Empower Yourself with Beginners Yoga: 6 Life-Changing Poses

How to Start Your Yoga Practice

Beginners Yoga

Yoga has a tremendous amount of benefits for one’s life, ranging from the physical aspects to mental wellness. It can be a great way to alleviate physical symptoms like tight muscles by increasing flexibility, strength, good posture, and digestive health. There are many mental benefits as well such as improving your mood and reducing stress. But with so many modern yoga philosophies and techniques, how does one create and maintain a consistent yoga practice? This guide will help you get started on your yoga journey, the path to a balanced and fulfilling life. You’ll learn the basics of yoga poses (physical practices), breathing exercises and discovering which yoga philosophy and style is right for you.

Beginners Yoga Poses

If you are new to practicing yoga, there are some basic yoga poses for beginners that you should learn. These beginner yoga postures will help you get started on your physical practice and journey to better health and well-being. Since you’re not an experienced yoga instructor yet, ease into these basic poses. Once you practice yoga more and more, you can build up to more advanced poses over time. Yoga is a flexible activity, so do not worry if you cannot do every pose perfectly right away, especially since you are just beginning yoga!

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is one of the foundational yoga postures. It is a great way to start your day or after a long day of sitting. Downward Facing Dog helps to lengthen the spine and open up the shoulders. It also strengthens the arms and legs. It is considered a restorative pose, so if you are feeling fatigued, it can help to give you a little boost of energy. To get into the pose for beginner students, start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and knees bent under your hips. As you exhale, lift your knees off the ground and press back into a Downward Facing Dog. Keep your feet hip-width apart and your heels pressing toward the ground. Reach your sit bones up toward the sky and keep your head between your arms. Breathe deeply and hold for 3-5 breaths. To release, slowly lower your knees back to the ground and come back into the previous pose, maintaining body awareness.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is a resting yoga posture. It helps to lengthen the spine and open up the hips. It’s also a good way to relax and de-stress. To do Child’s Pose, start in a kneeling position with your big toes touching and your knees hip-width apart. Sit back on your heels and then slowly lower your torso down to the mat. Rest your forehead on the mat and stretch your arms out in front of you. Breathe deeply and hold for 5-10 breaths. This gentle pose is a great way to recharge your body and mind. It is also a pose that can be done by people of all levels, so do not be discouraged if it seems challenging at first. Just take it slowly and listen to your body.

Mountain Pose

Mountain pose is one of the most basic and essential poses for beginning yoga. It is the starting point for many other yoga poses and provides a foundation for a strong and stable practice. Mountain pose may seem simple, but it is very effective in promoting good posture and alignment. It also helps to increase strength and flexibility in the spine, legs, and arms. In addition, Mountain Pose can help to relieve tension in the back, neck, and shoulders. As you practice mountain pose, be sure to keep your breath steady and smooth. In a standing position, focus on lengthening your spine and reaching your hands up to the sky through. Find your center and distribute your weight evenly, simply being present in the moment. When your arms have lifted as high as they can comfortably go, lower them slowly to the side. Your palms should be facing in front of you with your chest open. Stay here for a couple of minutes and focus on the breath. Mountain pose can be done anywhere, at any time, since it is simply standing up straight with intention and blance. It is a great way to center the mind and body at the beginning of your yoga session. So next time you need a quick break from work or life’s stresses, take a few minutes to practice mountain pose and experience its myriad benefits.

Tree Pose

Tree pose is a classic yoga pose that offers a host of benefits. It helps to improve balance, focus and concentration. It is a calming and centering pose. To get into the posture, start by standing with your left leg rooted firmly on the ground. Bend your right knee and bring your right foot to rest against your left ankle, calf or inner thigh. Keep your hips squared and your gaze fixed on a spot in front of you to help with balance. Take a few deep breaths, lengthening through the crown of your head on each inhale. Stay in tree pose for as long as you like, then switch sides. Remember to control your breath throughout the pose and take breaks if you need to.

Plank Pose

Plank Pose is a great way to strengthen your shoulder muscles and upper body. To do Plank Pose, start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core and keep your back straight as you lower your hips to the ground. Hold for 1 breath, then press back up to the starting position. This Posture can be modified by coming onto your forearms instead of your hands. It is is also a great way to prepare for other arm balances and inversions. To increase the challenge, try Plank with One Leg Lift. Plank with One Leg Lift helps to build core strength and stability as well as improve balance. To do Plank with One Leg Lift, start in Plank Pose with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Lift your left foot off the ground and reach back with your left hand to grab your ankle. Hold for 1 breath, then release and repeat on the other side. While many consider this one of the tougher yoga poses for your yoga workout, one can always modify poses like this one by lowering to knees.

