The global health crisis has compelled people to pay more attention to their health and lifestyle. Many have resorted to alternative health management practices. One of these is yoga, which when done correctly can offer lots of health benefits for both young and old.
If you are starting to get interested in yoga, you can explore a wide variety of beginner yoga poses you can try on your own. However, it is best to do them with the guidance of a yoga teacher in class.
Apart from knowing beginner yoga poses , it also helps to familiarize yourself with yoga accessories. Yoga mats are pretty standard. But it pays to get to know other accessories, too, like massage balls, yoga blocks, and even carrying straps.
In this article, you will find different types of yoga poses for beginners. We have also gathered some tips on the proper use of accessories to enhance your yoga experience.
Downward-Facing Dog / Adho Mukha Svanasana
The downward-facing dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a basic yoga pose that positions your heart over your head.
This promotes increased blood flow and better circulation for your body. It allows blood to flow into your chest and shoulders, while also helping align your spine.
If you’ll notice, emphasis is put on “the heart is over the mind” because this is where balance starts. In our daily lives, we usually use our minds and intellect to make decisions.
Steps for Doing the Downward-Facing Dog Pose
- Begin by stacking your hands under your shoulders while keeping your knees under your hips.
- While on the ground, stretch out your hands right in front of you. Your index finger and thumb should be firmly touching the mat.
- Carefully raise your tailbone and keep your buttocks and hips aimed towards the ceiling.
- Keep your legs as stretched and straight as you possibly can while keeping your heels pressed on the mat.
- Keep your head between your arms in a position that you can tolerate. Make sure that your knees and your back are stretched straight, avoiding the curved position.
- Stay in this position until you finish inhaling and exhaling ten times.
Tips for Beginners
- The purpose of the downward-facing dog pose is to lengthen your spine as much as your body can tolerate, but you can bend your knees as long as your back is straight
- Go easy on your wrists by keeping your fingers widely spread on the mat
- With your fingertips having a solid grip on the mat’s surface, push a little more of your weight down without straining your wrist
Upward-Facing Dog / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
In this pose or “asana,” your entire body is ultimately touching the ground with your belly firmly pressed on the mat.
Aside from energizing the body and mind, the upward-facing dog pose is also great for posture because it stretches the spine, neck, and shoulders.
Steps for Doing the Upward-Facing Dog
- Coming from a low plank, slowly position your hips towards the floor and allow your toes to touch the floor/mat. Keep your ankles facing upward, and your toes pointed and touching the ground.
- Bring your core to a tight squeeze and straighten your arms, pushing upward, while putting your weight on your wrists, shoulders, and forearms,
- Pull your shoulders back, tighten and squeeze your shoulder blades.
- Tilt your head up the ceiling. You may close your eyes while you do this.
Tips for Beginners
- You can drop your knees down in order to ease the tension in your lower back.
- If you find the upward-facing dog pose challenging, you can do the high plank instead.
Half Pigeon Pose / Ardha Kapotasana
The name of this pose is taken from the Sanskrit words Ardha (meaning “half”) and Kapota and Asana (meaning “pigeon” and “pose” respectively).
The half pigeon pose promotes circulation and blood flow by opening your hips, groin, and thigh muscles. On top of that, it is also good for your abdomen and reproductive organs.
Its many benefits include loosening up your leg muscles to prevent pain when performing more advanced yoga poses, correcting postural defects, and alleviating sciatica.
Steps for Doing the Half Pigeon Pose
- After making the downward-facing dog pose, raise your left leg as high as you can while positioning it underneath your body outstretched in front of you. Remember to keep your shin parallel to your mat and your right foot flat on the ground.
- While keeping your left foot flexed, position your right hip as close to the mat as you possibly can.
- Try to stay upright after inhaling and exhaling three times. Afterwards, carefully rest your head on your mat while doing five inhale-exhale repetitions.
- Repeat the same sequence of steps for your right leg.
Tips for Beginners
- If you feel pain, try the reclined figure four first.
- To do the reclined figure four pose, lay flat on your back, raise your left foot, and cross that over to your right thigh.
- Remember to keep your left foot flexed at all times.
Mountain Pose / Tadasana
The mountain pose may not look much, but this is one yoga pose for beginners that is easy to do and is very beneficial.
Not only does this yoga pose improve your body awareness, it also promotes good posture and even strengthens your legs.
For those reasons, it is considered as the foundation for various beginner and advanced yoga poses.
