When it comes to fitness, the gym is not the only place where you can exercise your body. You can also achieve that great body shape without equipment. Yoga is one way to keep your health and mind in good shape. Are you planning to start yoga soon?
Many yoga poses put your body in unique shapes that are very different than a typical workout, so don’t surprised if you feel a bit clumsy at first. Here are 12 helpful yoga poses for beginners.
This pose is very simple and effective. All you need to do is
- Start on your hands and knees, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Spread your hands wide and press your index finger and thumb into your mat.
- Lift your tailbone and press your butt up and back, drawing your hips toward the ceiling. Straighten your legs as best as you can and press your heels gently toward the floor.
- Your head should be between your arms, facing your knees, and your backs should be flat.
- Hold for 5–10 breaths.
2. Crescent Lunge
This pose helps you stretch and straighten your back and legs.
- Take a big step forward with your left foot to start in a staggered stance, with your feet almost mat-length apart.
- Bend your front knee and keep your back leg straight and heel lifted off the floor. Try to bend your front leg so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. Square your hips toward the front.
- Extend your arms toward the ceiling on either side of your head and stretch up as you also press into the mat and feel the stretch in your hips.
- Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
- To move into Low Lunge/Anjaneyasana, simply drop your back knee to the floor, keeping the leg extended long and the shin flat on the mat.
Tadasana may seem like a simple yoga pose, the hard part is getting and staying in alignment.
- Stand with your toes together and heels slightly apart.
- Spread your toes and place your weight evenly through both feet. Engage your core and tuck your hips under a bit so your tailbone is pointing down toward the floor. Relax your shoulders and roll them back and down.
- Inhale and reach your arms overhead, while pressing down into your feet. You may also put your hands in prayer position in front of your chest, or rest them by your sides—all are commonly used variations, and your instructor may cue one specifically or give you the choice.
- Take long, slow, deep breaths in and out of your nose.
- Hold for 3–5 breaths.
4. Plank Pose/Kumbhakasana
Plank pose is one of the best core exercises you can do. Like Mountain pose, it may seem simple, but there are many subtle cues to pay attention to in order to fine-tune your plank to build a strong foundation.
- Start on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands flat on the floor directly underneath your shoulders.
- Lift your knees off the floor and extend your legs out behind you. You should now be on your toes and your hands, with your body forming one long line
- Keep your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, and core engaged. Keep your neck and spine in a neutral position by looking down at the top of your mat.
- Hold this position for 3-5 breaths.
Tree pose is an excellent pose to build single-leg strength and balance. Balancing poses like Tree pose is excellent for honing your focus.
- Start in mountain pose with your toes together and heels slightly apart.
- Bring your right foot to the inner thigh of your left leg. Squeeze your foot and inner thigh together. The knee of your right leg should be turned out and your right thigh facing down toward the ground at a 45-degree angle.
- Once you’ve found your balance, lift your hands to prayer position in front of your chest (as shown), or up overhead if that feels better for you.
- Keep your gaze focused on a fixed point in front of you to help stay balanced.
- Hold for 5–10 breaths, then switch sides.
6. Upward-Facing Dog
This pose is a simple pose for physical balance.
- From Low Plank/Chaturanga, drop your hips down to the floor and flip your toes over so the tops of your feet touch the floor.
- Tighten your core and straighten your arms to push your chest up. Pull your shoulders back, squeeze your shoulder blades, and tilt your head toward the ceiling, to open up your chest.
This pose is so good for flexibility and physical strength. This will help keep your lower back in a comfortable place and avoid overextension.
- Stand tall with your feet together.
- Bend your left knee and bring your left foot toward your glutes. Grab onto the inner arch of your left foot with your left hand and slowly lift your foot toward the ceiling. At the same time, reach your right arm forward and up toward the ceiling.
- Actively press down into the floor with your entire right foot as you start to open your chest and pull your lifted leg up. Keep your chest lifted.
- Hold on one side for 5-10 breaths, and then switch sides.