If you missed our previous post on 5 yoga poses for beginners, read it here at: http://bit.ly/TYA_5Bpt1.
Obviously, there's more than just five pose for beginner yogis! So here's another five beginner yoga poses for you. Happy practicing!
SUKHASANA | EASY POSE
Most yoga classes will begin with this pose. You will spend a few minutes here connecting with your breath bringing your presence onto the mat, preparing you for the class ahead.
How to do Sukhasana Easy pose
- Sit on your mat with your legs straight in front of you.
- Cross your shins and allow your knees to fall down on either side as much as possible, bring your feet under the opposite knee.
- Allow the outer edges of your feet to rest comfortably on the mat, and the inner arches of your feet should settle just below the opposite shin.
- Rest your knee on your foot.
- Adjust yourself until you feel your sit bones connecting with your mat, and allow your body's weight to fall down onto your sit bones.
- Gently place the back of your hands on your knees. Allow your shoulders to relax. Allow your elbows to relax.
- Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath.
- Listen to your yoga teacher's cue on how to sit easy in this pose, as well as how to exit the pose.
VAJRASANA | THUNDERBOLT
This could be an alternative to Sukhasana Easy pose as a way to begin yoga class. This pose provides a deep stretch to the ankles. You may also feel the stretch in your hips and thighs, and for some, you may feel it in your knees. This is particularly good for toning the pelvic muscles.
How to do Vajrasana Thunderbolt pose
- Kneel on your mat with your knees and big toes touching. Press the tops of your feet into the mat.
- Lower your hips so that your sit bones rest on your heels.
- Keep your feet inline with your heels and knees—do not let them splay outwards or turn inwards.
- Sit up straight, allow your body weight to fall into your heels.
- Draw your shoulder blades back. Widen across your collar bone. Allow your shoulders and elbows to relax. Place your hands lightly on your thighs.
- Focus on your breath.
- Exit by first placing your palms on the mat beside your hips. Using your arms as a support, lean your upper body forward to lift your hips off your heels. Cross your shins and ankles below you, then sit yourself back on the mat as you stretch your legs forward.
If you're completely new to this pose, do support yourself by sitting on one or two blocks instead of on your heels. If you have a previous knee injury, support your knees by kneeling on a blanket or towel before you sit back onto you heels.
TADASANA | MOUNTAIN
A standing pose that is part of the Surya Namaskar Sun Salutation sequence, this pose helps bring awareness to the grounding of the body through the feet. This is the starting pose for all the other standing poses. Being able to find your balance and grounding in Tadasana allows you to balance with ease in the standing poses.
How to do Tadasana Mountain pose
- Stand on your mat with your feet slightly apart. Lift your toes, spread them wide apart, and feel the areas of your soles that are pressing into the mat.
- Release your toes down to the mat and gently press your toes into the mat, together with the rest of the base of your feet.
- Allow your arms to hang softly by the sides of your body, palms turned inwards.
- Rock softly back and forth, and from side to side. In this way, find your weight spread equally and balanced among your feet. Then come to stillness.
- Lift your knee caps, engage your thigh muscles.
- Feel your tailbone pointing down to the mat.
- Widen across your collarbone and your shoulders.
- As you breathe in through your nose, feel your back lengthen from your tailbone, up along your spine, to the top of your head.
- As your breathe out through your nose, feel your body's weight settle down into your mat via your feet.
UTTANASANA | STANDING FORWARD BEND
You'll encounter this pose as part of Surya Namaskar Sun Salutations sequence. It is also used as a resting pose between standing balancing poses. It stretches the hamstrings and calves.
How to do Uttanasana Standing Forward Bend pose
- From Tadasana Mountain pose, extend your arms up towards the sky/ceiling.
- As you exhale, fold forward from your hips (not waist!) to bring your upper body down. If your hamstrings feel tight, bend your knees and think of bringing your belly to touch your thighs.
- Allow your head & neck to hang, allow your arms and shoulders to hang. You can lightly place your fingers or palms on the mat, if they touch the mat. Otherwise, just allow your arms to hang wherever they are or hold on to opposite elbows and allow your upper body to hang forward.
- Feel like a rag doll. Keep your knees apart and facing forward.
- As you breathe in through your nose, feel your spine lengthen from your tailbone, up along your spine, through to the top of your head. Allow your sit bones and tail bone to point up to the ceiling.
- As you breathe out through your nose, allow your torso to fold deeper into the bend and feel your feet press firmly into the mat. Find your balance here.
- Exit by lifting from the hip as you inhale and feel your entire upper body lengthen. As you exhale, allow your body weight to sink into your mat through your feet as you keep your legs straight.
ARDHA BHUJANGASANA | BABY / BENT ARM COBRA
This is a safe variation for new and beginner yogis to practice, before progressing into the full straight arm cobra pose. It is the beginning of backbends.
How to do Ardha Bhujangasana Baby Bent Arm Cobra pose
- Lay belly down on your mat with your legs spread mat's width apart, and toes untucked.
- Place your palms on the mat directly below your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide apart, and press into the mat with the pads of your palms as well as your finger tips.
- Press the tops of your feet and thighs firmly into the mat. Weight your pelvis down by pressing it firmly into the mat.
- As you inhale, use your palms to support you by pressing firmly into the mat, as you lift your chest off the floor.
- Keep your elbows bent. Keep pressing the tops of your feet, thighs and pelvis into the mat. Draw your elbows in so that they point towards the back of your mat. Draw your shoulders down and back (try squeezing your shoulder blades together if you can). Broaden across your collarbone.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds.
- Exit by exhaling and slowly lowering your upper body onto the mat.