11 Basic Yoga Poses For Beginners

  • Mountain Pose

    Mountain Pose

    This pose is very simple but can do wonders in providing improved posture and a sense of clarity. Simply stand with your feet hip-width apart and focus on breathing slowly and deeply at an even pace, keeping your neck in line with your spine. Although your arms should start at your side, you can move them into a prayer form or stretch them upwards after a few minutes.
  • Downward Facing Dog

    Downward Facing Dog

    This popular pose is great for your calves and heels and also helps promote circulation. Start the pose on all fours and slowly walk your hands forward. As you do this, raise your hips upward until your body is in an inverted V shape. Try "walking the dog" by keeping your heels on the floor and alternatively pressing them down.
  • Upward Facing Dog

    Upward Facing Dog

    The inverse of downward facing dog, this pose will stretch and strengthen your spine, arms, and wrists. Lie face down on the floor and use your arms to push your chest upwards. Fully exend your arms while trying to keep your legs on the floor by forcing your hips downward.
  • Child's Pose

    Child's Pose

    Often used as the default position in yoga classes, the child's pose is perfect for relaxing. Start by sitting upright on your heels, and then roll your torso forward, bringing your head to the ground. Extend your arms forward and rest your chest on your knees comfortably. Then simply focus on your breathing and relax.
  • Tree Pose

    Tree Pose

    An elaboration on the mountain pose, this position will strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles, and spine along with improving your balance. Shift your weight to your left leg and slowly lift your right foot and place it inside your left thigh. Put your hands in a prayer form, or you can try reaching them upwards.
  • Warrior Pose

    Warrior Pose

    To strengthen and stretch your legs and ankles, the warrior pose is excellent. Stand with your feet widely apart — turn your left foot in slightly and your right foot 90 degrees to the side. Turn your body towards your right knee and extend your arms out to your side so they are perpendicular to you body. Lunge toward your right knee. After a while switch sides.
  • Bridge Pose

    Bridge Pose

    The bridge pose is a great way to stretch out your back and strengthens your chest, neck, and spine. Start by lying on the floor, and then slowly begin lifting your hips by pushing your feet against the ground. Once your hips are up, clasp your hands underneath them. Be sure to keep your shoulders and head on the floor as you do this.
  • Triangle Pose

    Triangle Pose

    This pose offers a full-body stretch and is great for relieving backache — it's often recommended for pregnant women. First, get into warrior pose (feet wide apart and arms extended). Facing forward, bend your torso toward your right knee so your right arms is touching the inside of your right foot and your left arm is reaching towards the ceiling. Switch to the other side after a while.
  • Seated Twist

    Seated Twist

    The seated twist works your shoulders, neck, and hips. Start this pose sitting on the floor, and then cross your right foot over the outside of your left thigh and bend your left knee. Then, place your left elbow on the inside of your right knee and twist as far right as you can. Use your right hand to stabilize yourself on the floor during this.
  • Pigeon Pose

    Pigeon Pose

    For a great quad stretch that also opens up the shoulders and chest, go with the pigeon pose. Start in a push-up position, and then move your left leg forward, placing your left knee on the floor beneath your shoulders. Your left leg should bend so that the length from your knee to foot aligns with your shoulders. Finally, elongate your right leg on the floor and stick out your chest.
  • Crow Pose

    Crow Pose

    This is a more challenging pose, but still a great stretch for more advanced beginners. Start in downward facing dog position (an inverted V shape). Slowly walk your feet forward until your knees are touching your arms. Carefully bend your elbows and lift your heels off of the floor. Rest your knees on the outside of your upper arms.
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