Updated: Oct 26, 2021
With so many different yoga poses
to choose from it can be difficult to know where to begin. A regular yoga practice can provide us with so many positive benefits including stress reduction, better sleep, improved mood, more flexibility in the body as well as less aches and pains. Whether you are looking to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule working from home or you want to start a self care routine these 6 poses will help to get you started on your yoga journey!
Try them in this order or mix it up if you like! You might do each pose a few times!
Give the sequence a go and let me know how you get on in the comments.
1. Sukhasana - Easy Pose
This is a great pose to begin your practice. You can do this pose sitting on the floor or on a chair if you prefer. If your back starts to ache try sitting against the wall to give you support until your muscles get a little stronger and it feels easier to sit in the centre of the room. If you're sitting on the floor cross your legs. Place some support underneath your sitting bones to raise the hips off or perhaps stuff some cushions underneath your thighs to give your legs a little support. Now focus on sitting tall, lengthening through the spine, relax the face and relax the shoulders. Don't worry if this feels like a lot of effort and not as easy as the name describes, it does get easier over time.
2. Side Bend
Sit up tall on your mat either cross-legged or kneeling. Creep the right fingertips out along the floor, breathe in, reach the left arm up towards the sky. On your exhale, lean over to the right side. You can soften the right elbow a little here, finding length through the left side body. To go a little deeper, anchor the left hip into the earth. Use an inhale to come back to centre and exhale to release. Continue to the second side. This pose is a great way to stretch the side waist and the muscles around the ribs. You can hold each side for few breaths or flow from side to side for more dynamic movement.
3. Seated twist
Come to sit on the floor, the chair or a cushion. Make sure that you feel comfortable and stable before you begin. On your next inhale raise the arms up, as you exhale twist to your right, place your right hand on the floor or a block behind you on the floor, left hand can rest on your right thigh. Breathe in here lengthening upwards and as you breathe out, moving into the twist at your own pace.
Hold the pose here for a few breaths. Noticing where the twist is coming from in your body. Keep the face soft and relaxed. You might find after a few breaths that you can go a little deeper into this pose, increasing the twist, or if it feels like too much at any stage easing off and releasing slowly. Use an inhale to return to centre and an exhale to twist to the other side.
4. Cat Cow
Come to the hands and knees with the hands directly underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. If this doesn't feel stable, you can always give yourself more space between the hands and the knees. Take the awareness to your spine. Begin to imagine it to be flexible, but also strong.
As you breathe in, send your tailbone up towards the sky, allowing your belly to dip down, lift your chest and look up. With your next exhale, tuck your tail under rounding inwards, arch the back up towards the sky, tuck the chin, into the chest. Look back towards your legs or your belly. Continue to make these movements with your breath- Inhaling each time the belly goes down and exhaling each time you round in. This pose is fantastic for increasing spinal mobility, relieving tension and stress in the front and also the back of the body.
5. Adho Mhuka Svanasana- Downward-facing dog
You've probably heard of downward-facing dog. It's the pose that's often used on posters and in advertisements for yoga classes. And it's one of those poses that really isn't as easy as it looks!! But it does become a little easier the more you practise it!
Warm up the wrists before you try this pose for the first time. Come to four point kneeling or hands and knees position. Tuck the toes under and begin to slowly lift the knees off the ground. Find the point that feels comfortable for your body. This could be anywhere between very bent knees and straight legs. Imagine your spine staying long, your neck and head are relaxed. Keep breathing deeply and when you feel comfortable, perhaps the legs might straighten a little more. You have the option here to peddle the legs- bending one knee, straightening the opposite leg. Try pressing the heels of the straight leg down towards the ground to find length in the back of the leg. This can be a really nice way to stretch the calf muscles and the hamstrings. Hold this pose for a few breaths. And when you feel ready slowly lower the knees back down to the earth and rest.
6. Balasana- Child's pose.
Come to a kneeling position. Widen the gap between your knees. Send the hips back in the direction of your heels and start to walk the hands out in front along the ground. You have the option here, to place your head on the floor or to fold your hands underneath your head for support. This pose doesn't necessarily work for all bodies, so modify to suit yourself in the moment. You can give yourself support by placing a few cushions underneath the head or leaning over the chair instead of down on the ground. Imagine pressing the hips back towards the heels, finding softness across the back body and in particular, the lower back and between the shoulder blades. Child's pose is often used as a resting pose. It's very calming and it's a great posture to use in times of anxiety or stress.