Just because these are basic yoga poses doesn’t mean they are meant exclusively for beginners. If you are a beginner in yoga, we recommend that you click here and you can continue reading this article.
Yoga is an ancient tradition focused on physical, mental and spiritual practices. There are many styles of yoga, such as Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Sivananda. Basically, all styles focus on the union between body, mind and spirit.
Due to the pandemic, people around the world have been looking for ways to improve their health – both mental and physical – at home and yoga has become a worldwide sensation.
The next 10 basic yoga poses are movements that people will have encountered when trying yoga, from beginner classes to more advanced classes. Some of these poses are used as a transition from one movement to another – we’re looking at you Dog Down.
For this reason, it is important to master these basic yoga poses if you want to improve your health and mental play.
10 basic yoga poses
1. Descending dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
One of the most famous basic yoga poses, the downward dog stretches your body while strengthening your core and improving your blood circulation. From this position, you can move on to other famous poses, such as cobra, warrior, lunge, etc.
The downhill dog strengthens your entire body, from the upper body, through the trunk, to the legs. It stretches your ankles, calves, hamstrings, and spine.
- Start on all fours with the knees slightly behind the hips and the hands shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your hands on the mat and lift your knees off the floor.
- Straighten your legs as much as possible.
- You should be in an inverted V-position, with your hands in front of your head pressing on the groundsheet and your feet on the ground, toes pointing forward, towards your hands.
2. Plank pose – Phalakasana
Well, who would have thought, our second basic yoga pose can be done right after doing the Downward Dog. See why you need to master these basic yoga poses? Once you can make one, you will begin to fully integrate the others in a seamless way.
The plank pose is considered a fundamental pose. https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/ The plank pose will strengthen your core, protecting your spine by improving your posture.
- Start in a downward dog position.
- Pull your torso forward.
- The arms should be perpendicular to the ground.
- Shoulders directly above the wrists and torso parallel to the ground.
- Move your collarbones away from the sternum.
- Keep looking down, not up, forward.
- Hold the position for no more than 2 minutes.
You have to fight your body’s natural urge to drop your hips and tailbone to the ground. Try to maintain a straight line with your body. You might feel your body shake after a while, which means you are working your core muscles to stabilize your whole body in a plank position.
3. Cobra pose – Bhujangasana
You can do the cobra pose directly from the ground, or you can incorporate the previous two yoga poses to create a cobra pose.
The cobra pose strengthens your spine, it stretches your chest, shoulders and abs.
- Start with the downward dog posture.
- Follow the instructions for laying the plank.
- From the plank pose, lower your body by bending your elbows until your chest touches the floor.
- Your thighs, feet, and abs should touch the groundsheet.
- Press your elbows and roll your shoulders back.
- Lift your chest off the floor, but keep your pelvis, thighs, and feet in contact with the groundsheet.
- Don’t stretch your elbows too far as you press your body upward and lift your chest.
- Bring the side ribs forward, pull the upper arm bones back and lengthen your neck.
You can start this position already lying on the floor. To do this, skip the downward dog and plank pose and start lying on the floor mat with your chest, abs, pelvis, thighs, and feet touching the floor.
Basic yoga poses
4. Tree pose – Vrksasana
Perhaps the most famous of the basic yoga poses. Even those who do not know yoga know this pose. People usually photograph themselves in this position to convey the idea of ââcalm and control over their bodies.
The tree posture improves the balance and stability of your legs and strengthens the ligaments and tendons in the feet. You will also get a bit of workout for your butt.
- Stand up straight with your feet firmly on the groundsheet.
- Bend the right knee forward, stand straight on the left leg, and place the right foot as high as possible on your left leg, usually thigh, toes down.
- Lock this position by pressing the thigh against the foot.
- Bring your hands to your heart, in a position of prayer.
- You can also raise your hands above your head for an added challenge.
- Repeat the process now with the left leg bent against the right thigh.
5. Bridge laying – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
The bridge pose opens up your chest, stretches your spine and neck, and strengthens your glutes.
This pose can be used as a preparation for deeper backbends, or to train with a block as a restorative pose.
- Lie on your back on the floor.
- Bend your knees until your feet almost touch your butt. Neck, shoulders, back and buttocks should touch the groundsheet.
- You can use a towel or blanket on your neck to relieve the pressure you put on it.
- Lift your butt as high as possible, until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Your knees should be in line with your feet, just above them.
- Lift your chin off your chest and firm your shoulder blades against your back.
- Stay in the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
6. Mountain Pose – Tadasana
The simplest possible pose, but important. And it’s not just about standing up straight, it’s more. This is pretty much the first basic yoga pose that you have done in your life, it is the basis of all standing yoga poses.
The mountain pose basically boils down to standing, but your awareness should be focused on your physical and mental balance. This pose usually appears in the first section of your practice to bring calm to the mind and awareness to your whole body.
- Stand up straight with your feet firmly planted on the floor, about hip-width apart.
- Roll your shoulders back and down with your arms at your sides and your palms facing forward.
- Keep your pelvis neutral and your hips square.
- Try to stand up straight with your body perfectly aligned.
You can challenge yourself by closing your eyes during this pose, learning to balance yourself without any reference to the outside environment.
Basic yoga poses
7. Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II
Whether you like it or not, every time you take part in a yoga class you will be doing Warrior II.
The Warrior II pose stretches your hips, shoulders, opens your chest, and relies heavily on your leg muscles to build endurance and increase focus.
- Start with the Mountain Pose at the front of your groundsheet.
- Take a big step back with your left leg.
- Your right foot should point forward, while your left foot should point inward. Plant both feet on the ground. Both legs are straight at this point.
- Lift your arms parallel to the floor, one arm forward and one back. Keep your shoulders low and your head up.
- Bend your right knee and lower your body slightly, but keep the right knee in line with your right foot.
- Stay in the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Return to the mountain pose and repeat with the other leg.
8. Cat-Cow Stretch – Marjaryasana Bitilasana
This is a 2 for 1 pose because they are usually paired.
The cat-cow warms the body and stretches the spine, abs, torso and neck. It also opens up the chest and helps with breathing techniques.
- Start on all fours. Hands and fingers extended on the groundsheet and neutral position of the spine parallel to the ground.
- Lift your bones up, press your chest forward, lift your head, and let your stomach sink naturally onto the floor mat. This is the cow pose and you should feel a stretch on your chest.
- Now do the reverse movement by rounding your spine outward, tuck your tailbone in and pull your pubic bone forward and bring your chin closer to your chest.
- This is the cat pose. You should feel the stretch on the opposite side of your body, primarily your back and spine.
9. Happy Baby Pose – Ananda Balasana
The happy baby pose helps stretch your inner thighs, hamstrings, and groin. It relaxes your hips and back muscles, which helps increase your flexibility and mobility.
- Lie on your back.
- Lift your legs and bend your knees, bringing them closer to your chest.
- Open your knees slightly wider than your torso.
- Use your hands to grip the outside of your feet.
- Keep each foot positioned directly above the knee.
- Push your feet up and pull your hands down, creating resistance.
10. Child pose – Balasana
Child pose is a resting posture that also gently stretches various parts of your body such as your back, hips, thighs, and ankles. It is a counter pose for cobra and other back extensions.
This pose is not recommended if you have knee problems or have recently had knee surgery.
- Start on all fours, table position. Your feet should touch, pointing inward, your knees should move outward.
- Keep your hands in contact with the groundsheet and extend your back as if you were going to sit on your ankles.
- This is the extended child pose, as your arms are fully extended in front of your body as you rest your buttocks on your ankles.