Yoga Pose Cheat Sheet
Whatever poses youre working on, remember this: Its just yoga. No matter what the Instabraggers are posting, or what the human pretzel in front of you is doing, were here to remind you that yoga asana is not about perfection.
Its about progress. Its about becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. Its about union with the mind and body, and above all, keeping your body safe. Even if all you do is arrive on the mat and lie in Savasana for 15 minutes, youre still doing yoga, friends.
Give it your best and let that be good enough for today. Namaste.
Seated Wide Angle Straddle
Verywell / Ben Goldstein
Pose type: Seated
Opening your legs wide creates a slightly different stretch from Paschimottanasana. Though it may look like the mandate is to bring your chest to the floor, it’s really not about that. Rather, concentrate on keeping your back flat, rotating the pelvis forward instead of crunching forward through your spine, and keeping your feet flexed. If you do all three of these things, it really doesn’t matter how far forward you lean.
Standing Beginner Yoga Poses To Increase Strength And Flexibility
Standing beginner yoga poses are an excellent place for new yogis to start their yoga journey. These 7 poses are strengthening, energizing, and also help to increase your flexibility. This is why these poses are perfect for beginners! Common issues for new yogis are tight hamstrings and a stiff low back. Standing yoga poses are a great way to increase strength by challenging lower body endurance. These standing beginner yoga poses also increase flexibility, particularly in the hamstrings, hips, and even lumbar spine .
Don’t Miss: Free Workout Channels On Roku
Downward Facing Dog Adho Mukha Svanasana
Commonly referred to as simply Down Dog, this one may be the most recognizable yoga pose out there, and its a great way to start learning yoga poses for beginners. Downward Facing Dog will open up the backs of your legs, lengthens your spine, and strengthens your shoulders and arms.
To get into Downward Facing Dog, begin on your hands and knees, squared off in a Table-Top position. Spread your fingers wide and press down through the palms of your hands. Tuck your toes and start to straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor. Your hips should be pointing toward the sky, so that your body is in the shape of an upside-down V. Keep your head aligned with your spine by keeping your ears in between your biceps.
Same Shape Different Pose: Reclining Versions Of Common Yoga Poses
Yoga is a practice for everybody. Here are some ways to let your practice meet you where youre at in the moment.
Instead of:Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Try: Lie down on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet hip-distance apart on the mat. Bring your right ankle to your left thigh just above your knee. Interlace your hands behind the back of your left thigh and pull that thigh toward your chest while drawing your right knee away from your body. Keep your low back on the mat to ensure the stretch remains in the right glutes and hamstrings. Switch sides.
Instead of:Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana I
Try: Lie down on your back. Extend your left leg straight on the mat and raise your right leg toward the ceiling. Catch your right big toe with your first two fingers and thumb . Push through your right heel. If its comfortable, bring your right leg slowly toward your chest. If the right knee does not extend comfortably, there is an option to use a strap around the foot and hold onto it with both hands. This can offer support if you feel tension in the hamstrings. Proceed to the next pose before switching sides.
Also Check: How To Stop Quefing
Bridge Or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Start by lying on the floor, facing the ceiling. Press your feet and arms into the floor and push your bottom and torso upward. Both your thighs and feet should be parallel. Knees should remain over your heels. You may want to clasp your hands beneath your torso.
This pose helps combat anxiety, headaches and fatigue. It also stretches the back, neck and spine.
Practice Tips For Yoga Beginners
Even though this list of poses for beginners is small, it is still a lot of information to digest at once. We highly recommend that you begin to explore these poses slowly and carefully to not be overwhelmed. Our How to Start a Yoga Practice guide will give you the four basic steps to starting a yoga practice. Our General Practice Guidelines covers all of the dos and donts to starting a successful yoga practice. Once you have looked through these two articles, continue reading our Yoga for Beginners section for further tips and advice.
Recommended Reading: How Long Do You Hold Yoga Poses
Full Lord Of The Fishes Pose
Sanskrit Name: Purna Matsyendrasana
Benefits: The deep spinal twist of Purna Matsyendrasana stretches the vertebrae and discs, and frees the nerves from tension while making leg muscles more supple. The twisting motion also massages the internal organs and is useful in the treatment of abdominal ailments, such as constipation, dyspepsia, and diabetes.
This pose also helps regulate the secretion of adrenaline, increasing vitality and calmness and alleviating stress or tension headaches.
Step 1: Start in the Staff Pose and bend your left knee outward. Place your left foot on the right hip in a Half Lotus Pose. The left heel should touch the lower right portion of the belly.
Step 2: Draw your right leg up and place the foot flat on the floor just outside your left knee, toes pointing forward. Begin to twist by turning the belly to the right and pushing out through the left knee so that the pelvis turns to the right along with the torso.
Step 3: Inhale and bring your left arm up high overhead. Place your right arm behind you for balance. On an exhale, bring the left arm forward and wrap it around the outside of your right thigh. Continue to inhale and exhale deeply, deepening the twist on each exhalation.
