Joining a yoga class can be pretty intimidating, especially if you have no experience whatsoever with yoga. Yoga is a great exercise for mind and body, and it improves overall health. But if you are new to this, you wouldn’t know where to start! If you are thinking of joining yoga classes, all you think about is how the other people in the class are going to outshine you. You need not worry, because there are yoga poses that are really easy to master, even for those who are new to the art, and the added plus point is you can do this at home. Below are some of the basic yoga poses that are suitable for newbies and can get you started with yoga:


1. The Downward Facing Dog

The Downward Facing Dog | 10 Excellent Yoga Poses for Beginners

Image Downward facing dog on Flickr By Army Medicine License (CC BY 2.0)

This pose is one of the foundation poses for yoga. Many yoga classes begin in this pose, then slowly build a sequence as the learners add other yoga poses using the foundation and skills of the downward facing dog pose. The pose is really simple; it involves the learner standing up and then bending over while placing both hands on the floor. After getting in this position, stretch out your body until both hands and both feet touch the mat, so that your body looks like a downward-facing ‘v’. Take the legs out to shoulder width apart, while also spreading the fingers apart. Press through your palms and push back the hips, making sure you stay in that position. Maintain this position while keeping the neck relaxed.


2. The Downward Dog Split Pose

The Downward Dog Split Pose | 10 Excellent Yoga Poses for Beginners

Image Balancing Down Dog 13 on Flickr By Sarah Siblik – License (CC BY-ND 2.0)

After mastering the ‘downward facing dog’ position, the learner then transitions to this pose, which is also commonly known as ‘three-legged dog’. Getting into this position is easy; from the downward facing dog, lift one foot into the air very slowly, while creating a smooth line from the hip to the ankle. The leg on the floor needs to be strong and firmly planted on the ground because it provides support.


3. The Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

In traditional yoga, the plank pose is used when the practitioner is entering or leaving the downward dog pose in a sequence. The basics of this pose involve ensuring that your body is aligned in a straight manner. Also ensure that the shoulders, hips and ankles stay in the same plane. You can achieve this by holding your core tight and restricting your hips from moving. Further modifications to this pose can be made by resting on the knees instead of the toes.


4. The Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)

The Warrior Pose Virabhadrasana |10 Excellent Yoga Poses for Beginners

Image Peaceful warrior original on Flickr By Wendy Cope License (CC BY 2.0)

This pose has many different variations. However, the basic and easiest form of the warrior pose entails separating your feet in a parallel split distance; say 4-5 feet away. Turn your back foot out so that it points away from the body. Keep your torso and hips rotated forward towards your front foot and then take a deep breath. When you exhale, bend your front knee into a 90-degree angle and then raise your arms so that they form a straight line at the height of the shoulder. Make sure you keep your gaze at your fingertips in front of you.


5. The Cow Pose (Bitilasana)

The Cow Pose (Bitilasana) |10 Excellent Yoga Poses for Beginners

Image Marjaryasana Bitilasana on Flickr By Amy License (CC BY 2.0) (The top pose is Cow Pose and bottom pose is The Cat Pose)

This pose is especially good for stretching the body, mostly stretching the back muscles. To perform this pose, you first need to get on all fours on the mat and make sure that your hands are just under your shoulders and your feet are under your hips. Then, spread your fingers and tuck your toes so that you can stretch your feet. For highly effective results, begin on a flat back and lift and round your spine slowly, by tucking your tailbone and pushing out the butt. Fix your gaze on the ceiling, take a deep breath and go back to the initial position when you exhale.


6. The Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)

The starting position of this yoga pose is quite similar to that of the cow pose. You get down on all fours and begin with a straight spine, with the head facing the floor. Take a deep breath and just as you exhale, create a curve in your bank by rounding your spine up and taking your gaze to your belly button. Again, breathe in slowly and just as you exhale, go back to the beginning position.


7. The Child’s Pose (Bālāsana)

This is a very common yoga pose. It is a stretching pose which is widely used in yoga classes in between difficult poses, so that yoga practitioners can have time to recover adequately before they move forward. This pose stretches most of the body, including the back, ankle, hips, kneed and thighs. To perform this pose, begin by kneeling on your hands and knees and separate the knees so that they are hip-width apart. After doing that, slowly sink your hips down towards your ankles, while lengthening the back so that you can rest your forehead on your yoga mat. Breathe deeply, putting emphasis on relaxing the muscles so that the stretch is lengthened with each breath.


8. The Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

The Mountain Pose (Tadasana) |10 Excellent Yoga Poses for Beginners

Image Tadasana 12510-w-39 on Flickr By kellinahandbasket License (CC BY 2.0)

This pose is really easy. All you have to do is stand tall and keep your feet together, relax your shoulders and distribute your weight through your soles. Also remember to keep your arms at sides. After that, take a very deep breath and raise your hands overhead, with the palms facing each other and the arms straight. Reach up towards the sky with your fingertips and repeat the cycle.


9. The Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

The Cobra Pose Bhujangasana - 10 yoga poses for beginners

Image Bhujangasana on Flick By kellinahandbasket License (CC BY 2.0)

This pose entails lying face down on the floor, with the hands flat and thumbs directly under the shoulders. Make sure that yo(Bhuur legs are extended back and that the tops of your feet are on the floor. Press your shoulders down, away from the ears and raise the chest forward toward the wall that is before you. Hold this position for ten deep breaths and then repeat the cycle.


10. The Dolphin (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

The Dolphin (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana) |10 Excellent Yoga Poses for Beginners

Image Dolphin Plank on Flickr By Amy License (CC BY 2.0)

In order to perform this pose, come into a straight-arm plank with your wrists under your shoulders and the forearms flat on the map. Step back and extend your legs straight back, while keeping your hands in place. After that, shift your hips up towards the sky and back. While performing this pose, you may feel some tightness in your hamstrings but make sure you endure. Hold this pose for 10 deep breaths and repeat the cycle.

Before you start any yoga practice consult your doctor and make sure if its okay to move forward with it.

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