The Essential Yoga Poses for Beginners

Mountain Pose

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Source: Yoga Journal

A. Stand with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed over the soles of the feet, arms at the sides.

B. Take a deep breath and raise your hands above your head, palms facing each other with your arms outstretched. Reach skyward with your fingertips.

Hold for 3 full breaths.

Downward Dog

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Source: OMstars

A. Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders, knees under your hips. Walk your hands a few inches forward and spread your fingers wide, pressing your palms into the mat.

B. Wrap your fingers underneath and slowly press your hips toward the ceiling, placing your body in an inverted V, pressing your shoulders away from your ears. The feet should be hip-width apart, the knees slightly bent.

Hold for 3 full breaths.

Warrior II

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Source: Shape Magazine

A. Stand with legs 3 to 4 feet apart, turning right foot 90 degrees and left foot slightly. Put your hands on your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend your arms sideways, palms down.

B. Bend the right knee 90 degrees, keeping the knee over the ankle; look over the right hand.

Hold for 1 minute. Switch sides and repeat.

Tree Pose

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Source: Yoga Basics

A. Stand with your arms at your sides.

B. Place weight on left leg and place sole of right foot inside left thigh, keeping hips facing forward.

C. Once balanced, place your hands in front of you in a praying position with your palms together.

D. In one breath, extend your arms over your shoulders, palms apart and facing each other.

Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

Make it easy: Place your right foot on the inside of your left ankle, keeping your toes flat for balance. As you strengthen and develop better balance, move your foot into the left calf.

Bridge Pose

Image result for Bridge Pose
Source: Yoga Journal

A. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and directly on your heels. Put your arms on the sides, palms down.

B. Exhale and then press your feet to the floor while lifting your hips.

C. Squeeze your hands on your lower back and press your arms down, lifting your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor, bringing your chest toward your chin.

Hold for 1 minute.

Facilitate: Place a stack of pillows under the coccyx.

Triangle Pose

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A. Stand with your feet about one meter apart, right toes 90 degrees, left foot 45 degrees.

B. Extend arms sideways and bend right leg.

C. Let the right hand touch the floor or rest the right leg below or above the knee and extend the fingertips of the left hand toward the ceiling. Turn your gaze to the ceiling.

Hold for 5 breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

Seated Twist

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Source: PopSugar

A. Sit on the floor with your legs extended.

B. Cross the right foot over the outside of the left thigh; bend the left knee. Keep your right knee pointed at the ceiling. Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee and your right hand on the floor behind you.

C. Rotate to the right as far as you can from the abdomen; keep both sides of the butt on the floor.

Hold for 1 minute. Switch sides; repeat.

Make it easy: Keep your lower leg straight and place both hands on your raised knee. If your lower back turns forward, sit on a folded blanket.


Image result for Cobra pose
Source: Spine-Health

A. Lie on your stomach on the floor with your thumbs directly under your shoulders, your legs extended with your upper toes on the floor.

B. Squeeze the pelvic floor and bend the hips down while tightening the buttocks. Press the shoulders down and away from the ears.

C. Push your thumbs and index fingers as you lift your chest toward the wall in front of you.

Relax and repeat.

Pigeon Pose

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Source: Well+Good

A. Begin in a fully flexed position, palms aligned under the shoulders. Place your left knee on the floor near your shoulder with your left heel on your right hip.

B. Lower forearms and lower right leg with upper foot on floor (not shown).

C. Keep your chest up against the wall in front of you, looking down. If you are more flexible, place your chest on the floor and extend your arms in front of you.

D. Pull the navel toward the spine and tighten the pelvic floor muscles; contract right side of the buttocks. Curl the right toes underneath while pressing the ball to the floor, pushing the heel.

E. Bend knee to floor and release.

Do 5 repetitions in total. Switch sides and repeat.

Crow Pose

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A. Begin in the downward position of the dog (palms pressed to mat, feet hip-width apart) and walk forward until knees touch arms.

B. Bend your elbows, lift your heels off the floor and rest your knees against the outside of your arms. Keep your fingers on the floor, your abdominals engaged and your legs pressed against your arms.

Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

Child’s Pose

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Source: Yoga Journal

A. Sit comfortably on your heels.

B. Roll the trunk forward, resting your forehead on the bed in front of you.

C. Lower your chest as close as possible to your knees, extending your arms in front of you.

Hold the pose and breathe.

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