Ignite your best life through yoga on and off the mat. This is about all of us, thriving and growing together.
We’re 1 week away from the first day of spring, a time to emerge from the dark period of winter. A time for renewal, a time to wipe the slate, undo some habits and start anew. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and longer days as an opportunity to restore physically and energetically.
I’ve been teaching a Yoga 101 Workshop Series, a 6 week workshop focusing on an introduction to yoga philosophy as well as postures. We’re beginning with the basic poses with an emphasis on form, hands on individualized assists and practice that time doesn’t allow for during a class.
If you’re new to yoga, the thought of beginning can be intimidating. Embrace where you are in your practice and enjoy this journey.
There are certain postures that are essential to learn so you feel comfortable practicing in a class at a studio or in your own home.
Where should you begin? There are over 300 poses in the physical practice of yoga and I’ve chosen 6 poses to get you started on the right path.
Begin your practice. Enrich your life.
ALWAYS listen to your body and modify if needed.
Hold each pose for 3-8 breaths.
Cow – Bitilasana
- Begin in a neutral tabletop position with hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
- On an inhale breath, soften the belly towards the floor, shift your gaze up to match the curve of your spine and pull the heart forward.
Downward Dog – Adho Mukha Vrikshasana
- From your neutral tabletop position. Spread the fingers wide and use the whole surface area of your hand including your five finger pads and emphasise pressing the index and thumb pads into the mat.
- Curl your toes under, exhale and lift your hips to the sky.
- Stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. With bent knees or straighten your knees, but be sure not to lock them. Roll the upper thighs inward slightly.
- Widen your shoulder blades and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms. Melt the chest towards your thighs and hug in the belly.
Crescent Lunge – Alanasana
- Start in Downward-Facing Dog. On the exhale step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning your knee over the heel. Keep your left leg strong and firm.
- On the inhale raise your torso upright and sweep your arms wide to the sides and raise them above your head. Palms facing inward. Look up toward your thumbs.
- Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and reach back through your left heel.
Chair Pose – Utkatasana
- Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips. Keep your weight evenly distributed between each leg.
- Exhale as you bend your knees, sending your hips behind you as you sit on an imaginary chair. Engage your legs and hips by gently pressing the legs toward each other and hugging the hips toward your midline.
- Raise your arms overhead, with your palms facing each other. Externally rotating the shoulders, and widening across the chest.
- To exit the posture, push firmly through your feet to extend your legs, and then release your arms down by your sides.
Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II
- Stand with legs 3 to 4 feet apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly with extension from your tailbone through the crown of your head.
- Relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down. Focus on lengthening from fingertip to fingertip
- Bend the front knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; gaze out over right hand.
Revolved Warrior – Viparita Virabhadrasana
- From Warrior II, inhale to reach your front fingertips slightly forward on the exhale glide them back overhead.
- The back fingertips rest on the back leg.
Standing Straddle (Wide Legged Forward Bend) – Prasarita Padottanasana
- Step your feet about 3 to 4 feet apart, with your hands on your hips.
- Lift up tall through your whole torso and, hinging at the hips, fold slowly over your legs.
- Place your hands flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart; begin to stretch your torso forward. Lengthen your entire spine from your sitting bones to the crown of your head.
- Fold deeper, bringing your head toward the floor.
- To exit the pose, inhaling, press into the outsides of both feet, slowly lift up to standing; then exhale.
There should be no pain and very little discomfort (if any) when performed. If you need to modify the pose to make it more comfortable.
Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga. If you have any questions about the poses leave a comment below or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How about music? Depending on the day, my mood and type of class I’m taking or teaching the music I play varies. Sometimes I don’t use music at all, but when I first started practicing yoga I always played a favorite playlist. So the music, it’s a personal preference.
If you decide music you want music for your practice, try this playlist. It’s one of my favorites.