Yoga Moves For Beginners

If you are brand new to Yoga, here are some beginners poses that will help you get started confidently. Doing each of these poses for 5-10 breaths would lay a solid foundation for the advanced asanas.

A word of caution before we start with the beginners poses. The poses have been performed by experts and you don’t have to do these exactly as shown in the picture. Always follow the GOLDEN rule – Listen to your body and stretch only as comfortable you can be. Do not compare with your neighbors (in the studio) or peers and overstretch.

It is generally recommended to empty your bowels before practicing the asanas and have a 4 to 6 hours gap between meals and practicing Yoga asanas. The best time to practice Yoga is in the morning hours.

Tadasana - 11. Tadasana (The Mountain Pose)

Known as the base of all standing poses, it gives you a sense of grounding and a feel of the earth. Most of the standing poses emerge from Tadasana. Though it seems like just a “simple standing pose”, a lot of things go with the pose. Though it is not mandatory to do this asana on an empty stomach if you precede or follow it up with other Yoga asanas, then it is best to have a four to six hours gap between your meals and this asana.

How to do it

Step 1: Stand with your feet slightly apart and hands hanging alongside your body. Lifting your kneecaps, make your thigh muscles firm, but ensure that you do not harden the lower part of your belly.

Tadasana - 3Step 2: Lifting your kneecaps, make your thigh muscles firm, but ensure that you do not harden the lower part of your belly.

Step 3: Strengthen and lift your inner ankles as you lift them. Looking slightly upward, breathe in and lift your chest, stretch your shoulders and arms upwards.

Step 4: Looking slightly upward, breathe in and lift your chest, stretch your shoulders and arms upwards.

Step 5: While ensuring your body weight is on your toes, raise your heels and feel the stretch in your body right from your feet to head. Hold the pose for 6 to 8 breaths.

Step 6: To come out of the pose – exhale and ground your feet and relax.

Caution

Persons suffering from the following health conditions should avoid this asana

  1. Low blood pressure
  2. Insomnia
  3. Headaches

The Benefits of Tadasana

  1.  Regular practice of Tadasana strengthens your ankles, knees, and thighs
  2.  Helps improve the body posture
  3.  Helps reduce sciatica
  4.  Improves overall balance
  5.  Reduces flat feet
  6.  Tones up the buttocks and abdomen
  7.  This is an excellent asana for kids and early teens to increase their heights
  8.  Brings in strength, flexibility, and agility in spine
  9.  Helps in regulating digestive, nervous and respiratory systems
  10.  Calms the body and mind

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (The Downward Facing Dog Pose)

Adho Mukha Svanasana - 1As this asana has a number of amazing benefits, it becomes essential for the everyday practice of a Yogi. Being as simple as it is, it makes easier for a beginner to get a hang of this asana.  This asana looks similar to how a dog looks when it bends forward, hence the name “Downward Facing Dog Pose”.

How to do it

Step 1: Stand on your hands and knees like a table.
Step 2: Exhale and lift your hips until your body forms an inverted ‘V’, ensuring that your hands are in line with your shoulders and your feet in line with your hips. Toes should point inwards. Your tailbone should face towards the ceiling. Initially, the Heels can be lifted away from the floor.
Adho Mukha Svanasana - 2Step 3: Holding your hands firmly to the ground, lengthen your neck and move your face towards your inner thigh (as much as you can do it comfortably- remember not to over stretch), such that your eyes gaze to your navel.
Step 4: With an exhalation, stretch and place your heels towards the floor.
Step 5: Straighten your knees but do not lock them. Ensure that your knees are behind your sitting bones to maximize length in your torso and spine.
Step 6: Your head should be in between your arms, not letting it hang down loosely. Hold on to this pose for around 7 seconds and then bend your knees so that you return to the table position.

Caution

Persons suffering from the following health conditions should avoid this asana

  1. A dislocated shoulder
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Beginners tips

  1. To know if you are doing this asana right or not is easy. In case you feel stressed or your balance is unstable, then check your alignment. Start over and ensure that your knees are right below your hips and hands beneath your shoulders.
  2. Initially, if you find it difficult to get the shoulder release right, you could practice this asana against the wall. Facing the wall, stand about three feet away with your legs apart. Place the hands on the wall and walk them down until your torso, keeping the arms parallel to the floor.

Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog)

  1.  This pose strengthens the legs, feet, knees, shoulders and abdominal muscles, and feet
  2.  Helps in calming your mind, and releasing stress and anxiety
  3.  Improves blood circulation making you fresh and energized
  4.  Due to the compression of abdominal muscles, it helps to reduce belly
  5.  Helps in relieving headache, back pain, insomnia and fatigue

Bhujangasana3. Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana, famously known as the Cobra Pose helps in strengthening the spine and preventing back problems. This asana is especially useful and recommended for people whose profession is suited for long hours of sitting.

How to do it

Step 1: Lie down on your abdomen with hands resting on the floor, right cheek on the floor and feet apart.

Step 2: Bring your hands to the front in line with the shoulders with palms on the floor and toes touching each other.

Step 3: Place your forehead on the floor, then place the chin on the floor.

Step 4: Without placing your weight on the arms, raise your head, neck, and chest. Hold on to this position for 7 to 10 seconds.

Step 5: To come out of the pose, slowly bring down your head, neck, and chest. Place your chin, followed by forehead on the floor.

Step 6: Rest your opposite cheek (left cheek) to the side (on the floor) and place your hands by the side of your legs and relax.

Bhujangasana - 2Caution

Persons suffering from the following health conditions should avoid this asana

  1. Back injuries
  2. Headaches
  3. Recently undergone abdominal surgeries
  4. Hernia
  5. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  6. Pregnancy

Beginner’s Tip

Initially, do not strain yourself much. Find a comfortable height and just hold on to the pose and gradually increase the time holding the pose. The asanas should be done as meditation – concentrating on each pose as you go into and release out of the pose. Remember the asanas are done without any expectation or competition. Each individual has independent physical structure and hence the flexibility may vary from person to person. So do not see your neighbor and compare.

Benefits of Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)

  1. Exercises back muscles, spine and cranial nerves
  2. Relieves stress
  3. Expands the chest
  4. Relieves a backache, constipation, and gas
  5. In women, the ovaries and uterus are toned

4. Trikonasana

Based on the three physical principles of Hatha Yoga – expansion, stability, and evenness, Trikonasana helps you revive your faith in your lower half of the body when you feel that you are disconnected with it. This asana increases strength and balance on your legs, feet, and torso resulting in making your mind even and steady.

How to do it

Step 1: Stand upright and in the next move jump and spread your feet apart with a distance of about 4 feet.

Trikonasana - 1Step 2: Place your right foot outside at 90 degrees. The center of your right heel should be in line with the center of the arch of the left foot.

Step 3: Ensure that your feet are grounded properly and balance your body weight equally on both feet.

Step 4: Stretch your arms sideways. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, bend your body downwards sideways (neither backward nor forward)  towards the right simultaneously lower your right hand, making an attempt to touch the ground (if not touch the lowest part of your right leg as possible). Raise your left hand up.

Step 5: Ensure that both your hands form a straight line. Turn your head towards the ceiling and your eyes should gaze towards your left palm. Your chest and pelvis should be wide open.

Trikonasana - 2Step 6: Hold on to the pose for 7 to 10 seconds initially and then gradually increase the duration (not overstretching yourself).

Step 7: After you are done, inhale and return to the standing position with your arms widened up.

Step 8: Drop your arms, stand straight and relax.

Step 9: Repeat the same for the left leg.

Caution

  1. If you are suffering from neck pain, then you should avoid looking upwards, instead just look straight balancing on both sides of the neck.
  2. If you suffer from high blood pressure, then it is advised to look downwards and not upwards.
  3. Persons having heart problems should practice this asana leaning against the wall with the top arm on the side of the hip.
  4. If you suffer from low blood pressure, diarrhea or headaches, then you should avoid practicing this asana.

Beginners Tips

  1. Initially, if you are not able to touch the ground, you may place your hand on a vertically-placed block.
  2. Throughout the asana, ensure that your back is completely straight.

Benefits of Trikonasana

  1. It Strengthens and Stretches the ankles, hips, knees, legs, back, arms, thighs, and chest
  2. Improves digestive system and stimulates the abdominal organs
  3. Helps relieve stress, calms the mind and improves concentration
  4. Increases flexibility in the groin, hamstring, and spine
  5. Helps to eliminate fat from waist and thighs

If you like this post and would like to comment or provide feedback, please use the comment box below and I’ll respond at the earliest.

Carthik shares his Healthy Life journey. Do visit regularly to get updated on his progress and tips for your own journey to live healthily. If you like what he does and if you have a passion and want to share it too, then Click here to learn how to share what you love – on your website!

About Carthik

Carthik shares his Healthy Life journey. Do visit regularly to get updated on his progress and tips for your own journey to live healthily. If you like what he does and if you have a passion and want to share it too, then Click here to learn how to share what you love - on your website!

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