10 Basic yoga poses for beginners

Years ago when I first started practicing yoga, I followed this Youtube channel to really study how to do the different poses in a correct way. That’s why I want to share with you, and hope you will also have an easy and happy start trying yoga!

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

How to: Begin with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Your heels should be under your sit bones. Spread your toes wide and feel grounded in your stance. Don’t lock your knees, and keep your weight balanced on the four corners of your feet. Keep your shoulders down and your elbows straight.

Benefits: Rooting your legs to the earth helps the body and mind understand how to move and be still simultaneously; calm you and balance your energy; promotes postural awareness.

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

How to: Starting on your hands and knees, turn your toes under and straighten your legs as you raise the hips and straighten the arms. Shift your weight to the back of your legs, pressing down on the heels. Try to keep your hands until your lower back a straight line, and imagine there is something pulling up from your hip bone.

Benefits: Opens the shoulders and stretches the hamstrings and calves; Improves health and rigidity of the spine; Increases blood flow to the brain which calms the mind.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

How to: Begin in Mountain Pose. Step your feet about three to four feet apart. Turn your right foot and knee outward from the top of your thigh. Your middle toe, ankle, kneecap, and center hip should be in a straight line. Turn your left foot in at a 45-degree angle.

Raise your arms to shoulder height, keeping your shoulders down, your spine extended, and your legs strong. Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle, centering it over your middle toe. Keep your hipbones level, your spine long, and your weight evenly distributed between your legs. Don’t lean forward over your bent knee. Press into your forward heel and lengthen your spine up from your pelvis. Keep your shoulders down and do not hunch them. Breathe for 5 to 10 evenly paced breaths.

Inhale and straighten your right leg. Turn your left toes out and your right toes in 45 degrees and repeat the pose on the opposite side.

Benefits: Strengthens your shoulders, arms, thighs, legs and ankles; Stretches your groins, thighs, and ankles; Expands your chest, lungs and shoulders; Stimulates abdominal organs and digestion; Increases stamina and endurance; Improves balance, concentration and core awareness.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

How to: Begin in Mountain Pose. Step your feet three to four feet apart. Turn your right foot and knee outward from the top of your thigh. Turn your left foot in at a 45-degree angle and distribute your weight evenly across both legs. Inhale and raise your arms to shoulder height. Keep your shoulders down and stretch out from your core into your fingertips.

Exhale and extend your side body out over your right leg as you move your hips toward your back foot. Place your right hand on the floor next to your right foot, or on a yoga brick. Keep your back leg strongly rooted to the earth. Straighten your left arm overhead and look up toward your left hand. Breathe for 5 to 10 long, evenly paced breaths.

Inhale and come up. Turn your left toes out and your right foot inn at a 45-degree angle. Repeat the pose on the other side.

Benefits: Relieves stiffness in the spine; Expands your chest and shoulders; Increases mobility of your hip joints; Increases neck mobility; Stretches your spinal muscles; Strengthens and tones muscles of your thighs; Stretches calf muscles, hamstrings, and hip musculature; Increases proprioception (the sense of position in space) of feet and ankles.

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

How to: From Mountain Pose, shift your weight to your left leg and draw your right heel up to your left inner thigh with the bottom of your foot against your inner thigh. Place your palms together in prayer position. Lift up through your core. Let your bent leg feel like a heavy tree branch releasing out from your hip. Breathe deeply and hold for several breaths.

Explore the pose a little more by extending your hands straight up above your head and looking up toward your hands.

Benefits: Strengthens and stretches inner thighs, chest and shoulders; Improves balance; Calms and relaxes your mind and central nervous system; Relieve symptoms of sciatica; Increases your mind / body awareness.

Boat Pose (Navasana)

How to: From sitting pose, place your feet and knees together as you bend your knees. As you hold the back of your knees or thighs, lengthen your spine creating space through your low back and abdomen. Lean slightly back without collapsing into the abdomen and find the back edge of your sit-bones. Maintaining your gaze on a focal point, inhale and lift your feet a few inches off the ground balancing on the sit bones. Continue to breathe as you discover your balance. Keeping the spine tall, slowly raise the heels to the height of your knees. If the spine easily stays tall and the back is comfortable, slowly release your legs reaching your arms forward. Keep your chest open and broad

Benefits: Strengthens your hips, thighs and abdominal muscles; Develops focus and concentration; Improves balance and coordination; Improves digestion; Stimulates your kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandrasana)

