Just like most newbies in any hobby, during the first few yoga classes I took, I spent a great deal of the time frantically looking around at the rest of the people in the room trying to understand what was going on. I wasn’t familiar with the names of the poses nether with the names of the yoga supplies in there. And to be honest with you, even when I knew what I was supposed to do, I couldn’t tell if I was doing it correctly.
Although taking some cues from the more experienced yogis around me helped, I wish I had familiarized myself a bit more with some yoga poses and equipment before I took my first class. If you are new to yoga and are hesitant to walk into a studio, learning a thing or two about the poses that will be performed into the class will help you feel more confident.
Before I introduce you to the basic yoga poses for beginners, I want to recommend you to buy your own yoga mat. The yoga studio might have mats that you can use, but it is a good idea to bring your own. Studios do wash and dry their mats from time to time, but it can still be hygienically uncomfortable to spread your toes on one that’s been used by other people dozens of times. A great place to start the yoga mat search is in any major retailer known for providing good-quality yoga supplies. You will find a number of affordable yoga mats that will get the job done. Once yoga becomes part of your daily routine, then you can get a better quality mat.
This is the base pose for all other standing poses. The mountain pose gives you a sense of how to ground your feet and feel the surface below you. It may seem like ‘simply standing’, but there is a lot going on. You need to stand with your feet together, spread open all your ten toes, engage your quadriceps to lift your kneecaps and lift up through the inner thighs. Then, you need to move your abdominals in and out while lifting your chest and pressing the tops of your shoulders down. Breathe deeply and hold for 5 to 8 breaths.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose is performed in most yoga classes as it strengthens the entire body. Here is how you do it. Come on to all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck under your toes and lift your hips up off the floor as you draw them up at the back toward your heels. If you need to, walk your hands forward to give yourself more length. Hollow out the abdominals while keeping your legs engaged to maintain the torso moving back towards the thighs. Take 5-8 deep breaths before dropping back to your hands and knees to rest.
With this pose, you will learn how to balance on your hands while using the entire body to support you. It helps strengthen the abdominals and teach you to stay in a challenging pose. Come on to all fours, tucking under your toes and lifting your legs up off the mat. Slide your heels back until you feel you are on a straight line of energy from your head to your feet. Draw the shoulders down and away from the ears, engage the lower abdominals and pull your ribs together. Take 8-10 deep breaths.