If you’ve never done yoga before but want to try it at home to see what it’s about, gain weight, or relax? Begin with these 8 really basic yoga poses!
Yoga’s sitting position
For the seated posture, one can sit cross-legged, which is the most basic for beginners, or in lotus (right leg bent, right foot at the top of the left thigh, left leg bent, and foot as near to the body on the right thigh). The knees must be on the ground, half-lotus (right leg on the ground at the top of the left thigh, left foot on the right thigh). Both knees must be on the ground or sitting on the heels (on the knees, legs together). Learn more at our 14 days Yoga Retreat in Rishikesh.
The key point here is to remember:
- The chest is perfectly straight and vertical.
- Aligned head, neck, and back.
- Shoulders and abs relaxed.
- Palms facing up, hands-on knees.
- Close your eyes.
A seated posture is ideal for beginning or concluding a yoga practice by concentrating on your breathing. It can also be done while reading, eating, or watching TV. These postures relax the mind, body, and breath. They inspire good behaviour.
Tree Yoga Posture
The tree posture (Vrikshasana) includes standing on one foot and placing the right foot against the root of the left leg.
- Place your feet parallel and slightly apart.
- Put your weight on your left foot and keep your leg straight.
- Place your right foot’s sole against the inside of your left ankle.
- Bring your foot up to your thigh by opening your right knee to the side.
- Place your fingers together and your thumbs apart in front of your chest.
- Straighten your back and contract the muscles in your abdomen and buttocks.
You can then either stop here or continue:
- Place your clasped hands over your head, but not touching it.
- Pull your elbows back while keeping your shoulders low.
- Stretch straight up without leaving the vertical axis.
- Take a deep breath and hold the pose for a few moments.
- Repeat on the other side.
This posture relaxes the mind, improves concentration, improves balance, and develops the muscles in the feet and legs.
This pose represents man’s verticality, in the balance between the earth and the sky, between the roots (the earth, the material world) and spirituality (the sky).
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The Cobra Pose
The Cobra posture, also known as Bhujangasana in Sanskrit, is a reclining posture that begins on your stomach.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Lie on your stomach, preferably on a yoga mat.
- Bring your feet together with your legs extended out without putting any pressure on them.
- Place your hands at shoulder height on either side of your body, with your forearms resting on the floor.
- Slowly elevate your bust as seen in the image.
- Pause Take a moment and take a deep breath.
- You have the option of looking straight ahead or up at the ceiling.
This posture stretches the chest, lungs, abdomen, and shoulders while strengthening the spine and firming the buttocks. It also reduces tension and fatigue, alleviates sciatica, and is considered to have anti-asthmatic qualities.
If you have a back injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, or are pregnant, avoid this pose.
Warrior I Pose
Begin in downward-facing dog posture, that is, in an inverted “V” with your feet and hands on the ground, to do Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrâsana I).
- Bring your right knee up to your nose and position your right foot forward between your hands, palms down.
- Turn your left foot outside and keep your left leg straight.
- Support your weight on your feet and stretch your arms above your head to the ceiling.
- Look slightly upwards, open your chest, and breathe deeply before repeating on the left side.
This posture serves to strengthen the back and leg muscles, firm the abdominals, aid digestion, increase attention, replenish energy, and alleviate sciatica.
It is not advised for those who have high blood pressure, heart illness, or knee or ankle difficulties.
Warrior II Yoga Posture
Another warrior form, the warrior II, or Virabhadrâsana II in Sanskrit, begins standing with feet together.
- Spread the right leg about a metre to the side.
- Rotate the right foot 90 degrees while keeping the left foot stationary.
- Raise your arms to your shoulders and straighten them as shown.
- Bend the right knee, not beyond the heel, and move the neck so that the sight follows the hand.
- Maintain a straight back, tight abs, and an open chest.
- Take a deep breath and hold the stance for a few moments before switching sides.
The warrior position is a strengthening posture that allows you to engage the muscles in your back, arms, legs, ankles, and hips. It also helps with balance.
The cat’s posture
- Get on all fours with your wrists aligned with your shoulders, knees, and hips.
- Inhale and tilt your pelvis back, pointing your buttocks toward the ceiling.
- Exhale and now tilt the pelvis forward, tilting the tailbone so that your spine is naturally rounded. The gaze is focused on the navel.
- Continue the exercise for 5 to 10 breaths in sync with the motions.
This yoga posture increases spine flexibility while reducing back pain.
Read More: About Yoga Styles
Downward-facing dog posture
- On all fours, align your shoulders and knees with your hips, then lift your hips off the ground, sending them both up and back.
- If the back of your thigh is stiff and/or you are in pain, keep your knees slightly bent.
- For an even deeper stretch, try touching your heels to the floor.
- If necessary, move your hands forward to offer yourself extra range.
- Hold for 5-8 breaths before returning to the beginning position on hands and knees to rest.
This pose, which is part of the Sun Salutation sequence, delivers a powerful hamstring stretch.
The board Posture
- Get on all fours with your palms and toes aligned.
- Make a straight line from head to toe.
- Engage your abs and bring your shoulders down.
- Take 8-10 deep breaths.
This pose teaches you to be balanced and improves your deep abs.