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The Most Important Yoga Poses for Beginners

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The first acquaintance with the practice of yoga begins with a small shock from a huge number of poses, each of which has its own name and features of the effect on the body. Trying to memorize each one, approaching classes like a school lesson, will not work. All knowledge comes gradually. The longer you practice yoga, the more techniques you master.

Don’t be tempted to do difficult poses right away. It is always necessary to start with the basics and the simplest techniques. This is true not only for yoga but also for any sports discipline. Mastering simple asanas is not just preparation for more complex postures, but also a huge benefit for the body, body. Most of the basic movements do not lose their relevance, even for those who have been doing yoga for a long time.

The main advantage of all asanas, regardless of the level of difficulty, is that they can be performed at home and do not require any special devices. It is enough to buy a special rug and comfortable clothes. To make the first lessons easy and simple, you can use the program below with a description of the basic most useful, and effective thirty postures.

1. Bridge pose (Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose (Bandha Sarvangasana)
  • It is a bridge that delicately stretches and improves the mobility of the spine. 
  • Thanks to this exercise, you can eliminate the negative consequences of prolonged sitting, because most modern people spend most of their lives in this position. 
  • It’s okay that the pose seems difficult at first, no. 
  • The comfort of the asana in the first lessons allows you to increase the block, which is placed under the back.

2. Chakravakasana

Chakravakasana

Another “bridge” -type pose, which allows not only to stretch and improve the bending of the spine. By moving up and then down, the back heats up and literally “wakes up”. 

This has a positive effect on well-being and allows you to prepare for Vinyasa, balance breathing with movement.

3. Child’s pose (Balasana)

Child's pose (Balasana)

The resting pose, which is essential for all beginners to practice yoga. It stretches the hips and spine, but this is not the only effect it has. Thanks to this asana, you can take a break between poses without compromising the practice, since it works for the benefit of the body. 

To take such an asana, there is no need to wait for the right time. If the body gives signals that it needs a little rest, you can safely take this pose.

4. Pose of the shoemaker (Badha Konasana)

Shoemaker Pose (Badha Konasana)

The seated asana, often referred to as the shoemaker’s pose is a posture that allows you to stretch your inner thighs. The first times, the exercise can be performed while sitting on a blanket or a block, which will allow the knees, since the hips are slightly higher than when sitting on the mat, to open as naturally as possible. 

Keeping your knees high is much more difficult than it might seem, but you can’t strain your legs while doing this. The correct technique implies that they are completely relaxed. To improve the beneficial effect of this movement, something is placed under the knees.

5. Pose of the cobra (Bhujangasana)

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

It is a bridge called the cobra pose. Sequential execution of asanas in Vinsyasa requires multiple repetitions of this movement during each lesson. The full pose assumes that the cobra is done on the arms, straightened at the elbow joints, with a deep bend in the back. 

There is an easier variation that is suitable for beginners. It is performed without resting on the hands, that is, with the deflection of the chest alone. Both options involve anchoring the pelvis to the floor surface prior to lifting.

6. Savasana

Savasana

A pacifying asana for rest, which is also called the posture of the dead. It is performed at the end of each lesson and allows you to fully record the effect obtained and safely make the transition to everyday life. In yoga, the body is completely subordinate to the movements, and the mind is released. 

When they take a completely motionless position, at first it seems uncomfortable and does not give calmness, but after a certain time it begins to be given much easier and a feeling of calmness comes almost immediately.

7. Mukha Svanasana

Mukha Svanasana

This is a fairly popular and widespread asana that allows you to achieve a versatile effect. Movement is included in almost every activity. This body position is not natural. It is difficult at first, but soon enough it begins to come easily and allows you to rest peacefully. 

Legs in this position do not need to be kept fully extended. The ability to bend the knees makes movement accessible to many.

8. Downward Dog Pose

Downward Dog Pose

A balance poses similar to the previous asana. It improves coordination, strengthens the core muscles. From the starting position, raise the leg upward. 

The emphasis is on the position of the hips at the moment the leg leaves the floor. The height to which the leg rises is of secondary importance.