Steps for Doing the Mountain Pose
- Stand firmly on your yoga mat.
- Keep your heels slightly apart.
- Ensure that your weight is evenly distributed on both feet. Do not slouch or put all your weight on one foot only. Stand straight.
- Engage your core.
- Tuck your belly and hips inward sp that your buttocks and tailbone protrudes
- Relax your shoulders. You may move them in circling motions to help to loosen them up.
- Slowly inhale and exhale through your nose.
- Before inhaling and exhaling, you may add a variation to this pose by bringing both arms overhead.
- Hold this pose for 3–5 breaths.
Tips for Beginners
- Try to position your arms parallel with your ears.
- If you want to, you can open your arms wider.
Warrior II / Virabhadrasana II
This pose comes from the name of a fierce warrior, “Virabhadra,” who is said to be the incarnation of Shiva. In Sanskrit, the word “Vira” means “hero” while Bhadra means “friend.”
The warrior II pose stretches the lungs, chest, shoulders, and neck and provides inner strength.
Steps for Doing the Warrior II Pose
- Start with the mountain pose.
- Bring your left leg as far back as you could with your toes pointed inward.
- Raise and extend your arms in both directions, and make sure they are parallel to the floor.
- Keep your shoulders high and your neck long.
- Bend your left knee and try to keep it at a 90-degree angle.
- Remember to keep your thigh parallel to the floor and keep your right leg stretched out and straightened out as much as possible.
- On your left leg, bring your foot forward, and toes pointed out. Point your right foot outward, facing the right so that way. It’s perpendicular to your left foot/toes.
- Keep your left heel aligned with your right foot sole’s arch.
- When done with the foot’s position, slowly turn your upper body towards the right direction so that your left hip is facing front and your right hip in the opposite direction.
- Keep your left arm and head pointed forward, while your right hand or arm should be arched towards the back.
- Hold this pose for about 1 to 5 deep breaths.
Tips for Beginners
- Your left knee should not move past your ankle.
- Reduce the depth of your lunge if your left knee reaches beyond your foot.
Triangle / Trikonasana
The triangle pose, also known as the Trikonasana, opens up and stretches even more muscles than the half pigeon pose.
It stimulates your hamstrings, groins, chest, spine, and calves. It also improves digestion and relieves back pain, sciatica, and anxiety.
This pose is not recommended for those with:
- High or low blood pressure
- Any back and neck injury
Those diagnosed with hypertension may do this pose but should avoid raising their hands above their head because it may increase their high blood pressure. To be safe, you can consult with your doctor first before attempting this pose.
Steps for Doing the Triangle Pose
- Start by doing the warrior II pose.
- Straighten your front leg.
- Then, reach forward to the farthest you can go.
- With your left arm, reach for the ground.
- Raise your torso and leave in a slightly open position geared towards the right side.
- Rotate both arms as if hitting the 6 and 12 o’clock positions.
- Put your left hand on your shin or the floor if you can manage to reach it
- Raise your arms while keeping your fingers flexed towards the ceiling.
- Maintain this pose for about ten sets of breaths, then do the same on the other side.
Tips for Beginners
- Stretch your spine longer than it is in order to reach low to your leg or to the ground.
- You can place a yoga block under your bottom hand to make your pose more stable.
The Tree Pose / Vrksasana
The tree pose, or Vrksasana, establishes strength and balance in the legs and the rest of the lower body. By focusing on the lower extremities, it helps you feel centered, steady, and grounded.
Vrksasana is said to have been based on a 7th century legend of a great Indian yogi king who stood on one leg for hours to appease the Hindu god Shiva in order to be allowed to bring the Ganges River from heaven to Earth.
Legends notwithstanding, read on to know how you can do the “tree” pose.
Steps for Doing the Tree Pose
- Start in a mountain pose. Keep your toes together and your heels slightly apart.
- Allow your right foot to come closer to your right leg’s inner thigh. Bring them as close as you possibly could, as if they are stuck to one another. Your right knee should be facing outward while your right thigh is facing down at a 45-degree angle.
- Do the motions slowly, ensuring to find your balance. Always keep in mind that easy yoga poses should always be done slowly to avoid accidents.
- Put your hands in a prayer position right in front of your chest. You may also try lifting your “praying hands” above your head. See which position suits you best.
- Look straight ahead. Focus. Concentrate on maintaining your balance
- Stay in this pose for about ten breaths, then switch to the other foot/leg.
