8 Beginner Yoga Poses

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/27/2011 10:00 AM   :  28 comments   :  33,204 Views

See More: yoga, exercises,
For years celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston have attributed their lean physiques and flexibility to yoga, an activity that has been practiced for thousands of years. Even SparkPeople's own dailySpark.com editor, Stepfanie Romine, practices as well as teaches yoga to students in the Cincinnati area.

Many athletes from runners, to gymnasts to even professional football players have embraced yoga as a means to help with flexibility, balance and posture alignment.  It is also a great activity to help manage stress and with that middle age spread many of us are plagued with as we reach that time in our lives.

If you have never practiced yoga, I have gathered together links from other sites as well as the SparkPeople.com site of some basic yoga poses that may help you continue on your path to healthy living. As with any new exercise, if you have medical issues you may want to check with your own physician to verify that this activity is suited for you.

Downward Dog

Upward Dog

Bridge Pose

Plank

Child's Pose

Dolphin Pose

Tree Twist

Chair

Do you practice yoga? If so, what is your favorite pose? What benefits have you received from yoga?


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Comments

  • NEWATTITUDE2013
    28
    I just returned to yoga, and while I love the idea of child's pose, it's the hardest to do at my current size. There's too much in the way between my head and the floor! I love the warrior poses and downward dog (so long as I remember to breath!). - 10/28/2011   7:33:23 PM
  • 27
    I don't practice yoga often but I like the child's pose. It is so relaxing - 10/27/2011   1:05:23 PM
  • 26
    I learned all of these from Denise Austin. I wish she was still on Lifetime. These Yoga poses are so easy and I really feel good afterwards. - 10/27/2011   12:41:51 PM
  • 25
    I practice and teach yoga. My favorite pose is "Plough", an inversion. I first learned it as a child from a TV program. I knew nothing of yoga as a practice at that time.
    More than the physical practice, some of the benefits I have noticed are better coping with stress, more confidence to do the things that support an active, balanced lifestyle, and more awareness and compassion toward events, people and beings around me.
    BTW I still maintain my religious preferences -- I don't see yoga as interfering or impacting one's choice to follow or not follow an organized religion. - 10/2/2011   8:31:38 AM
  • ASHEETS700
    24
    I used to practice yoga, that practice fell to the side as well as alot of other healthier habits! Thanks for inspiring me to Return to Yoga!!! I'm digging out my dvds today. - 9/30/2011   9:55:07 AM
  • 23
    @HARPENDAZ, even with today's new deflated levels (for studio yoga), I myself belong in the beginners' class once again.

    My practice is getting a bit softer now. At my age, I am already "over the hill" ... My practice had peaked back in the spring. I developed an injury doing yoga (with some funky pilates move I put into my home practice), that once you have it, can recur without warning if you over-strain. (There, I said it. No shame in it. As I have said before, the moment my Community Team gets all "Altius, Citius, Fortius" on me, a yogini, is the day they will have to send a search party to find me!)

    In my home practice, I go back and repeat my standing balancing backbends as often as I like. Not so with a class ... That is only one of the many reasons that I am primarily a home practitioner of yoga.

    I am perfect for taking the advanced-beginner's class with someone I call The Cool Yogini (though not to her face). - 9/29/2011   8:52:23 AM
  • 22
    Yoga is an important part of my life. In sanscrit the word means "union". It's goal is to unite the mind, body and soul. I get balance, flexibility, strength and especially inner peace from yoga. Namaste. - 9/29/2011   7:11:17 AM
  • 21
    Nope. I don't want to do anything associated with a different religion. - 9/29/2011   12:15:39 AM
  • VANANDEL
    20
    My favorite poses are the Warrior poses. - 9/28/2011   9:40:17 PM
  • LOTTY711
    19
    I love Yoga. You feel so relaxed when class is over. My favorite pose is warrior and corpse pose for cool down. I am also a fan of Sun Salutation. I was told once that it stretches every muscle in your body. - 9/28/2011   9:06:20 PM
  • 18
    I just went back to class last week and forgot how much I really enjoyed it. I like the triangle pose, any warrior pose and even corpse pose when cooling down.

