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Trying out yoga for the first time but unsure of how to start? No worries, this article will serve as your guide on which yoga poses are most suitable for beginners.

Trying out yoga for the first time but unsure of how to start? No worries, this article will serve as your guide on which yoga poses are most suitable for beginners.

Yoga is a great way to live a healthy lifestyle. It is a type of workout that can be relaxing but also invigorating. Nowadays, people have more time to invest in their health. If you are one of those people and especially if you are beginning your road to fitness at home, then this will be a good read for you.

Learning a new workout may seem to be overwhelming at the beginning. With yoga, this is proven to be true because it actually involves around 300 positions. Can you believe that? Yoga is diverse in that way; it has so many types and classes. It is very inclusive in a way that it caters to all ages and sizes of people. Yoga is both a simple and complicated workout to follow, but one thing is for sure, it will definitely is life-changing.

Practicing yoga is a good decision not just because of the health benefits it brings you. It also develops one’s personality and attitude towards life. Taking up a yoga class is a good step in making a positive change in your lifestyle. With so many negative things going on around us, we need to engage in physical activities that also develop our mindfulness and inner peace. Now that you’ve decided to try out yoga practice for the first time, you’ll be opening a door towards a turning point in your life!

However, as a first-timer, you might not know which types of poses are good for you. It’s important to start familiarizing yourself with some of the most basic yoga poses for beginners. Good thing we’re here to help you out!

Can I Teach Myself Yoga?

Joining yoga classes is definitely the best choice when it comes to practicing yoga. It is not just a personal exercise but also a social one wherein you get to work out with other people. Putting yourself in an environment where there is an actual teacher and some fellow classmates that are experiencing the same journey as you makes the process all the more fulfilling. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t teach yourself yoga.

A lot of things can be self-taught nowadays. Thanks to the existence of the internet, we have access to basically everything. Yoga is not an exception to this equation and if you look it up online there are a lot of videos and articles that will educate you about the said workout. Information about all things yoga are being made available and accessible for those who do not have the luxury of going to yoga studios or paying for classes.

By familiarizing yourself with yoga through reading and watching videos about it, you can teach yourself how to do it. However, do not pressure yourself to learn it quickly. Take your time to learn the process so you would not miss anything out. Forcing yourself to absorb and learn everything right away may cause you to burn out and possibly make you lose interest in the practice itself.

To help you out, have a read of our yoga guide for beginners.

What Are The Benefits of Yoga Practice?

Yoga provides a lot of benefits to the entire body. It helps increase our body strength and flexibility and prevents us from experiencing pain in our joints, muscles, back, and more. It also helps us become mindful and enrich a more positive outlook on life. Some might perceive that yoga is too passive or is only made for “hippies”, but it actually gives lots of benefits to any type of person who decides to try it.

A yoga teacher can help you experience the best of yoga. Perhaps you can try joining our yoga studio in Singapore, and work out your entire body with our selection of yoga styles. We have plenty of classes for you to choose from.

What are the types of yoga poses?

Before we dive into the actual yoga poses, let’s have a look first at the kinds of essential poses there are in yoga practice.

Standing Poses

This type of pose is usually done first in a yoga class in order to build heat in your body. It’s supposed to get you warmed up before executing the other poses. Standing poses usually appear differently depending on the yoga classes. For instance, in Vinyasa yoga, poses under this category are compiled altogether in the form of one long sequence. One major example of this is the mountain pose.

Backbends/Backbend Poses

It is very important for beginners like you to practice exercising and lengthening the spine. Poses like this will allow you to have a healthier spine. Poses under this category are the following: bridge pose, cobra pose, camel pose, and many others.

Balancing Poses

If you want to be able to do the more complicated yoga postures, it’s very important to practice your body’s balance. This will develop your core strength for the more advanced poses. It’s going to be challenging to do the poses under this category but you will eventually improve with consistent practice.