Tips for Beginners
- Don’t worry if you’re having any difficulty in balancing.
- Try positioning your right foot on your left shin instead of the thigh.
Plank Pose / Kumbhakasana
The plank pose is an excellent way to strengthen your arms and shoulders. It exercises the muscles along the spine, tightens the muscles in the abdominal area, and dramatically improves stamina.
In Sanskrit, the word “Kumbhaka” means to hold one’s breath. In this easy pose for beginners, the breath helps to maintain stability and balance in the pose.
The plank pose is not for you if:
- You have a wrist, arm, or shoulder injury.
- You have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Note: If you want to do this pose but have the injuries mentioned above, you can use your elbows or forearms to support your body weight.
Steps for Doing the Plank Pose
- Have your knees under your hips and your hands flat on the floor. Keep your hand directly under your shoulders.
- Try to raise both knees backward and extend them as far as you can. Your legs should now be behind you. By this time, when both legs and knees are raised as far back as you could, your arms should already be as far forward as possible and your knees as far back as possible.
- Keep both palms spread wide apart on the floor, with your shoulders directly above both wrists.
- Maintain your head down while in this pose., eyes to your mat while you're in this pose.
- Hold this pose for five breaths. If you can still manage, do this one more time.
Advanced Yoga Poses
This is an advanced yoga pose that requires a significant amount of arm and core strength.
This also needs flexibility in the hamstrings and shoulders because your wrists and arms carry most of your body weight during this pose.
The firefly pose strengthens the wrists, triceps, and forearms.
King Pigeon Pose
This is also known as the one-legged king pigeon pose. This yoga pose aims to stretch your hips and low back.
This pose requires flexibility, mastery, and comfort in doing the most basic yoga poses, such as the downward-facing dog.
This pose is excellent for arm balance and is usually paired with a plank pose as a warm up.
Before learning beginner yoga poses, you’d need to have a reliable yoga mat and accessories. Visit Corq Yoga today to see which cork mat is perfect for you.
A good quality mat will enhance your yoga experience. Always explore options in order to find the right material and thickness that fits your preferences.
Low Plank / Chaturanga Dandasana
The low plank is beneficial to the entire body because it develops most of your body’s strength.
Although this is an easy yoga pose for beginners, many may find it challenging because they’re not familiar with its variations.
Like most plank exercises, the low plank strengthens your muscles on either side of the spine. It also improves the alignment of your body because it allows you to be more aware of equal weight distribution.
Steps for Doing the Low Plank
- Begin by being in a plank pose.
- Keep both palms flat and widely spread on the floor/mat.
- Keep your hands at shoulder-width apart.
- Ensure that your shoulders are in line directly with both wrists.
- Keep both legs extended to the back and keep your core tightened and engaged.
- Transition to a low plank pose by bending your elbows and keeping them close to your body, maintaining a 90-degree angle.
- Hold for one breath.
Tips for Beginners
- Do the low plank pose slowly to avoid hurting your shoulder and arms
- Don’t position your shoulders lower than your elbows.
- It’s okay to do it from your knees if it helps you engage your core better.
- You can do a Chaturanga push-up by simply pushing back up from the low plank position into a regular plank pose.
Crescent Lunge / Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana
This is an easy-standing pose that builds stamina and strength, and is commonly taught in most yoga classes.
It’s pretty similar to the warrior pose because the heels of your feet are being lifted while the arms are parallel.
Steps for Doing the Crescent Lunge
- Put your left foot forward to take a stance from your right leg.
- Keep your knees bent and the back of your leg straight.
- Keep your heel raised from the floor.
- Try to keep your front leg bent and your thigh [parallel to the floor.
- Keep your hips facing front.
- Raise both arms towards the direction of the ceiling. Stretch as high up as you can go and keep your feet firmly pressed to the mat.
- Hold this pose for five breaths.
- Repeat on the other side
- To transition to the Low Lunge/Anjaneyasana, slowly position the back of your knee to the floor. Keep your leg as extended as possible and keep the shin flat on the mat.
Tips for Beginners
- It’s better to keep your spine stretched than it is to stiffen your back leg
- It’s okay to bend your back so that you can lift your torso better and stretch your back
It’s always an exciting time to be a yoga beginner. It’s okay to feel a little bit nervous at first. But we at Corq Yoga believe that with the right information about simple yoga poses and the proper yoga mat and other yoga accessories, you’ll fall in love with yoga and enjoy its many benefits.