Not long ago, I too was a beginner of yoga. It’s an intimidating time but if you stick with it, the benefits you reap will be well worth the initial struggle. Yoga is no longer just a form of exercise but a lifestyle. If you’re just beginning your yoga journey, here are five poses that will help you get started.
1. Child’s Pose
You might recognize this pose from other fitness classes you’ve taken as it’s very useful in the cool down process. Begin this pose by kneeling on your mat, sitting on the heels of your feet. Lean forward and place your hands on the mat above your head as you slowly exhale. Let your forehead rest on the mat and allow your muscles to stretch out.
2. Warrior 1
Begin by standing at the top of your mat. Plant your right foot and step as far back with your left as comfortable. Bend your front leg so your knee is above your ankle. Both feet and your hips should be facing forward. Extend your arms out and slowly raise them above your head.
3. Warrior 2
From the Warrior 1 pose, move your arms to parallel the floor and roll your wrists so your palms are facing down. Face your head forward to look over your front hand and exhale. As you’re exhaling, relax your shoulders and allow them to drop.
4. Downward Dog
When you think of yoga, this is often the pose that comes to mind. To start, put your hands and knees on the mat, hip-width apart. Press into the palms of your hands and slowly raise your knees off the floor. Concentrate on your spine as you lift your hips and your back. As you exhale, keep your legs as straight as you can. To avoid injury, remember that your heels do not have to stay on the ground.
This is a great pose if you’re looking to stretch your abdominal muscles. Lie facedown with your hands placed flat on the mat, under your shoulders. Keep your elbows in and push up. Take a deep breath in and hold it for a few seconds before exhaling and slowly lowering yourself back down.