In yoga, the exercises and poses are called asanas. They often have very graphic names such as “downward looking dog,” “sun salutation,” or “cobra.” Regular yoga is not just a good workout that makes the body more flexible and muscles stronger. The heart, digestion, and blood circulation are also stimulated by individual asanas or entire series of exercises, and the mind is harmonized. Our photo series shows typical yoga exercises, poses and explains variants for beginners and yoga experience.
20 Simple Yoga Poses For Beginners And Experienced
Yoga is an ancient practice that has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Although you may feel hesitant to jump into yoga, it is essential to remember that yoga is a very natural, very healthy way to connect with yourself, improve your flexibility, and strengthen your body. To help you develop a solid foundation, create this list of essential yoga poses for beginners, with their traditional English translations and step by step instructions for performing the various postures.
These yoga poses for beginners are great for beginners because they allow you to learn that posture is most comfortable. This will enable you to practice the poses safely before making any permanent changes in your stance.
1. Lotus position – Padmasana
There is a lot of sitting in yoga – to pause, do breathing exercises, and meditate. The lotus position – here in the simpler version – is a form of seating. Advanced practitioners spread their legs further so that the feet’ soles are on the inside of the thighs; those who have practiced for a long time can, like the Indian yoga masters, put their feet on their thighs.
2. Triangle – Trikonasana
Next on our list of yoga poses for beginners is a simple yoga stance known as the triangle. Triangle exercises in different variations can be learned quickly, even for beginners. The rib cage and the sides of the body are opened, hips and legs are stretched. These poses are suitable for sciatica and back pain.
3. Rotated Lateral Angle – Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
Parsvakonasana exercises go a little further than the triangle. As in the photo, they can be exercised with the upper body rotated (and different arm positions), then the spine, in particular, is mobilized. Without turning the body, the body flanks, in particular, are opened and stretched.
4. Brett – Chaturanga
Those who hold the board for a few breaths primarily train the deep muscles responsible for the stability of the spine. The glutes, arms, and shoulders are strengthened. The exercise is also said to stimulate the endocrine system and help against fatigue.
5. Downward facing dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
It could then go straight into the downward-facing dog from the board – an asana that yoga beginners get to know. The exercise stretches the back of the thighs, stretches the back over the entire length. The position is particularly suitable for back pain, such as sciatica problems and sleep disorders, depression, and more self-confidence.
At first, the exercise may not be so elegant to look at because the knees cannot yet be pushed down. Over time, you will find the yoga position relaxing, and you will be able to linger in it for more than a few breaths.
6. Warrior or Hero Position – Virabhadrasana
The warrior or hero is a yoga position that gives new energy and makes you very self-confident. The pelvis and chest are opened, shoulders and legs are strengthened and particularly recommended for back problems, as an exercise in the morning and a lack of self-confidence and determination. You can vary with different arm positions (above the head, to the side, the hands in prayer position in front of the chest).
7. Dancers – Natarajasana
The pose of the dancer combines grace, elegance, and lightness. During the exercise, the yogi trains balance and a stable stance. The groin, abdomen, and chest are opened, the hips are stretched, and the ankles are strengthened. On the mental level, the dancer brings harmony, stability, and self-confidence.
Beginners will find it more comfortable if they hold onto a wall or door frame with their free hand. With a little practice, you will soon no longer need this help.
8. Tree – Vrksasana
The tree is a yoga exercise that may not look quite as graceful at first. The one-legged stance trains balance and concentration, “grounds,” and ensures balance. The pose trains the foot muscles, legs, buttocks, and core muscles at the same time.
If the tree is unsafe initially, you can stand against a wall or support your second leg not relatively high on the thigh but further down on the calf. It is also helpful to fix your gaze on a point lying straight ahead.
9. Forward seat – Paschimottanasana
This forward position is also known as the “head-to-knee position.” The back of the legs and lower back are stretched in this asana. As a beginner to yoga, you shouldn’t make the mistake of trying to bring your head to your knees with all your might. It is better to make your back as long as possible, stay halfway and breathe into the gentle stretch. This relieves the lower back.
