Include these yoga poses in your daily workout routine if you face specific issues such as digestion, headaches, tension, and correcting computer slouch.
Interest in yoga just seems to grow and grow in recent years, and people are also getting more aware than ever before of the benefits of yoga, and how it can help as well as the benefits it can bring in terms of physical and mental health.
In some cases, physicians are prescribing yoga to their unfit (mentally or physically), overweight, and depression- or anxiety-prone patients, often with astonishing results. There is yoga tutorial, classes and retreats, websites and videos courses online, and books and magazines galore.
And if you are genuinely interested in yoga you have probably looked at some of these, but without ever getting started. You may be too busy to take a professional course, or maybe you are baffled by the sheer quantity of information available online and dismayed by the publications that teach a large number of yoga poses but without ever putting it all together for you.
Table of Contents
I. So the question is: Where do you begin, if you have never done yoga before, or have been away from it for several years?
You can start here on ProKensho.com, with our beginner’s friendly step-by-step easy-to-follow guides. We on prokensho offer introductory yoga guides for people who want to get started with yoga and mindfulness. In a little time, we will slowly teach you some basic yoga asanas (poses) and show you how to build your physical strength and flexibility day by day.
This way, you won’t need to add more appointments to your day-to-day busy schedules because you can practice in your own home (Check this guide for more information), maybe in the garden, or maybe at the park or beach, if you prefer. Nor will you need to buy a lot of expensive props or clothing, although you may be tempted by some of the hot yoga gear that is now available in the market.
So all one might need to get started is:
- A yoga mat
- Comfortable yoga wear
- Maybe a scented candle or an essence?
- A quiet or a Zen place, etc.
II. Here’s what you will also need:
- The curiosity to discover a centuries-old philosophy of wellness, health, and exercise that will change the course of your entire life;
- The genuine determination and commitment to understand and learn the yoga asanas and breathing techniques that will improve your overall health in so many positive ways;
- About 30 minutes every day of a fixed time for about a month to dedicate to your mindfulness and yoga practice;
- A quiet, well-ventilated space with a flat surface large enough for you to spread your limbs out in all directions and a large clean yoga mat or special towel or piece of cloth to cover it.
- Comfortable clothing that will help or allow you to move your body freely while you’ll be performing yoga poses. You do not need to wear footwear while doing yoga.
- A watch or clock (A kitchen timer will also do the job) within reach to check timings for some of the poses;
- A couple of towels or blankets can be folded and used to support your body if some of the poses are too extreme to perform. The daily routines should be arranged so that you can start with poses that are performed while standing, then sitting, and then supine or inverted accordingly.
Yoga Practice Duration?
Most days’ finish with 5–10 minutes in the deeply relaxing Corpse Pose. In the first two weeks, the learning curve is steep with many new asanas to memorize and practice each time, so we have broken each session into two.
During the first part, we introduce the poses, and you do them once, then we ask you to perform them all again several times in a single graceful routine. From Day 15 onwards we only focus on relaxation, breathing, and meditation.
We strongly advise you to practice every day continuously, as the exercises are designed to build your fitness and flexibility day after day. However, if by any chance, you miss a day or two don’t worry, just pick up where you left off and move ahead with your yoga practice.
Important tip: Yoga is 99% practice and one percent theory, but you need to understand the theory as you need to know the formulas before solving a big math problem. So do your practice regularly to get the desired end results.
Note: The most important thing is the flow of your BREATH. Poor breathing contributes to the stress so many people often feel while performing a particular pose.
III. Essential things to keep in mind while performing yoga for the first time:
- Meditation: Yoga has its origins in texts and traditions from ancient India that stretch back over 5,000 years. In the West, people often tend to see it as a set of physical and mindfulness exercises that tone one’s body and help them relieve stress and anxiety.
In its fullness, yoga practice is much more than this, and it often includes a strong spiritual element as well. It is not a religion, although it was developed as a practice that leads to the path to enlightenment. You can take as much or as little of this aspect of yoga as you desire, and it all depends on your needs and wants.
- Posture: Improved posture not only makes you look younger and more attractive, but it also brings real health benefits. Poor body posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint-related problems, leading to greater pain and even degenerative arthritis of the spine.
- Modification: If you struggle to keep your balance, move your feet slightly wider apart, ensuring that they remain parallel to each other (to protect your knees).
(Related: Mindfulness Practices for Beginners)
IV. Five Basic Yoga Poses for Peace:
On this first day, we will learn five simple asanas, or poses, that focus on two central themes in the practice of yoga: breathing correctly through the nose and promoting the strength and flexibility of the spine. Most people breathe too shallowly from the uppermost part of their chests.
Learning the deep, regular breath of the yogi brings a range of health benefits, from increased energy to better blood pressure and reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
The rewards of working towards a healthier lifestyle, and for a more flexible spine include a more erect and graceful yoga posture, a reduced susceptibility to back strain and pain, and the release of accumulated tension in the neck and shoulders.
V. Yoga Poses for Beginners:
Pose #1: Mountain Pose
The Mountain Yoga Pose or traditionally known as Tadasana is the foundation of all the standing yoga poses. To begin with, this pose, stand still, and then slowly start to slow and deepen the rhythm of your breath. Allow your mind to quieten as you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings without being judgmental.
- It improves one’s posture & overall balance
- This pose also tones one’s legs
- It can strengthen & lengthen the spine
- To start with this yoga pose, stand tall with both of your feet parallel to each other, or just slightly apart. Then firm and lengthen your thigh muscles slowly, and allow both of your arms to relax by your sides, palms facing inwards.
