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Yoga for Beginners: Essential Poses

By Surabhi Agrawal September 29, 2021


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Yoga is an ancient practice that has been around for centuries. It can be performed by anyone at any fitness level, but it's best to start with the basics!

The poses in yoga are not difficult to learn, but mastering the poses takes time and patience.

In this blog post, we will cover some of the most basic yoga poses.

We'll talk about what they are, how to do them correctly, and offer variations you can try out if you're looking for something a little more challenging.

## Types of Poses

There are different types of poses in Yoga :

Standing Poses - These poses are performed when your feet have a firm stance on the ground. 

Sitting Poses - These yoga asanas, or postures, can be done while sitting in a meditation position with legs crossed over each other. They usually include movements of the upper body and arms. 

Inverted Poses - Inverted Yoga Asanas require you to lie down on your back, upside-down. 

Lying Poses - These yoga asanas require you to lay flat on the floor or on a mat. 

Balance Poses - Like Inverted Yoga Asanas, balance poses are performed when lying down with legs raised in either lotus pose or one-legged.

##Before you begin Yoga

- All you need to do yoga at home or a class is a pair of leggings, yoga pants or sweatpants and a T-shirt, if you don't want to break out in a sweat right away. 

- If you have mats at home already for gym workouts or other exercises, they will work just fine for yoga too! If not, get a simple yoga mat to avoid slipping or getting injured while performing the asanas. 

- Accessories like hot towel and a few yoga blocks, yoga wheel will also come in handy. 

- You can wear sneakers instead of yoga shoes, but if you want to do standing poses barefoot is best. 

- For beginners, it's best to wear comfortable clothing that won't fall off or become loose while you're doing the asanas. 

- It is very important to be hydrated before and after your yoga session. You should have water nearby for sips between poses so you don't get dehydrated. 

- If your muscles are stiff from sitting down all day at work or driving around in your car, stretching beforehand will help prevent injury as well!

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## 11 Yoga Poses for Beginners

Here are 11 yoga poses that you need to incorporate in your routine to refresh your body and mind: 


1. Downward-facing dog - 

A downward-facing dog is a basic yoga pose that looks intimidating - but it's actually really easy once you get the hang of it!

Begin on all fours, with your hands and knees positioned directly below your hips.

Slide back so that only one foot remains in contact with the ground at a time, with your knees bent.

Slowly straighten your legs while pushing back with the balls of your feet to form a triangle shape between you and the ground - think about it like an upside-down letter V.

Look up at the ceiling while keeping your neck in line with your spine, then slowly lower yourself down into a plank position.

Push back up so that you're in a Downward-facing dog again, and repeat the movement until you feel comfortable.

If your heels keep coming off of the ground when they should be pressed into it during a downward-facing dog, try wearing yoga shoes with a thick sole to give yourself extra grip! They can also help if you have an existing knee or ankle injury.

Variations of downward-facing dog include lifting one leg up to the sky, which will give your legs a great workout while also improving core stability!

This yoga pose is most effective when breathing deeply, so try inhaling and exhaling in time with the movement. To increase the difficulty further, try holding the pose for ten breaths.

A downward-facing dog is a great yoga pose to build on because it incorporates several basic movements, including moving your legs back and forth, bending at the waist while maintaining good posture, and pushing up with your hands.

It's also one of my personal favorite poses - you can incorporate some simple arm balances using a downward-facing dog to work your arms and shoulders!

Next time you're in a yoga class, why not give it a go? #downward_facing_dog #yoga #poses

Source: Yoga For Beginners - Essential Poses (blog.studivz.net)

2. Cat and cow Stretch - 

The cat and cow stretch is one of the most common yoga poses and for good reason. It's a great way to warm up your back muscles before you begin more complicated poses. 

Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees below your hips. Curl down towards the ground like a cat, bending your head down towards the floor. 

Now arch up like a cow, looking straight up at the ceiling and pushing out through your chest to make room for your spine in between. Repeat this movement until you feel ready to move on - it should only take ten or so reps before you're feeling warmed up! 

Variations of cat and cow include holding your spine in one position instead of arching or curling it. Try moving the head down towards the ground, then back up to center - this will help stretch out both sides equally! 

Cat and cow is a great yoga pose for beginners because it requires no extra equipment (unlike some other poses) and you can do it anywhere! It's also a great pose for those with back pain - and can be combined with other poses to help stretch out the spine even more. 

