Categories
Asanas Yoga

Yoga for Beginners: 10 Must Try Yoga for Early Learners

I had always heard people saying Yoga means ‘yog’ as in, addition. It is a regime that helps us to achieve union with God. Okay. But then how is it linked with fitness? After dabbling through some unconvincing explanation, I finally found an appropriate answer just a few days back.

One of the great spiritual gurus of India had explained yoga and its role in human life. He said that the entire universe is designed with a certain configuration, take the example of the axis and how the earth is tilted in a certain way to be aligned with that configuration of the universe. He said the spinal cord is the axis of the human body. Similarly, practicing yoga is a way to align the spinal cord and the whole human body posture with the overall configuration of the universe to maximize the mental, physical and spiritual functioning of the human body. That is the reason yoga was designed to conduct the human body through all the actions that they have to carry out in a day.

For example, there is a specific way to sit before and after the meal, a specific pose to carry out the morning routine, a specific pose to lie down for sleeping, etc. However, these are some of the tales of some faraway time.

The human being in their process of ‘progressive development’ has grown out of such practices. But as luck or the universe would have it, the so-called ‘progressive development’ is seemingly taking its toll on human life in every way possible. As a result, the same old ‘yoga’ has become relevant to modern life all over again.

Yet again, there are several glitches to adapt and integrate it completely into the contemporary lifestyle. Even though yoga has become a worldwide phenomenon at present, the majority of the people are still finding it difficult to start with it. Hence we have come up with some baby steps for the ones who would like to usher in the incredible phenomenon called ‘yoga’ into their life.

Here are some of the very basic yoga poses for beginners. Fitness, weight loss and any other thing are just by-products of a healthy lifestyle. The first step is to know your own body and mind. To begin with, these are some asanas that will help you to come closer to your mind and body.

So let’s begin.

10 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners:

1. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Literally translated – Vriksha means tree and Asana means pose. Hence Vikshasana means to pose like a tree where your body is rooted on the ground on one foot, the other bent to the apex of your thigh and you stand tall with your arms reaching upwards. This is a balancing pose that is not all that easy to attain with perfection and even hold it for long for beginners. But this asana has innumerable benefits that make it an invariable pose for the yoga practice.

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) - Yoga for Beginners: Vriksha means tree and Asana means pose.
Vrikshasana (Tree Pose). Image: Freepik
  • Strike The Pose Right: To attain the perfect pose, you have to stand straight and slowly bend your right knee and try to bring your right ankle to touch the apex of your left thigh. Then take a deep breath and slowly lift your arms from both sides and join them at the top of your head stretching them upwards. Make sure to keep your left leg straight. Look in front and fix your eyes on one point. Hold the pose. Repeat on the other side.
  • What You Get By Doing It: Most importantly, it is a balancing pose that requires you to involve your entire body and concentration of your mind to strike the pose and hold it perfectly. Hence, the first benefit that comes from performing this pose is the equilibrium of your mind and body. It increases the concentration and also makes the leg muscles stronger. It is a great stretching exercise for the whole body and also helps relieve sciatica pain.

 

2. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

Trikonasana (Triangle pose) - Yoga for Beginners: Improve balancing, that helps to stretch the calf muscles, hamstrings, hip, core muscles, spine, shoulder, arms, and chest.
Trikonasana (Triangle pose). Image: Freepik

Strike the Pose Right: Stand straight with your feet wide apart as comfortable as possible. Then turn your right foot outwards forming 90 degrees and the left foot turned inward at 15 degrees in a way that your right heel is in alignment with the arch of your left foot. Rest the body weight equally on both feet. Now take a deep breath and bend your body from your hips on the right side. Straighten both your hands. As the tip of your right hands touches your right ankle, your left-hand moves upwards. Turn your head upward and try to fix your gaze at the tip of your left hand. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Bring back both the hands as you slowly lift your torso upwards. Relax. Repeat the same on the other side.

What You Get By Doing It: Yet another balancing pose that helps to stretch the calf muscles, hamstrings, hip, core muscles, spine, shoulder, arms, and chest. It increases concentration and improves digestion. It is also a great pain relief for people suffering from sciatica and back pain.

Who Should Avoid It: People suffering from headaches caused by migraine, low or high blood pressure, diarrhea, and back or neck injuries should avoid Trikonasana.     

 

3. Kumbhakasana (Plank Pose)

Kumbhakasana or the plank pose – the one posture has taken the fitness world by storm. It is one of the poses that come in the sequence of Surya Namaskar. 

