6 Poses To Begin Your Yoga Practice At Home
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 email@example.com.
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.
I would love to chat.
If you were going to take a Yoga 101 6 week workshop series, what would want to learn? What questions would you ask the instructor? Yes or not to music during your practice?
Love this. Been needing to start practicing. This is a really great way to start.
This is so great, Jill! Even if I can squeeze in a tiny bit of yoga first thing in the morning, it goes such a long way!
P.S. that sweater is the bomb!
I want to practice yoga since so long and I have been doing it on and off. Chair pose is the one which turns out to be most difficult you. Your blog encourages me to make yoga a habit. I loved your playlist too. Thanks for sharing the poses and tips.
Great pose! Not doing yoga for a while now but hopefully will get back to it in a few month’s time.
Thanks for these beginner poses. We travel a lot and yoga is easy to do anywhere. We don’t always remember to do it, but we find that even the basic poses are a big help to work out tension and knots from long plane rides and travel stress.
Beautiful. I have just started off with yoga. And I am learning something everyday. Will try out these poses
Oh…I love your post. I am totally beginner of yoga. Always though how should I start it? shall I join the class or do it on my own. I guess the outfit is super gorgeous that it will motivate me to at least starting it now. Thanks for posting.
Jill, you look amazing. I am slowly incorporating more yoga in my routine. So far loving downward dog and the wide leg forward bend. Thank you for the playlist as well!
I miss my yoga practice so much and these are the perfect poses to begin again. Thank you for the inspiration!
I really wanna get into yoga but have a hard time getting into it, this is a great way. Thanks for all the tips and poses.
I definitely need to incorporate this into my weekly routine. I’m loving that tank top!
These are great poses and I LOVE the yoga space you’ve made!
I view Yoga as such a great stretch for the body! These poses look great for beginners!
I love beginning in Cow or Downward dog
Pose. And Es to soothing music all the way!! This playlist sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing !!
OMG, Jill! That outfit is ridiculously cute on you!
I began my yoga practice with an Iyengar course at a local studio. I learned so much more than just poses there, for which I am forever grateful! Breath, posture, what it means to breathe into a body part, how to let go, etc. It was so meaningful and helpful.
I’ve been trying to do more yoga at home because I haven’t had time to get to the studio! These poses are definitely a great start 🙂
I am loving all of the Prana clothes this year and you look fabulous in them.
These are all great basic poses, and ones that many people don’t do correctly. It’s great that you’re sharing some of the basics to build a good, strong foundation!
I love yoga and these poses… So refreshing to your body…If only I had a room to set up a yoga sanctuary. Thanks for sharing!
downward dog and chair pose is my fav! i am going to incorporate others more frequently. thank you!
This could not have come at a better time. My New Years resolution was to start a yoga practice at home. Well…it’s March and I have not done it once. Ouch. I’ve printed these out and just did my first practice at home. Namaste!!
This is a great jumping off point for me. I’ve really been trying to connect with the practice of yoga. Thanks for these six moves that I know I can add to my routine.
I am excited to get back on the mat in a few days. It has been a few weeks and my body is craving it. I think it is amazing how our bodies are always changing and telling us when we need to do something different. Great post friend! XOXO
I think I am able-bodied enough to do these poses. Typically I am yoga illiterate – hahaha!
Love the post! Yoga is so important to my body feeling in tuned with itself! I definitely will be checking out the playlist for my next living room yoga session.