Yoga Poses For Beginners

Yoga poses are designed to stretch the body and strengthen the core. They also provide a mental release and help improve balance.

Starting from an all-fours position, lower down into a plank pose with your palms pressed firmly to the mat and elbows pressed toward each other. Slowly lift the hips up into the air.

Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog, also called Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a full body pose that strengthens and stretches the arms, shoulders, back, hips, knees, and ankles. It also enhances flexibility and improves balance. It also helps prevent jerks and shocks, which in turn reduces the risk of injury for athletes, marathon runners, and other sportspersons.

This yoga posture is one of the best poses for beginners to practice and is also good for kids. It is also a great pose for those who have problems with their backs, shoulders or necks. It also provides relief from headaches and migraines, as well as reduces stress and depression.

The inversion effect of this yoga posture (your heart is higher than your head) helps with the circulation of blood and lymph in the body. This energizes and rejuvenates the whole body and is great for improving digestion, alleviating back pain and even treating nasal allergies. The flow of blood to the brain stimulates cognitive functions and calms the nervous system.


This pose is a great workout for the arms and entire upper body, tones abdominal muscles, improves posture and enhances shoulder, elbow and wrist flexibility. When done correctly, it can be more challenging than a standard pushup because it requires strength throughout the whole body.

Beginners can benefit from this powerful posture, but should be sure to build up to it gradually. If the lower back is weak, Chaturanga can cause strain on the spine and the knees, as well as the shoulders. Beginners should also avoid moving into the full pose if they have wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries or are pregnant.

Practicing Chaturanga Dandasana builds a sense of stability in the shoulders, compactness in the core and alertness in the legs that translates into powerful arm balances such as Bakasana (Crow Pose) or Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance). It can also prepare the body for more advanced poses by building the strength of the arms and shoulders.

Tree Pose

Tree Pose is a beginner-level balance posture that strengthens the ankle and knee joints. It also improves balance and concentration, which are beneficial in the rest of your yoga practice as well as off the mat.

In the pose, the active use of the chest, ribcage and diaphragm aids in efficient breathing, which contributes to stability and balance. Yoga teachers sometimes have students raise their arms overhead, which builds strength and confidence in the pose and encourages a deeper connection with the earth through the body.

If you are having trouble getting into or staying in Tree Pose, try placing the raised foot on the inner leg instead of the knee if possible. Aiming for the inner thigh might be too challenging, especially if you have hip problems. Resting the gaze on a nonmoving point, called drishti, helps keep your attention focused on the posture and to find your own alignment in it. Practice the pose a few inches away from a wall on the straight leg side to gain confidence in the pose and support yourself if you need to.

Warrior I

Warrior I (Virabhadrasana) opens the chest to improve breathing, stretches the hips and back of the legs and upper body, and strengthens the arms and shoulders. It is an energizing pose that builds balance and strength and can be used to develop determination, perseverance and courage in the face of conflict.

Avoid twisting the back leg in an effort to square the hips forward; this can torque the knee and cause injury. Instead, focus on wrapping the left side of your belly toward the right to keep the back foot grounded, and lift your chest.

If your balance is not strong enough to hold this posture, press the front foot into a block to support your weight and encourage the muscles of the feet to engage. This variation of the pose will still engage the core and strengthen the legs and lower body, but will also stretch the ankles and calves. This will allow you to explore the benefits of warrior I without risking injury.