Due to the constant stress of my life, I decided I wanted to try yoga as a way to find some “peace” in my hectic life. Being always on the run has taken its toll on my mental and physical well-being. However, as I started to research yoga, I realized there is a lot of information that quickly got overwhelming.
As you begin your journey into yoga, it doesn’t have to be as complex as mine was. There are some beginner’s yoga poses that are perfect for when you are just starting. When I started out trying to do the harder and more complex poses, I quickly got discouraged, and it was a real push to make myself try again.
There are some simple poses you can start with that won’t leave you discouraged. Using these poses helped me advance my way through the various poses, and now I can do complex ones. Start simple, and you will benefit more.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is the practice of mind and body that has been around for over 5000 years. The various styles of yoga combined with the different physical postures can lead to relaxation. Couple these poses with breathing techniques and meditation, you will quickly see how relaxing it can be.
More recently, yoga has become a popular form of physical exercise and helps you to control your mind and body while providing you with enhanced overall well-being. There are different types of yoga, but every one of them begins the same way.
Benefits of Yoga
There are many reasons why you should begin practicing yoga. If done right, you can experience numerous physical and mental benefits. Practicing beginner’s yoga can help you in several ways.
Starting yoga can help to lower anxiety and stress levels so that you feel more relaxed.
You will be able to increase your flexibility and endurance when you start a yoga routine.
Through the various poses of yoga, you will learn that you can push past your physical limitations or exercise despite them.
Coupled with meditation and simple yoga poses, you can reduce inflammation and pain in your body.
Yoga daily can be good for your heart. Studies have confirmed that yoga is suitable for many chronic illnesses.
Doing yoga, coupled with meditation, can help you improve your breathing and quality of breath.
There are many different benefits you can get when you start yoga. Some of those benefits take time for you to realize them, but others happen within a few days of starting.
The Hardest Part of Yoga is Beginning
You might be weighing the different exercises, meditation techniques, and yoga types. It might be difficult for you to begin, and you are still considering it.
You need to know the truth. The hardest step in beginning yoga is starting. As a human being, you crave to have some routine in your life. You want to practice some ritual. The hardest part of whatever method you are considering is the start.
Yoga is one of those things that you might think you will begin tomorrow, but the truth is, if you keep thinking that way, you won’t. Tomorrow will always be elusive, and you will never quite get there.
No more excuses or “plans,” the time to start is right now. Since you are considering yoga and are thinking you will begin tomorrow, you have already started. Yoga is one of those things that will change your life. However, you have to practice at it.
You will be able to experience a newer and deeper you when you start. Start your yoga sessions, and see where it will take you. You may find it is what has been missing in your life. You need to focus on you to be the best you for everyone else. The time to begin is now, have fun with it, let it transform you.
Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana
This pose is among the most basic of poses and can be altered to suit you. Here is how it is done.
You start in a kneeling position with your hands flat on the floor. Your hands should be stacked beneath your shoulders but under your hips.
Separate your hands as wide as you can and make sure to press your index finger and thumb into your mat.
You want to lift your tailbone and butt in the air and back so that your hips are going toward the ceiling. Make your legs as straight as you can with your heels towards the floor.
Your head needs to be between your arms and facing your legs, and your back should be as straight as possible.
You want to hold your position for up to 10 breaths that are slow and deep.
Your primary focus is keeping your spine as straight as possible, even if you need to alter the rest of your body a little bit.
Mountain Pose or Tadasana
This pose is among the easiest and also very relaxing.
You stand with your toes together, but your heels need to be apart.
Make sure your weight is evenly distributed on both feet. You want to engage your core so that your tailbone is aiming for the floor. You want your shoulders to be relaxed.
As you inhale, reach your arms over your head while putting more pressure on your feet. You can also put your hands in prayer position in front of your chest instead of overhead or even just let them rest at your side.
Take deep breaths in and out of your nose for up to 5 breaths.
The idea is to keep your arms parallel with your ears, but you can widen your arms if you are uncomfortable.
Crescent Lunge or Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana
This position is a bit more challenging, but still ideal for beginners.
You start by taking a large step forward with your left foot. You want to start in this position with your feet as wide apart as possible.
Bend your front knee so that your thigh is almost or exactly in line with the floor. Move your hips towards the front.
You can then position your arms towards the ceiling parallel with your head and stretch them up as high as you can. You want to put the pressure on the mat. Feel your hips stretching.
Keep this position for up to 5 breaths. Then you will want to do it again using the other leg forward.
The most important point is keeping your spine straight. If you have to bend your knees, you can.
Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II
This pose is very common for those who are just getting started.
You want to take a large step forward with your dominant foot until you are in a similar position of the Crescent Lunge.
Reach out your arms so that they are running parallel to the mat.
Bend your knee so that it is almost or precisely at a 90-degree angle. Your thighs should remain in line with the floor. Keep your non-dominant leg straight.
