The Best Yoga Poses For Beginners

When I attended my first yoga class, I was excited but slightly confused.

I spent most of my time looking at the poses being performed by the other participants and checking that I was on the right track.

After some assistance from my instructors, I eventually began to gain a sense of how each pose worked, what benefits it provided, and which parts of the body to focus on during the pose.

I really wish I had learnt some beginner poses beforehand, as it would have given me a stronger foundation to build upon.

To help you enjoy your first encounter with yoga, this post will share several of the best yoga poses for beginners.

They are simple to master and will help you get started.

#1 – Mountain Pose

Mountain pose is the starting point for all standing poses.

Although it looks simple, it will probably take you some time to master this pose.

When you have perfected mountain pose, you will be using every muscle in the body as it strongly grounds you strongly against the earth.

To perform Mountain Pose:

  1. Stand tall with your feet close together. Spread your toes our wide to give yourself a stable platform.
  2. Engage your quadriceps, draw the abdominals in, and lift your chest. As you open your chest up, draw your shoulders back. Keep your arms at your sides, with palms facing in towards the body.
  3. As you take a deep breath, raise your hands overhead so your arms are reaching towards the sky. Keep your palms facing each other.
  4. Lower arms on the exhale and repeat several times.

#2 – Tree Pose

This is a great pose for improving your balance and obtaining a feeling of mental clarity.

You can perform this pose directly after a mountain pose if you wish.

To perform a Tree Pose:

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet together.
  2. Place the sole of your right foot against your inner upper left thigh. Bring your hands together a prayer position and look directly forward.
  3. During this pose, focus on keeping your abdominals engaged and shoulders relaxed.
  4. Hold this position as you take between 8 to 10 breaths, then alternate positions so your left foot is against your right thigh.

#3 – Plank Pose

Plank Pose is another yoga pose that looks simple, but does take some time to perfect.

It is a particularly useful pose for improving your strength and balance.

To perform Plank Pose:

  1. Start on the ground, on all fours
  2. Tuck your toes under your feet and lift your legs from the mat. Pull your heels back until your legs are extended. Simultaneously straighten your arms so your torso, legs, and head form a straight line.
  3. Concentrate on engaging the abdominal muscles as you draw the shoulders down and away from the ears.
  4. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.

#4 – Downward Dog

This is a classic pose that most people will recognise instantly.

Although it is a challenging pose to perform initially, you will come to see it as a resting pose.

Downward Dog stretches and strengthens the entire body.

To perform a Downward Dog:

  1. Start on the ground, on all fours.
  2. Tuck your toes under your feet as you lift your hips and pull them towards your heals
  3. Attempt to straighten your legs, but keep them bent if your hamstrings are tight. Your arms should be straight in front of you, with palms on the ground. Move the hands forward if you need more room.
  4. Push through the hands and feet to firmly ground yourself. Keep your abdominals engaged as you keep the torso moving back towards the thighs.
  5. Hold this position for several breaths before return to all fours.

#5 – Seated Forward Bend

If you found that your hamstrings felt tight during Downward Dog, incorporate some Seated Forward Bends into your next yoga session. This simple pose is useful for stretching the hamstrings and improving lower back flexibility. To perform a Seated Forward Bend:

  1. Start in a seated position on the ground with your legs straight in front of you, toes pointed towards the sky
  2. As you lift your chest, pivot at the waist to lean forward and engage the abdominals.

#6 – Warrior II

Warrior II is a powerful pose that opens the hips, strengthens the shoulders, and stretches the lower back.

Most yoga routines will incorporate Warrior II at some stage, which makes it an essential pose for beginners to learn.

To perform a Warrior II:

  1. Begin in a standing position
  2. Move your right foot about a leg’s length in front of your left foot. Keep the right foot facing forwards, with the left foot angled at close to 45 degrees.
  3. Bend the right knee until it is over your right ankle as you keep the left leg straight. Your torso should be evenly between the hips.
  4. Stretch your right arm forward and your left arm backwards.
  5. Hold for between 8 to 10 breaths before returning to mountain pose.

Thanks for reading The Best Yoga Poses For Beginners.

For more yoga guides, stay tuned.

Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a leading international tax adviser who specialises in dealing with ultra high net worth individuals.

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