Seated Poses

Seated poses are being done usually at the end of a yoga session. This focuses on stretching your hips and hamstrings. Examples of poses under this category are the seated forward bend pose and the staff pose.

Resting Poses

Resting poses are very important especially if you want to take a break during yoga sessions. This is highly encouraged so that you will not push your body towards the edge. This type of pose resumes the stretching of your hips and hamstrings that usually happens in seated poses. Corpse pose and child’s pose are some of the examples of a resting pose.

What Are The Best Yoga Poses For Beginners?

To get you into the world of yoga practice, you have to learn the types of yoga poses for beginners. There are 12 postures that you can try which were derived from experts’ suggestions. By practicing these yoga poses ahead, it will get you prepared before joining an official yoga class.

Here’s what they are:

 1. Mountain Pose / Tadasana

Start in mountain pose because it is the very foundation of all standing poses. This may appear as just standing simply but it’s much more than that—it’s a way of letting you feel the earth beneath you. This pose is also used a lot to prepare for other poses. Standing poses are just as important as the other types of poses.

Directions: To do the mountain pose, stand while keeping your feet together. You have to rotate your thighs inward and engage your quadriceps which draws them upward throughout the pose. Open your chest and keep the tips of your fingers parallel to the floor. Breathe deeply.

2. Plank Pose / Kumbhakasana

When it comes to the plank pose, you will experience having the balance of your hands tested as it supports the weight of your body. The goal for this is to increase abdominal strength accompanied by the use of proper breathing to keep you steady.

Directions: Go flat on the floor and place your hands in front of you. Slowly lift your legs and push your upper body upwards. Slide the heels of your feet back until your body is forming a straight line from your head to your toes. Engage your lower abdomen and keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Breathe deeply 8-10 times.

3. Seated Forward Bend Pose

The seated forward pose is a forward fold of your body that will enable you to stretch your hamstrings, as well as your lower and upper back and sides. It is essential in yoga practice to do a forward bend. This pose will actually teach you how to breathe properly while being in an uncomfortable position.

If you feel any tension when you bend forward but still able to breathe, eventually you feel yourself loosening up and then letting go. If you can’t keep your legs straight and your knees bend a little bit, that’s okay as long as the feet are flexed and closed together. However, if you feel any sharp pain while doing the pose, you can stop.

Directions: Sit down on the mat with your feet together and firmly flexed. Make sure that you straighten your legs. Leave your hands by your hips. Lift your chest and begin to hang your torso down towards your waist. Engage your lower abdominals. As you reach the extent of your capability, stop and take deep breaths 8-10 times.

4. Downward Facing Dog Adho / Adho Mukha Svanasana

Doing the downward-facing dog or adho mukha strengthens and stretches your entire body. This is actually done in a lot of yoga practices and yoga classes.

Directions: Start the downward-facing dog on all fours and begin by placing your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift your hips from the floor as you tuck your toes and draw them backward. Move your hands forward to provide yourself with more length while also engaging your low back. Add some pressure on your palms as you rotate your elbows to face each other. Engage your legs to keep your upper body moving back towards your thighs. Palms facing the floor are important here. Hold the position for 5-8 breaths before you bend your knees down gently toward the floor to rest.

5. Tree Pose / Vrksasana

This pose requires a lot of balance, focus, and concentration. You need to maintain balancing your body on one foot while breathing steadily.

Directions: Begin by standing with your feet together. Slowly raise your right foot and place it on your inner left upper thigh. Palms facing each other in a “praying” pose is important and look for a spot or object in front of you where you can fixate your eyes on to keep your focus. Hold the position and breathe 8-10 times before switching to your left foot. Make sure not to lean on the standing leg.

6. Triangle Pose / Utthita Trikonasana

The triangle pose is perfect for stretching the sides of your waist and lower back, as well as opening up your lungs. Doing this increases the strength of your legs and tones your whole body.

