Ultimate Yoga Poses for Beginners: Building Strength and Flexibility

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1. Standing Poses to Build Strength

Standing poses are a great way to build strength in your legs, core, and back. They also help to improve your balance and coordination.

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  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana): This is the basic standing pose in yoga. It’s a great way to start your practice and to check in with your body. To come into Mountain Pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Ground your feet into the earth and lengthen your spine. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your gaze forward. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  • Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I): This pose is a great way to stretch your legs and strengthen your core. To come into Warrior I, step your feet wide apart, with your right foot forward and your left foot back. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly. Bend your right knee and lower your front thigh until it is parallel to the ground. Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your gaze forward. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then switch sides.
  • Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II): This pose is a more challenging variation of Warrior I. To come into Warrior II, step your feet wide apart, with your right foot forward and your left foot back. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly. Bend your right knee and lower your front thigh until it is parallel to the ground. Extend your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your gaze forward. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then switch sides.
  • Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana): This pose is a great way to stretch your sides and strengthen your legs. To come into Extended Side Angle, start in Warrior II. Exhale and step your left foot back so that it is in line with your right foot. Bend your right knee and lower your front thigh until it is parallel to the ground. Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground. Reach your right arm up overhead and your left arm down toward the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your gaze forward. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then switch sides.
  • Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This pose is a great way to stretch your hamstrings, calves, and back. To come into Downward-Facing Dog, start on your hands and knees. Spread your fingers wide and press your palms into the ground. Step your feet back so that your toes are touching the ground and your heels are in the air. Keep your knees bent if you need to. Lower your torso between your legs and extend your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your gaze down toward the ground. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  • Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana): This pose is a great way to strengthen your core and arms. To come into Plank Pose, start in Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale and lift your knees off the ground. Keep your legs straight and your core engaged. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  • Push-Up (Chaturanga Dandasana to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana): This is a challenging pose that combines Plank Pose and Upward-Facing Dog. To come into Push-Up, start in Plank Pose. Exhale and lower your body until your chest is an inch or two off the ground. Keep your legs straight and your core engaged. Inhale and press back up into Plank Pose. Repeat for 5-10 repetitions.
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): This pose is a great way to stretch your back and shoulders. To come into Cobra Pose, start on your stomach with your legs extended and your hands shoulder-width apart in front of you. Press your palms into the ground and lift your head and chest off the ground. Keep your legs extended and your core engaged. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  • Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana): This pose is a great way to stretch your hamstrings, calves, and back. To come into Upward-Facing Dog, start in Plank Pose. Inhale and lift your knees off the ground. Keep your legs straight and your core engaged. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

2. Seated Poses to Improve Flexibility

Seated poses are a great way to improve flexibility in your hips, hamstrings, and lower back. They can also help to relieve stress and tension.

  • **Easy Pose
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