Brand new to yoga? Here are the Top 10 Poses you should know to help you feel comfortable in your yoga class.
Click the link below for our ‘Learn Yoga’ Video Series on YouTube!
1. Mountain Pose
It is the base for all standing poses and gives you a sense of how to ground into your feet. If you feel like you’re just “standing there” then you probably aren’t doing it right.
Stand there with your feet together. Press down all ten toes as you spread them open. Engage your quads to lift your kneecaps and lift up through the inner thighs. Draw your abs in and up as you lift your chest and press the tops of the shoulders down. Feel your shoulder blades coming towards each other and open your chest.
2. Downward Facing Dog
Downward Dog is used in most yoga practices and it stretches and strengthens the entire body.
Come on to all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keep your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight, otherwise try and straighten out your legs while keeping your hips back. Press firmly through your palms and keep engaging your legs to keep the torso moving back towards the thighs.
Plank is a great way to strengthen the abdominals, and learn to use the breath to help you stay in a challenging pose.
From all fours, tuck under your toes and lift your legs up off the mat. Slide your heels back enough until you feel you are one straight line of energy from your head to your feet. Engage the lower abdominals, draw the shoulders down and away from the ears, pull your ribs together.
Triangle pose stretches the sides of the waist, opens up the lungs, strengthens the legs and tones the entire body.
Stand with your feet one leg’s-length apart. Open and stretch your arms to the sides at shoulder height. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left toes in about 45 degrees. Engage your quads and abs as you hinge to the side over your right leg. Place your right hand down on your ankle, shin or knee (or a block if you have one) and lift your left arm up to the ceiling. Turn your gaze up to the top hand and hold. Lift up to stand and repeat on the opposite side.
Tree is an awesome standing balance for beginners to work on to gain focus and clarity, and learn to breathe while standing and keeping the body balanced on one foot.
Start with your feet together and place your right foot on your inner left upper thigh. Press your hands in prayer and find a spot in front of you that you can hold in a steady gaze.
Hold and breathe for 8-10 breaths then switch sides. Make sure you don’t lean in to the standing leg and keep your abdominals engaged and shoulders relaxed.
6. Warrior 1
Warrior poses are essential for building strength and stamina in a yoga practice. They stretch the hips and thighs while building strength in the entire lower body and core.
For warrior one, you can take a giant step back with your left foot coming towards a lunge, then turn your left heel down and angle your left toes forward 75 degrees. Lift your chest and press your palms up overhead. Step forward and repeat on the opposite leg.
7. Warrior 2
Warrior 2 is an external hip opener and opens up the inner thighs and groin. It’s a good starting point for many side postures including triangle, extended angle and half moon balance.
Stand with your feet one leg’s-length apart. Turn your right toes out 90 degrees and your left toes in 45 degrees. Bend your right knee until it is directly over your right ankle while keeping the torso even between the hips. Stretch your arms out to your sides and gaze over your right hand.
8. Seated Forward Bend
It’s important to incorporate a forward bend in yoga practice to stretch the hamstrings, lower and upper back and sides.
Start seated with your legs together, feet firmly flexed and not turning in or out, and your hands by your hips. Lift your chest and start to hinge forward from your waist. Engage your lower abdominals and imagine your belly button moving towards the top of your thighs.
Once you hit your maximum, stop and breathe for 8-10 breaths. Make sure your shoulders, head and neck are all released.
9. Bridge Pose
A counter pose to a forward bend is a back bend. Bridge is a good beginner’s back bend that stretches the front body and strengthens the back body.
Lie down on your back and place your feet hip width apart. Press firmly on to your feet and lift your butt up off the mat. Interlace your hands together and press the fists down to the floor as you open up your chest even more.
10. Child’s Pose
Every one needs a good resting pose and Child’s pose is an awesome one not just for beginners but for yoga practitioners of all levels.
Start on all fours then bring your knees and feet together as you sit your butt back to your heels and stretch your arms forward. Lower your forehead to the floor (or block or pillow or blanket) and let your entire body release. Hold for as long as you wish!
So there you have it. The Top 10 Yoga Poses that every newbie should know. Give them a try and build your confidence as you learn yoga.
Speaking of learn yoga, did you know we have a new class here at Spotted Dog that covers just that? Join us on Tuesdays at 6:30 PM and Saturdays at 4:30 PM for our Learn Yoga classes! Go over the basics, ask questions and get assistance to help perfect that pose you have been working on. See you there! ♥
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