Devised in archaic India, yoga is a combination of spiritual, physical and mental exercise. Its main focus is to improve mental and physical health. A lot of scientific researches have been conducted on yoga and almost all of them suggested that it’s a very effective way to boost physical strength and flexibility. Yoga is also a powerful tool to cope with stress, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease and several cramps and aches.
The main element of yoga is postures. There are various styles of yoga like Sivananda and Ashtanga, and different styles focus on different areas such as breathing & postures.
Being a beginner is not easy but with a little patience and consistency, you can see amazing things happen to your body. Apart from strengthening muscles and lower stress, yoga can help your brain focus and improve your concentration. Here is a list of some basic yoga postures for beginners. It is recommended to hold each pose for 3-5 breaths. So let’s get started!
1. Mountain Pose:
This posture will teach you to stand firm just like a mountain. This pose is basically called ‘Tadasana’ and the word Tada means a mountain. It improves our ability to concentrate and involves major muscle groups. It’s essentially a starting posture for all other poses.
- Stand straight with your feet slightly apart and let your arms hang beside your trunk or torso.
- Gently lift the balls of your feet, then place them slowly on the ground.
- Elevate your ankles and tighten your thigh muscles and move them inwards.
- Lengthen your torso while inhaling and while exhaling let your shoulders move away from your head.
- Your ears, shoulders, hips & ankles should be aligned.
- You can also stretch your hands upwards. Breath slowly.
2. Chair Pose:
This posture boosts your mind and body and strengthens the muscles of arms and legs.
- Stand straight with a small distance between your feet.
- Extend your arms upward without bending your elbows.
- Inhale slowly and start bending your knees just like you are sitting on a chair.
- Keep your back straight and in line with your extended arms.
- Bend slowly and take deep breaths.
- Ensure that your knees do not go further away than your toes.
3. Bridge Pose:
This pose strengthens the spine, legs, and shoulders.
- Lay on the ground in such a way that your knees are curved and right above heels.
- Place your hands along the sides.
- Inhale slowly. Press your feet against the ground and raise your hips.
- Hold hands under your hips.
- Now exhale and come back to your original position.
- Take some rest and repeat.
4. Child’s Pose:
This relaxed posture reinstates mental and physical energy. Practice this pose with your eyes closed and listen to your breath.
- Take a seat restfully on heels, and keep your hips on heels.
- Move chest forward, and place your head on the mat.
- Bring your arms forward.
- Press your thighs and chest against each other.
- Now breathe slowly.
5. Cobra Pose:
This posture strengthens the back muscles and makes the spine flexible.
- Lie on your belly with legs stretched and feet apart.
- While inhaling upraise your waist with your hands placed right under your shoulders.
- Pull back your upper body with your hands. Keep your arms straight and divide the pressure equally on both palms.
- Your shoulders should be away from your ears.
- Come back to the ground while exhaling.
6. Tree Pose:
While improving your balance, this posture strengthens your legs and spine. It clones the firm position of a tree.
- Stand straight on your mat and place your right foot up on the left thigh.
- The foot should be placed firmly.
- Balance yourself on the left leg and make sure it is straight.
- Inhale and raise your arms upward and join your palms.
- Keep your back straight and take some deep breaths.
- Exhale slowly, bring arms down and put your leg back on the ground.
- Now repeat the same process for the left side.
7. Downward Dog Pose:
This posture stretches your knee muscles, chest and enlarges the spine. It increases blood flow towards your head.
- First, sit on your heels and extend your arms forward, then lower down your head on the mat.
- Push your arms forward and outward and slowly raise your hips.
- Press your heels against the ground and tighten your belly.
8. Seated Twist Pose:
It stretches abdomen, thighs, and back muscles, meanwhile strengthening them. It also increases the flexibility of muscles.
- Sit down on the ground with your legs extended.
- Cross over your right foot over the left thigh with your left knee bent.
- Place left elbow outer to right knee and your right hand on the ground behind you.
- With your hips firm on the ground, twist around your upper body.
- Stay in this position for a minute, then repeat on the other side.
9. The Butterfly Pose:
It possesses this name due to the specific position of limbs looking like a butterfly fretting its arms. This pose is also referred to as Cobbler Stance since it looks like a cobbler sitting at work.
- Sit down on the ground, bend your knees and hold together your feet firmly.
- Keep your back straight and breath slowly.
10. Triangle Pose:
This posture mainly stretches your legs and trunk. It stimulates the hip muscles and assists deep breathing. It vitalizes the whole body.
- Stand with your legs wide open.
- Extend your right foot out to 90 degrees and keep your legs close to the trunk.
- Keep your feet firm on the ground and try to apply equal weight on both feet.
- Inhale slowly and while exhaling bend towards your right side and touch your hands to the ground, meanwhile your left arm goes upward.
- Make sure that your body is bent towards the side and not backward or forward.
- Repeat the same on the left side.
11. Warrior Pose:
This powerful looking posture strengthens your legs, arms and back muscles, meanwhile enhancing their flexibility.
- Stand with your feet 3-4 feet apart.
- Rotate your right foot to about 90 degrees.
- Relax your shoulders and extends arms outwards in a straight line.
- Bend the right knee at 90 degrees, right above the ankle.
- Look straight in direction of bent knee and hold this position for a minute.
- Now repeat the same on another side.