Ready to try this yoga pose yourself? Here we go: Curl down towards the floor until your head is between your forearms, making you look like an angry cat. Now, arch up like a cow to look at the ceiling - this will make your spine much taller! Repeat ten or so times until you feel ready for more challenging poses.

3. Warrior 1 pose - 

Warrior one is a great yoga pose for building up leg and hip strength, while also helping improve your balance. It's not as simple as it looks - but don't worry! Let me show you how to do it in detail.

To begin, start standing with your feet around three or four feet apart . Take a step forward with your right foot, and bend the knee to around 90 degrees. Make sure you keep both of your feet pointing directly forwards - don't turn either one outwards or inwards while doing this yoga pose! 

Now straighten up so that both legs are fully extended in front of you, with all four corners of your feet pointing directly forwards. 

Take a moment to look at your legs - are they both extended equally? Make sure that you're not leaning towards one side! 

Now, raise up your arms into the air so that they extend outwards from your shoulders. Reach upwards with all of your fingertips until you feel as if you have reached the sky. 

This is warrior one pose - and the version of it that you should be practicing as a beginner. Make sure to take your time with this yoga pose so that you can master it before trying out more complicated ones!

4. Warrior 2 pose -

Warrior 2 is a bit more advanced than warrior one - but don't worry! I'll walk you through how to do it step-by-step.

To start, begin standing with your feet around three or four feet apart . Take a large step backwards with your right foot while also bending the knee so that it's at 90 degrees. Keep your left foot pointing forwards and don't turn either one outwards or inwards while doing this yoga pose!

Now straighten up so that both legs are fully extended in front of you, with all four corners of your feet pointing directly forwards. Make sure to look at each leg - they should be the same length and not leaning towards one another.

Raise your arms out in front of you so that they extend upwards, reaching with all of your fingertips until you feel as if you have reached the sky. You can take a moment to look at yourself - are both sides equal? Make sure not to lean forwards or backwards while doing this yoga pose!

This is warrior 2 pose - and the version of it that you should be practicing as a beginner. Make sure to take your time with this yoga pose so that you can master it before trying out more complicated ones! 

Key Takeaways: Warrior poses are great for beginners to yoga because it can be done anywhere and requires no equipment! Make sure not to turn either foot outwards or inwards while doing this pose!

5. Triangle pose -

Triangle pose is another great yoga pose for beginners - it's also called trikonasana. This yoga move will help stretch out your hips, legs and backside while improving balance at the same time!

It may appear to be difficult, but I'll show you how to do it one step at a time:

To begin this yoga pose, stand up straight with your feet around three or four feet apart . Turn the right foot outwards so that all four corners of it are pointing forwards. 

Now turn your left leg in slightly - but keep both legs fully extended!

Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale drop down towards the floor until your torso is parallel with the ground.

Make sure to keep your left leg fully extended, and reach out from the back of your right knee until you feel a stretch in that area. You can look up if it's too hard for you - but make sure not to bend forward! This yoga move is all about balance. 

Hold this pose for a few breaths before repeating on the other side.

6. Tree Pose -

Tree pose is all about balance, and it will help to improve your focus while stretching out your legs. It's also great for pregnant women - so keep that in mind if you're expecting!

To learn how to do this yoga move step-by-step:

Start standing with both feet together. Now turn the right foot outwards so that all four corners of it are pointing forwards.

Bring the sole of your left foot towards the inner right thigh, and make sure to press firmly against it! Keep both legs fully extended, but don't bend either one inwards or outwards.

Make sure not to lean forward while doing this yoga pose - you can look up to the sky if you need to! Make sure that your legs are completely straight while doing this yoga pose - and hold it for between five and ten breaths before repeating on the other side.

Key Takeaways: Tree Pose is great for pregnant women - it's all about balance and focus. Keep your legs fully extended, but don't bend either one inwards or outwards!

7.  Mountain pose -

The mountain pose is the first yoga move that you should learn - it will help to open up your hips, stretch out your legs and improve your balance. It's also great for pregnant women because of all of these advantages!

To learn how to do this yoga pose step-by-step:

Start standing with both feet together. Then, turn the left foot outwards so all four corners of it are pointing forwards. 

Now raise both arms up above your head and breathe in deeply. As you exhale lower down towards the ground, stopping when your torso is parallel with it . Keep your legs straight while doing this yoga move - but don't bend them either in or out. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor, and make sure not to lean forward!

