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5 Simple Yoga Poses for Beginners

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Getting started with yoga is a great way to improve your mental and physical health. This ancient practice is still in vogue today, and you can find classes in most major cities, or get started at home.

All you need is a quiet space, a few minutes, and a yoga mat.

So you just started your yoga practice, and some of the poses you have seen in Instagram seem so hard they are going to bend your body into a pretzel. Here are some easy poses you can get started with today!

Child's Pose

This is one of the easiest poses that you can learn, and most yoga teachers will tell you that if you need to take a break to rest during the class, to just take a child's pose.

To get into a child's pose, first get onto your hands and knees on the mat. Then, lower your butt over your feet, place your forehead down to the mat, and stretch out your arms in front of you.

This is a great restful pose that allows you to have a gentle stretch, while completely supported on the ground.

According to Master Class,

Child’s pose boasts a few benefits for the mind and body, such as:
1. Stretching: Child’s pose gently stretches your spine, thighs, hips, and ankles.
2. Relaxation: Along with deep breathing exercises, child’s pose can calm your mind, reducing anxiety and fatigue.
3. Blood circulation: Child’s pose can increase blood circulation to your head.
4. Digestion: The light compression on your stomach in this pose can activate digestion.
5. Tension relief: Child’s pose can release tension in your lower back muscles, chest, hamstrings, and shoulders.

This pose is one of the main staples of your yoga routine, and something that you can incorporate into your daily practice.

Downward Dog Pose

Downward facing dog pose is another mainstay of any yoga practice. It is a full-body stretch that helps you gain arm strength and stretches your hamstrings.

To get into a downward dog pose, you can start from a child's pose, or from hands and knees. Then, extend your legs as far as comfortable, until your body forms the shape of a triangle, supported by your hands and feet.

According to Boston University Wellness, some of the benefits of Downward Dog are:

Strengthens the upper body The stabilizing position of downward dog strengthens muscles in the arms, upper back and shoulders.
Elongates the spine Downward dog is a partial inversion, so the usual downward pressure on the spine is reversed and your vertebrae are realigned in a gentle way.
Strengthens hands, wrists, and fingers Because it is a weight-bearing posture, it will strengthen your hands and wrists and help prepare you for other postures where there is a lot of weight in the hands.
Opens up the backs of the legs Downward dog stretches and widens the hamstrings, the calves, and the Achilles tendon.
Improves circulation In downward dog, your head is lower than your heart, so it has the benefits of inversions and improves the blood flow through your body.
Relieves tension and stress Downward dog stretches and helps to relieve tension from the neck and back. The flow of blood to the brain helps to relieve headaches, mental fogginess, and mild depression.

With so many great benefits to this pose, it is great to incorporate into your daily routine as well.

Low Lunge

You can easily transition to a low lunge pose from Downward Dog. You will step one foot forward between your hands, then lower your back knee to the ground. Then, raise both arms above your head.

The low lunge pose helps to open up your hips and stretches your lower body.

According to World Peace Yoga School some of the benefits of a low lunge:

1) Releases tension in your hips.
2) Helps build mental focus.
3) Stretches the hips, quads, and hamstrings.
4) Helps to improve the strength and flexibility in your hips, legs, shoulders, arms, abdomen, back and knees.
5) If you suffer from sciatica pain, this pose is also good for you as it stretches and soothes the hamstrings and leg muscles.
6) As a heart-opening exercise, this pose is of course also beneficial for the heart chakra and stimulates the Anahata energy.
7) This pose is especially good and recommended for athletes and runners as it gives a beneficial stretch and stimulation to the lower body.

When you practice low lunge pose, it is important to do this pose twice, once with each leg in front. This way, you are balancing the stretch on both sides of your body. It is important to do this with any stretch that isn't stretching the whole body equally.

Butterfly Pose

The butterfly pose is another easy yoga pose that stretches your legs, and opens up your hips.

To do the butterfly pose, sit down on your mat. Then, bring the soles of your feet together, resting your hands on your feet. For an even deeper stretch, you can lean your body forward over your feet, though this is a more advanced version of the stretch.

According to Healthline:

The pose targets the low back, hip, and thigh muscles, helping to reduce pain, encourage flexibility, and increase range of motion.
Overall, Butterfly Pose has a soothing, relaxing effect both physically and mentally and may help boost energy levels. It may also help release emotions stored in your hips and the surrounding areas.

This is an easy and gentle pose that you can incorporate into your daily routine as well.

Cobra Pose

Cobra pose is another easy pose that you can incorporate into your daily yoga practice. It stretches your upper body, arms and back.

To do a cobra pose, first lie down on your stomach. Then, place your hands under your shoulders. Push out your arms until they are straight, and your torso is lifted off the floor.

According to Healthline,

Cobra falls into a category of poses called backbends, in which you arch your spine backward — a movement known as spinal extension.
Moving in this direction is helpful to counteract all the forward motion and more rounded shapes many of us make throughout the day, partly due to using computers and other devices so often.

Cobra is one of the easiest and most gentle back bend postures that you can learn when you are starting out with yoga. As you continue your practice, you can learn additional poses like standing cobra and camel pose.

Hopefully, you will be able to enjoy doing these easy yoga poses, and getting started with your own yoga practice.

If you have questions, or would like me to show more yoga poses in the future, let me know in the comments!

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