Yoga is one of the most practiced workout routine these days. It is especially popular among people who are aiming to increase their flexibility, strength, and/or shed some excess weight. Yoga isn’t only great for keeping your body in shape, it’s also perfect for greater relaxation.
If you are new to yoga, your first session may become too overwhelming for you. For starters, yoga’s vocabulary isn’t really an easy one to understand and the poses may be too difficult for you to get not to add the combination of techniques. You don’t have to worry though, everyone’s been on your shoes at some point and they turned out pretty great at doing yoga.
It is a known fact that yoga isn’t really an easy exercise routine. When you’re a beginner at yoga studio, you may see a lot of yogis doing poses that may be too complicated for you. You might even be tempted to run away and think “Oh no, I don’t think I will be able to do that.” Probably. But you will never know unless you try.
Types of Yoga Poses
It is important to understand that being a master in yoga doesn’t happen overnight. You have to start from the bottom and work your way up. If you have made up your mind and continue yoga practice, then wonderful! To start your yoga journey right, let’s start with discussing the different types of yoga poses.
- Backbend Poses
Backbend Poses are usually the most challenging set of poses for a yoga beginner. Yoga instructors know that not everybody are flexible so they usually start yoga with a gentle flexion and extension that would allow the beginner practitioner to adjust.
People generally do little backbend poses in each day which is why it is great for the spine and could help in prolonging life.
- Balancing Poses
One of the important thing for yoga beginners to build is core strength and balancing poses can do just that. Balancing poses are important to master since it is generally needed to perform the most advanced yoga poses. At first a yoga, a yoga beginner may find balancing hard but they may be able to improve it through constant practice.
- Standing Poses
The standing poses have different purposes in different types of yoga. For instance, in vinyasa yoga, the standing positions are usually linked together thus creating a long flows or sequences. On hatha yoga, however, it doesn’t work in the same manner. Standing poses can be done while resting every once in a while.
Generally, standing poses are usually done at the start of each yoga session in order to build up heat.
- Seated Poses
Seated poses are great for stretching the hamstrings and hips. These postures are usually done towards the end of the yoga session as a way to cool down. If a yogi becomes uncomfortable with the seated poses, he/she can always put a rolled blanket or towel underneath the butt for extra support.
- Supine or Resting Poses
Resting poses such as child’s pose are designed to encourage rests or breaks in between poses in every yoga session. These supine postures are important since they continue the stretch of a seated or backbend type of position without completely stopping the flow of poses.
11 Beginner Yoga Poses
Let’s face it, you can never become a master of anything if you have no idea on its basic foundation. Well, yoga works in that similar manner. To be able to perform the most advance of the yoga poses, you need to be able to learn the most basic ones since these are usually used as transition poses.
Here are 11 beginner yoga poses to get you started on your training:
- Mountain Pose or Tadasana
Mountain pose is a standing pose and is one of the most important poses in yoga. It’s basically the base of all yoga poses.
To do a mountain pose, you start by putting your feet together and spreading your toes apart and distributing your weight evenly through the balls of each foot. Take a deep breath and raise your hands up towards the sky until the palms meet together. Extend your arms further towards the ceiling and push your hips slightly and breathe normally. Hold this position for at least 4-8 breaths.
- Easy Pose or Sukhasana
This pose may look easy to perform but many yogis actually find this challenging. To start, sit on your mat with legs stretched straight towards you. Pull your right leg towards you and bend it. Do the same to the other leg. Put your right foot over your left leg and your left foot over your right leg. Make sure that your knees are touching the ground firmly. You have the choice of what to do with your hands during this position. You can either place your hand on your lap, palms up, or you can rest your hands on your knees. Push your chest out. This way, the spine will be straight. Keep your eyes closed and breathe normally.
- Chair Pose or Ukatasana
Among the many benefits of the chair pose are muscle toning, core strengthening and increased ankle mobility.
Begin by standing up on your mat planting your feet close together with your toes and heel slightly touching the other. Find your balance in each foot and place your hands on your both sides of your hips. Breathe out, bring your butt down and bend your knees like you are sitting on an invisible chair. Raise your arms together with palms facing each other. If you feel a pinching sensation on your lower back that means that you are overarching your back. When this happens, simply draw your low ribs until you feel it levelling out with your pelvis. Hold this position for at least 5 to 10 breaths and release by lowering your arms on both sides and extending your legs.
- Seated Forward Bend
This position is perfect for people who are looking to learn how to breathe through uncomfortable positions. Seated forward bend is important in helping stretch the hamstrings and lower back.
Start by sitting down on your mat while extending your legs towards you. Push your chest out as you direct your upper body towards the floor. Rest your hands on top of your mat as you push your body down. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths and release by pulling your body up into the initial position.
- Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana
The best way to learn a pain-free cobra pose is to learn how to engage your abdominals. Abdominals are essentially the one that keeps you safe since it protect the lower back while a yogi reaches for an opening at the upper back.
To begin the cobra pose, start by lying flat on your stomach. Raise your upper back and put your elbows beneath your shoulders to support your weight. Spread your legs hip width apart and press the top of your toes into your mat. Lengthen your lower back by pressing your tailbone towards your feet and then pressing your palms to the mat, start lifting your chest up until you form an arch. Be careful not to strain your back. Breathe in and out at for 5-10 times and release.
- Tree Pose or Vrkasana
The tree pose is a great balancing pose for beginners to master. It helps yogis gain better focus and learn the proper breathing technique while balancing the body by standing on one foot.
Begin this pose by pressing your feet together and slowly pressing the sole of your left foot on the upper inner left of the right thigh. Press your palms together as if in a prayer and hold the position while steadying your gaze.
Breathe 8-10 times and try not to lose your balance. Be sure not to lean in to one foot and keep engaging your abdominals.
- Child’s Pose or Balasana
Child’s pose is a resting pose that can be used as a transition pose between a more challenging pose. This pose is not just for the beginners but for advanced yogis as well. Child’s pose is a perfect pose to do when you want to relieve all stress and just take a break from all tension.
To start, put your feet together and kneel on your mat with your butt down on your heels. Stretch your arms forward and start lowering your head towards the floor and start relaxing your whole body. Since this is a resting asana, you may be able to hold this position for 30 seconds or a few minutes before proceeding to another yoga pose.
- Corpse Pose or Savasana
Savasana is the best yoga resting pose. To do a corpse pose, you have to lie on your back. Make sure that your head is in the center and facing up. Place your arms on your sides and breathe in and out smoothly. Relax the muscles in your face, neck, shoulders, and bring attention to each part of your body until it relaxes fully.
There are a lot of yoga moves a beginner yoga has to master. These are just some of the basic ones. Challenge yourself to hold a pose for much longer.
It’s understandable that you might have a lot of questions about yoga if you’re a beginner but you’ll eventually learn all the answers as you go. You might have some doubts about yourself. Don’t let that stop you. As you continue practicing these asanas you’ll gradually discover that yoga can actually be your life’s most rewarding experience.