- Hatha yoga is the most popular style of yoga in the world.
- Natural air flow and good lighting are key to having a good yoga session.
- Asanas can be divided into standing, seated, and lying poses.
- Chair and restorative yoga are best for people over 60 that are beginners.
- The corpse pose is the best beginner-friendly pose.
If you’re looking for an activity to help you revitalize both your mind and body, yoga is the right choice. Considered by many to be the first form of exercise, yoga is practiced by more ad more people everywhere around the world.
There are several types of yoga that include a range of poses, or asanas, that vary in difficulty. Because of this diversity, yoga practice is suitable for all ages.
Today, we’ll focus on the 25 most common yoga poses for beginners. We’ll also outline 10 yoga poses for beginners of ages above 60.
What Should a Beginner of Yoga Learn First: Types of Yoga for Newbies
Before we go straight into the poses, let’s take a look at the types of yoga for newbies. Even though there are 10 different yoga styles, 8 are the most popular. Out of those 8, three are the most beginner-friendly. They are also the ones that require minimal supplies to practice!
Let’s explore each of them separately.
Hatha yoga is the most commonly practiced yoga in the world. In fact, all yoga styles that focus on the physical aspects of yoga are considered part of Hatha yoga.
The word “hatha” means “force” in Hindu, and it perfectly describes the focus of this yoga style. In short, Hatha yoga is all about purposeful movement, correct posture, and controlled breathing. These methods help strengthen the core, gain flexibility, and relax the nervous system.
The difference between Hatha and the other two yoga styles we’ll talk about is intensity.
Vinyasa yoga is all about flow. It focuses on improving strength and energy levels. It is also great for anxiety, stability, and balance.
This type of yoga is extremely customizable, so each practice can look and feel different. The only requirement is for the positions to melt into one another in sync with your inhales and exhales.
Ashtanga is very similar to Vinyasa, with a single difference in the pose pattern.
If in Vinyasa we have high customizability, in Ashtanga, the pose pattern doesn’t change. Although some may find this monotone, others love the familiarity of this yoga style and prefer it over others.
Ashtanga yoga is ideal for more physically-ready beginners.
Prepare for Your First Yoga Session: Everything You’ll Need
The yoga poses we’ll be covering below are some of the best poses to do at home. Because of this, they don’t require much prep work. However, there are a few things that every yoga beginner must have.
As we mentioned before, yoga practice is all about freedom of purposeful movement. This means that the clothing you wear while you practice yoga is very important.
Unlike the gym, where you can easily get away with wearing baggy clothes, yoga requires tighter-fitting items.
To get the best out of your yoga practices, get a pair of yoga pants and a fitted cotton shirt. Make sure the materials of your items allow the skin to breathe and aren’t restrictive.
The spot in your home where you’ll be doing your yoga session has to be wide. Pick an area that will let you stretch your arms and legs comfortably. Stay away from any fragile things. If you can, make sure your spot has much natural light and good airflow.
Even though you can do yoga on other surfaces, a yoga mat provides the grip you’ll definitely need. Since yoga is usually done barefooted, slipping can be an issue – the mat eliminates that risk.
Investing in a yoga mat will allow you to practice yoga daily and safely.
25 Yoga Poses for Beginners: The Best Basic Yoga Poses You Can Do
Asanas for beginners can be divided into three categories: lying, seated, and standing poses. All of these can be combined to achieve a full workout.
Standing Poses (10)
We’ll start with our choice of 10 yoga poses for beginners that require standing. The poses are not written in any particular order, so you can choose which one to do first.
- downward facing dog
The downward-facing dog pose provides a deep stretch in both the lower and upper body, especially the shoulder blades and hamstrings. To achieve a good downward-facing dog position, you’ll need to have your body in a somewhat triangle pose.
You can begin on your hands and knees. Push your body up by lifting your hips to the sky. This motion will cause your legs and arms to extend and form a triangle.
Next up, you’ll want to ease into the position and relax. Let your shoulders, wrists, and ankles support your weight. It’s important to keep your back straight and legs extended while doing this.
- mountain pose
To do a mountain pose, stand up straight and rest your arms on your sides. Then, take a deep breath in and lift your arms up with both of your palms facing each other. Hold that position for several seconds.
At the same time, let your big toes touch so that your inner thighs push into each other and your core tightens.
- tree pose
The tree pose is all about balance. To start, stand up straight, then slowly slide one foot upward and rest it on the side of your calf.
Next, you have two options. You can either put your hands in a prayer position or place your arms overhead at a point. Make sure to balance yourself well on your grounded foot.
- chair pose
As another balancing pose, the chair pose is used to strengthen your core. By doing this type of exercise often, your stomach muscles will be as firm as if you were doing swimming pool exercises for abs.
