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What Are the Best Yoga Poses for Beginners?

By M. Walker
Updated May 17, 2024
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Some of the best yoga poses for beginners are those that do not require too much strength, balance ability, or flexibility. Poses such as the mountain pose, child’s pose, corpse pose, and downward facing dog provide beginners with an introduction to basic hatha yoga. Many of these yoga positions are simple, and beginners will likely benefit from attending a professionally taught yoga class to learn the proper forms from trained instructors.

Mountain pose is one of the basic standing yoga poses for beginners, and it is used in a wide range of transitions between various postures. In mountain pose the feet should be together, the legs and back should remain straight, and the hands can be placed either in front or on the sides of the body in a prayer gesture. Many standing yoga poses for beginners begin in mountain pose because it allows the body to reestablish balance and a grounded feeling before attempting a new or difficult pose.

Savasana, or corpse pose, is one of the basic restorative yoga poses for beginners. In this pose, the body is reclined on the floor or yoga mat with the legs about hip-distance apart and the arms resting out to the sides of the body. Corpse pose is frequently used at the end of yoga workouts for relaxation and meditation.

Child’s pose is a basic resting pose, and it is frequently incorporated in beginners’ yoga classes. In this kneeling pose, the knees and shins rest parallel on the ground, the forehead is gently placed on the floor, and the stomach rests between the thighs. The arms can either be stretched forward, placed underneath the forehead for support, or placed alongside the body. Child’s pose can be used at any point during a yoga session as a brief respite from more strenuous poses.

Downward-facing dog is one of several stretching yoga poses for beginners, and it gradually becomes the most common resting pose in intermediate and advanced yoga classes. In this pose, the feet are placed together on the ground with straight legs. Next, the hands are placed firmly on the ground about shoulder-width with spread fingers so that the body forms an upside-down v-shape. The back should be long and straight, and the legs should be as straight as possible. Many beginners find it difficult to fully straighten their legs and keep their heels on the ground, and bending the knees or staying on the toes is best if it allows the back to be straight instead of rounded.

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Discussion Comments
By truthunter — On Aug 18, 2012

Before you get too involved in yoga, understand that it is a religion (hinduism) and not just an exercise program.

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