How to: Lie supine on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Put your heels hip width apart directly under your knees. Press your palms down into the floor beside your hips. Inhale and slowly lift the hips and lower back off the floor. Keep pressing into the inner edge of your feet to keep the knees and legs parallel. Continue to comfortably lift the middle and upper back until you lift the hips to the height of the knees. Press your shoulder blades firmly into the back as your arms root down. Ensure that your neck is not being forced into the ground. Maintain the natural curve and space under the neck. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute breathing slow and fully into the belly. To exit, exhale and move your shoulder out from underneath as you slowly lower your spine starting from the upper back down through to the hips. Once your hips are resting on the ground, hug your knees into your chest and rock side to side.

Benefits: Stretches your chest, neck, spine and hips; Strengthens your back, buttocks, and hamstring muscles; Calms your brain and central nervous system which helps alleviate stress and mild depression; Massages abdominal organs and improves digestion; Stimulates the lungs and thyroid glands and helps relieve the symptoms of menopause; Reduces anxiety, backache, headache and insomnia.

Two Knees Spinal Twist Pose (Supta Matsyendrasana)

How to: Begin by lying on your back. With your abdominal muscles contracted, inhale as you bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor. Exhale, as you open your arms out to the side in one straight line with your shoulders, palms facing down for support. Continue to support your spine with your core muscles. Bring your feet and knees together.Slowly lower both legs to the left to the floor keeping your feet and knees stacked. Knees should be at the level of your hips and your heels resting about a foot away from the buttocks. Continue to breathe slowly as you let your head turn naturally to the right. Encourage your right shoulder to root down maintaining the twist through the upper spine. Hold for at least 20 seconds. Repeat entrance into and exit out of twist on the right side.

Benefits: Encourages movement and mobility in your spine and vertebrae; Massages, stretches, and tones your internal organs; Improves your digestion; Stretches your chest, shoulders, lower back, hips, middle spine and your upper back; Alleviates pain or stiffness in your lower back, spine and hips.

Side Lateral Stretch (Pasvakonasana)

How to: Begin in Mountain Pose. Exhale as you step three to four feet apart. Lift your arms horizontally so they are parallel to the floor with your palms facing down. Keep your arms full of engery as you feel your shoulder blade and heart region open. While your legs are straight, angle your left foot in slightly to the right and turn your right foot out 90 degrees. The right heel should be aligned with the left heel after adjusting your ankles.

Bend your right knee over your right ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor (as if performing a Warrior stance) and position your right thigh parallel to the floor. Continue to ground your left heel to the floor. As you exhale, contract your abdominal and core muscles as you place the right side of your torso down on your right thigh. Press your right fingertips or palm on the floor just outside of your right foot. As your left arm is now reaching straight up from the shoulder to the ceiling, firm your shoulder blades against the back ribs. Then turn your left palm to face toward your head, and as you inhale reach your arm over the back of your left ear. Your palm should be facing the floor without creating a crowded feeling in the neck and shoulder. Continue to elongate and stretch from your left heel through your left fingertips, feeling a natural lengthening along the entire left side of your body. Focus on long, rich breaths to fuel the thighs’ stamina. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.

Benefits: Strengthens your thighs, hips, knees, and ankles; Stretches your groin, back, spine, waist, ankles, lungs (intercostals) and shoulders; Massages and stimulates your abdominal organs; Increases endurance and stamina.

Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

How to: Begin lying down on your belly, legs stretched out behind you with the tops of your feet pressing against the floor, and your arms beside you, palms face down. Roll your inner thighs up towards the ceiling and firm your legs. Engage your core and draw your tailbone in the direction of your heels as you root your pubic bone in to the mat. On an inhale, lift your feet, legs, hands, arms, chest and head off of the mat, lifting as high as you can. Roll your shoulders on to your back and firmly engage your back muscles, while trying to release your glute muscles. Keep the back of your neck long; your eye gaze should be pointing in the same direction as your sternum. Breathe here for up to 30 seconds, then slowly release.

Benefits: Strengthens the upper and lower back, arms and legs; Stretches the chest, shoulders and abdominals; Prepares the body for deeper back bending; Improves posture

One thought on “10 Basic yoga poses for beginners

  1. Great tips babe! I love how you say to press down on heels rather than “Push your heels to the ground” the latter instruction seems to make people think that is the focus of the pose! xx

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