"Kumbhakasana
Kumbhakasana (Plank Pose). Image: Freepik
  • Strike the Pose Right: Place your hands and knees on the ground. Keep your hands shoulder apart with your wrists aligned with your shoulders to form a straight line from shoulder to wrist, palms facing the ground. Spread your fingers wide to maximize the strength of your arms that will help you to balance the weight of your body on your arms. Straighten your spine and tighten your core muscles. Taking a deep breath take your feet back with your toes joined together as you slowly raise your body to form a straight line from your head through your heal. Now hold the pose. The more you can retain the pose, the better you get at your strength and stamina.
  • What You Get By Doing It: Fitness gurus of every genre and regime swear by this one posture. It is the one balancing pose that is said to be the biggest strength booster for core, arm and back muscles. It also enhances stamina.
  • Who Should Avoid It: People with fractured wrist or carpal tunnel syndrome should refrain from this posture.

 

4. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana – bend it like the cobra. Bhujang means cobra. Hence a pose that resembles the body posture of a cobra is known as Bhjangasana. It also comes as one of the sequence poses for Surya Namaskaar.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) - Yoga for Beginners: Strengthens your core muscles, back, shoulders and arms. It opens your chest and stretches your spine.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose). Image: Freepik
  • Strike the Pose Right: Lie flat on your stomach with your hands resting on your sides. Make your feet flat on the ground and your forehead touching the ground at the same time. Keep your legs and ankles joined together. Bring your hands under your shoulders, your palms resting on the ground. Make sure your elbows are parallel to each other. Take a deep breath and lift your torso from the floor while supporting it with your hands. Make sure to put equal pressure on both hands. Now bend your back. Stretch your arms and tilt your head backward to make sure that your spine attains the optimum stretch. Breathe normally. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds and bring back your torso to the ground. Relax your hands on either side of your body. Breathe and relax.
  • What You Get By Doing It: Done properly, Bhujangasans strengthens your core muscles, back, shoulders and arms. It opens your chest and stretches your spine. It improves blood circulation and helps people with respiratory disorders.
  • Who Should Avoid It: Pregnant women, people with spine injuries, abdominal surgeries, hernia, fractured ribs or wrists, and carpel tunnel syndrome.

 

5. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Dhanurasana or bow pose, this asana requires you to bend your body like a bow.

Dhanurasana or bow pose - Yoga for Beginners: Stretches the core and back muscles along with your chest, neck, arms, shoulders, and leg muscles.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose). Image: Freepik
  • Strike The Pose Right: Lie flat on the stomach and widen your feet to match the width of your hip. Rest your hands by the side of your body. Slowly bend your legs from the knees to touch your ankles to your back. Then take your hands back to hold your ankles. Taking a slow and deep breath, lift your chest. Pull your legs upward and look straight. Breathe in and breathe out slowly. Hold the pose and focus on your breath. Take long and deep breaths. Stay there for 20 seconds. Breathe out slowly while releasing your chest and legs to rest on the ground. Bring your hands to your sides. Relax.
  • What You Get By Doing It: A perfect back and chest opening exercise that works magnificently on your whole body. It stretches the core and back muscles along with your chest, neck, arms, shoulders, and leg muscles. Besides, it relieves menstrual cramps, renal ailment, and constipation.
  •  Who Should Avoid It: People with certain medical conditions such as hernia, neck injury, migraine, back pain, high or low blood pressure, and pregnancy.

 

6. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

Setu Bandh literally translates to binding a bridge. Hence a posture that makes your body take the form of a bridge is known as Setubandhasana.

Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose - Yoga for Beginners: Give strength to back muscles, back pain reliever and gives a good stretch to the chest, neck, and spine.
Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose. Image: Freepik
  • Strike The Pose Right: Lie with your back flat on the ground, your hands resting on your sides, palms facing the floor. Now bend your knees to make a straight line from your knees to your ankle. Inhale and gradually lift your hip, lower back moving on to your shoulder. Now try to touch your chin to your chest. Try to support your body weight with your shoulders, arms, and feet that are touching the ground. Keep breathing. Hold the pose for one or two minutes and then release by exhaling gently.
  • What Do You Get By Doing It: A wonderful stretching exercise, Setu Bandhasana is a boon for the reproductive and respiratory organs as well as the thyroid gland. It provides incredible strength to the back muscles. It is a miraculous back pain reliever and gives a good stretch to the chest, neck, and spine. It spells wonder in certain health conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
  • Who Should Avoid It: People with back or neck injury should not perform this asana.

 

7. Halasana (Plow Pose)

Hal refers to a traditional farming tool in India. Halasana literally means taking the shape of a plow. At initial phases, it takes time to attain the complete pose. Hence, you have to start it slowly and work your way to completion with discipline and perseverance.

