Yoga is a gentle exercise that is accessible to absolutely everyone, and a great way to reduce stress and improve physical and mental wellbeing. Whether you’re new to yoga or looking for a refresher, these 7 basic yoga poses are the perfect place to start!
Cat-Cow is a great way to start your yoga practice. It helps to increase mobility in the spine and can be done standing, seated, or on all fours. From tabletop position, round your shoulders and drop your head down as you inhale. As you exhale, bring the crown of your head up and curve your back like a cat. Repeat this movement 8-10 times with deep inhalations and exhalations. Have fun with it!
Downward Dog is one of the most familiar and recognizable poses in yoga. From tabletop position, tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back. Push your foot into the floor to extend your legs and spread your fingers wide for stability. Keep lengthening your spine and bending your elbows as you press through each part of this pose. Take deep breaths here for 5-10 breaths before transitioning to another pose.
Tree Pose is a standing pose that has many variations each with increasing complexity. It’s a great way to develop balance and concentration. To start, begin in Mountain Pose and shift your weight onto one foot, bending the knee of that leg and bringing the sole of your foot to rest against the inside of the opposite thigh. Place hands at heart center or overhead as you hold for five breaths deeply inhaling and exhaling. To release, lower your foot down and switch sides. Repeat this pose 2-3 times on each side.
The Cobra Pose is one of the most classic poses in yoga. It’s an easy beginner pose that helps strengthen the spine and open up the chest, lungs and shoulders. To begin, lie flat on your stomach with your legs straight. Place your hands on either side of your body with palms facing down. On an inhale, slowly lift your torso as you press down through your palms and begin to arch your back until you reach a comfortable position. Take deep breaths while deepening into the pose before releasing back down to the mat.
Mountain Pose is a standing pose that helps build balance and strength while cultivating mindfulness. Stand tall with your feet together and arms by your sides. As you press down through your feet, feel the connection to the earth and be mindful of the natural alignment of your body. Lift through your chest and crown of your head as you draw in breaths that move along the entire length of your spine. Be sure to keep your neck relaxed during this pose and envision an energy going up from your toes all the way up to the sky.