Since its origin, yoga has been giving refuge to many across the world. The benefits of yoga poses are for everyone, from fitness freaks to seekers of a calmer and focused mind, from enjoyers of yogic bliss to those who wish to attain a higher state of consciousness.
Interestingly, we all have done yoga poses as babies. Since birth, babies tend to get into different positions while lying down, learning to stand or walk, in fact, babies even breathe as yogis and their mind is also like yogis - always in the present moment. So, yoga for beginners is nothing but reminding ourselves the wonder poses that we did in our childhood.
Returning to the yogic knowledge inherited as babies have a multifold effect on us. It helps us to achieve a childlike state in which the mind is aware and in the present. The mind is in a calm and relaxed state, the body becomes more flexible and healthier.
So, pull out that yoga mat, wear comfortable clothes and begin with these wonder yoga poses for beginners.
Yoga poses for beginners
Whether you are a beginner, an intermediate or an expert, it is advisable to begin yoga routine with warm-ups and Sukshma Vyayama (gentle exercises). Few minutes of warm-ups make the tendons more flexible and Sukshma Vyayama relaxes the body. Once through, you can perform the following sequence of easy-to-do yoga poses for beginners:
Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)
Stretches the lower back, massages the abdominal and pelvic organs and also tones the shoulders.
Warrior pose (Veerbhadrasana)
Improves balance in the body, augments stamina and releases stress in shoulders. Also, strengthens the legs, arms, lower back and is especially helpful for those leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Cat pose (Marjiarasana)
Improves digestion, relaxes the mind, makes the spine flexible and strengthens wrists and shoulders.
Child pose (Shishuasana)
Allays constipation and soothes the nervous system.
Bending backward (Ardha chakrasana)
Tones the arms and shoulder muscles and stretches the upper front torso.
Forward bend (Hastapadasna)
Stretches the abdominal muscles, the upper back, hamstring and calf muscles.
Chair pose (Utkatasna)
Strengthens the lower back, balances the body and boosts determination.
Yogic sleep (Yoga Nidra)
Always end the routine with Yoga Nidra as it prepares the nervous system to absorb the effects of all yoga postures performed.
Butterfly pose (Baddhakonsasana)
Improves bowel movement, relieves menstrual discomfort and improves flexibility in groin and hip region.
Angle pose (Konasana)
Helps those suffering from constipation and sciatica, augments flexibility of spine and tones arms, legs and abdominal organs.
For beginners, it is important to review some of the guidelines listed below
Who can do these postures?
Everybody can do these asanas. It is advisable to consult your physician if you have any specific health issue and it is strongly recommended to learn these asanas under trained teachers.
Where can they be done?
Any yoga position for beginners or for experts can be done indoors or outdoors on a yoga mat. However, it is advisable to do them in a clean, well-ventilated, and quiet place.
When can they be done?
These may be practiced at any time of the day, however, there has to be a gap of 2-3 hours after a meal. The best time to do these yoga poses is early morning on an empty stomach. You can also perform them in the evening, before dinner.
Any important precaution to keep in mind?
Remember, it is not important to get into a yoga posture with perfection the first time. Stretch only as much as you can. If any stretch causes pain, then stop. Slowly, extend your comfort zone day by day with every yoga session.
For a more enhanced and safer yoga experience, it is advisable to learn yoga poses from a trained teacher. For beginners and intermediate practitioners, a Sri Sri Yoga program can provide the perfect experience.
(With inputs from Sejal Shah and Meena Waghray, Yoga Faculties at The Art of Living)