If are you new to yoga and looking for some simple poses to get started, then look no further! In this article, we will introduce you to three easy yoga poses that are perfect for beginners. These poses are gentle and can be modified to suit your body and fitness level. With consistent practice, you can gradually increase the difficulty of these poses and build a strong yoga practice.
As we’ve pointed out in previous Yoga for Men 101 articles, yoga is less of a workout and more of a mind-body exploration. During a workout, you sweat as you push your body into exercise mode. Yoga isn’t like that.
Here’s how to get started with your yoga plan. Do these exercises in the order they are listed for a good beginning workout.
Start with the easy pose. It is a comfortable seated position for meditation. The pose opens the hips, lengthens the spine, and promotes grounding and inner peace. Basically, you’re sitting cross-legged as you did in school. That’s easy peasy lemon squeezy.
You should place your feet directly below your knees while your buttocks are on the floor. Rest your hands on your knees with your palms facing up or hold them in front of your heart.
To lengthen your spine, press the hip bones down into the floor and reach the crown of the head up. Press your chest towards the front of the room and drop your shoulders.
Relax your face, jaw, and belly. Let your tongue rest on the roof of your mouth. Breathe deeply through your nose and into your belly for as long as it feels comfortable.
Continue in the downward-facing dog after you’ve completed the easy pose. It’s one of the most popular poses in yoga. A downward-facing dog pose is a rejuvenating stretch for the body all around.
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
- Energizes the body
- Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
- Strengthens the arms and legs
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Helps prevent osteoporosis
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve headaches, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis
Do this pose with caution if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, are in the late stages of pregnancy, or have high blood pressure.
Get down on your hands and knees. Your knees should be directly below your hips, and your hands should be slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, turn your fingers parallel or slightly out, and tuck your toes under.
Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first, keep, the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.
Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.
Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points, lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.
Stay in this pose for anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest.
Tree Pose – Vriksha Asana
- Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
- Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest, and shoulders
- Improves sense of balance
- Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet
If you suffer from insomnia or low blood pressure, proceed with caution. Do not raise your arms above your head if you have high blood pressure.
Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Bring the sole of the right foot up the inside of the left thigh as high as possible by bending the right leg at the knee and raising the right thigh.
Standing on the left foot, extend both arms over the head, keeping the elbows unbent and joining the palms together. For about 10 complete breaths, hold the posture while breathing gently through the nostrils.
Return to tad-asana, standing with feet together and arms at the sides, lowering the arms and right leg. Repeat with the opposite leg. Do this two or three times with each leg, as long as it feels comfortable.
Maintaining balance on one leg is the challenge of the vriksha-asana. Balance problems are often caused by a restless mind or distracted attention. The regular practice of this posture will help focus the mind and cultivate concentration (dharana).
While practicing Vriksha-asana, it may be helpful to visualize a tree in the mind and apply the following technique: Imagine that the foot you are standing on is the trunk of the tree and the foot is the root.
Imagine the head and outstretched arms as the branches and leaves of a tree. You may feel unsteady for a while, and the body may sway back and forth, but don’t break the concentration. The body is like a tree that bends in the wind, but manages to remain upright.
Aim to achieve the “rootedness” and firmness of a tree. The vriksha-asana improves concentration, balance, and coordination when practiced regularly. Because the weight of the entire body is balanced on one foot, the muscles in that leg are also strengthened and toned.
As you become comfortable in this posture and are able to stand for more than a few moments, close your eyes and keep your balance.