It's easy to get intimated by the idea of doing yoga because of the ads and pictures you see of yogis' bodies bent and twisted in seemingly impossible positions. A lot of people think they will never be bendy or flexible enough to do yoga poses properly. What these people don't know is that ALL students and yogis ALWAYS start with basic and beginner yoga poses that practically everyone can do. Also, yoga poses can be done with variations to suit your level of flexibility.
Regardless of the style of yoga you want to do, there are certain poses that you'd have to learn especially if you plan on doing yoga for a long time. It is through these basic poses that you will learn the importance of breathing in yoga, and condition your body to flex and adapt to various poses. Here are some examples.
Almost all styles of practice and types of yoga classes require students to learn and do the Lotus pose. This is because it effectively initiates the student into the breathing and meditation work that go into doing yoga, as well as prepares them for the physical aspects such as maintaining proper posture. The Lotus pose is done sitting cross-legged on the floor with the shoulders relaxed, back straight, and hands on the lap.
The Child's pose is among the most popular beginner yoga poses because it's physically easy to do and provides mental, spiritual, and physical benefits. The pose involves sitting with your legs underneath you, your buttocks resting on the soles of your feet. Then, you bend over and lower your body with your arms either outstretched in front of you or simply relaxed at your sides.
This standing pose teaches balance and concentration, while stretching and strengthening your leg muscles and joints. Start by standing with your feet wide apart, with your right foot facing the front of the room and the other facing to the side. Raise your arms sideward then lower your body to the left, keeping your legs straight, and grasp your ankle with your left hand. At this point, your arms should align vertically and your gaze directed towards the ceiling.
Yoga is effective in relieving back pain, and is even recommended by therapists. The Cobra is one of the beginner yoga poses which effectively brings relief especially for lower back pain. To do the Cobra, first lie face down with your arms close to your sides and you elbows bent. Direct your gaze toward the direction your body is facing, then use your arms to lift your upper body off the ground. Only your hands, tummy, legs and feet should be touching the mat.
Standing Forward Bend
We need a good leg and hamstrings stretch on a regular basis, and the Standing Forward Bend (also called Forward Fold) effectively accomplishes that. You have to stand with your legs at hip-width distance, then bend your body forward and as low as you can or want to go. Make your palms touch the floor, and bend your knees a little if you experience severe discomfort in your leg muscles.