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Beginner's Guide: 10 Best Yoga Poses and Exercises

basic, easy and simple yoga poses for beginners to do at home

What is yoga?

Yoga is a holistic practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises as well as meditation. It improves flexibility, strength, and balance, while also helping you to reduce stress and improve mental clarity. For beginners, starting with basic yoga poses is the key to building a strong foundation for your practice.

What are the benefits of yoga?

Practicing yoga offers a plethora of benefits. It can increase your flexibility, strength, and balance, improve your posture, and boost your mood. Yoga also makes you feel more relaxed and helps reduce stress and anxiety from the worries of your daily life. And if you have trouble sleeping, regular practice can even improve your sleep quality and boost your immune system.

Also read: International Yoga day 2023: When and why it is celebrated?

How often should you do yoga?

The frequency of your yoga practice can depend on your current fitness level and overall health. If you’re starting from a place of low fitness, you should start with one gentle yoga session per week like Hatha or Restorative Yoga, which are slower and focus on basic poses. On the other hand, if you’re relatively fit, you might be able to handle a more intense practice right away. Start with two to three sessions per week with a more dynamic style of yoga like Vinyasa or Ashtanga, but make sure to spend time learning the poses correctly.

Also read: Meditation vs Yoga: Which practice suits you the best

However, being fit doesn't necessarily mean you're flexible, so it's still important to start slowly to learn the poses and avoid injury.

Simple and easy yoga poses for beginners

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Beginner practicing Mountain Pose, a basic yoga pose for beginners

Often used as a starting position for other poses, mountain pose is a basic standing pose that helps you find your balance and feel the ground beneath your feet. It's a great pose for beginners to start their yoga practice.

  • How to do it: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Breathe deeply and lift your arms overhead, palms facing each other.
  • Benefits: Improves posture, balance, and awareness.
  • Beginners Tip: Keep your gaze forward and your shoulders relaxed.

2. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Easy yoga pose for beginners: Downward-Facing Dog

One of the most recognized yoga poses, downward-facing dog is a foundational pose. It's a great pose for stretching the entire body and is particularly beneficial for runners or those who do a lot of walking or standing.

  • How to do it: Start on your hands and knees, then lift your hips towards the ceiling, forming an inverted 'V' with your body.
  • Benefits: Stretches the entire body, strengthens the arms and legs, and calms the mind.
  • Beginners Tip: Bend your knees slightly if you find it difficult to straighten your legs.

Also read: How to do meditation at home

3. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Simple yoga pose for beginners: Child's Pose

Child's Pose is a restorative pose often used for relaxation and rest between more challenging poses. It's a gentle stretch that's perfect for beginners and can be done anytime you need a break during your practice.

  • How to do it: Kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels, then lean forward to rest your forehead on the mat, arms extended in front of you.
  • Benefits: Relaxes the body, calms the mind, and gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles.
  • Beginners Tip: If it's uncomfortable to sit back on your heels, place a cushion between your thighs and calves.

4. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana to Bitilasana)

Beginner performing Cat-Cow Pose, a basic yoga exercise

This pair of poses is often used as a warm-up at the beginning of a yoga practice. The gentle movement of the spine helps to relieve tension in the back and neck and prepares the body for other poses.

  • How to do it: Start on your hands and knees, then alternate between arching your back (Cat) and dipping it towards the ground (Cow).
  • Benefits: Stretches the spine and neck, promotes flexibility, and relieves tension in the torso.
  • Beginners Tip: Move slowly and synchronize your movements with your breath.

5. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

Morning yoga for beginners: Tree Pose

Tree Pose is a balancing pose that strengthens the legs and core. It's a great pose for beginners to work on their balance as well as focus.

  • How to do it: Stand tall, then balance on one foot while bending the other knee to place the foot on the inside of the standing leg's thigh or calf.
  • Benefits: Improves balance, strengthens the legs, and opens the hips.
  • Beginners Tip: Use a wall for support if you find it difficult to balance.

6. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

Beginner practicing Warrior I, a yoga pose for beginners at home

Warrior I is a powerful standing pose that works on your strength and stamina. It's a great pose for beginners to start building their strength and confidence in their yoga practice.

  • How to do it: From Mountain Pose, step one foot back and bend the front knee, keeping the back leg straight. Raise your arms overhead and gaze forward.
  • Benefits: Strengthens the legs and core, opens the hips and chest, and improves focus and balance.
  • Beginners Tip: Keep your front knee directly over your ankle and your back foot firmly grounded.

7. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Morning yoga for beginners: Warrior II Pose

Similar to Warrior I, Warrior II is a standing pose that builds strength and endurance by working on your legs, abs and arms. It's a great pose for beginners to work on their balance and body awareness.

  • How to do it: From Warrior I, open your hips and chest to the side, extend your arms out to the sides, and gaze over your front hand.
  • Benefits: Strengthens the legs and core, stretches the hips and chest, and improves balance and concentration.
  • Beginners Tip: Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot.

8. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose is a backbend pose that strengthens the back and legs and opens the chest and heart. It's a great pose for beginners to start exploring backbends in a safe and accessible way.

  • How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Press your feet and arms into the floor and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
  • Benefits: Strengthens the back and legs, stretches the chest, neck, and spine, and calms the brain.
  • Beginners Tip: Keep your thighs and feet parallel – don't let your knees drift out to the sides.

9. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Best yoga exercise for beginners: Seated Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend is a calming pose that stretches the back and legs. It's a great pose for beginners to work on their flexibility. Additionally, it calms the mind and reduces anxiety.

  • How to do it: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale as you bend forward from the hips, reaching for your feet.
  • Benefits: Stretches the spine and the back of the body, soothes the nervous system, and improves digestion.
  • Beginners Tip: Use a yoga strap or towel around your feet if you can't reach them comfortably.

10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Relaxing with Corpse Pose, a simple yoga pose for beginners

Often used to conclude a yoga practice, corpse pose is a restorative pose that allows the body and mind to fully relax and integrate the benefits of the practice. It's a great yoga pose for beginners to learn the importance of rest and relaxation in yoga.

  • How to do it: Lie flat on your back, legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths, relaxing your entire body.
  • Benefits: Relaxes the body, calms the mind, reduces stress and fatigue, and helps to integrate the benefits of your practice.
  • Beginners Tip: Use a blanket under your head or knees if you find the floor too hard.

Yoga for beginners on Level Supermind

When you’re a beginner, you may lack a sense of direction as to where to start from and what should be your form while doing yoga. Level Supermind has a collection of yoga stretches and poses for beginners, apart from those belonging to the intermediate or advanced levels.

Dawn of a new day: With a combination of asanas, this yoga is meant to provide you with deep relaxation and focus throughout the day, with proper intervals of warm up, practicing asanas and cool down.

Guide to office yoga: Sitting for longer hours? Feeling stiffness in your back? Work on your spine and release tension by trying out asanas in the office itself.

Strong like a warrior: Attain confidence to face the challenges of the day. Win battles with a combination of focus and balance through this exercise.

Power up: Need confidence boost? Try out this yoga to feel confident for what lies ahead.

Absolute balance: Achieve a state of equilibrium in your daily life be it physical, mental or emotional through the practice of yoga.

For a rock solid core: Unlike some workouts that isolate specific muscles, yoga is a full-body practice that engages the entire core.

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