Halasana (Plow Pose) - Yoga for Beginners: Works on your neck, shoulders, back, thigh, calves and core muscles.
Halasana (Plow Pose). Image: Freepik
  • Strike The Pose Right: Lie flat on your back resting your arms on your sides. Join your feet together. Inhale and lift your legs with the support of your abdominal muscles to make a 90-degree angle with your legs. Breathe comfortably while spreading your fingers on the floor. Now support your hips and back with your hands as you take your legs to form a 180 degree and then touch the ground with your toes. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t strike the pose at one go.
  • What You Get By Doing This: Halasana works on your neck, shoulders, back, thigh, calves and core muscles. It also promotes optimum functioning of the thyroid glands, helps to build stamina and immunity. It particularly helps ease hormonal discrepancies during menopause.
  • Who Should Avoid It: People with high blood pressure or neck injury, menstruating women or any spinal disorder should also refrain from trying this out.

 

8. Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)

Chakra refers to the wheel. A pose that needs your body to take the shape of a wheel is known as Chakrasana. It is also known as Urdhva Dhanurasana or Upward Bow Pose. It is a part of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. This posture is also a part of acrobatics and gymnastics regime and requires incredible strength of arms and legs to be able to perform this posture.

Chakrasana (Wheel Pose) - Yoga for Beginners: works wonders on the spine, back muscles, arms, legs, chest, neck, stomach, and pelvic muscles.
Chakrasana (Wheel Pose). Image: Freepik
  • Strike The Pose Right: In gymnastics, you often find performers attaining the perfect posture of this asana by arching back to touch the ground. However, for beginners, it may lead to spine or back injuries. Hence, yoga instructors guide them to attain perfection through a slow and steady process. The initial steps of this post are similar to Setu Bandhasana. Once, you attain setu bandhasana, you slowly sweep your head upward while bringing your hands beside your shoulder, the temple of your head touching the ground. Then you slowly lift your shoulders transferring the weight on your hands and stretch your body upward to a point when only your palm and feet are touching the ground while the rest of your body is arched on your back.
  • What You Get By Doing It: It is an incredible stretching exercise the works wonders on the spine, back muscles, arms, legs, chest, neck, stomach, and pelvic muscles.
  • Who Should Not Do It: People with back, spine or neck injury and carpal tunnel syndrome should avoid performing this asana.

 

9. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

It is a little intimidating for the early learners as it required standing upside down on your shoulders. However, the innumerable benefits that it brings along make it worthy of starting it slow and gradually moving towards attaining the perfect pose.

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) - Yoga for Beginners: Helps to improve the digestive system, cardiac functioning, nervous system, control hair fall and thyroid, improve strength and agility of the entire body.
Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand). Image: Freepik
  •  Strike The Pose Right: This is one pose that needs to be done with a lot of precautions. At the very beginning, Yoga instructors make the students take the support of the wall to raise their legs. Then slowly they are guided to raise the torso while keeping your body supported with the wall. This regime is carried out simultaneously with other asanas to make your body strong and agile enough so that when you proceed to perform Sarvangasana, you don’t risk the chance of getting injured.
  • The traditional way to approach it is through Halasana. After attaining Halasana and holding the pose for some time, you lift your legs keeping them joined together, and then support your torso with your hands to make it move upwards and hold the position. In this position your entire body weight rests on your neck, shoulders and your upper arm, the back of your head resting on the ground, your chin touching your chest and your eyes fixed on your navel.
  • Do You Get By Doing It: Sarvangasana helps to improve the digestive system, cardiac functioning, nervous system, helps to control hair fall and thyroid and improves overall strength and agility of the entire body.
  • Should Avoid It: This asana is not for people with high blood pressure, neck and back injury. Also, Sarvanganasa needs to be performed with a lot of caution as it is one yoga pose that has earned a bad name for inflicting injuries to the yoga practitioners.

 

10. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Shav means corpse. Hence Shavasana means to pose like a corpse. After the entire yoga regime, the students are made to lie down in Shavasana to relax the whole body. Sounds easy, right? However, it is not as easy as it sounds to be.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - Yoga for Beginners: It takes you into a deep meditative state that helps to repair your mind and body.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose). Image: Freepik
  • Strike The Pose Right: Lie down on your back with your arms resting on your sides, palm facing upwards, legs spread out a little with your toes facing sideways. Tilt your head sidewise. Close your eyes and let your body lose. Now take a slow and relaxed breath. First, focus on your breath and then move your consciousness to every part of the body and relax it completely. Just breathe in and breathe out. Stay like that for a while until and unless your mind and body are completely relaxed. Now slowly start by moving your toes. Open your eyes slowly, turn on the left side and sit up. Rub your palms against each other, place them on your eyes for a few moments before you open your eyes.
  • What You Get By Doing It: Shavasana takes you into a deep meditative state that helps to repair your mind and body. It helps all the asanas that you have been performing for so long to leverage their optimum benefit. After performing Shavasana, you find yourself rejuvenated mentally as well as physically.
  • Who Should Avoid It: None

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *