There is a reason that yoga is becoming more and more popular, as there are new yoga classes seemingly springing up at any given moment. This is because yoga is a great way for people of any fitness level to become healthier and more grounded through this ancient art. Read on to find five great yoga poses that are the absolutely perfect way for you to get started.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
This pose is excellent for improving your posture while also enhancing the clarity of your mind and your sense of center. Most yoga poses, when done properly, serve as great breathing exercise as well.
To perform this pose, stand with your weight distributed evenly over your feet, which should be hip-width apart. Keeping your arms at your side, breathe evenly and with great depth while lifting your arms skyward.
Adho mukha svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
This next pose should sound familiar, as it is a very common beginner pose that stretches the calves and heels while also improving circulation.
You can begin this pose on all fours, keeping your knees hips-width apart and your hands shoulder-width apart. With your fingers splayed out for stability, slowly “walk” them forward while curling your toes and pressing your hips upward. Your body should form the shape of an inverted “V,” though you may need to bend your knees slightly.
Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)
This simple and classic pose can be used to both strengthen and stretch your ankles and your legs.
Start by standing with your legs between three to four feet apart. Turn your left foot slightly inward as you turn your right foot out at a 90-degree angle. Extend your arms outward with your palms facing down and then lunge with your right leg until you reach 90 degrees. Hold the pose with your eyes focused just over your extended hand, which should be aimed just above the horizon, until you are ready to switch.
Vriksasana (Tree Pose)
This yoga pose is excellent for developing balance and strengthening your spine, calves, ankles and thighs.
Beginning in Mountain Pose, shift your body weight onto your left leg. While keeping your hips oriented forward, bring the sole of your right foot to the inside of your left thigh, attempting to find balance in this position. Once balanced, bring your hands together in prayer position just in front of your heart.
Setu bhanda (Bridge Pose)
This pose may cause you some difficulty at first, but it is a great way to build strength in your spine, chest and neck. Eventually you may use this pose as a precursor to more challenging backbends.
Lie down on the floor in a relaxed position with your arms at your sides. Keeping your knees bent, lift up your hips by pressing your feet into the floor. Bring your hands together on the floor underneath your lower back, clasping them together and pressing down on your arms for support. Move your chest to your chin as you continue to lift your hips until they are parallel with the floor. If you are having difficulty with this pose at first, try putting some pillows underneath you to make the pose easier and more comfortable.