Gaining greater control of our bodies through exercise or sports is a goal we should all strive for. Yoga is a great way to achieve this level of understanding and control, that’s why it’s become so popular. But, many of us don’t even know where to start when it comes to yoga exercises. Even if we do, getting posture and position right can be difficult. Yoga poses are a great way to take your practice to the next step. Here we’ll be taking a look at the different yoga poses suitable for beginners and showing how to practice them safely.
Cobra pose, or Bhujangasana, is great for core strength, hip and low back flexibility, and the lower spine. To perform the cobra, begin by lying on your stomach. Place your hands on either side of your ribcage, with your elbows pointed forword, and press up into the pose, lifting your chest up slowly. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, creating an arch through your chest. Keep your hips on the ground and draw your abdominals in while lifting your chest up. Stay in the pose for no more than 15-30 seconds, then slowly release and come back down.
Downward Facing Dog
The Downward Facing Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a staple pose in most yoga practices. This pose is great for stretching the hamstrings, calves, and the shoulders. To perform the pose, begin by placing your hands and your feet on the floor, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Press your hands and feet into the floor and lift your hips up and back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and press your fingers into the ground. If you like, you can bend your knees slightly. Stay in the pose for 20-30 seconds, then slowly release.
Warrior I Pose
The Warrior I pose, or Virabhadrasana I, is a great way to improve strength in the legs, back, and arms. This pose is also great for balance and concentration, and can help to open up the hips and chest. To perform the pose, begin by taking a wide lunge stance. Bend your front knee and press your back heel into the floor. Lift your chest and come on to the top of your back foot, keeping your hips facing forward. Raise your arms parallel to the ground and look straight ahead. Stay in the pose for 10-30 seconds, then release and switch sides.
Chair pose, or Utkatasana, is great for improving balance and stability and is also a great way to build strength in the legs and hips. To perform the pose, begin with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Bend your knees, keeping your thighs parallel to the ground, and press into the floor. Lift your arms up over your head and keep your core engaged. Stay in the pose for 15-30 seconds, then release and come back to standing.
It is important to approach each of these poses with caution, and never push yourself to a point of pain or strain. Quality of movement is far more important than the amount of repetitions done, so take the time to pay attention to your body and be sure to practice each pose safely and with alignment. With practice and patience, you’ll be sure to see your yoga practice grow.