When new to yoga it can seem a little daunting. Especially when you go along to your first class and see everyone else moving about with seaming ease. Well, they were once a beginner too and it is surprising how quickly you can develop your fitness, flexibility and strength through yoga. In no time, with a little commitment to attend yoga classes regularly, you too will be able to touch your toes in a Forward bend, or hold a Warrior pose without your legs shaking! If you want to get to know some yoga poses for beginners, either before your first class, or to supplement your practice, here are a selection of some traditional basic yoga poses.
Yoga poses for beginners
Depending on which type of yoga you decide to practice, the poses will vary. Most resources will show both the English version and the traditional Sanskrit version.
It isn’t essential to know the Sanskrit, especially when starting out. It’s enough to try to remember the poses without stressing about the formal name. Most yoga teachers use the English version, sometimes accompanied by the Sanskrit, for those who want to learn and deepen their practice.
Here are some of the better known yoga poses for beginners, from traditional yogas such as Hatha and Ashtanga:
- Bharadvaja’s I Twist
- Boat pose – Navasana
- Bridge pose – Dwi Pada Pitham
- Cat Pose – Marjaryasana
- Chair pose – Utkatasana
- Childs pose – Balasana
- Cobbler’s Pose – Baddha Konasana
- Cobra pose – Bhujangasana
- Corpse Pose – Savasana
- Cow pose – Bitilasana
- Cow Face pose – Gomukhasana
- Crab Pose – Catuspadapitham Pose
- Crescent Pose – Anjaneyasana
- Dolphin Plank Pose
- Double Pigeon Pose – Agnistambhasana
- Downward dog pose – Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Easy Pose – Sukhasana
- Equal Standing Pose – Samasthiti
- Extended Puppy Pose – Uttana Shishosana
- Extended Side Angle Pose – Utthita Parsvakonasana
- Half Lord of the Fishes Pose – Ardha Matsyendrasana
- Happy baby pose – Ananda Balasana Pose
- Hero Pose – Virasana
- Garland pose – Malasana
- Gate Pose – Parighasana
- Knees to chest pose – Apanasana
- Legs Up the Wall Pose – Viparita Karani
- Lion Pose – Simhasana
- Locust pose – Salambhasana, Shalabasana
- Low Plank pose – Chaturanga Dandasana
- Melting heart Pose – Anahatasana Pose
- Mountain Pose – Tadasana
- Noose Pose – Pasasana
- Pyramid Pose – Parsvottanasana
- Reclined Big Toe pose – Supta Padangusthasan
- Reclining Bound Angle Pose – Supta Baddha Konasana
- Revolved Half Moon Pose – Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana
- Revolved Side Angle Pose – Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
- Reverse Warrior Pose – Viparita Virabhadrasana
- Salutation Seal – Anjali Mudra
- Seated forward Bend – Paschimottanasana
- Side angle Pose – Parsvakonasana
- Simple Twist Pose – Parivrtta Sukhasana
- Sphinx pose
- Staff Pose – Dandasana
- Standing Half Forward Bend – Ardha Uttanasana
- Sunbird Pose – Parsva Balasana
- Supine Spinal Twist – Supta Matsyendrasana
- Table to Child Pose – Chakravakasana
- Triangle pose – Trikonasana
- Threading the Needle – Sucirandhrasan
- Upward Abdominal Lock – Uddiyana Bandh
- Upward Facing Dog Pose – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
- Upward Plank Pose – Purvottanasana
- Upward Salute, Raised Hands Pose – Urdhva Hastasana
- Warrior pose – Virabhadrasana
- Wide-Legged Forward Bend – Prasarita Padottanasana
- Yoga plank pose – Plank
Beginners yoga – what you need to know
When new to yoga there are a few considerations that can help ease you into practicing yoga in a positive way. This will mean you’ll hopefully stand more chance of sticking it out and come across fewer hurdles in the process.
Speak to people
Speak to yoga centres and yoga teachers about which types of yoga would be best suited to your goals, whether that be for fitness, relaxation, meditation, anti-stress, injury recovery, strength building or just wanting to try something new. They will be able to help you decide the best beginners yoga class for you.
Try to find yoga classes for beginners in your area, close to your home or work. If you are prepared to travel then you can be more selective about where your yoga studio is based, but until you start to feel the benefits of yoga first-hand, choosing a yoga class close-by will make going along a little easier to commit to.
Make a commitment
Commit to going at least once a week, but more if you can afford the time and money. The more classes you attend the quicker results will be achieved. However, it is important to remember that all regular practice is fantastic and with yoga it is completely possible to improve at a pace suitable for you and your schedule.
Go prepared. Drink plenty of water during the day and don’t eat anything too heavy for a couple of hours prior to a yoga class. Wear suitable clothing, something loose or elastic will be the most comfortable and allow freedom of movement. Also, find out about the facilities at the yoga studio to make sure they have an area to change clothes if needed, refreshments and do they accept card.
Research in advance
Learn some yoga poses for beginners before attending your first class. This way you will feel confident you know your Downward dog pose from your Cat or Cow pose.
Read more – Beginners yoga checklist
Yoga for complete beginners
If you are a complete beginner to yoga, you are about to take the first step into something amazing!
You may or may not know the many benefits of yoga practice, and even if you have heard a few things here and there, it will become much more relevant when you start to experience the benefits for yourself.
There really is nothing to fear, don’t worry if you turn up to your first class completely clueless – the important thing is that you are connecting to yoga and opening your mind to new experiences.
To gain a greater understanding of yoga as a physical exercise, a means of relaxation and a way of life, read further articles to gain insight.