Awaken The World Through Enlightened Media

25 Yoga Poses For Beginners

Mountain pose – Tadasana – This is the most basic pose, yet its very important to set a steady foundation…

Awaken

This is a great way to start your practice. It is also a great pose to come back to during your practice to focus and turn awareness inwards.
How to do it.
Stand with your feet close together, let your big toes touch and your heels be slightly apart. Feel the weight even between your feet. Bend your knees slightly, draw your lower belly in and straighten your back. Lift your chest up and roll your shoulders away from your ear. Try to draw your shoulder blades slightly together. Lower your cheek towards your chest to make the back of the neck long. Take some deep breaths and connect to your bandhas.

Image source: northshore.org

Standing forward fold – Uttanasana


This asana opens up the back of the legs and is relaxing for the back. Its a simple, but strong asana for the back of the legs, so careful with the back of your thighs in this asana, and always go in and out of it carefully and with awareness.
How to do it.
From tadasana, step hip width apart, put your hands on your hips, straighten your back and lift your chest, and on an exhalation fold down from your hips with a straight back. Bend your knees as much as you need to to keep the back long and straight. Engage uddiyana bandha by drawing your navel towards your back, this will set your back in a better position. Fold all the way down. Put your hands on a block, on your lower legs, feet or toes. Keep your shoulders away from your ears, and let your head come down towards the floor. Wiggle your head from side to side if you feel tension in your neck.

Image source: emilygilchrist.files.wordpress.com

Cat-cow


This little vinyasa sequence is a perfect way to warm up the spine and the chest before going into more challenging poses and deeper backbends. It is also a great way to set a nice foundation with your hands to the floor as a preparation for armbalances (which might be a goal in the future!).
How to do it.
Stand on all fours, knees hip width apart right under your hips, and hands shoulder width apart right under your soulders. Start on an inhalation by lifting your chest and your gaze up towards the ceiling.  Let your belly be heavy and your back arch. Draw your shoulder blades towards each other. Exhale and push your hands and knees towards the floor, look towards your navel and curve your back I the opposite direction, towards the ceiling. Stretch your shoulder blades from each other. Repeat a couple of times, following your breath.

Image source: popsugar.com

Balancing Table – Dandayamna Bharmanasana


This is a little bit trickier balance asana, perfect to build up strength in the core, stability and coordination. It might be a bit tricky in the beginning, but as soon as you learn how to connect to your core, it will be a lot easier!
How to do it.
From all fours, keep your core steady and on an inhalation, lift your right arm straight forward and your left leg straight backwards. Keep your hips and shoulders level. Imagine that you draw your arm towards its shoulder socket and the straight leg towards the hip socket. Try to make a straight line between your lifted hand and foot, keep your core active all the time, and take a couple of breaths. Exhale and lower, inhale and swap side.

Plank – Phalakasana


This pose is an essential pose for building up core strength and stability. Either you do it on your hands, elbows, toes and knees, it is a superb asana for yogis at al levels.
How to do it.
Set your body up as if you were gonna do a regular push-up. Spread your fingers and keep your hands under your shoulders. Push your heels backwards, engage your legs, your bum and your core. Draw your shoulderblades towards each other and your shoulders away from your ears. Push the floor away from you. Do it on your hands or elbows, and put your knees to the ground whenever you need to.

Baby cobra – Bhujangasana


To build up strength and flexibility in your upper back, this is a great asana to do. Notice the importance of creating length in the spine before you arch it back. Keep breathing while you are in this asana, this is a great way to learn how to breath in asanas where the lungs are compressed.
How to do it.
Lie on your belly, and put your hands to the floor next to your chest. Keep the back of your feet, your legs, hips and belly connected to the floor. Draw your shoulder blades toward each other, lengthen your spine and carefully lift your upper back away from the floor. Keep your hands to the floor, but avoid pushing. Feel the length in the spine all the way from your tailbone to the top of your head. Take a couple of breaths and release.

