Since lockdown has descended upon us, many people have decided to use the free time to their advantage and learn a new skill. Yoga is one of them, not only can it help to relax you, but it can also boost your metabolism, strengthen muscles, and improve your core strength.
Knowing where to start. In this article, we are going to take a quick look at the top ten yoga positions for beginners. And we are talking real beginners here. People who have never attended a yoga class in their life.
Luckily, yoga is one of the most accessible training styles around, with exercises that anyone can perform. So, grab a mat, find some space, and let us try ten new yoga positions.
Ten Yoga Positions for Beginners
We will provide a YouTube video for each exercise so that you can see what the movement looks like alongside a written description.
Yoga Position #1 Cat
This yoga position is great for improving lower back mobility, it also combines really well with the second yoga position on this list (cow). Get on all fours, then push your upper back up in the air in an arch. The position is similar to a startled cat, hence the name.
Yoga Position #2 Cow
This pose follows on from cat. Get onto all fours and then push your upper back up in the air to get into cat pose. Then, you push your chest down creating a big arch and pushing your glutes out. Hold the position before pushing your upper back up again into cat.
Yoga Position #3 Child
Child is another fantastic yoga position for the lower back. Start off on all fours then bring your toes closer together, your knees should be a bit wider apart than usual. Keeping your hands on the floor, slowly bring your glutes backwards and down. Slide your hands along the ground as you travel further backwards.
Stop when your glutes are resting on your feet, then you can drop your head down to the ground. Hold this position.
Yoga Position #4 Plank
The plank is a quite simple beginner yoga position that can be combined with several other variations as you become more confident. This is basically the same as the beginners plank you would use in the gym. Get into the push up position with toes on the floor, hands shoulder width apart, and a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Hold this position while squeezing your abs and glutes.
Yoga Position #5 Corpse
We could spend a lot of time explaining this yoga position, but in all honesty the corpse is essentially lying on the floor and relaxing. Anything else is just window dressing. Excellent yoga pose. 10/10
Yoga Position #6 Chair
Chair pose looks easy, but it is actually one of the more difficult yoga poses on this list. It is still easy enough for a beginner to manage though, so don’t worry!
Stand upright with feet together (this is actually Mountain pose, which we will look at next). Place your hands by your sides and then turn them out so they are facing in front of you. Bend your knees as you raise your arms out wide and upwards.
Push your chest out as you do this, you should finish the pose with your arms straight up in the air, your chest pushed out, and your knees slightly bent.
One of the best ways to describe this movement is a slow motion jump. You bend your knees and raise your arms just as you would if you were about to perform a standing broad jump, just with your feet together and no actual jumping!
Yoga Position #7 Mountain
Mountain is a great yoga pose for beginners and is often used at the start of a yoga lesson. Stand upright with feet close together and toes facing forward. Push your chest out and roll your shoulders back.
Now, raise your arms up into the air as you simultaneously raise your heels off the ground. You should end up on tiptoes with both arms extended above your head and hands touching (index fingers pointing up towards the sky and fingers clasped). Hold the position for 20 seconds and then return your arms and heels slowly to the starting position.
Yoga Position #8 Easy Seat
The easy seat (also known as easy pose) is a deceptive title. It refers more to being “at ease” than the difficulty. Depending on your level of mobility, easy seat will either be ridiculously easy to do, or a real challenge. It is absolutely a beginner pose though.
Sit on the floor with your legs crossed (like you did in Primary school). Then you want to grab your ankles and pull them closer to your glutes. Relax your knees, and let them drop down a little lower than you would normally have them.
Push your chest out and bring your shoulders back. Tighten your abs as you do. Then concentrate on breathing and congratulate yourself on nailing that pose.
Yoga Position #9 Downward Dog
Downward dog is quite a challenging yoga pose, but definitely one that all beginners should learn. Start off on all fours like you were for cat/cow. Then walk your knees back and lower your head and shoulders to the mat.
There should be a straight line from your glutes to your head with your hands and forearms flat on the ground.
Tuck your knees in, raise your elbows off the mat, and then raise your knees off the ground. Imagine that there is a rope around your waist, and that someone is pulling your waist up into the air until your legs are straight, your glutes are in the air, and you have created a triangle shape. Feet, glutes, hands.
If you have good hamstrings then this exercise will be a lot easier than it sounds. If you have hamstrings with low mobility, you can just work your way up to it over time.
Yoga Position #10 Leg High
This is performed identically to the downward dog, but once you are in position you lift one leg straight up in the air. You can then alternate legs. Make sure that when raising your leg your hips are flat, so that you are not raising your leg at an angle.
Here is the thing. Yoga is an incredibly difficult form of exercise to describe in written word, nor are we yoga experts. We have shared some fantastic video links and given you a rundown of how the exercises are performed.
However, if you are carrying any injuries or are not confident that you have got the movement right, then finding a proper yoga instructor or class is a really good idea.
They can guide you through each movement better and can give you individual advice on how to improve. The purpose of this article is to give you a taste, and to demonstrate how much quality Yoga content there is on YouTube.
If all else fails, you can always perform 8 hours of corpse!