    @CMFARRELL36, you could consider this stretching, but depending on your class, it can very well be a good cardio workout too :) - 9/28/2011   6:00:49 PM
  • 17
    I'm thinking that these yoga positions wil count as stretching rather than exercise? - 9/28/2011   4:43:25 PM
  • 16
    I have a Yoga for Arthritis DVD by Peggy Cappy that I enjoy.
    It's very doable for me with my sciatica and my fatigue and bone pain from cancer. - 9/28/2011   4:25:18 PM
  • DONNIKAH
    15
    I love the pigeon pose for the way it helps the sciatic nerve but then I just love yoga in general for how wonderful it makes you feel! - 9/28/2011   11:02:35 AM
  • 14
    I do practice yoga, as much as I can with joint problems. I used to do, two hrs. a day. I love it so much. To pick a favoutite position, would be hard. I like the sun salutation, because it works out everything. My whole body, feels like a million after. - 9/28/2011   10:49:19 AM
  • 13
    I have been attending a yoga class for almost a year now - I use yoga moves for my after workout stretches every time now. Favorites: Downward dog, pigeon, upward dog (or my instructor calls it serpent - they seem the same to me), any of the , standing stretches, forward bend. I probably love them all - just can't name them! - 9/28/2011   9:56:40 AM
  • 12
    The only yoga I've done is with Wii Fit :^) - 9/28/2011   9:39:41 AM
  • 11
    I've been practicing yoga for a while now. LOVE IT !! My favorite pose is probably down facing dog. That's a marvelous pose. Another pose is low push up. that's not an easy pose and took me a very long time to develop the upper body strength to do it.

    I can't rave enough about how yoga has impacted every other sport I do. The breathing exercises alone are worth their weight in gold. Techniques I've learned in yoga have helped me lift more weight as well as increase my cardiovascular endurance when riding or even running.

    Yoga has helped me be aware of how my body is in the space it occupies. I am much more mindful of what my body is doing during a pose or any other exercise. Too many people thing that yoga is just about being more flexible. It's not. Yoga has also help me improve my balance, coordination, flexibility, strength and stamina.

    That's why I am going to keep on doing yoga.
    - 9/28/2011   9:11:35 AM
  • 10
    I am a beginning yoga person. I do like the Cobra and Child's pose. Working on improving my Plank. - 9/27/2011   9:20:37 PM
  • 9
    Pigeon Pose! Great for stretching after a run! - 9/27/2011   5:35:21 PM
  • 8
    I first went to yoga classes in my late teens and I'm sure my stomach was the most toned it's ever been then. When I was expecting twins at the age of 22, the consultant said I had strong stomach muscles.
    I've recently gone back to yoga at the age of 50. I can't do the Shoulder Stand or Plough anymore, because of my 'spare tyres' but always leave the classes feeling very relaxed and chilled ( in spite of being quite laid back anyway).
    I like the Bridge pose, which I find very easy and Warior Poses. - 9/27/2011   4:03:10 PM
  • 7
    I am beginning a yoga practice as part of my routine. I enjoy the sun salutation. - 9/27/2011   3:20:53 PM
  • 6
    Triangle pose is my favorite pose--it stretches my hamstrings like nothing else, and provides deep release from twisting the spine. - 9/27/2011   3:04:03 PM
  • PICKANYNAME
    5
    I love WILD THING! Such an empowered, free feeling in this pose! - 9/27/2011   1:34:17 PM
  • STEPFANIER
    4
    Great post, Nancy! ;) - 9/27/2011   12:48:01 PM
  • 3
    I love the way I feel when I leave yoga. I am so relaxed. I love down dog(awesome stretch after running), and from there, 3 legged dog with one leg in the air, open your hips, bend the leg so you can see on the other side. it stretches the whole side of my body. it feels amazing. (I'm sure I didn't do a great job of explaining that)

    Bridge pose is another favorite. makes my back feel awesome, especially if I put a brick on my lower back and relax into it. - 9/27/2011   12:47:56 PM
  • 2
    I was training for a marathon and the leader recommended yoga to me. It's been a habit ever since. I use the day/evening program by Rodney Yee, and find it keeps me almost free of arthritic pain, helps the stiffness when I travel, and keeps my spine flexible. It's the only ongoing exercise that I consistently do; I have relapses with everything else.. - 9/27/2011   12:39:37 PM
  • 1
    Yoga is lifesaving! I hate public exercise - so self-conscience. I started beginner's yoga because of stress, and love it. No competition. No heat. Just nice people helping each other slow down and tune into their bodies. I'm lucky that the teacher said we NEVER have to progress out of the beginners class if we don't want to. Nirvana! - 9/27/2011   12:30:46 PM

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