In the last couple decades, yoga has hit the mainstream, hard. This means that there are more avid yoga enthusiasts and experts than ever, and this influx of fluent practitioners can make getting into the scene intimidating for newbies. Especially when pop culture is replete with celebrities and models sporting the trendiest workout gear and contorting themselves into seemingly impossible postures. It’s easy to see why some people would quit before they begin.
In truth, even people who have been doing yoga for years will find themselves foraying into a new part of the journey, making everyone a beginner in some way. So, don’t get overwhelmed!
Even if you’re brand spanking new to the practice, here’s a wonderful routine that uses some of the most basic poses to ease you into the wonderful world of yoga, and the total mind and body benefits that come with it.
Time: Approximately 15 minutes
Poses: Seven – in order, Mountain, Downward Dog, Plank, Child’s Pose, Chair, Wide-Legged Forward Bend, High Lunge
Count: 5 breathes in each pose, full inhale, full exhale
Flow: Do the entire set of seven poses (or flow) two – three times.
Pose #1: Mountain
Mountain is the basis of every standing yoga pose. It helps you find your grounding, stability and confidence. Begin here, holding for five full breaths.
Pose #2: Downward Dog
Here’s another common yoga pose with a myriad of benefits. They include an increase in back strength (and decrease in back pain), hamstring, calve and achilles tendon strength and flexibility and stronger arms. Make sure to do it properly, and hold for five breaths.
Pose #3: Plank
Next you’re going to transition into Plank pose – a powerhouse of a posture used to strengthen your entire core as well as your arms. If full plank is too difficult, drop to your knees. If you are experiencing wrist pain, drop to your elbows for a lower impact modification. Hold for five breaths, and be sure to breathe in and out fully. No holding your breath!
Pose #4: Child’s Pose
Now it’s time to allow your back a little rest. Child’s pose is usually done at the end of a class, but as a beginner, you’re going to do it here to give you respite after plank pose, which can be challenging. In addition to releasing your lower back, Child’s pose is also great for digestion and helps to open the hips.
Pose #5: Chair Pose
Rest time is over. Time to transition to Chair pose – the fundamentals of which you’ve already nailed with Mountain. Be sure to sink deeply into your heels to really engage and tone your thighs and butt. Take five full breaths, and then move on.
Pose #6: Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Give your muscles and break and bring it back to a deep stretch with this rejuvenating posture, which will elongate your hamstrings and back. Be sure to work at your own pace and not push yourself. You need to be able to take those five breaths comfortably.
Pose #7: High Lunge
Combine stretching and strengthening in the final pose of your flow. From pose #6, you are going to come back to mountain and then step back into High Lunge. Step back with your left leg first, and then the right, being sure to hold the pose for five breaths on each side before returning to pose #1.
And that’s it! You can do this flow just about anywhere, anytime, so there’s no excuse not to ease into the practice now.
If one time through this flow is enough for your first time, that’s fine! The yoga practice encourages you to honour your body, and live in the moment, so wherever you are now is exactly where you should be. Work with that, and the rest will come when you’re ready.
Note: If you are new to exercising or have any health issues, please consult with your healthcare professional before starting this – or any – exercise routine.