- Then accordingly push into all four corners of your feet, distributing your body weight evenly. Also, draw your shoulder blades gently back. Your head should be slightly lifted, and your spine should belong, the tail bone should be tucked under, and then accordingly chin parallel to the floor.
- Focus on the rhythm of your breathing as you begin to inhale and exhale through your nose. Pay attention when your stomach expands with each inhalation and draws back in with each exhalation.
- Close both of your eyes if you are perfectly fine closing them and are comfortable with your thoughts that will start emerging, and then take about 5–8 deep breaths in this yoga position accordingly.
Pose #2: Complete Breath Standing
In this complete breath-standing gentle stretch we connect breathing with the body movements while being aware of its rhythm.
- It increases one’s energy & focus
- This pose also strengthens the spine
- Tones both arms & the upper body
- Improves overall balance & posture
- Start with standing in the Mountain Pose. Then exhale slowly through the nose, contracting your abdomen, and pay attention while relaxing your shoulders and neck. Then accordingly let your chin sink towards your chest.
- Begin with a long and deep breath as you slowly raise your chin and arms, and both of your palms should be facing upwards. Then continue with inhaling, and extending both of your arms over your head, while both palms facing in.
- At the same time, rise onto the tips of both of your toes, extending through the body. Then hold your breath in, and count slowly up to five.
- Then accordingly exhale as you slowly lower both of your arms and then sink onto your heels. Accordingly, you can repeat the entire process twice.
Pose #3: Staff Pose
The Staff Yoga Pose, or also known as Dandasana, is the basis of many seated yoga poses. Danda means “staff” (walking stick) in Sanskrit, and it also refers to the straight, strong spine.
- It strengthens the spine
- Stretches thighs, lower back & also the abdominal muscles
- Tones one’s digestive organs & can also relieve the heartburn
- Start by sitting on the floor, both legs extended. Place both of your palms and hands on the floor next to your hips, fingers facing forward. Then slowly inhale as you lengthen your spine.
- Draw your shoulder blades together, and then look straight ahead while facing the front or maybe your favorite painting. Keep both of your toes pointing upwards, and then hold this yoga position for about five-six breaths while paying attention to its rhythm.
- Inhale and then lift both of your arms overhead, palms facing inward. If you feel your upper back rounding with both of your arms up, lower your arms slightly until you can finally maintain the length in the upper back again. Then accordingly, Hold this yoga position for about three-five deep breaths.
Note: If you have tight hamstrings or a weak lower back you may find this yoga pose a bit difficult, and it will be painful to sit on the floor with a very straight back. So if necessary, bend both of your knees a little, until your hamstrings become more flexible and you feel a bit relaxed.
Alternatively, you can place a folded blanket, towel, or maybe a yoga block under your bottom if you need any support.
Pose #4: Seated Forward Bend
This Seated Forward Bend Yoga Pose or traditionally known as the Paschimottanasana in Sanskrit is an intense back stretch yoga pose. So in the beginning, we will begin practicing it in a very gentle version so that the beginners can follow up with it.
- This pose strengthens the spine
- Improves one’s digestion
- It can also help with infertility, high blood pressure as well as insomnia
- Relieves menstrual discomfort & menopause symptoms
- To begin, start by sitting on the floor, both of your feet together, legs extended in front of you, and both of your hands on the floor beside your hips.
- Inhale as you gracefully raise both of your arms above your head. Then raise your gaze and gradually arch your body backward. Hold this yoga position for about two to three breaths while applying attention to the rhythm.
- Exhale as you slowly lower both of your arms and then lean accordingly forwards to grasp your knees.
- Bend both of your elbows outwards as you fold your trunk towards your knees. Then accordingly. hold for a count of ten, slowly breathing in the yoga position. And while doing so, one might also feel their spine stretching a bit.
- Please note: Do not bend any further if you are not comfortable doing so. Immediately release from this yoga pose if you feel any uncertainty, while slowly straightening your spine, and then accordingly return to the initial position.
Note: Do not perform this pose with a back injury. This pose puts pressure on the abdomen. One needs to practice this pose with extra care if they have any intestinal discomfort, or it is usually advised for them to wait until they are better.
Pose #5: Cobra Pose
The Cobra Yoga Pose, traditionally known as a Bhujangasana, is popularly named for the way the snake raises its head. This backward bend yoga pose strengthens the back and increases one’s overall flexibility if practiced continuously.
- Stretches & strengthens the spine
- Stimulates the brain
- Tones respiratory & digestive systems
- Energizes one’s legs
- To start with this pose, start with Lying flat on your stomach, your head turned to the side, both of your arms extended along your sides.
- Turn your head and then rest your forehead on the floor. Place both of your hands, and palms downwards, at shoulder level while relaxing your thighs.
- As you exhale, press into your hands and slowly raise your trunk to the position while paying close attention.
- It is advised for beginners to not go any further than this step today, and repeat the process about three-four times.
- To release from this pose, hold your breath in for a count of fifteen, stay still and then continue breathing accordingly in the same position.
Note: If you have a serious back injury or maybe carpal tunnel syndrome, this yoga pose should not be attempted until you feel better. If you suffer from any kind of wrist pain, you can try practicing this yoga position on your forearms. If it’s still uncomfortable, it is advised to avoid this position.
Now that you have learned these five basic yoga poses/positions, I would like you to practice them all in a single, graceful flow of movement while paying close attention to the rhythm of your breath.
- MOUNTAIN POSE: Stand for 8–10 breaths
- COMPLETE BREATH STANDING: Repeat 3 times
- STAFF POSE: Repeat 3 times
- SEATED FORWARD BEND: Repeat three times
- COBRA POSE: Repeat 3 times
(Also Read: How to Become More Mindful?)