Step 4: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds, deepening with each exhalation. Exit the pose and repeat on other side.
Child’s Pose Balasana To Help You Relax And Unwind
From Downward-Facing Dog, simply bend your knees and lower your butt to your heels as you bring your chest toward the floor over your knees. Lower your shoulders and head to the floor. Place your arms along your sides, palms down, or you can support your head by folding your arms under your forehead. Breathe and relax for as long as you need to.
Childs Pose is one of the most healing yoga poses, and its my favorite of them all, says Cullis. It awakens the connection between the breath and body and sends calming energy through all the muscles. Its an opportunity to get grounded, go inward, and to come out of your busy mind and into your body by awakening your breath from the inside out. Childs Pose is a great way to take a break and relax during your yoga practice, or anytime you feel tired or overwhelmed.
Don’t Miss: Surya Namaskar Calories Burned Calculator
Reverse Table Top Pose
Sanskrit Name: Ardha Purvottanasana
Benefits: Stretches the front side of the body and the shoulders, strengthens the arms, wrists, and legs, improves posture, and gives you a nice boost of energy.
How to do reverse table top pose
- Step 1: Start in Staff Pose with your legs straight in front of you. Bend your knees so that both your feet are flat on the ground. Leave some space between your hips and the feet, so that when you come up, your knees will end up at a 90-degree angle.
- Step 2: Place your hands behind you on the mat, inhale and lift your hips while pressing firmly onto your hands and feet. Straighten your arms and make sure that your knees are at a 90-degree angle, with your thighs and torso parallel to the floor and your wrists directly beneath your shoulder.
- Step 3: Keep your neck neutral or drop your head back if it feels better. Relax your buttocks and try to hold the pose with just the strength of your legs.
- Step 4: Hold pose for 20-60 seconds, then relax back down to the floor. Repeat 2-3 times.
Sanskrit Name: Salamba Bhujangasana
Benefit: The Sphinx Pose is a modified version of the Cobra Pose . Like the Cobra pose, it lengthens the abdominal muscles, strengthens the spine, and firms the buttocks while stretching and opening the chest, lungs, and shoulders, but it distributes weight on the forearms rather than the wrist and creates a slightly less curve to the spine.
How to do sphinx pose
Sanskrit Name: Bhujangasana
Top 10 Yoga Poses For Beginners
New to yoga? Start here with beginner yoga poses and best yoga poses sequence that are essential for you to build strength and confidence to take your yoga practice deeper.
As a beginner to yoga, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of poses and their odd-sounding names. Relax- Here are steps that can help you build up to the ‘slow and gradual’ processes of yoga then roll out on yoga mat for the best yoga workout for beginners.
The more you practice yoga, the more you’re building awareness in your body, The biggest thing to do as a beginner is to start and then stay consistent with your practice,remember that practice makes progress.beginner tips
As you progress, you can take on more challenging poses but it’s a good idea to keep things simple when you’re just starting. Therefor Start with easy yoga poses and then moved into more challenging poses.
The Beginners yoga poses outlined here are valuable enough to keep you occupied for a long time. These easy to follow simple yoga poses are also good for strength, flexibility, stamina, and weight loss.
Read Also: Does Hot Yoga Help You Lose Weight
Think Of Yoga Poses As Pieces
As a yoga teacher, I look at a yoga pose as both a shape and a collection of pieces.
Take tadasana, mountain pose, I see a standing posture AND legs straightening, spine telescoping, and feet rooting.
Its helpful as a new yoga practitioner to think about it that way, too. For each of those pieces is an opportunity to develop strength, balance, and flexibility.
That takes the pressure off because we can focus on one action instead of all of them. Ill say that again. Instead of focusing on entire poses, you can focus on individual movements.
Yes, over time, well put them together, but not at first. Its like a baseball player who focuses on hitting separately from throwing and catching.
This piece-by-piece method Im describing is not commonly taught, but its something to be aware of because it will help you learn the yoga postures.
How do you apply this? When youre practicing yoga, whether online or in person, listen to the cue the teacher offers. If she says straighten your leg, can you actually straighten your leg? If not, where does it seem to stop? That will tell you where to focus your attention.
Downward Facing Dog To Down Dog Split
Verywell / Ben Goldstein
On your next exhale, tuck your toes and press through the balls of your feet and your palms as you lift your hips, reaching your glutes toward the ceiling. When your body forms an inverted “v,” relax your head and neck between your arms, press your heels toward the floor , draw your shoulders away from your ears, articulate your tailbone toward the ceiling, and engage your quadriceps. Pedal your feet, bending one knee, then the other to stretch each leg independently.
Stay here for five deep breaths.
On your next inhale, reach your right leg up toward the ceiling. Try to keep your hips square so your right hip doesn’t open toward the side of the room. You can also modify by skipping the split.
