This month we caught up with some of our favourite yoga teachers to share their favourite yoga poses for beginners and the one pose you should practice everyday in this, our ultimate yoga guide for beginners.
For first time yogis: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). It is one of the first poses we learn in Yoga. It stretches the entire body. I love pushing the floor away with my hands and feeling the whole of my spine stretch. By pressing down through the heels, you feel the legs extend. Beginners may find the pose difficult at first and I used to not understand when my teachers would say ‘rest’ in downward facing dog. However with practice, it becomes a resting pose, while still working the muscles of the body.
Pose you should practice every day: Monkey Pose ( Kapyasana) or to be more precise a few rounds of the Surya Namaskar also known as the Sun Salutation in the Dharma Yoga practice. It is a wonderful way of waking up the body and to stretch and strengthen every part of it. It includes the mountain pose, forward fold, the equestrian pose or kapyasana, chaturanga, cobra and upward facing dog, downward facing dog. You practice it as you flow!
For first time yogis: It’s so important to learn how to forward fold without rounding the back.
The one pose you wish you could do: Wow! There’s nothing like working towards something but I’m very comfortable to let poses come when my body is ready and allows it. So go with the flow and magic will happen.
For first time yogis: Bridge Pose. Nowadays, we spend so much time sitting, I feel that everyone (no matter if they’ve just started with yoga) can benefit from it.
Pose you should practice every day: Sun Salutation. It brings a few great stretches together. Your back, your legs and your heart will feel much better after a couple of rounds.
For first time yogis: With first time yogis and beginners I really like to take it to basics as a lot of the asanas (poses) can be quite tricky for anyone starting out who has tightness in the body. It may not be a “move” but I would always start with teaching stillness and mindfulness of the breath. This for me is the very foundation for postures as the breath helps us to release tension in the body, create fluidity, and helps to move any stuck energy around, helping to physically release the body from tension and stress. I usually guide beginners into arriving, centering and mindfulness breathing by laying on their backs on their yoga mats, with some support like a bolster or blanket under the knees to help support the lower back.
Pose you should practice every day: Butterfly pose. In Yin yoga the butterfly pose works with the kidney meridian, the energy channel of the kidneys. Our kidneys in traditional Chinese medicine is where we house our ‘Jing’ also known as our essence energy, the precursor to Chi or life force energy. Our kidneys relate to our immune health, our vitality and our overall wellbeing. They control the water in our bodies and relate to emotions and fear. When we work with butterfly pose we are working to move the energy around our kidney meridian to enhance wellbeing, release fear, release stress and enhance vitality. Sitting in butterfly pose for 5 minutes a day if we feel we don’t have time for anything else can be super helpful to our entire being.