India, apart from its rich culture, heritage, and food, is also known to have given birth to an ancient practice called yoga. Yoga emerged from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj,’ meaning – to unite or join. B.K.S Iyengar rightly said, “Yoga teaches us to cure what needs not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” Keeping the various benefits of yoga in mind, it’s also important to realize the hardships a beginner goes through while practicing some of the asanas.
Hence, to provide some ease, the following are the top 15 basic yoga asanas for beginners:
1. Bandha Sarvangasana (The Bridge Pose)
Spines are the brains of our lower body. The Bridge Pose works effectively in strengthening our spines, improving spinal flexibility, stimulating thyroid, and opening the chest. It’s the most basic yoga asana that can help you get rid of depression, insomnia, anxiety, and more.
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose)
Another thing to learn from dogs apart from loyalty is how to stretch our backs in the most effective way possible. The Downward Dog Pose is great for strengthening our arms, decompressing the spine, and stretching the hamstrings. This asana will always leave you feeling more relaxed than ever before.
3. Balasana (The Child Pose)
Not all yoga asanas are meant to get our cardio done; some, like the Child Pose, are the most restorative and calming asanas that everybody returns to. This resting pose is useful in relieving neck, hip, and back strain. Remember to have a slow, regulated breath and try to touch your forehead to the mat without lifting the hips.
4. Vrksasana (The Tree Pose)
This pose is one of the best starting points for a beginner. It teaches them to improve their balance and the right way of regulated breathing. Moreover, if you want to strengthen and tone your leg muscles, inner thighs, and ankles, then the Tree Pose should be your go-to. Beginners can take it easy and switch sides after holding the position for 8-10 breaths.
5. Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1)
This yoga asana should especially be performed by people who spend all their day sitting in a chair and working at a desk. Warrior 1 has tremendous effects on our postures as it strengthens the muscles of our knees and feet, stretches our shoulders and spine, and improves our focus altogether. This pose is a must after a hectic day of work when all you want is to have a peaceful mind and a good posture.
6. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)
If you can’t get enough of Warrior 1, then there is always Warrior 2 that can further improve your body posture. In this asana, your focus should be on expanding your arms as far as possible. This pose, most importantly, opens your chest and shoulders while contracting your abdominal organs. It’s best to practice patience while performing this asana so you can beat the gravitational pull.
7. Trikonasana (The Triangle Pose)
Continuing your Warrior 2 pose and ending it with Trikonasana is one of the most effective yet difficult challenges you’ll have to face. This asana requires flexibility and balance. It’s not only a great pose for your posture, but it also cures back pain and stiffness in your neck area. Once you become a pro at this, you’ll have the pleasure of noticing a lot of improvements in your body.
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8. Kumbhakasana (Plank)
Planks are said to be the best exercise for strengthening our core, but in reality, planks work best for strengthening our whole body also. This is a tough asana as one has to endure the pain that comes from keeping a straight line from head to toe. Hence, to make it easier, you should control your breath while performing the pose, and that will do the trick.
9. Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)
All you’ve to do to perform this asana is to start from a downward facing dog pose, move onto a plank, bend your elbows and slowly roll down onto the floor, roll your shoulders back and as a final step, gently lift your back up. The Cobra Pose is, again, great for strengthening your back muscles and decreasing stiffness.
10. Utkatasana (The Chair Pose)
As the name suggests, this asana is based on sitting on an imaginary chair in a way that stretches the chest and shoulders. This pose, apart from toning our leg muscles, ankles, calves, and back, also helps stimulate our heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs.
11. Natarajasana (The King Dancer Pose)
Who said a person couldn’t look beautiful while sweating in order to perform an asana in the right way? The King Dancer Pose is the most graceful asana that helps in improving our core strength, balance, and focus. It’s a given that with consistent practice of this pose, our legs and shoulders are also sure to get strengthened.
12. Matsyasana (The Fish Pose)
Possessing the right kind of agility in our bodies, similar to that of fish, is the greatest result that can come out of doing yoga every day. This pose is efficient in opening the hips and rib cage along with strengthening the hamstrings and lower back. Women performing this pose should make sure to keep their hands under their lower back to do the asana properly.
13. Pavanamuktasana (The Wind Relieving Pose)
There’s no shame in learning an asana that can help us get rid of all the toxic gas bubbling inside our bodies. The Wind Relieving Pose works best if a person can try to touch their lifted knees with their forehead. Beginners can initially start by holding onto this pose for 8-10 breaths.
14. Sukhasana (The Easy Pose)
The name Easy Pose might suggest fewer benefits to the body, but on the contrary, this pose is most effective for reducing menstruation pain, lowering the level of anxiety, opening the hips, and calming us eventually. This pose especially reaps great results when done with a straight spine.
15. Savasana (The Corpse Pose)
All the workout sessions should ideally end with the Corpse Pose. It greatly helps in reducing blood pressure, calming us down, and giving us an opportunity to our body to finally breathe. The time spent in Corpse Pose is best utilized for observing our inner self, our mind, and our body.
Mix and match all these asanas to have a great result. You can extend your limit and go for harder poses, but you can always return to these basic asanas to feel peaceful and energetic.
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