8 Easy Yoga Poses for Beginners You Can Do at Home

By Yiing Zhi - August 11, 2021
8 Easy Yoga Poses for Beginners You Can Do at Home

It's no secret that yoga is known for its various health benefits, both physical and mental alike. It has a long history, and certain yoga poses look intidimating and aren't exactly suitable for beginners, but if this is your first venture into yoga, there are some pretty easy poses that will... ease you into the world of yoga. Do try to keep in mind that yoga isn't just about the pose itself, but also a way to practice mindfulness at the same time. Just as the difficult poses aren't meant to be intimidating, don't let these "easy" poses fool you as well. Let's get started.

I've tried all these poses myself, too, so I can vouch for them.

Easy Yoga Poses; Namaste

1) Leg-up-the-wall Pose

Well, this one is exactly as it says. Lie on you back and scoot so your butt is against the wall. Then just stretch or walk your legs up the wall and prop them there. Your body and your legs should now be in a L-shaped position. If you need to, spread your arms slightly to the sides on the floor, which will help support you. You may also want to place a small pillow under your lower back for support. You can also flex your feet to stretch your leg muscles further. This pose helps relieve tired legs and improves blood circulation. I do it semi-regularly as the last thing before bed and it's actually very relaxing. I have friends who fall asleep in this pose, though of course, their legs slide down from the wall at some point.

2) Mountain Pose

At first glance, the mountain pose just looks like regular old standing. Which, of course, you can do. I feel like we sit around too much anyway. But to perform the mountain pose properly, you have to keep your thigh muscles and core engaged, which makes you feel like you're "actively" standing. It's different. Standing while keeping muscles active engaged is no easy feat, so give it a go. Just stand still, stretch your arms out with the fingers reaching towards the floor, and engage tummy and thigh muscles. This pose can help improve your posture as you stretch your spine and open your shoulders. 

3) Child's Pose

The child's pose is wildly relaxing for me (do "wildly" and "relaxing" go hand in hand? Anyway), and I just go into this pose if I'm feeling particularly stressed, or sometimes right before bed. Start with kneeling, then widen your knees a little so your heels touch, then bring your body forward being your thighs. Stretch your arms out ahead of you, and your forehead can touch the surface (floor, bed, etc.). Stay as long as you want. Like I said, wildly relaxing. It stretches your arms and lower back, and is even said to help with insomnia. Catch all the z's with this pose!

4) Cat-cow Pose

A number of yoga poses are named after animals, and the cat-cow pose is among them. It's actually kind of two poses, but yeah. GO on all fours, keeping your hands and legs roughly the same width as your shoulders and hips. Push your back up and tighten your abdominals so your back becomes rounded while dipping your head to look down, then relax and arch your back into a scoop shape while lifting your head and tilting it back. Inhale and exhale with each pose, in that order. The cow-cat pose, everybody. It awakens the spine, and can help ease back pain. (Which is what we all need, honestly.)

5) Downward Facing Dog

Here we go with another pose named after an animal. This might be one of the best-known yoga poses, where you basically form a ^ shape with your body. It rejuvenates the whole body, and here's how to get into this pose. Hands on the mat, palms down, just slightly in front of your shoulder. Knees on the mat, directly under your hips, and roughly the width of them too. Lift your knees off the mat, push your heels onto the floor, and raise your butt towards the ceiling. Be sure that your head is in line with your arms, and it's not at an awkward angle. Try to make sure that your back isn't rounded as well. You might feel a pull in your leg muscles, depending on your flexibility, which is also an advantage--it helps you with your flexibility.

6) Yoga Squat Pose

Apparently some people call it the "Asian squat" pose, but in my opinion, there's a difference between just squatting and letting your butt dangle between your hips in a carefree manner, and mindfully squatting. Mindfully squatting is more difficult, but more rewarding. Go into this pose from a standing position, with your legs slightly wider than your hips. Slowly bend your knees to sink into a squat, engaging your abdominals and leg muscles as you go along, till you reach a squat. You can also keep your palms together if you like. You might not have been able to tell, but this pose stretches your groin and lower back, and can even tone the belly. 

7) Butterfly Pose

And we're back at it with the animal-themed poses. This is a sitting pose, where you place the soles of your feet together and bring them close to you. You can also use your hands to hold your feet, and lean forward to stretch your back, if you prefer, which is what I do. You can also gently lift and lower your knees to resemble the fluttering wings of a butterfly (I also do that), which helps with hip flexibility. Above all else, remember to sit up straight, so you can also work your back and core muscles. 

8) Easy Pose

Hah. The easy pose is deceptively simple. It can be the total opposite. So this is the pose you see all the time, in meditation posters or whatnot. It's basically just sitting cross-legged, and is probably the representative of yoga/meditation. Some people put their hands together in front of them, or rest their hands on their knees, palms up, with their thumbs and index fingers touching. There's an "upgraded" version of this pose, the lotus position, where you sit the same way, but each foot is on your thigh. That requires a bit more flexibility and skill, but back to the easy pose. It's used as a pose for deeper meditation, and is commonly used at the start and/or end of yoga sessions. 

To further your yoga journey, check out the Best Yoga Studios in KL & Selangor, Penang, and Johor Bahru.

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