Asanas to Get You Started

For those of you who to want get started with yoga but are beginners or don't know where to start, try here. The following 5 asanas, are classics and great for beginners just getting familiar with yoga. Their simplicity allow you to try them at home without the guidance of a teacher, if you choose. Combining these asanas with a mental attitude of willingness to grow and listen to oneself, you can create a beneficial and relaxing effect to carry with you throughout the day.

Experience not needed for these poses! Just equip yourself with a yoga mat (obviously we recommend the high quality never slip REECH mat but any will do) and have comfortable clothing, such as a sweat suit, pajamas or leggings and you are ready to go!

Cat Pose (Marjariasana) and Cow Pose (Bitilasana)

A great short sequence I love to do in the morning. It helps improve flexibility in the back and spine, while also stretching your neck and shoulder muscles. The combination of these poses can help prevents back pain.

To get started settle down on the ground with the palms of your hands about shoulder width apart and your knees aligned with your hips. Your toes should not be curled and the tops of your feet touching the ground. Begin by slowly inhaling and arching your back, bringing your chin forward and up, with your gaze in front of you. This is the cat pose (left image above).

To transition into cow pose (right image above) slowly exhaling through your nose, arch your back and look down. Your arms and legs should remain in place throughout the sequence.

Repeat as many times as desired following your breath to transition from one to the other.

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

This position helps to increase the sense of balance, concentration, and strengthens the pelvic and leg muscles. I should note that tree pose engages the knee joints, and can be difficult if you have existing knee problems. As always in yoga, listen to your body and modify the poses as necessary.

Start off by standing on your mat with your legs slightly apart, about hip distance, but parallel. Shift your weight onto one leg and open the other heel to 45-90° then lift your heel, so your toes are touching the ground and your knee is bent (imagine the above image but with the right toes touching the ground).

Bring the sole of the foot onto the inner thigh of the leg that is supporting the weight, keeping the toes down. I frequently use my harm to help with the initial placement of my foot. Then you can raise your hands and join your palms over your head or in front of your chest (as seen above).

It's important to maintain a straight back in this position so try to practice "head over heart, heart over pelvis" while balancing. Speaking of balance, we want to maintain balance in our practice so I recommend doing this pose at twice, once on each side.

Downward- Facing Dog Pose (Adho Muhka Svanasana)

The position everyone has heard of and probably the default when thinking of yoga. It is a staple in Hatha Yoga practices and one of the most common. A triangle is formed with the body, where the pelvis is the upper point and your legs make up one side while your torso and arms make up the other.

Your weight is supported by the palms of the hands, shoulders and feet. Your back should be straight and your butt should push upwards.

Start by getting on all fours creating a tabletop (similar to how cat pose begins), with your hands under your shoulders, palms on the ground and legs hip-width apart. Lift your butt upwards by extending and straightening your legs. Try not to lift your heels, bend your knees if necessary and direct your gaze towards your legs.

You should feel it in your thighs and arms as you push your chest towards your thighs.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The 'corpse' pose is performed by lying on the ground, with arms and legs slightly apart and palms facing upwards. This is a relaxation pose, so relax! Let go of anything weighing on your mind and relax your face, arms and legs. Maintain the natural curvature of the back.

If you want you can perform these asanas together as a sequence or you can focus on one each a day until your comfortable! Again, remember to always listen to your body! Try spending 3 to 5 breaths in each asana to enjoy its benefits!


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