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5 Basic Yoga Poses For Beginners

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5 Basic Yoga Poses For Beginners

Practicing yoga can help you to build strength and flexibility, while relieving stress and focusing on mindfulness. Here are just a few different poses for beginners to try, including sequences and techniques.

Breathing

Breathing is one of the most important aspects of yoga, no matter which pose you are doing. Breath is what connects your practice together, making it into a yoga flow and not just a series of exercises. Focusing on breath is a lot of what makes your movement a true meditation.

Throughout your practice, try to keep your breathing slow, steady, deep and regular. While your body is moving through the poses, keep focusing on the sensation of your breath. Match the speed of your movements to your breath, and let your breath keep you calm even when you are performing challenging poses.

1. Sun Salutation A

The sun salutation is a great set of poses, and it is a perfect way to start your practice. Start in tadasana, or mountain pose. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, centering yourself and focusing on what you wish to accomplish during your practice. Open your eyes and, while inhaling, sweep your arms straight overhead. Breathe out as you hinge forward at the hips, coming into uttanasana (standing forward bend). Breathe in as you raise upward until your back is flat (ardha uttanasana).

Breathe out as you place your hands on the ground, step or jump backward into a high plank pose, and then lower down into chaturanga dandasana (four-limbed staff pose). From here, inhale as you straighten your arms and lift your chest into upward facing dog (if it’s your first sun salutation of the day, consider replacing this with sphinx, in which you support yourself on your forearms instead of your hands). Then exhale and lift your hips, coming into downward facing dog. Hold here for 5 breaths, taking the opportunity to tune back in with your breathing if you have lost concentration before.

Then, inhaling, step or jump forward to your hands. Exhale as you bend forward completely, then inhale as you stand and sweep your arms upward.

Repeat this 3-5 times.

2. Sun Salutation B

Sun salutation B is another wonderful set of poses. It is similar sun salutation A in many ways, but there are some notable differences as well. Here is the sequence of poses:

  • Mountain pose/tadasana
  • Chair pose/utkatasana
  • Standing forward bend/uttanasana
  • Half standing forwardbend/ardha uttanasana
  • Four-limbed staff pose/chaturanga dandasana
  • Upward facing dog/urdva mukha svanasana
  • Downward facing dog/adho mukha svanasana
  • Warrior I/virabhadrasana A (right side)
  • Four-limbed staff pose/chaturanga dandasana
  • Upward facing dog/urdva mukha svanasana
  • Downward facing dog/adho mukha svanasana
  • Warrior I/virabhadrasana A (left side)
  • Upward facing dog/urdva mukha svanasana
  • Downward facing dog/adho mukha svanasana (hold for 5 breaths)
  • Half standing forwardbend/ardha uttanasana
  • Standing forward bend/uttanasana
  • Chair pose/utkatasana
  • Mountain pose/tadasana

Repeat the sun salutation B three to five times as well. For some people, three to five As and three to five Bs will be enough of a workout all on its own. However, after working through some sun salutations is the perfect time to practice other poses. Your body should be warm and ready to stretch, and your mind should be calm and ready to meditate.

3. Pigeon

Pigeon is a wonderful pose for those suffering from tight hips. You can easily get into this this pose from a downward facing dog. Just bring one foot forward, bend it at the knee, and set it down with your lower leg lying flat on the floor. Lower yourself down, keeping your hips square. Breathe into areas of tension. Repeat on both sides.

4. Tree

Tree is a good pose for increasing your strength and balance. Standing straight in mountain pose, bend one leg and rotate it out to the side, placing the foot against the opposite leg. Generally, placing the foot higher on your leg will be more challenging, while placing it lower will make it easier. Do not place your foot directly on your knee. Standing straight and tall, pick an unmoving spot to focus on as you breathe. Repeat on both sides.

5. Corpse Pose

Moving meditations are excellent, but sometimes they can feel like a lot of work. When you’ve finished your yoga practice, lie down on your mat and close your eyes. Place your arms by your side and stretch your legs out as far as they go. Relax every muscle in your body and stop trying to control your breathing. Be absolutely still. Many people find that stationary meditation is much easier after a session of yoga. Corpse pose may just end up being your favourite part of your yoga practice.

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