Image source: remediespoint.com

Downward facing dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana


Downward facing dog might be one of the most popular yoga asanas. It is a great way to warm up, stretch out the whole back of the body and work on flexibility around the shoulders and the chest. Be careful while you are in the beginning of your practice and go slow, walk from side to side in every first down dog of the day to warm up and stretch before going deeper into your practice.
How to do it.
Put your feet and your hands to the floor. Imagine that you make a triangle with your body, where the legs are one side of the triangle, and your back and your arms make the other side of the triangle. Bend your knees and lift your heels in the beginning. Spread your fingers and push the floor away from you, make length in the spine. Imagine that you have a tail, and somebody is lifting you up and back in the tail. Take it slow in the beginning, don’t push, just carefully let your legs straighten and your heels lower down towards the floor.

Image source: hotyogaon17th.com

Childs pose – Balasana


Childs pose is a restorative and relaxing pose. Keep coming back to this pose as often as you want, and every time you lose your focus and your breath. While you are in this pose – just relax!
How to do it.
From downward facing dog, put your knees to the floor and sit down on your heels. Keep your hands to the floor as far as possible from the rest of your body. Relax your forehead to the floor or put a pillow under your head. Feel length and heaviness in the body, and stay as long as you need to in the pose.

Image source: yogadirectory.sg

Low Lunge – Anjaneyasana


This is a pose for opening up the groins, thighs and chest. Keep your hands to the floor until you have balance enough to raise your hands up or in Namaste in front of your chest.
How to do it.
From downward facing dog, look up, bend your knees, inhale and take a big step forward with your right leg. Put your right foot next to your right hand, make sure your toes are in front of your right knee. Put your back knee against the floor, and lower your hips down. Feel the stretch at the front of your left thigh and your groin. Keep your bandhas and your core engaged. Lift your chest and try to draw your shoulder blades back. Keep your hands to the floor until you have balance enough to lift them above your head.

Image source: womenshealthandfitness.com.au

Side Angle Pose – Utthita Parsvakonasana


There are a lot of variations for this pose, make sure you use a modification that suits your body. Keep your bandhas engaged and your chest lifted, and don’t forget to breath! This is a powerful pose, warming up the whole body and stretching out the side of the ribcage.
How to do it.
From tadasana, take a big step back with your left leg. Make the back foot and your hips turn to the side wall, and the front foot point in the same direction as your mat. Bend your front knee towards 90 degrees. Put your right lower arm on the top of your right thigh, and lift your left arm up and over your head. Try to make a straight line from the outside of your backfoot all the way through the body and to your little finger of your left arm. Try to lift your chest up, don’t lose your bandhas!

Image source: yogajournal.com

Squat – Malasana


even though it may nearly impossible to do a squat with tight, western hips, this is a natural everyday sitting posture in many parts of the world. This is how you hang out when you relax, cook your food, play with your children and also when you go to the lo! Squatting is actually a great way to relax the lower back – the part of the back witch is often sore after sitting and being still for a whole day. Squatting opens up the hips and relaxes the pose, and is an asana that should be practiced as often as possible.
How to make it?
Stand hip width apart with your toes pointing straight forward. Lower your hips down, and keep your heels down. Go as far as it is comfortable. If your are tight in your hips, hold on to something steady so that you can lean back without tipping backwards.

Warrior A – Virabhadraasana I


All the warriors are standing asanas, building strength and heat in the body. These are powerful poses, do them early in your practice.
How to do it.
From tadasana, step back with your left foot. Let your back foot point in a 45 degree angle. Keep a little space between your feet if you want to be more stable. Point your hips forward, and bend your front knee. Raise your arms above your head and turn your gaze up. Try to lower as much as possible without loosing the foundation from your back foot. Take a couple of breaths before you change.

Warrior B – Virabhadraasana II


In all the warriors, work on engaging which muscles that needs to be engaged, and relax all the muscles that can be relaxed.
How to do it.
From warrior A, open up your hips and your chest to the long side of your mat. Take your left arm above your left leg and your right arm above your right leg. Keep your chest straight above your hips, and make the weight even between your feet. Relax your shoulders and your face, and look over your right hand. Take a couple of breaths, then change side.

Image source: yogaashram.files.wordpress.com

Warrior C – Virabhadraasana III


This is a balancing pose. Remember to keep your gaze steady at one point and try not to loose your gaze point. Lift your leg as high as it feel comfortable. Balancing one one leg is perfect to build core stability and strength in the ankles.
How to do it.
From warrior A, put all the weight in your front foot, and see if you can lift your back foot from the floor. Keep your hips parallel to the floor so that the “back” hip don’t lifts up towards the ceiling. Aim to make a straight line from hands, through your arms, neck, back, hips, leg all the way to the back foot. Take a couple of breaths and change side.