Corpse Pose

Corpse pose, or savasana, is the final pose in a typical yoga class. It is also one of the most important poses, as it allows the body and mind to relax and integrate the practice. It can be done at any time of day, but it is especially beneficial at the end of a yoga class. To get into the pose, simply lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Close your eyes and let your whole body relax. You may want to cover yourself with a blanket to stay warm. Breathe deeply and slowly, letting your breath move through your entire body. Stay in this calming pose for 5-10 minutes or longer. Corpse pose can help to relieve stress, tension headaches, and fatigue. It is also a good pose for people with conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Breathing Techniques

Breathing is one of the most important aspects of any yoga practice alongside the yoga postures, but it is often overlooked. In this section, we will discuss some breathing techniques that you can use in your next yoga class. We will also talk about the benefits of each technique.

Ujjayi Breath

Ujjayi breath is an amazing tool that you can use both on and off the mat. This type of breath is sometimes also called “victorious breath” or “ocean breath.” Ujjayi breath is a staple in most yoga practices because the benefits are numerous. In addition to helping to center the nervous system, it can also help to calm the mind, increase focus, and boost energy levels. It’s also a great way to warm up the body before physical activity. To do Ujjayi breath, simply inhale and exhale through the nose while constricting the throat slightly. As you exhale, you should feel a gentle ocean-like sound. This sound is created by the air passing through the back of your throat. You may also feel a slight vibration in your chest as you do this type of breath. Next time you are feeling stressed or anxious, try doing some Ujjayi breath and see how you feel!

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This breathing practice is a great way to center yourself and find balance. It is a very effective tool to help regulate the nervous system. It also helps to increase prana, or life force energy. To begin, sit with your spine nice and tall. Take your right hand and bring your index finger and middle finger to rest between the eyebrows. Take your thumb and place it at your right nostril. Close off your right nostril with your thumb and take a deep inhale through the left nostril. Close off the left nostril with your ring finger and release the right nostril. Exhale out the right nostril. Inhale through the right nostril, close off the right nostril, release the left nostril and exhale out through the left nostril. This sequence completes one round. Be sure not to force the breath, let it be easy and natural. This ancient practice is a great way to calm the mind and body before meditation or yoga practice or any time you need to find some peace and balance throughout the day.

Rapid Diaphragmatic Breathing

If you are feeling stressed or anxious, rapid diaphragmatic breathing can be a helpful way to calm down. This breathing technique will lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate, improve digestion, and ease anxiety and stress. This type of breathing is also sometimes called belly breathing or deep abdominal breathing. It involves exhaling deeply and completely so that your stomach contracts, then inhaling slowly and deeply so that your stomach expands. You can do rapid diaphragmatic breathing lying down, sitting, or standing. Just be sure to keep your shoulder blades relaxed and your spine straight. Some people find it helpful to place one hand on their stomach and the other on their chest to make sure they are breathing deeply into their abdomen. Give it a try the next time you are feeling overwhelmed!

Yoga Styles

When starting yoga, many people do not even realize the amount of styles and routines that yoga encompasses. And even if they do, it can be overwhelming to choose the right yoga class. In this section, we will explore all the beginners yoga styles so that you have enough background information to find your yoga launchpad!

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is widely considered the original form of the physical practice of yoga based on ancient yoga philosophy texts. Hatha yoga classes typically focus on slower-paced postures, breathwork and meditation. There’s usually a counter stretch to every posture, making this a very balanced style. Hatha yoga is also a good choice for beginners because it is slower-paced and allows you time to learn each posture. In Hatha yoga, each posture is usually held for 3-5 breaths. The benefits of Hatha yoga include increased flexibility, improved muscle tone, better posture, reduced stress levels, and improved mental clarity.

Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time. Its standard sequence includes a variety of poses that focus on different areas of the body. For example, the first pose, Butterfly Pose, opens up the hips and lower back. The second pose, Seal Pose, releases tension in the shoulders and neck. And the third pose, Camel Pose, stretches the front body and opens up the chest. As you move through each pose, be sure to listen to your body and only go as deep as feels comfortable. Remember, the goal is not to achieve a deep stretch but rather to relax into the posture and let go of any physical or mental tension you may be holding onto. There are many benefits of practicing yin yoga on a regular basis. Some of these benefits include improved flexibility, reduced stress levels, and increased joint lubrication. If you are looking for a beginners yoga with easeful and gentle poses, this style is a great place to start!

