The Best Yoga Poses for Beginners Everyone Should Master

For many newly discovered yogis, it can be tempting to try inversions, arm balances, and other tricky poses you see on social media right off the bat. But these postures require serious strength and balance training, which is why Ashley Curtains, a YogaWorks certified teacher trainer in Los Angeles, recommends beginners stick to a handful of basic seated and standing postures. “The bread and butter of a beginner’s practice is your standing poses,” she says. “They build strength through many larger muscles in the body. They are accessible to many bodies and that makes them a great place not only to find strength and flexibility, but also to build confidence at work.” These two types of yoga poses for beginners also help you develop a sense of where your body is in space without actually seeing it, Curtains says. (Remember: there are usually no mirrors in yoga studios.)

And though popular culture makes it seem like props are only for the elderly, Rideaux encourages everyone — from beginners to yoga veterans — to use them during practice if they’re available. “Props are so helpful in creating clean alignment and helping you avoid injury,” she explains. “And often when you find the right alignment, it actually gives you a bigger challenge.”

“Challenge” is a key word, and you shouldn’t expect to turn pro after adding yoga to your routine once or twice. “Practice is like learning a new language – I wouldn’t go to a French lesson and on the first day I expect to come out fluent,” says Rideaux. “The same is true for learning the body and putting those shapes on our bodies. It’s going to look a little different on all of us, and it’s a lifetime of learning to develop fluidity.”

To begin your journey to becoming a seasoned yogi and start building the strength, flexibility, and confidence needed, try following these yoga poses for beginners. (Next step: Jessamyn Stanley shares the one overlooked thing that will make your yoga practice interesting)