9. Sakhasana

Sakhasana

A simple sitting posture that many beginners find one of the most difficult when looking at those who practice yoga. Cross-legged sitting is quite difficult for most people and becomes the main reason people do not continue. It’s okay that the asana is given with difficulty. 

It will definitely work if you first use the supports. The main advantage of the technique is that it allows you to get rid of the negative consequences that long and frequent sitting in a chair leads to.

10. Uttita Parsvakonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana

The standing position of the right lateral angle can be performed with the hand outside the foot, but this position is not suitable for everyone. The arm can be placed on the block either from the inside or outside of the foot so that the forearms are against the hips. 

This position is especially suitable for beginners. The main thing is that the hands do not create obstacles for opening the chest towards the ceiling.

11. Garland Pose (Malasana)

Garland Pose (Malasana)

Standing garland pose. It allows you to compensate for the absence of such an important movement as squats in a person’s daily life. Exercise for the corresponding effect is often referred to as a “hip opener”. This does not mean that it only affects these muscles. 

The asana has a beneficial effect on the feet, which are almost never given attention. In cases where squats from such a position are difficult, they resort to the help of support.

12. Ardha Uttanasana

Ardha Uttanasana

Standing asana or half-bend is performed with a straight back and is often included in the Sun Salutation complex, but rather quickly, which does not allow you to pay enough attention to it. For beginners, this pose is highly recommended as a separate practice. It allows you to learn to feel and control your own body. 

At first, it is better to follow the plane of the back with the use of a mirror. It is not recommended to completely lower your hands on the palms, using the latter as support for better balance. It is better to place your hands on your legs in such a way that it is easier to keep your back straight.

13. Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha Matsyendrasana

The seated half asana of the lord of the fish is twisting, which is an indispensable part of yoga practice. They improve the mobility of the spinal column and have a beneficial effect on the function of the digestive system. 

These twists are especially good for constipation. If the bent lower leg interferes with mastering the exercise, you can straighten it in the first sessions.

14. Ananda Balasana

Ananda Balasana

The pose of a happy child is often chosen as the final one in a yoga class. It allows you to balance well two states – relaxation and tension. 

Pressing on the feet in order to maximally press the legs to the armpits should only be until the moment when the tailbone does not come off the floor. If it starts to rise, you must stop. The golden mean is important here, not the extremes.

15. Janu Sirsasana

Janu Sirsasana

The head-to-knee seated position is difficult for anyone with hamstring elasticity issues, and most of them are. 

Refusal to perform bends will not solve the problem, therefore it is recommended to do this asana. It allows you to stretch not both at the same time, but one leg, and then the other.

16. Ashtanga Namaskara

Ashtanga Namaskara

This posture-bridge is usually unjustly excluded from the lesson or is performed quite rarely, which leads to some problems. It is this bridge that allows you to prepare for Chaturanga and be completely ready to perform the sequence in the Sun Salutation complex. 

Exercise not only prepares for other more challenging asanas by warming up the muscles, which makes deep backbends easier and easier to perform.

17. Legs up along the wall (Viparita Karani)

Feet up along the wall (Viparita Karani)

The resting pose, when the legs are lifted up along the wall, does not cause any problems with adherence to the technique. 

It will be especially pleasant and useful for those who walk a lot. In order to fully recover and feel an improvement in well-being, you can linger in this position for several minutes.

18. Lunge

Lunge

It is a standing position that emphasizes body position. When performing a lunge, it is necessary to control that all angles are correct, that is, the thigh is parallel to the floor, and the knee is located above the foot. The back leg should be straight. 

Some beginners do not lean forward enough, resulting in a bend in the hind leg. To hone the technique of performing an asana, it is recommended to perform a pose in front of a mirror.

19. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

The standing mountain pose is one of the most important in yoga practice and is mentioned in almost all asana complexes recommended for mandatory performance. It seems quite simple, but this is only a first impression. 

Tadasana requires balance, which is important in all standing poses and overall coordination. Having taken this position and staying in it for some, you can safely move on to other asanas.