10. Cat – Goasana
The cat is a yoga exercise that can be performed between asanas. It makes the back flexible and also helps with back tension in between. It is best to stretch your back several times in a slow breathing rhythm (make your hump = exhale) and try it again (= inhale). A variation of the cat strengthens the oblique back muscles in particular: To do this, lift the leg and arm diagonally to the horizontal and hold them for a few breaths.
11. Cobra – Bhujangasana
The cobra stretches the back, stretches the front of the body, and strengthens the buttocks and lumbar vertebrae muscles. The exercise has a positive effect on the respiratory system and the abdomen and calms you down when you are stressed.
Necessary when performing: do not pull your shoulders towards your ears; your arms only support the posture. It would help if you didn’t straighten yourself up as far as possible with all your might. Beginners first practice the “Sphinx,” The arms stay on the ground up to the elbows.
12. Child posture – Garbhasana
The child’s pose is an inverted pose that can be performed, for example, according to the cobra. The carriage is for relaxation. The entire spine is gently stretched, and the abdomen is massaged by breathing. If your head can’t reach the floor first, you can put a pillow and a rolled-up blanket or your hands under your forehead.
13. Shoulder Bridge – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
The bridge strengthens abdominal and gluteal muscles as well as the thighs. The front of the body is stretched and widened. This is good for your digestion and breathing. Experienced people manage to grip the ankles with their hands.
14. Shoulder Stand – Sarvangasana
The shoulder stand is one of the inverse postures in yoga. In positions where the head is the lowest point, the circulation is stimulated, the heart and head are better supplied with blood, and the veins are relieved. At the same time, the shoulder stand strengthens the back, abdominal and gluteal muscles.
The shoulder stand should not be practiced if you have problems with the cervical spine, increased intraocular pressure, or menstruation. The half shoulder stand (back only 45 degrees to the floor, legs bent) is a variation for complaints lower before and during pregnancy.
15. Plow – Halasana
The “plow” goes a little further than the shoulder stand. It only works after a long period of practice. The entire back of the body is stretched and stretched, and inner contemplation is encouraged.
It can have a positive effect on thyroid function. However, if you have severe thyroid and neck problems, you should only try the exercise after consulting your yoga teacher or doctor.
16. Swivel seat – Ardha Matsyendrasana
The different versions of the swivel seat have one thing in common: The rotated position mobilizes the entire spine, especially the lower back. Especially good for problems with the hip, sciatica, and shoulder.
As with all yoga exercises, you should only stretch as far as is comfortable. The exercise effect comes more from holding the position for a more extended period and breathing deeply and consciously into the stretch.
17. Headstand – Shirshasana
The headstand symbolizes yoga in perfection. If done correctly, the taut body’s weight does not rest on the head but is absorbed by the forearms positioned in a triangle and the headrests in the hands’ folded palms. Beginners are best to practice under guidance first.
The headstand promotes courage, coordination, and balance physically. It has positive effects on the heart and brain, blood circulation, vein problems, and constipation. However, this asana is not recommended for people with high blood pressure, eye problems, pregnancy, heart disease, and damaged cervical spine.
18. Crow – Kakasana
The “crow” looks more complicated than it is. You don’t need a lot of strength to hold your body either. The secret lies in finding balance. The exercise becomes more comfortable when the back and upper arms are parallel to the floor, and the knees / lower legs are almost on the upper arms. Inexperienced users can initially keep their toes on the ground in this position, while advanced users can stretch their legs forward.
19. Mortuary position – Shavasana
At the end of a yoga session, there is deep relaxation. The art of the dead pose is to relax the whole body, all limbs, and muscles, but at the same time keep the mind awake and just let the breath flow without falling asleep.
Depending on the symptoms or constitution, a soft blanket for the head or a roll for the legs can make lying down more comfortable. If you freeze quickly, it is best to put a blanket over yourself. If you like, you can play quiet relaxation music.
20. Sun salutation
The sun salutation is probably the best-known series of exercises from yoga. The various positions (including bending over, cobra, dog) are fluidly connected in the breathing rhythm. The five to ten repetitions are refreshing to wake up in the morning or warm up all muscle groups at the beginning of a yoga class.
With these yoga poses for Beginners and Experienced, you’ll be able to practice yoga while following a meditation or yoga practice quickly. Beginners should always remember that yoga should be approached thoughtfully and with caution. As you grow in your yoga practice, you’ll also realize that the poses are meant to be pleasurable and relaxing.