9 Essential Yoga Poses for Beginners

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As a yoga beginner, you may find that some of the more advanced yoga poses are too difficult for your level of preparation. This should not scare you as it is natural that your body will require some time to adapt and develop the necessary flexibility to achieve more professional yoga movements and postures. 

We have prepared a list of then important yoga poses to try that are suitable for beginners with little to no yoga experience. Before giving yoga a try, it is essential to choose comfortable clothing that will not limit your flexibility but will rather offer freedom of movement. It is extremely useful to perform the listed yoga poses wearing yoga leggings for maximum comfort and range.

These are the most important poses for beginners to learn first

Here we go! 

1. Mountain
Mountain pose (Tadasana)

We start out list with the mountain pose as it is the founding core of all standing yoga poses. It is a perfect way to find your balance and gain an understanding and appreciation for the way your body is connected to the ground. 

At first, the pose may remind you of casual standing but it is far more than that. 

Instructions:

Keeping your feet together, shift your focus on all ten toes and spread them open. Using your inner thighs as the center of the movement, activate your quadriceps and slowly lift the kneecaps. As your chest expands and moves upwards, move your abdominals in and up. Try to keep your shoulders pushing down. Their blades should move towards each other and cause your chest to open up. Think about how something attached to the ceiling is pulling your head up. Breath slowly and deeply for around 8 breaths.

2. Plank Pose
Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

You will find the plank pose not only in yoga but in other sports-related activities. It is a commonly suggested exercise for burning calories and building body strength. In yoga, it is effective in developing balance through the use of hands. The body should support the hands with extra strength, especially in the area of the abdominals. 

Instructions:

Place your hands and feet on the yoga matt and tuck under your toes. Lift your legs from the ground and move your heels backward until you feel that you are in a position of a straight line. There should be an easy flow of energy from your head to your feet. Breathe ten times in this position and release.

3. Downward Facing Dog
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho mukha śvānāsana)

The Downward Facing Dog or the adho mukha svanasana from Sanskrit is another essential for yoga practice pose. The posture is often used in the sun salutation but can also be performed independently. It is a valuable exercise which offers strength for the whole body. 

Instructions:

Place your two hands and to feet on the ground with your head facing down. The wrists should be aligned under your shoulders while your knees should be under your hips. Feel your body weight distributed along the four sides. Lift your hips up off the matt. Draw the hips up back in the direction of the heels. Make sure the knees are kept bent and flexible if your hamstrings are tight. As you practice, you will find that you are able to keep the legs straight at all times. 

Allow yourself more length if necessary by moving your hands forward. Push through your palms and turn the inner elbows towards each other. Stay in this position for ten breaths and release.

4. Triangle
Triangle pose (Trikonasana)

Another great posture for the whole body is the triangle. Even if triangles were not your favorite in geometry class, worry not, these ones are far more enjoyable, we promise! The triangle yoga pose can be used to stretch the waist, free the lungs and create more strength in the legs.

Instructions:

Place your feet apart with a leg’s length in-between. Lift your arms up to the sides by opening them up at shoulder height. Your right foot should be turned out at 90 degrees while your left one should be positioned at 45 degrees. Activate your quadriceps and abdominals and pivot to one side over either leg. If you have chosen the left leg, place the left hand on your ankle. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to stretch all the way down to the ankle, place the hand on your shin or knee. Lift the other arm (in this case the right) towards the ceiling. 

Face the ceiling with your head and take around eight breaths. Repeat the activity to the other side.

5. Tree of life
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

The tree yoga pose is probably among the first ones to start with as you enter the magical world of yoga. It is effective for balance, peace, and concentration. It can be used during the day to clear your mind and find clarity. No extra equipment is necessary so you can even perform it in the office when in need.

Instructions:

From a position of feet together, lift your right foot and position it on the upper thigh of your left foot. Bring your hands together in a prayer pose and center them somewhere on the chest. Find the perfect spot for steadiness and control. Count to 10 while breathing and switch the legs. Keep the abdominals working and relax your shoulders during the exercise. Try not to place all of your body weight on the standing leg but rather focus on finding the perfect balance.

6. Warrior 1
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

There are a total of five Warrior poses that have gained popularity in the yoga world. These majestic variations offer not only a great stretch but a perfect way to calm and concentrate the mind. Beginners can benefit from the first two Warrior poses.

Instructions:

Warrior 1 is a suitable choice for those looking to strengthen the legs, hips, buttocks, core, and upper body. It is also an ideal stretching exercise. Starting from a position where your feet are placed next to each other, take a large step back with one foot and enter a lunge position. Turn the heel of the foot which is back down and create an angle of 75 degrees. Lift your palms over your head and lift your chest up. 

Repeat with the other foot.

7. Warrior 2
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

A great hip and inner thigh opener, the Warrior 2 is a popular pose among yoga enthusiasts. It can be used to work your way into the Triangle and other poses. 

Instructions:

Position your feet a leg length apart. Move your right toes out 90 degrees while your left toes are kept in 45 degrees. Alight the right knew and the right ankle by bending the knee. Be careful as the torso must remain evenly placed between the hips. Lift your arms up and stretch them to your sides. Turn your head towards the direction of your right hand. Count to 10 and remember to keep breathing. 

Repeat the exercise to the other side. 

8. Crescent Pose
Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

The crescent pose can be performed in varieties based on the level of experience. A standing pose, the crescent pose is a common one among the top yoga poses. It is great for opening the hips and psoas and developing balance. The crescent pose is also useful for healing sciatica pain. Let’s see how it can be adapted for beginners!

Instructions:

At the begging, it may be difficult to establish a point of balance. However, don’t give up and remember that practice is everything. If you struggle, check the position of your feet. If they are too narrow, you may need to make some changes. The front and back foot should be hip-width apart.

Start off by standing in the mountain pose. Keep your spine straight by paying attention to your rib cage and pelvis. Keep your hands to your sides, palms facing the front or the sides of your body. Move onto the downward facing dog and position your right foot towards the front, between your hands. Lift your torso and inhale and keep your shoulders calm and steady. Make sure that your lower back is not overarched and that your front shin is vertical. 

9. Bridge Pose
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

The bridge pose can be adapted to answer your specific needs and requirements. It can be performed for restorative purposes, energizing, or rejuvenating – the choice is yours to make. It can be described as the opposite of the forward bend as it involves a backbend. An exercise ideal for back strength, the bridge pose can be performed by any beginner without too much effort. 

Instructions:

Use a yoga mat or a soft surface to lay down on with your back touching the ground. Make sure that your feet are kept a hip-width apart. Lift your butt up towards the ceiling by using the strength from your feet. Open up your chest and think about your heels and shoulders moving closer together. Count to 10 before you lower your butt towards the mat and release the tension. Do as many repetitions as you feel comfortable with.

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