20. Plank

Plank

A balance asana, which is almost impossible to fall, is one of the best postures to strengthen your core muscles. The more developed the latter, the better the standing asanas and exercises performed on the hands are given, and the process of transition to more complex movements is also accelerated. 

By doing the plank, you can become more resilient and not have problems with coordination and balance.

21. Pyramid Pose (Parsvottonasana)

Pyramid Pose (Parsvottonasana)

The standing posture of the pyramid assumes a forward bend, which forms a kind of pyramid. If it is difficult to reach this position by taking a step with one leg forward and bending backward, the blocks are placed on the left and right sides of the leg, which allows you to comfortably place your arms. 

This will not diminish the effect, as the hamstrings will be engaged anyway, and therefore will receive a good load.

22. Pose with raised arms (Urdhva Hastasana)

Raised Hands Pose (Urdhva Hastasana)

Another “standing” posture, but based on the “mountain” asana. Performing this exercise requires standing firmly on your feet when your arms are pulled up. 

Thanks to this movement, the body is completely stretched. This asana becomes an excellent step to start yoga strength practices.

23. Supta Padangushthasana

Supta Padangushthasana

The resting pose, also called the big toe pull, is done by using the arms. The full version of this asana is not suitable for beginners who are advised to do the light version. 

If you do a difficult pose right away, you should use a strap that will keep your shoulders on the floor and your leg straight.

24. Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Forward bends from a seated position, which allows good work of the tendons and muscles of the thigh. Doing this and a similar exercise avoids shortening the muscles and tendons of the back of the thigh, and, therefore, does not experience pain in the back. 

This exercise is often used as a therapeutic exercise. It is also preventive. The earlier you start doing the asana, the lower the risks of having problems in the future.

25. Upavishtha Konasana

Upavishtha Konasana

Bending in a seated position with your legs wide apart creates a different stretch than the previously discussed postures. It is quite difficult for beginners to touch the floor with their chests. After some time, it will be possible for everyone to achieve this goal, but first, you should concentrate on keeping your back straight and the pelvis turned as much as possible in the direction of the tilt you are making. 

The movement should not be performed by bending the spine, so the feet are kept motionless. If the technique is correct, the depth of the incline does not really matter.

26. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Staff Pose (Dandasana)

The pose of the staff is often called the analog of the mountain. Both poses are of the seated type. Dandasana is performed with a straight back. For beginners who find it difficult to accept this position.

it is recommended to put a rolled-up blanket under them, which will allow the pelvis to be raised and slightly tipped forward, and the spine is in a more comfortable position. This “trick” can be used in absolutely any sitting position.

27. Lying Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Lying Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Twisting the abdomen from a lying position refers to the postures that are performed at the end of the session. You can do this asana at the beginning since there are no strict restrictions on this. The position of the legs can also be comfortable. 

For people who are not naturally flexible, the upper leg can be kept straight. In addition, rotation of one leg in relation to the other is allowed (as in the eagle asana), which also allows you to stretch the outer part of the thigh.

28. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Tree pose (Vrksasana)

The tree pose for balance is recommended for all beginners, as it helps to maintain balance perfectly. In order not to fall while performing the asana, it is enough just to step. 

It is not recommended to move the hips further to the sides. This reduces the effectiveness of the exercise.

29. Pose of an elongated triangle (Utthita Trikonasana)

Elongated Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

A long-standing triangle pose is performed by many beginners using the block. Thanks to the extra height on hand.

the front leg straightens without restraining the knee, and the chest opens up instead of looking at the floor.

30. Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I)

Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I)

The first variant of the standing warrior pose. This asana belongs to the classical one, covering several practices and styles. 

The first pose is more difficult than the second, because the pelvis looks forward similar to the mountain pose, and the legs are completely different.

31. Warrior Pose II (Virabhadrasana II)

Warrior Pose II (Virabhadrasana II)

The second position differs from the first position. The hind leg is positioned so that the pelvis faces the mat, not forward, so this variation of the warrior pose is called open. 

Here it is important to be able to control the position of the pelvis, which in the future will allow you to easily take the position and take more complex poses.