Thinking of getting started with yoga? Here are 5 foundational yoga poses for beginners that you’ll need to be familiar with…
If you are considering taking up yoga for the first time, it may seem a little bit confusing and overwhelming. There are hundreds of yoga poses, and many have different variations, and even different names depending on who you ask! However, there is no need to worry – a good beginner yoga class will help ease you into it – or you can also try learning a few yoga poses for beginners at home.
Most likely, you will see most or all of the 5 poses listed below in your first yoga class. These are foundational yoga poses that will appear throughout your yoga journey, no matter which branch of yoga you decide to pursue, so it is important to learn them well when you are just starting out. Click the links below for a more detailed tutorial on each pose.
The starting position is on your hands and knees with your knees slightly behind your hips, feet shoulder-width apart and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Start walking your hands back toward you while lifting your hips towards the ceiling. At the peak of the exercise, your hands and soles of your feet will be on the floor, and your body should look like an inverted “V”. The first few times you try this pose, you may not be able to get your heels all the way to the floor. That is totally okay – don’t force it – just do the best you can and continue to work toward the desired end state each time you perform the pose.
For this pose, start by lying on your stomach. Place your hands on each side of you chest as if you were going to do push-ups. Now extend your arms and push your upper body up; your knees and feet should still be on the floor. Tilt your head back so you are looking up at the ceiling.
Start by kneeling on the floor. Drop your buttocks down toward your heels as you stretch the rest of your body down and forward, extending your arms in front of you. Relax your butt back onto your toes, trying to push your butt into the ground. Simultaneously, extend your arms out as far in front of you as far as you can, and rest your forehead on the floor.
Starting position is standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Now step forward and rotate one leg 90 degrees while keeping your other leg at the starting position, so you are in a high lunge position. Lean forward on rotated leg until the shin of that foot is perpendicular with the floor. At the same time, straighten your hind leg that is still in the starting position, turn the toes slightly inward, and raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor. You should now have one arm pointing directly in front of you, and the other directly behind you. Continue to look straight forward and hold this pose for the required time. Repeat on the opposite side.
While standing still and facing forward with your shoulders back, slowly lift up one foot and place the sole on the inside of your other leg above or below the knee according to your ability. Slowly raise your hands above your head, stretching your arms towards the sky. Hold this pose for the required time and repeat using the opposite leg.
To learn these poses, try rotating though these five poses two to three times without rest for three to four days per week. Focus on building the amount of time you can hold each pose until you can hold each one for 60 seconds. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply through your nose as you perform each movement, and pay attention to your body as you go, listening for any signs of pain or discomfort. If you feel pain, back off, adjust until the pose is comfortable, or skip that pose for that day and try it again next time. With repeated practice, you’ll gain the confidence you need to move forward into more advanced yoga poses!
Want to get started with yoga? Try these at-home yoga classes designed for beginners…