Just Started Yoga? 4 Easy Exercises for Beginners
Yoga is best known for the benefits it provides to the body and mind, but for total beginners it can seem somewhat intimidating. To be sincere, yoga is not too easy, and it does take some practice until you can do everything properly, but there are certainly exercises that beginners can successfully complete. As Jane Bahneman, co-owner of Blue Nectar Yoga Studio in Falls Church, VA says, “During your first yoga class, you might feel clumsy and awkward, but keep in mind that every yogi was in fact an awkward beginner at one point.” If you have decided to take up yoga and get out of your comfort zone, you shouldn’t feel awkward, but proud of yourself for having the courage to do something as challenging. Ultimately, after you get used to the routine and get out of the clumsiness mode, you’ll enjoy each and every yoga exercise, and your mind and body will reach a certain balance and harmony.
Here are some easy exercises for beginners that you can do and enjoy even if you’ve never done yoga before.
1. Mountain Pose
As almost every yoga exercise, this one too has several health benefits. It is useful if you want to improve your posture and sense of center, and it can help you become more focused. This is also an excellent breathing exercise, so even if you’re not interested in yoga in general, you could do this once in a while to relax and let more oxygen into your lungs.
You can do this exercise by simply standing with your feet at the width of your hips. Your weight should be spread evenly and your arms placed at the sides of your body. Once you’re in this position, breathe slowly and deeply, and most importantly – evenly. Your neck should be aligned with your spine the entire time, while you move your hands from the sides of your body towards the sky. This exercise is also very good for stretching your arms and upper body, and even the most inexperienced ones can do it.
2. Downward Facing Dog
This exercise is a little more complicated than the previous one, but it is still suitable for beginners. It promotes full-body circulation and doing this exercise helps you stretch your calves and heels.
The way to do this exercise properly is to get on all fours with your hands at the width of your shoulders and your feet at the width of your hips. Use your hands to move your body forward, and spread your fingers in order to reach stability. Then use your hips to lift your body (with your knees slightly bent) so that it forms an upside-down V. If you keep your heels on the floor, you’ll stretch more, but if that is too much for you at the beginning, you can lift them off the floor a little.
3. Tree Pose
Tree Pose looks a little difficult, especially if you’ve never done yoga before, but give it a few tries and you’ll master it. This exercise helps you improve your balance, and strengthens your spine, as well as ankles, calves and thighs. If you thought that you can’t get a muscular body by doing yoga – you’re wrong.
To do this exercise, take the Mountain Pose (mentioned above). Slowly transfer your weight onto your left leg, and make sure that throughout this exercise your hips are facing forward. Slowly lift your right leg up and place the root of your right foot onto your inner left thigh. It might take some time to achieve balance, but you can do it. When you’re stable, use your hands to take a prayer position, keeping your elbows slightly beneath your shoulders. When you master this position and want to spice it up a little, you can raise your arms towards the sky like you would in the Mountain Pose. Do the same exercise with the opposite leg.
4. Bridge Pose
This exercise helps you strengthen your spine, as well the muscles on your chest and neck. The Bridge Pose is an excellent warm-up for more intense exercises, but for a beginner it can work as a legitimate exercise.
In order to stay comfortable, it would be good if you had a yoga mat. Lie on that mat (or the floor if you don’t have a mat) with your arms at your sides and your knees bent. Press your feet into the floor and raise your hips. When you do that, place your hands beneath your body and intertwine your fingers to achieve better balance. You should raise your hips until they’re parallel with the floor and your chest is close to your chin. If you cannot reach your chest with your chin, you could use a pillow beneath your head to help you.