If you have read through this blog, you would have come across many examples of yoga poses that are suitable for those just starting out with their practice. As yoga is an every-continuing process, there are many ways to build upon your existing knowledge with other yoga exercises for beginners. Here are some additional poses that you can add to your yoga exercise repertoire.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
As an alternative to the Lotus Pose (Padmasana), this pose is a basic cross-legged position that should be comfortable for you, while still observing proper alignment. If you feel any tension in your knees sitting in this pose, you can sit on a folded blanket or a yoga block. It's very important to acknowledge and accept any limitations you may have with humility, so that you avoid further injury that would otherwise hinder developing your practice. If you can, put one foot in front of the other, leaving a bit of space in front of your body. Distribute your weight evenly on the sit bones and keep your pelvis neutral and spine straight. Your ribcage and head should be in line with the hips. You can either put your hands palms down on top of your knees, or put then in a mudra (energy lock), by forming a circle with your thumbs and index finger. You can hold this pose for as log as you like, as this is a great meditation pose and has many benefits for your mind as you try to achieve cosmic enlightenment (or just some personal bliss).
Wind-Removing Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
This pose is done lying on your back. As you inhale, bring one knee to your chest and slightly to the side. Interlock your hands just under the knee. Your other leg should remain straight against the ground. As you exhale, pull your bent leg in a bit tighter to your torso, and lift your head, neck, and shoulders, trying to touch your forehead to your knee. After a few breaths, release and switch sides. The Wind-Removing Pose is a great pose for improving your digestive system, providing a gentle massage to the inner organs. It also releases tension in the lower back, hips, abdominal area, and thighs. The lifting motion of your head additionally helps strengthen your core.
Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This seated twist, if done properly, strengthens and tones the back, as well as adding flexibility to your vertebrae. To get into this pose, first bend your right leg close to your hips, so that your sit bones are still on the mat. Then, bring your left leg over to the right side of your body. Your left foot should be just outside your right thigh, but try to bring it as close to your body as possible. If this strains your hips, modify the pose by straightening your right leg instead. Bring your left hand behind you, and as you inhale, raise your right arm above you, lengthening and extending your spine. Twist back and bring your right elbow outside your left knee, turning your head and gazing over the left shoulder. This pose is great for the entire length of your spine from the base up to the neck. It also has benefits for your digestive system and blood circulation in the region.
Keep in mind that half of the yoga process is physical and the other half mental. We cannot stress the importance of regular practice enough, so that even these simple poses will become meditative poses as well, allowing you to engage all aspects of your being. Asana or posture practice does not necessarily imply great strength or flexibility, rather, it is more important to keep your alignment in check and your concentration focused. Only then should a more physical practice be attempted.