As a new yoga student, you need to learn certain essential postures that will make you feel comfortable while in a class or at home practicing on your own.
Since the physical yoga (asana) practice has more than 300 positions, then it’s not going to be easy narrowing down everything. But the poses on this page can start you off on the right path.
Here’s a list of the top 5 important yoga poses for beginners. It’s not necessary you’re able to do all the poses exactly as they appear in these pictures but with time, you’ll be able to listen to your body and modify if necessary.
#1. Plank Pose
Plank teaches you how you can balance on your hands while using the entire body as a support. It’s an excellent way to strengthen the abdominals and to learn the use of breath to help maintain a challenging pose.
Inhale while lowering your buttocks to make your torso be in a flat position, and your arms should rest directly above your hands. The position of your head should be kept straight as you look down towards the mat. In the beginning, aim at holding the pose for 30 seconds, gradually improve up to a minute or more.
#2. Triangle Stance
This is a standing posture to stretch the sides of the waist, strengthen the legs, open up the lungs, and tone the entire body. Begin by spinning down the back heel, and toes on a 60-degree angle forward. Rest your bottom palm on the shin or a block outside of the foot while extending the top arm straight to the ceiling. Straighten your legs to look rotate from the thigh, and slight internal rotation of the back leg. Remain in the same position for 5 – 10 breaths. Repeat the same process on the other side.
#3. Seated Forward Bend
To stretch the hamstrings, lower and upper back and sides, it’s important you incorporate a forward bend in your yoga practice. For everyone who wants to start to open up the body, and learn to breathe through uncomfortable positions, seated forward bend is the perfect fold to start with.
To start, sit with your legs together and your feet flexed firmly without turning in or out, and your hands by your hips. Raise up your chest and hinge forward from your waist.
Occupy your lower abdominals as you imagine your belly button as it moves towards the top of your thighs. Stop at your maximum and take 8 – 10 breaths. Make sure to release your head, neck, and shoulders.
In case you feel any sharp pain, back off. But if you feel some tension while folding forward, and you’re able to breathe, you will slowly start to loosen up and let go. Moreso, you can keep your knees bent in the pose as long as the feet stay flexed and together.
#4. Bridge Pose
A backbend is a counter pose to a forward bend. A good beginner’s bend that straightens the back body and stretches the front body is the bridge pose.
To begin, lie down on your back and place your legs apart, press your feet firmly and lift your butt up off the mat. Cross your hands together and press down the fists to the floor as you open up your chest more and more.
Try to drag your heels on the mat towards your shoulders in order to engage your hamstrings. Sustain for 8 – 10 breaths then lower your hips and repeat two more times.
#5. Forward Hang
To start, place your feet hip distance apart, fold at the hipline and allow the torso to drape to the thighs. Interlace your hands behind your back, while the arms form an arc overhead. Allow the knees to undergo a soft bend, and find the plug of the feet in the floor. Reach the seat up to the ceiling and stay for up to ten breaths.