If you’ve ever felt like yoga classes were too complicated or intimidating, these simple yoga poses and their health benefits may persuade you to give the practice a try.
For thousands of years, people have embraced yoga, which in its simplest, modern form supports mental and physical health through focused breathing, stretching and moving your muscles into specific positions. Yoga improves balance, flexibility and strength and may lower stress levels and blood pressure, promote sleep, and provide relief for back, neck and head pain.
Perhaps the best aspect of this exercise is bare feet are encouraged, and it requires little to no special equipment beyond a floor mat for comfort. When you factor in that it can be done practically anywhere, it quickly becomes a standout exercise option to carry with you wherever you go.
Which yoga pose is the easiest?
The mountain pose is the most basic yet versatile yoga posture you can learn. It is used as a starting point for several other simple standing moves, making it an ideal place to start. To accomplish it:
- Stand with your feet several inches apart, stretch your toes, keeping your knees slightly bent and your feet planted firmly on the mat.
- Roll your shoulders up and back.
- Place your hand on your stomach as you breathe in then breathe out.
- Hold the pose for two full breaths, then lower your hands and repeat.
What is the most effective yoga pose?
The downward facing dog, an easy pose for beginners, engages both the upper and lower body simultaneously, stretching your back and legs, opening your chest, building upper body strength and improving focus. For this posture:
- Place your hands and knees on the mat, aligning your hands with your shoulders and your knees with your hips.
- Take a deep breath in. As you exhale, move your tailbone into the air, extending your arms from the floor diagonally toward your waist.
- Press your heels into the floor. Align your neck with your spine by dropping your head downward.
- Hold the pose for two full breaths, then return to the beginning (on all fours) and repeat.
What are 10 yoga poses for beginners?
Along with the mountain and downward facing dog poses, the following list rounds out 10 easy yoga postures for novices. You’ll find illustrated step-by-step for these simple poses by downloading Shape of Yoga, a free PDF booklet funded by a grant from the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
- Tree pose
- Warrior 1 pose
- Warrior 2 pose
- Windmill pose
- Cat/cow pose
- Child’s pose
- Locust pose
- Plank pose
Is yoga for you?
Yoga can be practiced by almost everyone, but if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, glaucoma or sciatica, there may be some yoga poses that you should modify or avoid. Consult your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program and seek out yoga classes taught by a qualified instructor. Before class begins, tell your instructor about any medical issues, particularly if you have one of the conditions named above, and ask if there is anything you need to do to modify some of the poses.
Watch Free Yoga Series
St. Elizabeth Cancer Center partnered with Full Body Fitness & Yoga to create a free, online six-video gentle restorative yoga series designed to promote deep, meaningful rest. While this series uses props like foam blocks and blankets, these supportive items can be replaced with items you have in your home.