Restorative Yoga

Restorative is a deeply calming and restful type of yoga therapy. In a standard class, props are used to support the body in each pose so that you can experience complete relaxation. The supported poses help to release muscular tension and promote a sense of ease and well-being. This style is an excellent practice for beginners as it does not require any previous experience and everyone can benefit from the deep sense of relaxation it offers. It is also ideal for those recovering from injury. A typical sequence may include poses such as Supported Child’s Pose, Supported Bridge Pose and Supported Legs Up the Wall Pose. Each pose is held for several minutes, even longer than a yin class, allowing the body to open up and release muscular tension. The benefits include reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep, and increased feelings of calm and well-being.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa flow yoga is a dynamic and fluid form of yoga that links breath with movement. The vinyasa flow class is centered around sun salutations, or Surya Namaskar, which is a flow sequence of standing, twisting, bending and balancing postures. The postures are held for significantly less time than the other styles mentioned since the focus is on moving with breath and balance. While generally more rigorous than other styles, Vinyassa Yoga is an accessible practice for all levels since you can modify the postures to suit your own body and fitness level. The benefits include increased strength, flexibility and stamina.

Ashtanga Yoga

The Ashtanga practice is a system of yoga that was codified and popularized by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Ashtanga means eight-limbed in Sanskrit, and the Ashtanga system is based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It traditionally includes six series of poses, each more difficult than the last. The first series, known as the primary series, is considered the foundation of Ashtanga. It is designed to open up the hips and cleanse the body. The second series builds on the first, adding more challenging asanas and helping to build strength and flexibility. The third series focuses on inversions and arm balances, while the fourth series introduces twists and backbends. Beyond the fourth series, two additional advanced sequences are only taught to students who have mastered the previous four. The Ashtanga system is designed to be practiced six days a week, with one day off for rest. Each asana is linked with breath, and the entire sequence is meant to be performed as one continuous flowing movement. Because of this, Ashtanga can be quite physically demanding. However, it is also an excellent way to build strength, flexibility, and endurance. If you’re looking for a yoga practice that will challenge you physically and mentally, Ashtanga is a great option.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar yoga is a style that emphasizes the correct alignment of the body in each posture. It is named after its founder, Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, who developed this system of yoga in the mid-20th century. Iyengar yoga is often considered to be “beginners yoga,” as it is relatively easy to learn the basics of each posture. However, it can also be quite challenging, as practitioners strive for perfect alignment in each pose. Iyengar classes typically begin with a short period of relaxation or meditation, followed by a series of standing and seated postures. The sequence of postures varies depending on the class level, but all classes will focus on proper alignment and holding each posture for a specific period of time. Iyengar classes usually end with another period of relaxation. The benefits are many, but some of the most well-known include increased flexibility, improved circulation, and reduced stress levels. The Iyengar practice is also said to improve balance and concentration.

Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is a type of yoga that is practiced in a hot, humid room. The heat and humidity help to loosen muscles, making the postures easier to do. Hot yoga is a great way to get a yoga workout and improve flexibility. It can also help to detoxify the body through sweat. There are many different types of hot yoga, and each one has its own sequence of postures. The benefits vary depending on the type of hot yoga you choose. However, all types of hot yoga can help you to relax, detoxify your body, and improve your flexibility. It is highly recommended to take your first hot yoga class at a yoga studio so that certified yoga practitioners will make sure you can handle the high temperatures. It is also wise to speak with your healthcare practitioner before practicing yoga if you have any medical conditions

How to Find the Right Beginners Yoga Classes

Yoga is an incredibly diverse practice with endless possibilities for growth and exploration. When you are ready to start your yoga practice, it is important to choose a style and routine that fits your needs and level of experience. While there are many free beginners yoga videos online, practicing yoga with Yoga Alliance certified yoga teachers is far more beneficial since they have completed a rigorous training process and are committed to upholding the highest standards of yoga practitioners. In addition, most yoga studios will provide clean, well-maintained equipment so that you do not need to spend money right away on a yoga mat, a yoga block, etc. If you are new to yoga, look for beginner classes that are specifically designed for your experience level. This will allow you to learn the basic postures and get a feel for the practice before moving on to more advanced classes. With so many options available, taking some time to research your local yoga studios will allow you to find the right certified yoga instructor and beginners yoga class. This will greatly help in establishing a consistent yoga practice that meets your individual needs.

Here at Eagle’s Nest Atitlan, we offer a variety of yoga classes and workshops for both beginners yoga and more advanced yoga workouts! We also provide yoga mats along with other yoga props and equipment so you only need to show up in your bare feet! To see every group class we offer, please check out our full schedule. We hope this article has given you the knowledge and motivation to begin your yoga journey! Namatse.

Written by : Kurt

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