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Most common yoga poses for beginners

Are you a beginner in Yoga and you’re afraid to go to your first class, have a look around and notice that the person next to you touches his head with his feet? Don’t be discouraged: we’ve all been there. That’s why yoga poses for beginners exist: to make you feel, and all the beginners, comfortable in practicing yoga.

In fact, in everything we do there is always a first time. That first step that opens the door to activities, habits and tastes that can change lives. Many beginners of Yoga have had the courage to take that step, but many feel discouraged by photos of slender and acrobatic bodies in almost impossible positions.

Starting to practice yoga requires a lot of humility and courage. It is a personal journey that it is difficult but that gives a lot of satisfaction.

Thoughts like “I’m not flexible enough” or “I don’t know anyone” are doors to a fantastic discovery. Fear is a human feeling, but Yoga involves action and the Yogi who first enters a Yoga class has already taken the first step and the first action.

Surely, there’s more than just the theory and the practice teaches us that it’s better to start slow and improve step by step: that’s why, when you decide to practice yoga, you need to start from the basic, from the very basic yoga poses for beginners.

The basic yoga poses for beginners are something you need to learn in order to improve: they will accompany your journey the whole time, you’ll repeat them over and over even when you won’t be a beginner anymore. They are also the introduction to yoga for you, the reasons why you will fall in love with the practice or you’ll hate it.

Most Common Yoga Poses for Beginners

Every teacher, school, yogi has its own list of helpful yoga poses for beginners so we’ve decided to summarize the most common yoga poses every beginner should learn to start practicing.

There’s no touching the nose with your feet and no levitation involved, just the very basic and necessary poses to start practicing.

Downward-Facing Dog

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders and your knees below your hips;
  2. Spread your fingers wide and press them into your mat;
  3. Push your hips high in the air and straighten your arms and legs, and press your butt up and back. Your head should be between your hands;
  4. Stay here for 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Yoga pose downward-facing dog

Mountain Pose

  1. Bring the feet together or hip width apart, parallel. Lift up the toes, spread them wide and place them back on the floor;
  2. Squeeze the thighs and tuck the tailbone slightly under;
  3. Inhale and lift out of the waist. Exhale and drop the shoulders down and back as you reach the fingertips towards the floor;
  4. Inhale the arms up, turning the palms shoulder height, bringing the arms into a H position;
  5. Exhale relax the shoulders down;
  6. Stay here for 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Yoga Mountain Pose

Warrior I

  1. Start from the Mountain Pose;
  2. Exhale as you step your feet wide apart, about 4 to 5 feet;
  3. Turn your right foot out 90°C;
  4. Pivot your left foot inwards at a 45°C angle;
  5. Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot. Keep your pelvis turned toward the front of your mat;
  6. Press your weight through your left heel. Then, exhale as you bend your right knee over your right ankle;
  7. Lift through the arches of your feet, while rooting down through your ankles;
  8. Reach up strongly through your arms. Keep your palms and fingers active and reaching;
  9. Gently tilt your head back and gaze up at your thumbs;
  10. Press down through the outer edge of your back foot, keeping your back leg straight;
  11. Hold for up to one minute.
Warrior I Yoga

Warrior II

  1. Take a big step forward with your left foot to start in a staggered stance;
  2. Extend your arms so that they are parallel to the floor;
  3. Bend your left knee so that it’s at or near a 90°C angle, while keeping the right leg straight;
  4. Point the left toes forward and turn your right foot out to the right so that it’s perpendicular to your left foot;
  5. At the same time, twist your torso to the right so that your left hip is facing toward the front of the room and your right hip is facing toward the back;
  6. The left arm and your head should both be pointing forward and your right arm should be pointing back;
  7. Hold for up to one minute.
Warrior II Yoga

The Triangle

  1. Stand with the feet one leg-length apart;
  2. Turn your right foot to the outside and the left foot less than 45°C to the inside, keeping the heels in the line with the hips;
  3. The arms are spread out to the sides, parallel to the ground, palms facing down;
  4. Once the trunk is fully extended to the right, the right arm is dropped so that the right hand reaches the right foot, with the palm down if flexed;
  5. The left arm is extend vertically and the spine and trunk are gently twisted counterclockwise;
  6. The arms are stretched away from one another and the head is often turned on the left side;
  7. Repeat the posture but change our legs position;
  8. Hold for up to one minute.
Trikonasana pose Yoga

Plank Pose

  1. Start on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands flat on the floor directly underneath your shoulders;
  2. Lift your knees off the floor and extend your legs out behind you;
  3. Keep your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, and core engaged;
  4. Stay here for 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Plank Pose Yoga

Low Plank

  1. Start in Plank Pose with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended, and core engaged;
  2. Slowly lower down to a Low Plank by bending your elbows, keeping them tucked in close to the side of your body, until they form 90-degree angles;
  3. Hold for up to one minute.
Low Plank Pose Yoga

