New to yoga? Start here with some beginner yoga poses that will help you to build strength and confidence and encourage you to take your yoga practice deeper.
As a beginner to yoga , you might feel overwhelmed by the number of poses and their odd-sounding names (Sanskrit). Relax- Firstly, yoga is not about looking good or doing perfect poses, it is more about calming and coming home to your own centre. Having said that, here are some poses introduce you to the life long journey of yoga. So, roll out your new mat.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
- Start with your feet together and place your right foot on your inner left upper thigh (if that is too much to balance then simply place your heal or foot on the calf muscle, but never on the knee)
- Press your hands in prayer and find a spot in front of you that you can hold in a steady gaze.
- Hold and breathe for 8-10 breaths then change sides. Make sure you don't lean in to the standing leg and keep your core engaged and shoulders relaxed.
- Stand with your feet wide apart. Stretch your right foot out (90 degrees) while keeping the leg closer to the torso. Keep your feet pressed against the ground and balance your weight equally on both feet.
- Inhale and as you exhale rest your right hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor outside your right foot, Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling.
- If your balance is good, turn your gaze up to the top hand and stay in this pose for 5-8 breaths. Inhale to come up and repeat on the opposite side.
Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
- Lie on your stomach on the mat . Stretch your legs back, with the tops of your feet on the mat. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the mat beside your waist.
- Inhale and press your inner hands firmly into the mat. Then straighten your arms and simultaneously lift your chest up and your legs a few inches off the mat. If that feels too strong, simply lift your chest slightly.
- Pull your shoulders back, squeeze your shoulder blades, and tilt your head toward the ceiling, to open up your chest.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. With your hands slightly forward of your shoulders and knees below your hips. Spread your hands wide and press your index finger and thumb into your mat.
- Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor and lift your butt toward the ceiling. Straighten your legs as much as you can and press your heels gently toward the floor. - Your head should be between your arms, facing your knees, and your backs should be flat. - Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Child Pose ( Balasna )
- Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
- Exhale and lay your abdomen resting between your inner thighs and rest your forehead on the mat.
- Rest your arms by your sides with your palms facing up near your feet.
- Stay in the pose from 5 to 10 breaths. To come up, first lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation gently release back.
Want to go further, we encourage you to find a studio in your area. If you ever want a retreat with a difference then reach out to our friends at Integral Tracks!