Some basic yoga positions for beginners can give you benefits that you might not think about. You might think you don’t need the basics once you feel you are at an intermediate level, or you might think the basics won’t help you because you are not flexible enough to “do yoga.” All levels of practitioners can benefit from basic yoga positions.
If you are new to yoga or interested in starting a yoga practice, the basics are your starting point. You can always modify a more difficult pose by practicing a basic pose. You can even modify a basic pose. The object is to find the benefit that each pose has for you – inside your own body.
If you are an intermediate yogi, practicing the basics can re-root you to your poses. Sometimes we move through the poses like we’ve been there before and it is easy.
Try reconnecting with the basic poses. Be mindful of the four corners of your feet pressing into the ground – making your feet the root of your pose. Stand a little straighter and be aware of how small changes affect how you feel in the pose.
5 Essential Tips For Yoga Beginners
If you’re just starting a yoga practice then you probably haven’t had time to figure out some of the tips and tricks that will make it easier to get started with a regular Yoga practice. These 5 tips from experienced Yoga practitioners will help you as you start your own regular yoga practice:
1. Buy a good mat – Your Yoga mat will help protect your joints and will also be an important part of your yoga practice. Don’t buy a poor quality mat just because it’s inexpensive. When you are sure that you are going to start doing yoga on a regular basis then it’s time to invest in a high-quality mat. It’s a better value to buy a high-quality mat that will last than to buy something cheap that will need to be replaced quickly.
2. Wear the clothing designed for Yoga – When you’re doing yoga you’ll be moving in ways that can put a lot of stress on clothing. You need to have clothing that is loose enough to be comfortable but tight enough to not get in the way of your movement. You also need to wear clothing that will stand up to a lot of movement and stretching. Resist the urge to buy normal gym clothes and buy some clothes that are specifically designed for Yoga.
3. Practice at home – Even if you’re taking a class at a Yoga studio you should set aside some time to practice your Yoga at home until you get the hang of the poses. Practicing at home will also help you increase your flexibility and agility.
4. Compare Yoga studios before you commit – There are lots of Yoga studios and holistic centers that offer Yoga classes. Before you commit to one particular studio you should attend classes at three or four different places so that you can compare the prices, the class sizes, and the teaching styles to which one is the best for you.
5. Give it time – It might take some time before you are as flexible as some of the other people in the class. It also might take some time for you to learn the poses and the meditations. Don’t give up. There’s always a learning curve when you’re learning something new and the other people in the class and the teacher won’t expect you to be perfect from the start. Join a beginner’s Yoga class at first so that you will be other people who are also just learning.
Basic Yoga poses for beginners
You don’t have to be able to twist your body into impossible shapes or touch your hands to your toes. When you join yoga, you should aim for one thing: becoming flexible in mind, body, and spirit. Although yoga may be overwhelming for a beginner due to the many poses that you need to learn, you should not be scared. You need to be patient and learn one pose after another.
Mountain pose (Tadasana)
1. Stand upright with the tips of your big toes touching and your heels apart. All of your toes should be in a straight line when looking down. Rock back and forth, side to side while spreading your toes throughout the movement. Continue doing this while slowly reducing the movement until you come to a standstill. Your weight should be balanced at this point throughout your entire foot.
2. Slightly flex your thighs and raise your knee caps without tightening your core. Lift your inner ankles in order to support your arches. Now imagine a burst of energy going from the lowest point of your body straight through to the crown of your head. Turn your inner thighs inward slightly and bring your pelvis up towards your belly button.
3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly release them down the back. Raise your sternum without raising your rib cage and widen your collarbones. Lower your hands to your side.
4. Bring the crown of your head directly above the pelvic relative to its position. Keep your chin parallel to the floor and press your tongue to the floor of your mouth. Soften your eyes and relax.
5. The mountain pose, or Tadasana, is the foundation of all other standing yoga poses. It is important to practice this pose. Remain in the pose from 30 seconds to a minute while breathing smoothly.
Downward facing dog
1. Positing yourself on your hands and knees. Place knees below the hips and your hands ahead of your shoulders. Spread your palms and place your index fingers roughly parallel to each other. Point your toes forward.
2. Lift the knees from the floor while exhaling and keeping the knees slightly bent with heels off the floor. Stretch your glutes towards the ceiling and squeeze your inner thighs in towards the groin.
3. Push your upper thighs back and bring your heels closer to the floor while exhaling. Begin straightening your legs without locking your knees.
4. Tighten your forearms and apply pressure to the tips of both index fingers. Begin lifting from this point to your wrists and all the way up to your shoulders. Rotate your shoulder blades by bringing them together and allowing them to migrate to the lower back. Set the head in a position between the arms without letting it rest.
5. Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the yoga poses in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. It’s also an excellent yoga asana all on its own. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Child’s Pose.
Bridge Yoga Pose
1. Lie on the floor and place a thickly folded towel beneath your neck if you require the support. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor with your heels as close to the glutes as you can.
2. With your hands and feet on the floor, push your pelvis up without flexing your glute muscles. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Hold your hands together beneath your body and push them towards your feet in order to properly adjust your shoulders on the floor.
3. Live your glutes until the thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. Keep knees roughly at 90 degrees, but push them away from the hips while lengthening the tailbone. Focus at this point on bringing your pelvis towards your navel.
4. Flatten your head to the ground by moving your chin away from your chest. Begin firming your shoulder blades and moving your sternum towards your chin. Tighten the outer arms and widen your shoulder blades. Try to lift the space between the shoulder blades up into the torso.
5. Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
5 Important things You Should Know Before Starting
Yoga for beginners may be a bit challenging at first, but once you’ve gotten used to the different yoga poses and techniques, it will be a fun, continuous learning process. If you’ve decided to practice yoga, here are 5 important things you should understand before you start:
1. It is vital that you consult with your health care provider first
Even if you only plan on practicing less aggressive styles of yoga, it is still recommended that you check with your doctor first if you have any underlying chronic conditions as well as bone or muscle injuries.
Yoga for beginners is still a new physical fitness program that needs your doctor’s approval no matter how relaxing you think it may be. Remember, safety should always be your top priority to avoid injury.
2. Yoga is for everyone
Contrary to popular belief, yoga isn’t just for fit and flexible individuals. In fact, anyone can practice the art – young or old, slim or heavy and even flexible or not. As mentioned above, yoga is a continuous learning process.
You don’t have to feel discouraged every time you can’t perform a pose right. The practice is all about exploring your inner self through different styles of yoga so don’t hold back and just keep on practicing.
3. Start slow
With all the wonderful things you might have heard or read about the practice, it’s easy to get excited and dive right in. Doing so may just burn out your body faster or result in injuries so it’s important to take things slow and follow your natural learning pace.
Learn and master all the basics first before trying out more complicated poses or techniques. More importantly, if you’re attending yoga for beginners class, let your instructor guide you through the learning process – follow his instructions and don’t try to get ahead.
4. Keeping a journal to track your progress is important
Keeping a record of everything you learn about yoga will do nothing but good for your progress. After a month or so, reading your journal will show you how much you’ve improved as a yogi. Yoga also has LOTS of terminologies so it doesn’t hurt to write them down.
5. Yoga is a lifestyle, not a “diet” that ends
Many people treat yoga as a weight loss diet, stopping once the desired weight is achieved then resuming when the weight is gained back. Yoga shouldn’t be approached as all or nothing.
When you decide to practice yoga, it is important to understand that it is more than a physical fitness program – it is a lifestyle that will improve your general well-being.
So whether you’re seeing results or not, keep practicing until yoga has become part of your everyday routine – it is only then you’ll discover what yoga has to offer.