Hold this yoga pose for between five and ten breaths before repeating it again with the other leg leading.

Key Takeaways: The mountain pose is great for pregnant women - it will help improve your balance and open up the hips. Keep your legs straight, but don't bend them inwards or outwards!

8. Child's Pose -

The child's pose is great for yoga beginners that are looking to stretch out their back - it will help you relax and let all of your daily stress melt away.

To learn how to do this yoga move step-by-step:

Start by kneeling down on the floor with your knees together. Next, bring both hands down between your legs and lower your torso over them. Make sure to keep your arms extended outwards - but don't lock either elbow!

Now bring both of your feet together, and let the tops of them touch the floor. Hold this yoga pose for between five and ten breaths before slowly getting back up on one knee at a time.

Key Takeaways: Child's Pose is great for stretching out your back and calming you down after a long day! Keep both arms extended, but don't lock either elbow when lowering yourself over them!

9. Cobra Pose -

The cobra pose is great for yoga beginners because it will help to strengthen your back muscles, improve your core stability and stretch out the front of your torso. It's also good for pregnant women who are looking to stay in shape!

To learn how to do this yoga move step-by-step: 

Start by lying flat on your stomach with your palms down on either side of your torso. Make sure to keep both legs fully extended - but don't bend them inwards or outwards!

Now breathe in deeply, and as you exhale lift the upper half of yourself up using only your back muscles. While doing this pose make sure not to let any part of your torso drop down - keep it lifted and extended.

Hold this yoga pose for between five and ten breaths before slowly lowering yourself back down again. Once you're done, repeat the cobra pose on the other side of your body to balance things out!

Key Takeaways: This pose is great for pregnant women to strengthen your back, improve core stability and stretch out the front of you! Keep both legs fully extended when lifting yourself - but don't let any part of your torso drop down.

10. Chair Pose -

The chair pose is a great yoga move to strengthen your legs, stretch out the backs of them and improve your balance. It's also good for pregnant women looking to stay fit!


To learn how to do this yoga pose step-by-step:

Start by standing with both feet together. Make sure that they're pointing straight ahead and not out to the sides. Then, lift both hands up above your head and join them together - keep this pose as you exhale!

Now breathe in deeply, and on exhalation bend down towards the floor. Make sure that both knees are pointing slightly inward (you'll feel it if they're pointing straight ahead!) while doing this yoga pose. Keep your back long and straight - don't lean forward or arch it!

Hold this yoga move for between five and ten breaths, then slowly rise up again once you're done. Make sure that both knees are still slightly bent when rising back to the starting position.

Key Takeaways: Chair pose is great for pregnant women to strengthen your legs, stretch out the backs of them and improve balance! Make sure that both knees are slightly bent when rising back up - don't bend or lean forward!

11. Bridge Pose -

The bridge pose is a great yoga move to strengthen the muscles of your back, stretch out both sides of your body and improve balance. It's also good for pregnant women looking to stay fit!

To learn how to do this yoga pose step-by-step:

Start by lying flat on your back with both legs extended straight up towards the ceiling . Make sure that your feet are pointing straight up as well, and not out to the sides.

Now bend both knees so that they're directly above your hips, then slowly lower them down on either side of you until you can feel a stretch in the back of your thighs. Keep this pose if finding it easy - otherwise keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. If you can't reach that far down with your legs, then just do this yoga pose while keeping both hands either side of you - but make sure they're in line with your hips.

Hold this pose for between five and ten breaths, before slowly raising back up again to return to a normal position. Return your feet to pointing straight up, then slowly lower both legs down so that they're extended on the floor once again.

Key Takeaways: The bridge pose is great because it will help stretch out both sides of your body, strengthen the back and improve balance. Make sure that your feet are pointing straight ahead as you lower them down to a point where there's a stretch in the backs of your thighs.

##Final Thoughts

If you are new to yoga, or simply looking for new variations in yoga, this blog post is for you. 

There are 11 basic poses in the list above that will help get your feet wet and give your body a good stretch! 

These 11 yoga poses make up a strong foundation for beginners looking to start a yoga practice. There are lots of other basic poses too - but these 11 should definitely be on your list to try! 

What other beginning-level poses have worked well for you? Let us know in the comments section or on social media with #yogaposesforbeginners.

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