When you’re first starting out, depending on your natural flexibility and background, you are not going to be able to do some of the “basic” poses like Pigeon Pose and Chaturanga. I know I couldn’t! Claiming these to be poses you should start with can be very discouraging to those that have just stepped onto their mat.
No matter where you are in your practice, and especially if you are just starting out, these are perfect to start with.
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Plank pose is the simplest yoga exercise for weight loss and is also very useful for your entire body. Because it works to strengthens your arms, legs, core, and belly. In addition, It Ameliorates your balance (arms).
How to do Plank Pose:
- Start on your hands and knees, and make sure your hands are directly underneath your shoulders. Ground your fingers into the mat and spread them
- Press down into your hands and engage your arms. Step one foot back one at a time behind you with your toes tucked.
- Engage your core and continue to lengthen your spine, making it straight. Keep your eyes in your hands, so stay in the same direction as the rest of your body.
- There should be a straight line all the way from your head to your toes.
- Make sure to breathe while engaging your core. Try to hold it for five even breaths.
- If a full plank is too challenging for you at this time, drop your knees to the floor.
- Try to build up to full plank by lifting your knees for one breath and gradually increasing the amount of time you hold it.
Ground all ten toes on the ground, the edges of your feet, and you heels. Engage your quadriceps so your knees and top of your thighs draw up and back. Your thighs should rotate slightly inward.
Engage your core slightly so that your pelvis is in a neutral position, pointing forward instead of downward.
Tuck in your tailbone slightly so your spine is neutral, not rounded or arched. Your glutes should not be engaged, but the back of your thighs should be engaged enough to lift them.
Lift up through your chest and press your shoulder blades back. Let your shoulders fall down from your ears and elongate your neck. Your arms should be straight down by your sides, engaged slightly and internally rotated, with fingers together and extended.
Baby Cobra :
This is the baby of all backbends and helps prepare you for more intense backbends, like Upward-Facing Dog and Bow Pose. It’s also a great way to open your shoulders with narrow shoulders.
How to do Baby Cobra Pose:
- Start with your stomach, face down and legs stretched out behind you.
- Place your hands flat on the ground right next to your shoulders with your elbows tucked in.
- On your exhale, push your chest and upper abdomen off the ground. Remember, we’re not going into full cobra here, so your arms should still be bent a decent amount.
- Drop your shoulders away from your ears and lift through your chest. Engage your legs and push your feet into the ground.
- Breathe here for 5 seconds then slowly release your forehead or cheek to the ground.
Child’s Pose :
This is a resting pose, but also is very effective in stretching and relieving tension in your back, hips, and ankles. This is a common pose to come into after a fast-paced moving sequence to recenter and catch your breath.
How to do Child’s Pose:
- Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Your knees should be an inner-hip distance apart and feet should be untucked.
- Push your butt back onto your heels as you reach forward with your hands to stretch your back and shoulders. Your forehead should be touching the ground.
Hero Pose :
This seated pose is ideal for stretching the thighs, ankles, and knees, as well as improving posture.
- Start on your knees in a kneeling position, with your torso straight and upright. You may place a blanket underneath your knees for more comfort.
- Your knees should be slightly hip-distance apart, and your knees should be slightly wider than your hips, untucked.
- Push your hips back to sit between your feet.
- Place your hands on your knees, and make sure to keep a straight back while pulling back the shoulders and lifting through the chest.