If you’re a newbie to the world of yoga, you might want to know some yoga poses that you can experiment with. It’s a well known fact that yoga has many benefits for our health, including lowering our blood pressure, helping us lose weight and, perhaps most importantly, improving our moods; it really is the perfect way to start your mornings. There are over three hundred yoga poses to choose from, but here are our top ten – why not go and get your yoga mat and try them out now?
1. Tree Pose
I thought I’d start with my firm favourite, the tree pose. While it doesn’t seem like there’s much effort involved at all, this pose is great at helping you cultivate balance, as well as strengthening your legs. If you’re not great at balancing, this might take a while for you to get the hang of, but you basically just need to shift your weight onto your right foot and bring your left food up to your thigh. Then, put your hands in the prayer position, and bravo! You’re doing the tree pose. Concentrate your mind, and relax….
2. Downward Dog
Downward dog is a great one to try if you want to stretch your entire body. Some people find it fairly tricky at first, so to make it easier for yourself I’d recommend starting on your hands and knees. Then, lift your knees away from the floor while keeping your arms straight, and push your tailbone back. If you need more length, walk your hands forward, but you’re basically there! Hold this one for 30 seconds to a minute if you can.
3. Warrior One
Another popular yoga pose, Warrior One (rather strange name, I know) will help you build both strength and stamina. It looks like you have to be quite flexible to carry it out, but just try your best – start in a standing position, before taking a large step back with your left foot. Then, bend your right knee as shown in the picture, and raise your arms as high as you can. The higher you reach, the more you’ll feel it in your arms! Like for the Downward Dog, hold for 30 seconds to a minute and then change legs.
4. Warrior Two
If you get the hang of Warrior One, you’ll easily be able to have a go at Warrior Two! They’re quite similar in that you have to stand with your feet wide apart again, but this time you’re going sideways. Turn your right toes out 90 degrees, your left toes out 45 degrees and extend your arms to your sides. Remember to keep focusing on your breathing! If you do this correctly, you’ll find that it opens up your inner thighs and groin as well as doing wonders for your posture.
This is a great variation on the Warrior Two pose. Straighten your front leg, reach forward with your left hand towards the ground (bonus points if you can touch your foot) and rotate your torso to the right side. Extend whichever hand isn’t reaching down to the ceiling and hold for five to ten breaths. Remember to switch sides!
6. Camel Pose
This might be one to try when you’re feeling more confident and a little more adventurous. Start off by kneeling and then slowly bend your upper torso backwards, until your hands extend so much that they’re touching the soles of your feet. Your head needs to be completely extended. Try and hold this for 30 seconds to one minute again if you can, and feel the energy being freed from your body!
I’m sure you will have heard of the plank by now, as many people integrate it into their fitness routines these days. It’s super easy to do, with the only challenge being how long you can keep it up – you must remember to try and keep breathing steadily! Like for the Downward Dog, start on all fours. Then, all you have to do is extend your legs back as far as you can. That’s it. The longer you can keep this going, the better, and you’re guaranteed to have a toned stomach in no time!
8. Seated Twist
This yoga pose is perfect for those of you who need to get rid of tension in your body. It might be easier if you start by crossing your legs, then extend your left foot to the right as if you’re about to stand. Leave your right leg exactly where it is in the seated position! Your left foot will be standing on the floor outside your right hip, and your knee will be pointed towards the ceiling. Finally, twist your body one way before swapping to stretch the other way. It seems complicated, but it’s totally worth it – you’ll be feeling more relaxed in no time.
9. Bridge Pose
For some reason the bridge pose reminds me of a time in my childhood, where all the girls used to try and use it to show off in gymnastics. I have a feeling if I tried to do it now I wouldn’t have as much success! You basically have to lie down on your back, place your feet hip width apart, and then lift your bottom off the floor. If you want to you can leave your hands on the floor, or you can lock them together if you find that easier. Try and hold for 8-10 breaths, then lower yourself and do it all again.
10. Mountain Pose
I thought I’d end with a nice and easy one to cool you down after you’ve put in all this hard work with these yoga poses. You simply have to stand with your feet together, engage your core and tuck your hips under, then extend both of your arms above your head. It really is as easy as that, but do remember to keep taking deep breaths!
Do you know of any yoga poses that have changed your mind, body and soul? Let us know in the comments below!
Picture source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/773493304731114358/
I'm a University of Birmingham Undergraduate studying English and Creative Writing. I love music (I'm especially partial to a bit of Ed Sheeran), reading ('The Lovely Bones' is genius) and, obviously, writing! I hope you enjoy reading my articles.