Image source: yoga213.com.au

Three pose – Vrikshasana


One more balancing pose, this is much softer than the warrior. This asana helps you calm down, concentrate and focus.
How to do it.
From tadasana, lift your left leg and put the sole of the foot against the calf, the inside of the lower thigh or as high up along the thigh as possible. Notice, avoid putting your feet against the knee, this is a vulnerable joint. Spread the toes of the standing foot, and engage your standing leg. Make your hips square and open up the left knee as far as possible to the side. Put your hands in Namaste in front of the chest. Take a couple of breaths and change side.

Image source: wikimedia.org

Star Pose – Arda Chandrasana


This is a little bit more tricky and challenging balancing asana, have a play and don’t make it to serious!
How to do it.
From Warrior C (standing on the right foot), place the right hand on the floor or on a block, look down with a steady gaze. Open up your hips just like you had a handle on your left hip bone, and somebody was lifting you upwards. Lift your back leg as high as it is comfortable and possible for keeping the balance. Point your heel away from you and engage your lifted leg. Use strong bandhas, it will help you balance.

Image source: yogajournal.com

Staff pose – Dandasana


This is a fundamental pose for creating stability and foundation in all sitting postures. Do it before you do any other sitting postures or forward folds to make sure you keep the right alignment and the spine straight.
How to do it.
Sit down on the floor, with the legs together and straight in front of your body. If you have the sensation of tipping backwards, fold a blanket or take a cushion to sit on to elevate your hips. Bend your knees if it feels tight and uncomfortable. Have your sit bones connected to the ground, suck your lower belly slightly in and try to keep the natural curves in the spine. Feel the connection of your heels and sit bones to the floor. Draw your shoulder blades towards each other and your shoulders away from your ears. Slightly tip your check towards your chest to make the back of the neck long. Stay in the pose for a couple of breaths, looking at your toes or keeping your eyes closed.

Image source: yogajournal.com

Boat Pose – Navasana


A sitting balancing pose to built up core strength and heat in the whole body.
How to do it.
From staff pose, bend your knees and take hold on the back of your knees. Tip a little bit backwards and find the balance on your sit bones. Engage your core, and see if you can lift one foot at the time from the floor. If this is easy, lift both feet and let go of holding on to your legs. Turn the palm of your hands to face your legs. Lift your chest up, and keep the natural curves in the spine. Point your toes, smile, and don’t forget to breath!

Image source: corewalking.com

Sitting Twist – Marychiasana C


Always try to make at least one twist every time you practice. Twists massage the inner organs and the spine, and is really good to balance the body.
How to do it.
From Staff pose, bend your right knee and put your right foot on the floor next to the inside of the left thigh. Lengten your spine, take hold on your right knee with your left arm and hug it as close as possible towards your chest. Place the right hand just behind your tailbone. Inhale and lengthen and exhale and twist your upper body against your leg. Keep the foundation stable, your hips are still. Sit bones are connected to the ground. If you want to go deeper, inhale and lengthen, exhale and deepen. Keep your cheek slightly tilted towards your chest to keep length in the back of the neck. Keep breathing long deep breaths, try to broaden your chest, and look over your right shoulder. Stay in the twist for a couple of breaths, release the twist on an exhalation and change side.

Image source: spiraldynamik-yoga.at

Half Bridge – Setu Bandha


This is a great backbend for beginners and a very good preparation for more advanced asanas. This asana opens up the chest and the fronts of the tighs. Keep breathing during the whole time when you do this asana.
How to do it.
Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet hip with apart as close to your bum as possible. Keep your knees hip width apart while you inhale and lift your hips up, exhale and lower. Do this for a couple of breaths, and when you feel a bit warmed up in the back of the body, inhale and hold. Crawl your arms and shoulders under your body and lock your fingers behind your back. Keep the knees on a hip width distance so that the knees do not point out to the sides. Push your heels down and if it is possible, push your arms and the sides of your hands down. Lift your hips and chest as high as comfortable, and keep breathing. Stay for a couple of breaths, exhale as you lower down.