Read Also: Yoga Trapeze Doorway
Bound Twisted Side Angle Pose
Sanskrit Name: Baddha Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
Level: Intermediate/ Advanced
Benefits: Stretches and strengthens the entire body, opens the shoulders and chest, and improves lung function. Stabilizes the front and back of the torso and tones the lower body. Improves balance and stamina and can be highly beneficial to people that suffer from asthma or other respiratory issues. It also increases flexibility in the hamstrings, shoulders, and upper back.
How to do bound twisted side angle pose
- Step 1: From a right-facing Revolved Warrior or Revolved Side Angle Pose, reach your left arm around behind your back and thread your right arm under your right thigh. Grasp your left wrist with your right hand, forming a circle around your right thigh.
- Step 2: Hold for 5-10 beats, then release back into Warrior Pose.
Sanskrit Name: Hanumanasana
Benefits: Strengthens muscles in the thighs, hamstrings, groin area, and pelvic floor. Stretches the chest, thighs, arms, shoulders, and back. Increases energy and positive thoughts and activates the thymus gland. Increases overall flexibility.
How to do monkey pose
Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana II
Benefits: Helps to strengthen the shoulders, arms, and back, stretches, and strengthens the thighs, calves, and ankles. Calms the mind, helps promote balance, and improves respiration and circulation.
How to do Warrior II pose
Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana III
How to do Warrior III pose
Not All Yoga Poses Are Appropriate For Beginners
There are 200 yoga poses done in modern yoga, defined by a yoga teacher named B.K.S. Iyengar, in his book, Light on Yoga. Iyengar offers a scale in his book of 1-60 but its not helpful as its wildly all over the place.
For instance, he rates tadasana, mountain pose, as a 1, the easiest kind of posture. But then he ranks purvottanasana , front body stretched out pose as a 1 as wellwhich its not.
From there, the scale takes off. Many poses rated as the most challenging require a lot of mobility, particularly in your hips. If youve been a runner or cyclist, or even sit during the day, youre going to find hip mobility hard.
Hanumanasana, for instance, which we might call the splits, comes in at a 36. The majority of people would find it challenging to plop right into splits. Can you get there over time? Maybe, but it will take time, effort, and patience. This is definitely not an appropriate yoga pose for a beginner.
Its impossible to give a definitive list of what the best yoga poses for a beginner might be, and it would be beside the point. Even Iyengars rating scale seems to be based on what he could do, rather than others. Yoga teaches self-awareness, and you can bring that awareness to the different postures to decide if it is right for you.
What we can do is give you some helpful tips to get started:
You May Like: Doorway Sex Swing
Tree Pose Or Vrksasana
A blocks great when trees a crowd.
When youre ready: Remove the block and lift your right foot to your left ankle or mid-shin. Alternatively, grab your inner right ankle and bring the sole of the foot to your left shin or upper thigh.
Pro tip: Never rest your foot on your knee.
It might help you maintain balance if you actively press your right foot and left leg into each other.
What Are The Benefits Of Doing Yoga Poses For Beginners
Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world. But what are the benefits of doing yoga?
The answer is that there are many different types of yoga, and each type has its own benefits. Yoga can be used to help with weight loss, depression, anxiety and more. . It can also help with stress and clear your mind, which will lead to a more fulfilling life.
Some of the benefits of doing yoga include:
Losing weight and decreasing body fat by increasing the amount of calories burned during an exercise session
Reducing depression and anxiety, as well as lowering blood pressure
Improving digestion, sleep, and mood
Increasing flexibility and muscle strength
Reducing risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes.
It is important to note that although yoga has many benefits, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it actually helps people lose weight.
A yoga practice may be different each day depending on the state of mind and body of the practitioner. For example, a beginner may start with a short routine before breakfast. Yoga can also include more advanced poses that are not typically seen in other modes of exercise such as meditation and breathing exercises, chanting, or mantras.
The physical activity can also include a mixture of breathing exercises and movements, and holding postures for several minutes. Yoga has been practiced throughout the Indian subcontinent since pre-Vedic times.
Also Check: Hot Yoga Calories Per Hour
What Is Yin Yoga
At its broadest essence Yin yoga can include anything that is the opposite of Yang yoga. Just like the Taoist Yin-Yang symbol, Yin is equally important as Yang and makes something whole and balanced.
Kung Fu master, Paulie Zink, developed this style from Hatha yoga and Taoist yoga influences in the 1970s .
Yang yoga is your sweaty morning power class, Ashtanga or Bikram class, or vinyasa flow that builds up to a complex peak pose. Yang qualities are masculine, solar, hot, upward, outward, mobile, active, and cultivate change and discipline while targeting your muscles.
That means Yin includes poses where you move less and spend more time relaxing into yoga postures. It has the opposite qualities of being feminine, lunar, cooling, downward, inward, still, and passive. Physically it targets connective tissues and mentally it is meditative and draws our attention inward to cultivate acceptance and surrender.