Point your dominant leg toes forward, and the other foot should be turned out towards the right. You want your feet to be perpendicular.
At the same time as the foot positions, you want to your torso to be twisted to the right of you, and your dominant hip is forward while the other is back. Your dominant arm should be pointing forward and the other back.
Hold this position for up to 5 deep breaths.
You don’t want your knee to go further forward than your ankle, if that happens, use a less wide stance.
Triangle or Trikonasana
In this pose, you are going to begin the same way you did in Warrior II.
Keep your front leg straight and reach with your opposite hand toward the ground. You want your hips forward and facing to the right.
You then want to rotate your arms to 6 and 12 o’clock. You want your left hand rested on your shin or the floor if you are flexible enough. Let your other fingers reach for the ceiling.
Hold this pose for up to 10 deep breaths and then switch to the other side.
The most important aspect of this pose is keeping your spine straight and long. You can use a yoga block to help you stabilize.
Plank Pose or Kumbhakasana
In this position, you want to start on all fours.
You want your knees to be underneath your hips, and you want to keep your hands flat down on the floor but in line with your shoulders.
Then you want to lift your knees, so they move off the floor and straighten your legs behind you. You want to be on your toes at this point, and your body is making a straight line.
You want your hands flat on the floor, including your palms, your hands stay parallel with your shoulders, and your shoulders are straight.
You want to feel the stretch in your core. Make sure your neck and spine are relaxed.
Hold this position for up to 5 deeps breaths.
This particular position is also a great ab workout, you will find it challenging at first, but it gets easier with practice.
Low Plank or Dandasana
This pose is very similar to the Plank Pose. Therefore, that is where you begin. You then slowly lower your body down into a Low Plank by bending your elbows and keeping them close to the side of your body to form a 90-degree angle.
Hold this pose for one breath.
Do not let your shoulders lower than your elbows. If you find it too challenging to do with your legs straight, try doing it from your knees.
Upward-Facing Dog or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
To do this pose, you start from the low plank position.
Let your hips fall towards the floor and position your feet, so the tops of them are touching the floor.
Straighten your arms and move your chest up high. Let your shoulders move back and look toward the ceiling. You want to open your chest as much as possible.
Hold for up to 10 breaths.
Again, if necessary, you can do this position from your knees.
Tree or Vrksasana
For this position, you want to start in mountain pose with your heels apart.
You want to lift your right foot towards your inner thigh of your left leg. You want to tighten your foot and thigh together. Your knee of your right leg should be pointing outward, and your right thigh is facing the ground.
Once you are balanced, you can lift your hands into a prayer position in front of you. Or you can raise your hands above your head if that is better for you.
You want to focus on something directly in front of you to help with balancing.
Hold this position for up to 10 breaths and then switch sides.
You may have a tough time balancing until you get better at this pose. In which case, put your foot to your shin instead of up to the thigh.
Dancers Pose or Natarajasana
In this pose, you want to stand as tall as you can while keeping your feet together.
Bend your left knee and move your left foot forward. You want to grab onto the arch of your left foot with your hand and lift it as much as possible toward the ceiling.
At the same time as you are doing that, reach your right arm forward and towards the ceiling.
Press down on the floor with your entire right foot so that it holds your weight. Feel your chest open up.
Hold on each side for up to 10 breaths.
You want to focus most on the position of your hips than how high you can bring your foot up.
Half Pigeon Pose or Ardha Kapotasana
This pose starts in the Downward-Facing Dog position.
Extend your left leg and bring it underneath your body. You want to place your leg in front of you with your skin parallel to the top of the mat.
Let your other leg extend right behind you until it is straight. Rest your foot on the floor.
Keep your left foot forward. Try to keep your hips as close to the mat as possible.
Stay in this position for up to 3 breaths and then drop your head to the floor for another ten breaths.
Please note that if you feel any pain in this position, you can try doing it in a recline. For that one, you are lying on your back, and your left foot is crossed over instead of tucked under.
Seated Forward Fold or Paschimottanasana
You want to start this pose sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you.
Sit up as tall as you can and flex your feet forward.
Bend downwards from your hips. You want to keep your back flat and let your upper body gently lay over your lower body.
If possible, grab hold of your ankles or shins of each foot. Let your head hang.
Hold this position for up to 10 breaths.
This position is very flexible. You can bend your knees or move your pelvis forward. The goal here is to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Beginning yoga can change your life. You don’t want to confuse or discourage yourself the way I did by trying the complex poses of advanced yoga. Learn from me and start slowly, but do start. Stop thinking; you will start tomorrow.
You want to begin right now. It’s straightforward. Grab a yoga mat and these instructions, and you can get started right away. Just don’t be hard on yourself. You may not get the poses right the first few times you try them, that is alright. Just keep trying.
You will thank yourself when you start with this beginner yoga routine.