Legs up – Viparita Korani


This is a restorative and reenergizing asana, and it is suitable to do in the end of the practice, or at any time during the day when you need to reenergize and revitalize yourelf. Inversions helps getting blood and fluid from your legs and relaxes the heart.
How to do it.
Lie on the back, and on an inhalation, raise your legs straight up so that your heels point towards the ceiling. Modify this pose by putting a blanket underneath your hips, or lie against a wall so that your legs are supported. When the legs are supported, the asana is much more relaxing. Keep the whole back of your body resting on the floor, relax your neck and your head, and stay for at least 20 breaths.

Image source: wikimedia.org

Lying Twist


Lying twist is a restorative pose. Just like legs up, do it at the end of your practice or whenever you need to stretch out the spine during the day.
How to do it.
Lie on your back. Lift your feet up and keep your hips and your knees in a 90 degree angle so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Let your arms rest in the floor in line with your shoulders. Exhale and fold your knees towards the right side. If this hurts in your back or feel uncomfortable in any other way, put a blanket or a pillow underneath your knees or and your left shoulder. Relax your back, your hips and your shoulders. Turn your gaze towards your left hand, and make your knees heavy, easy into the ground. Make sure you feel supported so that you don’t built up tensions in your body when holding back. This pose is not about reaching somewhere, only maximal relaxation! Stay for at least 20 breaths. Raise your knees to the middle on an inhalation, and fold your legs to the next side on an exhalation.

Image source: spinecarechiropractor.com

Fish Pose – Parivartanasana


This basic backbend is a perfect way asana to open up the chest and deepen the breath before final relaxation. Keep your chestbone lifted, and feel the stretch of the neck. Keep breathing deep down in to your belly.
How to do it.
lye on the back and put your hands under your bum, palms facing down and elbows close to your body. Inhale and lift your chest, come up on your elbows. Exhale and open your chest, arch your upper back so that the top of your head carefully touch the floor, try not to push your head to the floor. Draw your shoulder blades together to open up the chest. Look backwards or close your eyes. Keep breathing and stay for a couple of breath. Make your way out of the pose very carefully.

Image source: debbyandersen.com

Easy Pose – Sukhasana


The best way for meditation is sitting in lotus or sukhasana. Do not try to force your body into any of these postures, this will only make it very hard – or even impossible – to quiet the mind and meditate. Instead, prop your self up, fold blankest to sit on, elevate your hips, and put pillows under your knees so that the knees are supported. Always keep the hips above the knees, if this is not the case, elevate the hips higher. Fold the blankets so that it makes a little slope, and sit in the middle of the slope. If your pelvis is tilted, it is easier to keep the natural curves in the spine.
How to do it.
Prop yourself up as described above. Make sure your sit bones are connected to the ground, and you keep the natural curves of the spine. Sit straight up, check slightly tilted towards your chest to keep length in the back of your neck. Draw your shoulders slightly back and away from your ears. Relax your face and your arms. Put your thumb and index finger together and rest the back of your wrists on your knees. Take long deep breaths and try to sit a couple of moments in total stillness.

Image source: kieu.com

Corpse Pose – Savasana


Always end your practice with some minutes in savasana – deep relaxation. Even though it might seem easy, this might be one of the hardest of all asanas. This asana is about total relaxation and surrender, letting go of any little tension in the body, letting go of controlling the breath and the thoughts. Keep your eyes closed while you are in this pose. Use a blanket or a shawl if you easily get cold.
How to do it.
Lie on the back, and let your legs fall out to the sides. Rest the arms on the floor on the sides of your body, and let your palms face up. Imagine that you hold a heavy stone in each hand. Close your eyes and let yourself relax and be totally still. Feel into your body, into every sensation in every part of your body. Feel the breath moving your chest up and down. Let your body be heavy and imagine you are floating. Stay for at least 5-15 minutes, or more if you feel comfortable. Try not to sleep, just be present and totally relaxed in body and mind.
When you want to come back, begin with deepening the breath and making small movements in your hands and feet. Give yourself a smile, and come out of the asana slowly and with awareness.

Source: Yoga Time

Share

Leave a Reply