If you are a yoga beginner, I’m sure you feel overwhelmed by the newness of the practice. Every pose, posture feels strange and slightly unfamiliar. Your yoga teacher and fellow yoga students all seem to know what to do, how to move gracefully from one pose to another and how to balance and relax at the same time in the poses!
As a yoga beginner, it can all feel too much to take in and remember.
To ease you through this process, here are three simple, easy beginner yoga poses for you to practice at home.
As with all exercises, take time to respect and listen to your body. Remember to breathe slowly and deeply through your nose and to understand, you are a beginner and it takes time, energy and patience to build up a personal yoga practice.
Three Beginner Yoga Poses to Know and Love
Yoga poses fall into five main categories and relate to the movement your body makes in each pose. These are backward bends, forward bends, twists, standing poses and inverted (upside down) positions. As a beginner, here are three easy yoga beginner poses for you to practice and enjoy.
1. Backward Bend – The Bridge Pose/Setu Bandhasana
The Bridge pose helps to improve flexibility and strength in your spine. It also helps to build up the strength in the legs to support the bending of the back in all back-bending postures. The positioning of the body stimulates abdominal organs and opens up the colon which aid digestion.
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms by the side of your body with the palms down.
2. Gently press your shoulders down and reach your hands down to catch hold of your ankles. If you find it difficult to reach your ankles, simply interlace your fingers and stretch your arms away from your shoulders.
3. Inhale and press your feet firmly into the floor and raise your hips up as you lift your chest towards your chin. Keep your head and shoulders on the mat as you soften the back of your neck into the mat.
4. Take 3 – 7 deep breaths, then slowly release your ankles/hands and lower yourself back to the mat.
2. Knee Head Pose/Janu Sirsasana
A simple pose which gives a lovely stretch along your back, around the side and back of your waist. This helps to activate the kidneys, which aids digestion, relieves constipation.
1. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Gently press your inner thighs together whilst slowly pushing the soles of your feet away. If your back is stiff sit on a cushion or yoga block to give you extra support. Rest your hands besides your hips.
2. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right foot against the left inner thigh. Allow the right knee to fall out to the side. if this feels uncomfortable, place a cushion under your right knee/thigh for extra support. Inhale and lengthen your spine.
3. Exhale and stretch your hands forwards to the left foot, lengthen your back and draw your shoulders down. Aim to keep the bent knee resting on the cushion/floor and stretch the other leg by pushing the heel away.
4. If you find it difficult to reach your foot with your hands, use a strap or tie looped around the sole of your foot.
5. As you relax in the pose, focus on lengthening your body along the straight leg and roll the opposite side rib cage above the bent leg towards the inner thigh of your straight leg.
6. Stay in position for 5 – 10 rounds of deep breathing and gradually return to original seated position.
7. Repeat with the other leg.
3. Half Spinal Twist/Ardha Matsyendrasana
Half spinal twist, relieves tension in your lower back, improves flexibility of the spine; massages internal organs, especially the digestive organs. It feels like you are wringing out a damp towel and you feel sooo good afterwards.
1. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Gently press your inner thighs together whilst slowly pushing the soles of your feet away. If your back is stiff sit on a cushion or yoga block to give you extra support. Rest your hands hands palm down, with your fingers pointing backwards.
2. Place your left foot flat on the mat outside your right calf. Inhale and raise your right arm straight up. Make sure your head, neck and back are in a straight line. Keep your left hand pressing into the mat.
3. Wrap your right arm around your bent left knee. Keep your spine straight, breathe in and gently turn your chest, head and eyes to look over your left shoulder. Breathe slowly and deeply into your belly. Keep hugging the bent knee inward and lengthening your spine. Take 5 – 10 rounds of deep breaths. Slowly release first your head, then your spine. Relax and repeat on the other side.
As a yoga beginner, take your time and get used to these three easy beginner poses – the bridge, head knee pose and the half-spinal twist. As you gain more confidence and flexibility you will be able to stay longer in the pose and find it easier to try more advanced yoga poses.
Give them a go and please feel free to contact me if you wish to receive further easy yoga poses.