscles. It’s also great for improving your posture. From a prone position on the floor, place your hands under your shoulders, lift your chest away from the floor, and press your hips and thighs downwards. Keep your gaze slightly upwards and hold the pose for 15-30 seconds.
Tree Pose is a great pose for beginners because it can be modified to match your level of comfort. Begin by finding your balance on one foot and begin with your hands in prayer position. Once you are settled, raise your arms above your head and press your palms together. For a more challenging variation of tree pose, lift the same-side arm in order to reach your foot to the opposite inner thigh while keeping your palms together above your head. Hold each variation of tree pose for 15-30 seconds.
Downward Dog is one of the most well-known poses in yoga and is a great way to warm up and stretch your entire body. Begin with your hands and knees pressed and your feet hip-width apart. Then ground into your hands and feet and lift your hips in the air. Be sure not to let your spine sink down and keep a slight curve in your back. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds and repeat as many times as you’d like.
Bridge Pose is a great pose for back flexibility, which helps to stretch and open the chest and shoulders. From a supine position, bend your knees and press your feet into the ground and lift your hips up into the air. Clasp your hands together and hold the pose for 15-30 seconds. Pay close attention to your breath and engage your pelvic floor muscles to keep from putting too much pressure on your neck.
Chair Pose is perfect for stretching and strengthening your lower body. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and then bend your knees and sit your hips back into a low squat. Reach your arms up towards the sky and hold the pose for 15-30 seconds. To make the pose more challenging, you can hold dumbbells or use a resistance band for an added challenge. Be sure to focus on keeping your tailbone tucked and your core engaged for the full benefit of the pose.
Adding beginner yoga poses to your practice will provide a solid foundation upon which to build. Remember that safety comes first and listen to your body when deciding what poses to attempt. With patience and practice, you will soon feel the amazing benefits of yoga!