To do a chair pose, stand up straight, then bend your knees until you reach a half-squat position. While keeping your knees bent, extend your arms forward and bring them over your head. Hold that position for several seconds.
- forward fold
To achieve this asana, stand straight and fold your upper body forward until you can wrap your arms around your legs. If you can, touch your head to your shins. Beginners can let their hands rest on the mat and slowly work toward a full wrap.
- warrior one
To do a warrior one pose, get into a lunge position. Instead of bending your back knee, keep that leg extended and its foot facing forward.
Balance your weight on that back foot and your front thigh. Start pushing your torso down to touch the ground and then up with your arms extended over your head. Repeat this for several seconds.
- warrior two
To get to warrior two, take the same position as warrior one, but this time stretch your arms above your head. Then, bring one arm forward and extend the other back, forming a line. While doing this, let your back foot slide from pointing forward to pointing to the side.
- warrior three
Warrior three is different than the previous two. You have to let go of the lunge position and stand on one leg while extending the other leg back. Bring your body parallel to the floor and your arms firmly at each side. Tighten your core to keep the balance.
Warrior 1, 2, and 3 form a sequence, so you can do them one after the other. These three asanas are great examples of Vinyasa yoga.
- crescent lunge
For a crescent lunge, start in a lunge pose. Once there, reach your arms high above your head. Then, push your upper body over the leg up front and touch the mat.
- cactus arms
This is best done as an extension of the crescent lunge pose. Once you do the crescent lunge, fold your arms at the elbows. Keep your arms up and mimic a cactus. Hold the position for a few seconds.
Sitting Poses (10)
Seated poses usually come up during the second part of a yoga class. They’re much easier to do than standing asanas, so they are extra beginner friendly.
- seated forward fold
To achieve a seated forward fold, sit on your mat with your legs extended and back straight.
Then, just like you did with the standing forward fold, let your upper body fall over your legs. If you can, touch your legs with your chin. It’s best if you can hold your feet with your hands to achieve maximum stretch.
- cow Face pose
To do a proper cow face pose, you need to sit on a mat and strengthen your back. Place your left thigh over your right one, and pull the heels towards you, knees bent. Raise your left arm and put it over your head, reaching to your back. Clasp it with your right hand and hold the pose for several seconds, careful not to overarch your back or bend your head down.
- staff pose
Sit with legs stretched forward and arms next to your sides with palms on the floor. Have your toes pointing upward and flex your thighs. Strengthen your back and keep the position like that for several minutes, all the while looking forward.
- seated wide-legged straddle
Stretch your legs on both sides. Let your body spill forward and reach with your arms as far away as you can from your body. Keep your back straight and comfortable. Beginners can slightly bend their knees.
- cobbler pose
For a cobbler, fold your legs at the knees and touch your soles together. Bring them as close to you as possible, and keep your back straight. You can upgrade this pose by folding slightly forward.
- Thunderbolt Pose
If you want to strengthen the back and core muscles, the thunderbolt pose is a good start. To do it, you have to kneel on the floor and sit on your legs. Put your hands on your thigh muscles, square your shoulders, and look straight for a minute.
- Hero Pose
The hero pose is the same as the thunderbolt pose, with only one difference – the position of your feet. In the hero pose, you need to have your heels slightly apart so that when you sit, you don’t sit on them but rather between them.
- Gracious Pose
Another similar asana to the prior two, the gracious pose, requires you to kneel but keep your knees wide apart. Your toes should be touching, and you need to sit on them, hands calmly resting on your thighs. Sit like this for a minute or more.
- Fire Log Pose
To do this pose, sit cross-legged and place your right ankle over your left thigh. Your left foot should be below your right knee, relaxed. Strengthen your back and sit like that for a minute or so.
- Child’s Pose
Kneel on the floor and spread your knees wider than your hips. Your feet should touch. Sit on your heels and bend your body forward, arms extended as far as possible.
Lying Poses (5)
The lying poses can either be a continuation of a previous pose or be used as a resting pose.
- BRIDGE POSE
While laying flat on your back, bend your knees and lift the hips as high as possible. Keep your arms extended and on the side. During the bridge pose, make sure that your head is on the mat.
- reclined butterfly pose
Lay on your back with your arms to the side. Fold your knees, touch the soles of your feet, and bring them upward in a diamond shape. Go as high as it seems comfortable.
- supine twist
While on your back, keep your left leg extended. Lift your right leg and stretch it over the left. Keep the knee bent and touch the ground with your foot.
This asana should give you a deep, powerful stretch in your hips, spine, and hamstrings.
- The Corpse Pose
This is the simplest pose, yet it is the hardest to maintain. You only need to lie on your back, spread your legs and arms like a starfish, and lie. Breathe in and out while your eyes are closed, and focus on each strained part of your body.