Upward-Facing Dog

  1. From Low Plank, drop your hips down to the floor and flip your toes over
  2. Straighten your arms to push your chest up;
  3. Pull your shoulders back, squeeze your shoulder blades, and tilt your head toward the ceiling, to open up your chest.
  4. Hold for up to one minute.
Upward-Facing Dog Yoga

Tree (Vriksasana)

  1. Start in mountain pose with your toes together and heels slightly apart;
  2. Bring your right foot to the inner thigh of your left leg. Squeeze your foot and inner thigh together;
  3. The knee of your right leg should be turned out and your right thigh facing down toward the ground;
  4. Lift your hands to prayer position in front of your chest, or up overhead
  5. Keep your gaze focused on a fixed point in front of you to help stay balanced;
  6. Stay here for 1 minute to 3 minutes then switch sides.
Tree Yoga Pose

Bridge Pose

  1. Lie down on your back and place your feet hip width apart;
  2. Press on to your feet and lift your butt up off the mat;
  3. Interlace your hands together and press the fists down to the floor as you open up your chest even more.
Bridge Pose Yoga

Child’s Pose

  1. Come to your hands and knees on the mat;
  2. Spread your knees as wide as your mat, keeping the tops of your feet on the floor with the big toes touching;
  3. Bring your belly to rest between your thighs and your forehead to the floor;
  4. Stay as long as you like.

Savasana

This asana doesn’t require any movement but it’s the final pose of any yoga class and it’s also called The Corpse Pose. It’s also considered one of the hardest positions for beginners because it requires a complete and total relaxation, a condition hard to achieve since it can be hard to do nothing for 10 minutes. It requires practice to master the Savasana, but these are a few steps to follow:

  1. Lie down on your back;
  2. Separate your legs;
  3. Bring your arms alongside your body, but slightly separated from your torso;
  4. Turn your palms to face upwards;
  5. Relax your whole body, including your face;
  6. Breathe naturally Stay for a minimum of five minutes. Ten minutes is better.

Make sure you stay aware while relaxing to release long-held tensions in your body and mind. You may start meditation at home, just to make it a habit.

The 10 yoga poses above are the most common for beginners, and they also constitute the basis for a practice.

There are a lot more yoga poses but if you’ve just started practising, these are the ones you really need to know and master. We know the first times it can extremely hard, but we’re also sure it only takes a bit of practice to start finding the joy given by the yoga.

A few things every novice yogi needs to know

  • Yoga is not a competition and you never compare yourself with others. Look around you during the lesson, but not with envy or judgment. Learning from others helps to improve oneself;
  • You can be bored, especially during Savasana. Again, the practice will give you motivation but boredom is a human feeling;
  • You may fart and there’s nothing wrong or disgusting: it’s a reaction of the body and there is nothing to be ashamed. Either if you fart or hear someone farting, just don’t say anything;
  • There are different kinds of yoga and it can take a while before finding the one you like: don’t give up and try a different practice, if the class you’re attending is not satisfying;
  • Same as above applies for teachers: there are gazillions of teachers, and there is not a one-type-fits-all so make sure you find the one you like, the one you feel comfortable with and that gives you confidence;
  • Don’t run out and buy a special pair of yoga pants before your very first class: any comfortable exercise pants or shorts will do. Just remember you’ve to feel comfortable with yourself and the others in the class (we discourage the use of baggy t-shirts, very shorts yoga unless you’re going to do hot yoga);
  • Most yoga venues provide mats but we advice to buy yours as soon as you decide to take your first class: it’s not only for hygienic reasons but also because having spent money on the equipment will give you a bit more of motivation to keep practicing;
  • Don’t eat too much before your yoga lesson and try to eat at least 2 hours before you practice.

Here are some tips if you want to start practicing the Yoga and you’re scared of not being able to succeed:

  • Don’t get frustrated if you fail in a position, or if your mind doesn’t calm down during the Savasana. Everybody’s gotta learn, nobody’s born knowing! Even the best teachers were beginners and they too started from scratch;
  • Believe in yourself and in the potential of your body. Don’t listen to the mind that says no. Listen to your body and you’ll succeed!
  • Experience everything you are told, believe nothing until you try it. You can’t say that you don’t like a dish if you haven’t tried it, and the same goes for Yoga and everything
  • Thank yourself at the end of each practice, for finding time for yourself, your physical and mental health. Giving space to yourself is the best selfless act.

With a regular practice, you will notice how your body becomes more flexible, young and active and how the mind manages to calm down by shaking itself less frequently.

Yoga is a long journey and it’s necessary, from time to time, to stop and simply look back at the road you’ve taken so far. And smile for the strength you had.

Start practising these 10 yoga poses for beginners and

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Yoga Poses for Beginners

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