While yoga was first introduced to the west in the late 1800s and relished the height of its popularity in the 1960s, it wasn’t before the 1990s that yoga officially became the mainstream fitness of the crowd.
Today, you can see people practicing yoga almost anywhere. But in spite of this, some people remained reluctant to learn it.
In this guide, let’s start learning from the very accessible, easy yoga poses that can help you explore more of yourself, which in turn reaps the fantastic benefits a yoga practice holds.
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But Really, What Exactly Is Yoga?
Yoga was first used as a spiritual practice hundreds of years ago. And today, yoga is known worldwide for its therapeutic mind and body effects.
By doing yoga, you can have a better posture and flexibility. It also helps to reduce hypertension symptoms and lowers the heart rate. Yoga helps you to combat stress which also allows you to relax.
With the poses you perform, the coordination and concentration you have will improve altogether. It tones your body, refines your self-confidence, and also makes your sleeping quality better.
Furthermore, practicing yoga may also treat back pain problems, prevents anxiety and depression, and also helps to improve digestion.
Fifteen Easy Yoga Poses
Now that you know how beneficial yoga is, it’s high time to practice it in the most basic way. How about fifteen easy yoga poses? Go and grab your yoga mat!
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This pose is the basis of all standing poses. It allows you to ground your toes and senses the ground beneath you firmly.
Begin by standing in sync with your toes, press all of your toes down as you spread them apart. Fasten your quadriceps to support your knees and raise them through the inner thighs.
Bring your abdominal muscles in and up as you raise your chest and pin your upper shoulder down.
2. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
This pose is one of the basics of yogic poses. As the name suggests, it is inspired by the stance of a tree.
In this pose, make sure you keep your eyes open so your body can support itself.
Begin by standing and draw your right foot on your inner top-left thigh. Allow both of your palms to meet (prayer position) and find yourself a spot to hold that position. Typically against a wall.
3. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukho Svansana)
This pose is mostly used in yoga practices and training as it helps stretch the whole body.
Start by coming directly to your hands and knees, then put your wrists below your shoulders and knees beneath your hips. Bend your feet and slowly elevate your hips off the floor as you move them up at the back of your feet.
4. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Unlike the previously mentioned yogic poses, this pose keeps your eyes open to hold that balance.
Begin by separating your feet as much as you can, then stretch your fingers at shoulder height. Move your right foot back 90 degrees and your left foot in 45 degrees.
5. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
This pose builds self-discipline and energizes your body and mind.
Stand firmly with your feet slightly apart. Try to stretch your arms without bending your elbows. Breathe in and bend your knees as if you’re sitting on a chair. Keep your palms align to the floor and slowly rest your back.
6. Boat Pose (Naukasana)
As the name suggests, this pose requires the body to form like a boat. If practiced correctly, it can improve your stability.
Start by laying down flat on your mat, with your feet together while your arms on the side. Hold that position as your fingers extend closer to your toes.
Lift your chest and feet off the mat, reaching your arms to your toes. Then put all the weight to your buttocks and relax.
7. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This pose is well-known due to its spine’s flexibility effects.
Lay on your stomach as your toes come together and flatten them. Pin your fingers down below your shoulders, elevate your waist, and lift your head as you breathe.
Draw your torso again with the help of your palms. Hold your elbows, and make sure you put a little tension on your palms.
8. Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
This pose strengthens your hip muscles and stretches your spine a little bit more.
Sit down with your back straight and feet pointing out. Inhale and stretch your fingers over your head. As you exhale, draw your arms down, reaching your legs. Rest your arms to wherever they reach. Hold this position, but don’t force your body if you can’t.
9. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
This pose is best for breathing exercises and meditation.
Sit comfortably on the mat in a cross-legged position. Keep your back straight, then rest your hands on your legs. Relax, then breathe.
10. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This easy pose helps you to relax. It recovers physical, mental, and emotional energies.
It’s best to insert this pose between complicated asanas, with eyes closed as you focus on your breathwork.
Extend your knees and sit on your heels. Draw your upper body on the mat and stretch your fingers forward.
Carefully pin your thighs against your chest and breathe.
11. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
This pose helps stretch your lower back and hip muscles easily.
Lay down on your yoga mat. Stretch your knees and draw them closer to your stomach, touching your feet. Bend your ankles and heels.
Then breathe as you focus on holding your ankles right above your knees, pushing against your fingers with your feet.
12. Cat-Cow Stretch (Chakravakasana)
This pose helps to engage your core, opens the chest, and increases your spine’s flexibility.
Move your hands and knees and put your hands below your shoulders, then knees beneath your hips. Draw your abs, breathe out, and align your spine to the ceiling.
Put your head on your chest, and hold that position for ten seconds. Breathe in and allow your spine to fall back down, kissing your stomach to the ground as your head comes up and down.
Hold this position for another ten seconds.
13. Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)
This pose strengthens your leg and hip muscles while it improves your core.
Stand straight and put your arms on the side. Make a lunge with your left foot while keeping your right leg vertical. Then turn your right foot 45 degrees.
Stretch your arms over your head. Pin your shoulder blades downwards altogether. Then raise your head as you gaze at your fingertips.
14. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
This pose can improve your posterior chain, or better known as the backside of the body.
Lay down on your back while your knees are bent, then flatten your feet on the ground. Put your arms on the side, then your palms on the floor.
Breathe in and out, then draw your feet and hips up to the ceiling.
15. Garland pose (Malasana)
Finally, we’re down to the last easy yoga poses! This pose helps open your hips, thighs, and ankles.
Squat, then reach your feet as much as you can. Point your toes out and allow your torso to fall between your thighs. Pin your elbows on your knees. Hold your tailbone on the ground as you lift your chest with the resistance of your knees.
Bonus Tips for Beginners
Learning these easy poses will make it more manageable for you to enter a yoga class, whether online or face to face. Let’s complete your ootd with some bonus tips so you can walk into that class more confidently!
Try Hatha flow & Vinyasa yoga
Hatha flow yoga has a bad reputation for being “sluggish,” but its primary focus is from within. Instead of hyping your heart up in a more intensive yoga flow, Hatha yoga offers you the opportunity to explore vividly and feel each pose before going on.
Fret not if you can’t find a Hatha yoga class. You can try Vinyasa flow instead. This class varies on your mastery level, so it is your best option aside from Hatha.
Some classes offer a free trial. So grab this opportunity and see if this class is for you or not before making commitments.
Skip hot yoga
For a beginner, hot yoga or also known as Bikram yoga, will be a bit too much. The required high temperature makes it more complicated, let alone focusing on your poses.
You can also experience nausea or dizziness and an increased heart rate (because of low oxygen), which is not suitable for newbies. Begin with room temperature classes, then work your way up.
Bring water to stay hydrated and alert during a yoga class. Some classes are high-intensity, meaning you will sweat a lot. So, it’s important to bring water always to keep you hydrated and healthy as your practice moves deeper.
It’s FINE if yoga is not for you
Yoga is a therapeutic form of exercise. However, it’s not for everyone. It’s nice to give it a try as the mind and body benefits are definitely worth it—but even the easy yoga poses are not everyone’s forte. You are free to try some online or face-to-face workouts. If you’re done with them, you can always come back and try yoga later.