- The Plough Pose
This pose is quite simple but will require paying attention to your balance. You need to lie flat on a mat, legs one to the other and hands next to them. Pull your legs over your head, touching the ground above you with your toes. Keep your hands in the same place and breathe in that position for several seconds before you slowly go back to lying on the floor.
10 Yoga Poses for Beginners: Easy Yoga for Elders
Restorative yoga poses, as well as chair poses, are perfect for older beginners. These poses are easy to do and help tremendously with flexibility, posture, and overall health.
Restorative Yoga Poses (5)
The idea behind restorative yoga is to relax the mind while taking off the tension from the body, making it perfect for people over 60.
- child’s pose
The child’s pose is an easy folding asana that all people can do regardless of age. The only slight difference should be in the intensity of the moves – people above 60 shouldn’t push their bodies forward too much.
- legs up the wall
Lay on your back and lift your legs, extending them over the surface of a wall. This pose can bring great relief for hip pain as well as stretch out your back.
- seated cat-cow
Done exactly like the original cat-cow, the seated version requires you to sit cross-legged with a straight back. Then, just round your shoulders to dip down and extend the back backward. Then, stretch the shoulders backward to puff your chest out.
- reclined twist
Lay on your back and spread your arms wide. Then, bring both legs up and bend the knees. Put both your legs over to one side and try to touch the ground with the knees. If you can, rest the thighs on the floor.
Keep your back and upper half firmly against the ground. Work with legs and hips only.
Savasana is another name for the corpse pose. This simple asana is always done at the end of any yoga practice and is the ultimate resting pose. Savasana is all about emptying your mind and just being present.
Chair Yoga (5)
Chair yoga is a great yoga practice for older beginners. It incorporates many of the positions we already talked about but adapts them to be done while on a chair.
- Chair Cat-Cow Stretch
Grab a chair and sit with your back straight. As we mentioned, do the cow stretch first, then the cat one. Alternate between the two several times.
- Chair Forward Bend
It’s as simple as the name sounds – sit on a chair and bend forward so you can touch the ground with your palms. Stay in that position for several seconds.
- Chair Spinal Twist
This pose requires you to sit sideways on the chair. Grab the back of it and twist your back slowly to your maximum. Return to the starting pose and start again on the other side.
- Chair Savasana
Instead of lying down, you can grab a chair and do the corpse pose on it. This asana is the closest to a “basic” meditation pose.
- Chair Raised Hands Pose
As the name tells you when sitting on a chair, stretch your hands above your head and slowly take them down. Repeat the motion several times.
Tips & Precautions: Have a Safe Yoga Workout
Whether you’re doing a simple mountain pose, a child’s pose, or a demanding balancing pose, being safe is imperative. Even if a position seems easy, it can cause damage when not done right.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind before your first yoga class:
- Each movement is intentional and planned out, so pay attention to your posture at all times.
- Remember to drink water during your exercise. Staying hydrated is key!
- Breathing exercises go well with every type of yoga. Inhale while getting into positions, and exhale while coming out.
- Always remember to stretch and warm up before your yoga workout.
- If you can’t do a pose, don’t push it. Every position has an assisted or simplified version that you can do.
- The corpse pose is the best beginner-friendly pose as it’s the only one you don’t have to pay too much attention to when doing.
Beginner Yoga Postures: Final Thoughts
Yoga is a discipline that can train the body and mind likewise. All exercises are tailored to strengthening and stretching your body while simultaneously exercising your mind and teaching it relaxation and calmness.
Or course, the more you do the exercises, the better you’ll get at them. By starting today, you’ll be able to notice your own improvements soon enough. So grab a mat and start your journey!
FAQ’s About Yoga Poses For Beginners
1) Can I drink water before yoga?
Yes. Being hydrated is a must, as it helps you stay focused and strong.
2) When is the best time to start yoga in the morning?
The hours between 4-6 AM are considered the best hours to do yoga. If you can’t get up that early, do it within an hour of waking up.
3) What are the popular yoga poses to reduce belly fat?
Some good yoga poses for belly fat are the mountain pose, standing forward bend, sun salutation, raised foot pose, boat pose, and plank pose.
4) How long should you hold a yoga pose?
Any yoga pose should be held for 30 seconds to a minute or at least 3 deep inhales and exhales.
5) Is it safe for women to perform yoga during periods?
Yes. Yoga has been shown to ease period cramps and help relax the body.
6) What are the best yoga poses for women?
Some of the best ones include spinal flex, child’s pose, tree pose, boat pose, cat-cow pose, down dog, and plank pose.
7) How long should a beginner do yoga?
You can do between 10 and 30 minutes of yoga to start.