Many people who have not been introduced to yoga yet, can truly get a wrong idea about this ancient tradition, when all they see are pictures of beautiful, young bodies, performing artistic looking postures. Unfortunately this often lets them draw the conclusion that this is yoga, and that they will never be able to practice it. But thankfully, we don’t have to be flexible to practice. With this selection of yoga poses for beginners you can slowly build up strength, mobility and flexibility.
But most importantly, these postures make you feel good in body and mind without being difficult.
20 Yoga Poses for Beginners
Here is 20 yoga poses for beginners that I recommend!
Easy Sitting Pose is probably the best known yoga pose. Mainly shown in the form of Lotus Pose which not many of us are able to do. Easy Sitting Pose can be any seated position that’s comfortable for you. Half Lotus or simply cross legged. Whatever pose allows you to sit comfortable for a longer period of time for your meditation or pranayama practice is good.
If you can sit in Hero Pose comfortably you can also use it as your personal meditation pose or for pranayama. Hero Pose lengthens your hip flexors and thigh muscles, which is especially beneficial after running and cycling, but also after long hours in a chair.
To new yogis Mountain Pose doesn’t look like much of a pose. But don’t be fooled. We’re not just standing there. When practiced correctly, the muscles of your entire body are engaged. While Mountain Pose often marks the starting and end point of a Sun Salutation sequence, it can be held for a few minutes. It’s grounding and relaxing, and helps you to prepare yourself for whatever postures come next.
Cat-Cow are actually two postures often practiced together, as no other poses let us feel our spine flexing and extending in such a gentle way. In this movement it’s also great for beginners to get a feeling for the combination of movement and breath, plus it’s so effective in alleviating any tension and pain in the back.
Read More: 15 Yoga Poses for Slimming Down
Child’s Pose is the general resting pose in a yoga practice. It can be resumed when you need a break from too many vinyasas, to reconnect your breath. But it’s also a nice pose to start or end your practice with. If the forehead comes onto the mat, you can even give your third eye - the spot between your eyebrows - a massage, which helps you to focus and turn your awareness inwards.
Standing Forward Fold
Forward Folds, seated and standing, have a relaxing effect on our body and mind. They help us to bring our senses inwards and relax. Forward folding also lengthens the hamstrings, a must for runners.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog is a posture that requires a lot of strength and flexibility. There is so much to think about and yoga teachers often don’t know where to stop when cueing this pose. The most important thing is to feel the pose, as most of the adjustments are so subtle and barely visible.
Low Lunge is a nice warm-up pose, stretching out our hip flexors, while surrendering your weight to the earth. The arms can reach up, or use this posture to spice up your arm stretches: bend over the front knee, fold forward with interlaced fingers, or lean back to open your heart.
Crescent Lunge is Low Lunge’s big brother. If you’re wobbly, press your back heel towards the mat. Practicing Crescent lunge will not only strengthen our legs and glutes, but also open up our chest and strengthens the arms. Almost a full body workout!
Read More: 10 Best Yoga Poses for Back Pain
If you want to get closer to a six pack for summer time, Chair Pose is one of many poses to turn to. Tuck in your tailbone and suck in your navel for ultimate abdominal engagement. Remind yourself to keep breathing when sitting in that imaginary chair.
Tree Pose, as the name suggests, imitates the strong foundation of a tree, and at the same time its loftiness and ease with which the branches sway in the wind. Can you feel these opposing energies by engaging the core and the pelvic floor?
In Gate Pose we’re stretching our inner thighs, but also the sides of the torso. Flowing in and out of the side bends we’re opening up our chest and shoulders in a gentle way, while challenging our balance just the right amount.
Holding Plank can be a full body workout. In yoga it’s mainly practiced as part of the Sun Salutations though. But if you hold in Plank position, you can feel your arms and shoulders starting to burn, your core firing up and your legs getting strong.
I love the saying, that in Warrior Poses we’re not fighting against something, but for something. Warrior 1 makes us feel alive and strong. You feel grounded through your feet and light all the way up from the waist. Can you feel it?
A classic yoga backbend. Cobra is mostly practiced as part of the Sun Salutation sequence. Make sure to make time to also do Cobra as a standalone posture, starting out low in Baby Cobra, holding it for a few breaths at a time. It will strengthen your arms and shoulders, open up your chest and make your spine more flexible. Maybe even like a snake?
Bridge Pose is a gentle backbend that can be done dynamically first to warm up the spine before holding it for a few breaths. Breath into your heart area. Enjoy this energizing pose and let your heart shine through!
Thread the Needle
This is a nice and gentle hip opener, perfect for beginners. Feel the sensations in your hips when they open up. Be aware that we store a lot of emotions in the hips, so notice whatever thoughts come up. Don’t hang on to them, but let them pass by, like clouds in the sky.
Twists are an essential part of a yoga practice. Nothing boosts our digestion and detoxifies more than twists Supine or Reclining Twists can set the tone in the beginning of your practice, or prepare you for Savasana.
Nothing brings our attention inward like Plow Pose. It’s a gentle inversion suitable for beginners. It has a calming effect on the nervous system, helps you relax and improves sleep.
Legs Up the Wall
By literally turning your world upside down, it’s easier to gain a new perspective on things, plus it activates your creativity. Legs up the Wall can also be a nice alternative to your usual Savasana Pose.
Do you have any questions? Love yoga and want to share your own experiences? Please hit the comment section below, I'd love to get to know you!
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