Do your knees and hips ever feel creaky? How about your back? If your body has been feeling a bit stiff or sore lately it might be time to take a look into learning some basic yoga poses. Restorative yoga exercises may help to relax and rejuvenate your legs, chest, shoulders — well, all of your muscles.
And it’s not just the stretching that makes these ultimate yoga poses winners. In yoga, you’re asked to focus on your breath. So, even as a beginner you may reap relaxing benefits you didn’t realize you needed.
Check out these ultimate yoga poses for those who are just starting out with this practice.
Ultimate Yoga Poses For Beginners: Tips to Getting Started
Which type of yoga will suit you best? One of the loveliest things about practicing yoga is that you can always go at your own pace. And you can modify any move in order to match your fitness level or protect a sensitive muscle.
So you may not be able to master a shoulder stand on your first try but take it slow and you may end up surprising yourself with how much yoga you can master. And if you’re worried about being too out-of-shape, too tired, or not flexible — toss those concerns to the curb. Yoga truly is a practice that almost anyone can benefit from. Just be sure to get your doctor’s approval first. Once you have their approval, it’s important to start slow and gradually work your way up to more difficult poses. Seek guidance from a professional yoga instructor to ensure you’re doing the poses in the safest manner possible.
There are quite a few health benefits that may result from starting a yoga routine. Practicing yoga may be able to support the following—
- Heart health
- Mindful eating practices
- Weight loss
- Strength, balance, and flexibility1
So, if this sounds good to you there’s only one question that remains: How do you start practicing ultimate yoga poses? Easy.
Read on to learn about new-to-you poses and best practices. The poses described below are simple yoga poses that are common across different types of yoga. And be patient with yourself… learning anything new may take a little time.
Basic Yoga Poses For Beginners: Placement Of Shoulders, Hands, Feet, And Legs
First things first: If you practice a pose that focuses on one side of your body, make sure to repeat it using the muscles on the opposite side of your body as well. Most poses that use your arms, shoulders, legs, hips, feet, or hands should be repeated. So, go through the pose once using your left side, then repeat the sequence using your right side. Yoga is nothing without the physical art of balance.
And you can take a sort of yin yoga approach to learning. Yin Yoga is slow-paced. In yin yoga, you can focus on meditation within a posture. Also, you are always in control of your movement. So unless you feel stable, you don’t have to push yourself forward.
Make sure that foot is squarely on the ground or that hand has a firm grip on your yoga block. Go at your own pace. The guidelines you’ll read about below are just guides… there’s room for interpretation here as every single body is different.
Wind Liberating Yoga Poses (aka Pawanmuktasana)
Before you begin, note that yoga is not competitive. If you choose to practice with others, you’ll find the experience to be communal and encouraging.
The following poses should be executed from a base position in which you sit on your mat. Stretch your legs out. Keep your hands easily at your side and push your feet lightly together.
Sit upright with your legs crossed. Close your eyes. Slowly, drop your head and rest your chin on your chest. Then, drop your head back. Repeat chin to chest and dropping head back 10 times. Focus on feeling the front and back of your neck stretch. Next, switch to sideways motion.
Drop your right ear to your shoulder (keep your shoulder down). Repeat on the left side. Practice this move on each side 10 times as well.
Remain in base position and extend both arms in front of the body (at shoulder level) with the fists loosely clenched. Like in ankle rotation, first rotate the fists together in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction and then try rotating the fists together in opposite directions.
From your base position, bend your right knee. Intertwine your fingers under your right thigh and pull it into your chest. Keep your foot in the air and rotate your leg (from the knee down) in a circular pattern. Repeat this movement in the opposite direction. Then, switch legs.
Feet And Ankle Rotations
In your base position, keep your legs hip-width apart. Allow your heels to remain on the ground. Slowly rotate both feet together in a clockwise direction. Do this ten times. Then switch and rotate your feet ten times in the opposite direction.
The Potential Benefits Of Wind Liberating Yoga Poses
The poses mentioned above are the basics. However, if you practice them correctly (and routinely) you might find that they help you relax your muscles and also help you relax your mind. These moves are touted to help you release blocks in your energy so it can move freely throughout your body.
Mountain Pose (aka Tadasana)
Now, when it comes to mountain pose, pay attention. This is the pose on which any standing pose in yoga is based. In a way, it’s your standing base position.
Simply stand with your feet together. Relax your toes and spread them on the floor. Then, rock back and forth on your feet, distributing your body weight evenly throughout your feet. Flex the muscles in your thighs and lift your knee caps toward the sky. Tuck your tailbone under.
Next, imagine a string of pearls lining your spine from your tailbone to the crown of your head. Line the pearls up along your spine so they fall in a straight line, one under the other. Roll your shoulders and drop them. Keep your arms by your side and spread your fingers out. Inhale and exhale with your head facing forward. Close your eyes and rest here for 60 seconds.
Child’s Pose (aka Balasana)
A favorite pose among babies and adults, this pose is sort of like resting in the fetal position. Child’s pose can bring great calm. And it’s a restful pose. If you struggle with a more strenuous pose, you can always revert to child’s pose for a break.
Kneel on your mat. Sit back on your heels. Let your big toes touch one another. Slowly, bend forward and let your torso fold over your legs to rest on your mat. Reach forward with your hands. Gently place your forehead on your mat. Exhale and let your shoulders to rest on your mat. Rest here for 60 — 120 seconds.
Child’s pose should help you release pressure on your back. The idea is to let space between your discs grow so they can fall back into their correct positions.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Savasana can be a deeply relaxing pose. If you’re stressed at work, sneak this pose in for a few minutes.
Lie flat on your back. Relax your arms at your side. Rest your legs. Allow your palms to face the sky. If need be, place a folded blanket under your head for support. Keeping your feet apart, move through your body releasing tension. Breathe out tension in your knees, hips, lower and upper back.
Relax your neck and the back of your head. Keep your chin facing the sky. Keep this posture for up to 5 minutes.
Before you rise out of the position, look to your right. Hug your knees to your chest. Breathe here for a few seconds, then rise when you’re ready.
Start Slow and Consult Your Doctor Before Starting Yoga Exercises (Especially if Pregnant or Have Any Medical Condition)
Again, as with any new athletic practice, you may want to consult your doctor before beginning. And if you’re pregnant, you can seek out specialty classes for expectant mothers. But rest assured, practicing yoga can infuse your life with positivity and refreshment.
In the end, you’ll find better balance techniques and easier breathing. In fact, you may fall so in love with how you feel after practicing these basics, you’ll enjoy moving onto more advanced yoga poses. The more you practice, the more you will be able to support your body’s stamina, flexibility, and overall strength.
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