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Yoga for beginners

Yoga is a great practice for allowing you to take time to relax, re-energise and stretch. It also has added health benefits of reducing stress and anxiety, helping you sleep better and is a great physical workout.

If you’re new to yoga it can be challenging trying to figure out which poses to start with or how to execute them and the thought of going to a class when you’ve never tried before can be daunting.

Yoga poses, also called Asana’s are the basis of the physical part of all yoga practice. We’ve put together 8 common yoga poses that are easy for beginners to try and will allow you to easily get into the swing of things.

You don’t really require any equipment to do these, just a bit of floor space and the willingness to try, although if you have a yoga mat, rug or towel for the floor you may be more comfortable.

Use these poses as building blocks of a full routine, or try them separately to ease yourself into it.

Easy Pose

As the name suggests this is an easy pose that anyone can get started with! It will ease you gently into incorporating yoga into your life. Quite simply it involves you sitting cross legged on the floor and taking some time to breathe.

On your mat sit with your legs out in front of you on your floor then cross your shins and widen at the knees with each of your feet sitting beneath. Pull your knees in towards your torso and make sure your feet are relaxed and your pelvis neutral.

Once you are comfortable put your hands in your lap or on your knees, and sit up straight, being careful not to overarch your back. Then take some deep breaths. This is a great pose for allowing you to focus on your breathing and have a moment of calm.

Mountain Pose

Mountain pose is great for increasing strength, awareness and will help you centre yourself for the day ahead. This is another great pose for beginners as it allows you to work on posture and master the basics.

Stand up straight with your feet together and ensure your hips are tucked underneath you, and then just let your arms simply hang by your sides. Spread your weight evenly through your feet by spreading out your toes and feeling the floor with all areas of your feet. Once you’re standing in a good position reach your arms up over your head, then stretch one arm up higher toward the ceiling, before doing the same with the opposite arm. Do this for both arms a minimum of 3 times.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is a yoga pose that you have probably heard of before and it’s a great one to learn. It encourages blood flow which can help increase energy, as well as being an ideal pose to stretch out your body, in particular the shoulders.

To do this pose start on all fours, hands shoulder distance apart with your palms flat on ground. Bend your knees and pull yourself up into an inverted V shape, ensuring that you keep your core engaged and your feet shoulder distance apart. Your heels should be pushed into the floor and your weight spread across your fingertips with your bum pointing towards the ceiling. Feel the stretch, relax and then repeat again.

Triangle Pose

Another pose that’s easy for beginners to master triangle pose is a gentle stretch.

Start by extending your arms out to the sides and then bend over your right leg. Your feet should be about 3 feet apart with your toes on your right foot turned out at approximately 90 degrees and your left foot at 45 degrees.

Let your right hand to touch the floor or rest on your right leg, depending on what is comfortable for you and extend your fingertips of your left hand towards the ceiling while also directing your gaze up. Go back to a standing position and repeat on the opposite side.

Tree Pose

This pose is all about balance and many people who practice Yoga use this pose as their time to focus on their physical self. This pose gives you the time to breathe and relax means you can take a few moments to be at peace.

Take your feet apart to about hip distance and make sure you plant yourself firmly into the ground. Your hands can be in front of your heart or on your hips, whichever is most comfortable. Then inhale and bring one of your feet up and place it on your calf or thigh. Breathe out, keeping your core engaged and bring your arms up to the sky and breathe in 5 times. Breathe out and put your leg back to the ground and repeat with the opposite leg.

Cobra

Cobra is another easy pose that will allow you to stretch out your entire body. Start by lying face down on the floor with your thumbs under your shoulders and your legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor.

Tighten your pelvic floor and tuck your hips downward, while pressing your shoulders down and away from your ears. Raise your chest toward the wall in front of you by pushing through your hands. Feel the stretch and hold for 2 breaths before relaxing and repeating.

Warrior 1

Warrior is a pose that is all about strength and power. It’s a great pose to add into your yoga routine to help you feel strong.

Start standing up straight before taking your left leg back about 3 or 4 feet. Bend your right knee to above your ankle and turn your left foot in slightly. Raise your arms up above you and look up. Be sure and hold this pose strongly to maximize the benefit of the stretch and hold it for up to a minute. Then repeat bringing the opposite foot forward.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is yoga favourite and is a resting position, so it gives you time to relax, breathe and take a moment to be thankful. It’s also a great stretch and is often one of the final poses that are done in a yoga routine.

For this pose kneel on the floor, knees together and sitting back on your heels. Bend your body forward so that your body moves on top of your upper thighs and towards the floor then let your forehead rest on the floor in front. Your arms can either be to the sides of your body, or if it’s more comfortable then stretched out above your head. Take as many breaths are you like in this position and relax.

So that’s 8 yoga poses that are perfect for beginners to try. You can easily use these all together to form a short routine, or you can use them individually to simply practice the movements and take some time to stretch out certain areas of your body. If you’re just starting out then make sure that you take it slow and do what you can, all the poses will get easier over time, and if you’re not sure about anything then always seek the advice of an expert. Yoga is all about relaxing, so try not to get stressed and flustered if you can’t get something on the first try, just take it slow and enjoy it!

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