Directions: Stand with your feet slightly apart from each other, probably a hip-width apart. Open and stretch your arms to your sides at shoulder height. Your left foot should be turned inward at 45 degrees while your right foot should be turned out at 90 degrees. Make use of your quads and abdominal strength as you bend your body to the side over your right leg and then lift your left arm toward the ceiling. Hold the position for 5-8 breaths before standing up and repeating the same cycle with your right arm this time.

7. Bridge Pose / Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

The bridge pose is the counterpose to the forward bend. Doing this position bends your back and allows you to stretch the front of your body while the back body is being strengthened.

Directions: Lie down on your back and make sure to keep your feet one hip-width apart. Press on your feet as you lift your buttocks from the mat while drawing your hips back. As you lift your chest further, interlace both of your hands’ fingers behind your back as they’re pinned down on the ground. Hold the position for 8-10 breaths before lowering your back down and repeating the same cycle twice.

8. Child’s Pose / Balasana

Child’s pose is considered to be a good resting pose in yoga that is recommended not only for beginners but also to all levels of yoga practitioners. This can help relieve lower back pain.

Directions: Spread your legs in a “v” shape with your big toes behind your bottoms. Rest your buttocks on the heels of your feet. Stretch your body forward between your thighs toward the floor to lengthen your spine. You can opt to extend your arms forward or simply tuck them behind you. This is a good pose to open up your shoulder blades.

9. Warrior I / Virabhadrasana I

If you want to build strength and stamina, then the warrior 1 pose is the one for you. It is a gentle form of backbend that helps stretch Engaging in this particular position strengthens your thighs and hips as well as your entire lower body. This posture is more of a gentle backbend. Doing this pose will help you open your chest, neck, and shoulders. It also strengthens your hips, legs, buttocks, and upper body.

Directions: Use one leg to lunge forward and position your thigh parallel to the ground. Make sure to bend your front knee. Turn the heel of your left foot downwards and point your toes forward at a 75-degree angle. Your torso should also be facing forward as well. Lengthen your right leg by sliding your back foot away from you.

10. Warrior II / Virabhadrasana II

If warrior I posture is a chest-opener, the warrior II opens up your external hips and your inner thighs and groin. This pose is a good starting point for many side poses.

Directions: Stand with your feet one leg apart. Turn your right toes out at 90 degrees while your left toes should be turned out at 45 degrees. Bend down your right knee until it is directly above your right ankle. While engaging your front knee, keep your torso even between your hips.

11. Chair Pose / Utkatasana

This pose is extremely good for strengthening your thigh, spine, and calves.

Directions: For this pose, you make use of your hands and knees as you squat. Make sure to keep your thighs on the same level. Lean your torso a bit over your thighs. You can either clasp your hands together and hold them in the middle of your chest or reach them up toward the ceiling.

12. Corpse Pose / Shavasana

Most yoga practices end with the corpse pose. It’s supposed to immerse your body into relaxation after a strengthening workout.

Directions: Do this by lying on your back and keeping your legs slightly separated from each other as well as your arms from your torso. Breathe deeply as you relax your entire body, even your face.

How Much Should A Beginner Practice Yoga?

When it’s your first time doing yoga, you might wonder how frequently you should be engaging in the said exercise. Actually, yoga is so amazing to the point that doing it for even only an hour per week will already make you experience its benefits. Doing more will give you more benefits.

However, it is advised for starting yoga students to try doing yoga two to three times a week for a duration of one to two hours each time. You can also consult a yoga instructor just to be sure.

Get Started With Yoga Practice Now!

Now that you have learned the most basic of yoga poses for beginners, you can join finally join a yoga class or start one at home! Practicing yoga is perfect for a healthy lifestyle. It helps prevent or reduce physical pain and diseases and also helps maintain a positive mind. Yoga is a great way to lessen your stress and anxiety as well as physically strengthen you to face your day-to-day challenges and responsibilities.

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.