Yoga for beginners

Yoga can be as hard or as easy as you need it to be. There is yoga for beginners or yoga for seasoned professionals. Here we will focus on yoga for beginners.

Its a well known fact that yoga is a great way to relax and remain supple and it is one of the easiest ways to meditate and focus the mind. Yoga almost forces you to focus on one thing and live in that moment.

Easiest way to start Yoga

The practice of yoga is actually a very complex area. To start with, there are over 300 poses! But as well as the physical side, yoga also encompasses a whole mental process with meditation and awareness playing a large part. Luckily with modern technology comes modern teaching techniques. By far the easiest way to start practicing yoga is to head over to Youtube and start searching.

There are LOTS of videos about yoga on youtube but heres a few things you can get started with straight away.

10 Simple yoga poses for beginners

Yoga is a massive and varied practice but there are a few poses that every beginner should know and can start practicing today. These yoga poses by themselves can form an entire yoga practice.

Downward facing dog

Downward facing dog is an amazing yoga pose that almost every routine will have. Its a great pose that stretches the legs, the arms and the core all in one pose.

The downward dog is the inverted ‘V’ shape that you often see in yoga photos. The feet are flat on the floor and the palms planted flat on the ground a few feet in front. Your bottom is pointed in the air and your back, arms and legs are straightened…..Although most beginners start with slightly bent legs because your hamstrings are tight.

Forward Bends

You need forward bends to limber up and warm up your back and core. Simple forward bends are usually mixed with stretching your arms up to the ceiling.

There are lots of different forward bends but the two simple ones to start with are the flat back and the full forward.

A flat back involves breathing in and bending forward at a right angle to your upright body, stretching your chest forward and keeping your back flat. Your finger tips are usually touching the ground. Hold this position for a few breaths and then ease into the full forward.

A full forward fold is when you breath out and bend completely in half and let your head drop to the floor.

You can easily place your hand onto the floor straight after a forward fold and then step back into a plank.

Plank pose

Plank pose is a simple pose but surprisingly difficult to do. Its great for core strength and posture and helps strengthen your back muscles.

The plank is kind of like the position you start a push up in. back straight and arms straight. Balancing on your toes. Your wrists should be below the shoulders with your chest open. There should be a straight line, right down your back from head to toes. Focus your eyes on the floor just in front of you. And just hold it for  a few breaths.

Mountain pose

Mountain pose is a foundation pose in yoga. At first it looks very simple. You just stand up straight. The key is to stand as tall as you can with your feet flat on the ground and your hands by your side. Your back should be straight with shoulders and hips stacked on top of your heels.

Your mountain pose is a kind of rest between some other heavier poses but you should be finding a balance point where the pressure isnt on your toes, but on your heels and everything is stacked on that point. No slouching now!

Triangle poses

There are a few variations on triangle poses, some more strenuous than others. The triangle poses can be quite challenging for a beginner as they stretch and work your hips and your legs.

When practicing the basic triangle pose you should stand with your legs a few feet apart. Then with your legs straight, point your right toes outwards slightly and your left toes in slightly, but keeping your body facing forwards.

Move your hips over towards your right leg slightly and reach down to put your right hand on the outside of your right foot or on the ground, without bending your legs. You may want to use a block to rest your hand on if its too much of a stretch.

Now shoot your left hand straight in the air and look up at your left hand. Your body should remain facing forward, you don’t want to twist your hips too much. 

You should be bending at the hip rather than arching your body. Its quite a challenge for new yogis to get the triangle pose.

The same pose can obviously be done either left or right hand up.

Warrior 1

Warrior 1 is the first of 3 warriors (we haven’t featured warrior 3 here because its a little more advanced than beginner level).

The Warrior 1 pose is like a lunge with raised arms. The right foot is positioned facing forward and is lunged forward, bend the knee so it forms a 90 degree angle with the calf.

The back leg is facing slightly inwards but is straightened behind you with your body facing forward. The body should be upright and your arms straight in the air either side of your head. Stretch through your arms and chest but remain straight.

The warrior 1 is a great stretching pose for your legs and core.

Warrior 2

The warrior 2 is also a kind of lunge except this time your body stays side on to your feet.

the right leg is lunged forward and bent at 90 degrees with the foot pointing forwards. The back leg is straightened and the the foot is pointed slightly inwards. 

The body is sideways with the right ribs pointing in line with the right foot. The body should be upright and standing tall and the arms should be stretched forwards and backwards over the feet as far as possible. 

If your right foot is forward then you should be looking over your right finger tips. You should be pushing down with your back foot, resting on your front foot and engaging your legs.

Child pose

childs pose yoga

Child pose is a great stretch, but may not be possible if you have dodgy knees. It stretches your back and leg muscles and feels amazing.

Start on your knees with your back upright, spread the knees out a little. Bend forward and let your belly go between your knees.

Let your forehead touch the mat and stretch your arms out in front of you, reaching out with your finger tips, your arms will be either side of your head.

Tree Pose

Tree pose is another one that beginners should get started with. Its a great balancing pose to start with. It teaches balance, control and focus.

Start by standing up straight. Lift your right leg up and rest it on your left inner thigh with the toes pointing towards the ground. Your left foot should be pointing straight forward and your body should remain straight forward.

Its difficult to balance at first but try to keep your spine straight and your body pointing forward. Once you are balanced, lift your arms straight in the air at either side of your head. Just balance here for a while then slowly lower your leg and arms.

Corpse pose

Even lying down is a yoga pose. The corpse pose is something you usually do at the end of a yoga practice. I usually use it to relax and just think about the practice iv just done and what it feels like.

To get into corpse pose you simply lay down on your back, legs out straight and arms b your side and just let everything loosen up. Let your feet drop apart, let your hands flop to the side.

Then just scan your whole body, releasing tension and letting go of the control. Total relaxation of your muscles for a minute or two.

Don’t forget to warm up!

Yoga is amazing and it will change your life. It doesn’t take long to see the benefits but like any exercise you need to make sure you warm up first.

That’s the beauty of following a tested yoga routine on Youtube. The warm up will be built in.