There are hundreds of yoga poses available for you to practice and countless variations of those poses to help you achieve wellness of the mind, body, and spirit. With that said, when you’re just getting started with a yoga practice you can narrow things down a lot by using a few foundational poses that can help to build your confidence, strength, balance, increase endurance and prepare you to move through more intermediate and/or advanced yoga poses when you’re ready.
Before we share some of our favorite yoga poses for beginners, let’s review a few other helpful tips to keep in mind when you’re new to yoga.
- Your pose doesn’t have to look exactly like pictures you see or teachers who lead classes. What’s most important is that you listen to your body and make the pose work for you.
- The transition into a pose (and into more advanced poses) is just as, if not more important than the final pose itself. Be patient with the process.
- Always remember to breathe! Pretty much every pose becomes better when we breathe with intention. Use your breath to help bring new energy to your body, to create space, and to help you soften into poses that are challenging.
Now, let’s dig into some great poses for beginner yogis.
Mountain Pose – Tadasana
This pose appears to be simple but when done correctly, requires a great amount of focus and effort to hold the body in such a well-aligned position.
Easy Pose – Sukhasana
This is one of yoga’s most foundational seated poses. If you find it challenging, you’re not alone. Often the tissues around our hips and low back prevent us from feeling comfortable here at first. A great way to modify this pose, as shown in the video, is to lift your hips onto a rolled blanket, yoga bolster, or block.
Downward Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
Most beginning yogis have a hard time believing this pose can be used as a resting pose because it is usually pretty challenging at first. If you feel that way have faith that it will change over time with practice.
Low Lunge Pose – Anjaneyasana
Low lunge pose is a great way to lengthen the hip flexor muscles that end up feeling short and tight when we sit for long periods of time – great for people with desk jobs.
Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II
This pose helps build strength through the legs, core, and arms while also lengthening the inner groin muscle and opening the hips.
Tree Pose – Vriksasana
Challenge your balance while opening your hips with this standing tree pose. Remember balancing is more attainable when you’re on a solid, stable surface. It also helps to focus your drishti (find a point to focus your eyes on that isn’t moving).
Standing Half Foward Fold – Ardha Uttanasana
Great for stretching the front of the body, engaging through the core, and strengthening the back of the body.
Plank Pose – Phalakasana
Plank is a great way to build strength throughout the entire body. It also helps increase body awareness as you learn to activate muscles to stay elevated.
Child’s Pose – Balasana
This is a great pose for calming the mind and relieving feelings like anxiety. Beginners can place a block under their forehead if it doesn’t reach the ground – this can help the pose to feel more grounding and supported so you can ease into it more.
Legs Up The Wall – Viparita Karani
One of yoga’s more notorious poses for restoring the body. Some even say this pose can cure any ailments. If you don’t have a wall but need a quick reboot, putting your legs up a chair works well too.
When practiced with some consistency most people will notice great mental and physical benefits. As with all exercise, be mindful of how you move through these poses and consult with a professional in person if you need further guidance.