Yoga Positions For Beginners

yoga positions

In yoga, it’s important to learn poses that help to establish basic body alignment and increase balance. This simple, relaxing pose is a great starter.

Chaturanga Pose

Spread your feet 3-4 feet apart and bend your left knee 90 degrees, bringing your knee over your ankle. This yoga pose helps stretch the back, hips and shoulders.

Side Angle Pose

Side angle pose, also known as Utthita Parsvakonasana, is a strengthening and stretching pose that challenges balance. This pose stretches the shoulder and hips while requiring core muscles to stay engaged for stability. It also strengthens the back and increases flexibility in the spine. This pose is a great challenge for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.

The benefits of this pose are many, and it is a great addition to any yoga sequence. It opens the chest, shoulders and side body while preparing for more challenging poses like forward bends or backbends. It also strengthens the legs and feet while improving awareness of the hip alignment. It can also stretch the intercostal muscles between the ribs and improve breath capacity.

Props for Side Angle Pose

If you have difficulty keeping your balance in this pose, try supporting the back heel with a block or by standing the back foot on the edge of a sandbag or thick book. You can also try placing the top hand on the shin or ankle of the front leg, which will allow you to keep your balance as you move into deeper stretches of this pose.

Beginner Tips for Side Angle Pose

If your front knee tends to fall inward, which is a common problem with this pose, try bringing your left armpit close to the inside of your front leg and extending it parallel to the floor. This will help to counteract the tendency of the knee to move inward and will give you a stronger, more stable pose.

Another beginner tip for this pose is to avoid locking your elbows. Locking the elbows will put too much pressure on the shoulders and can cause pain. Instead, focus on keeping your arms straight but soft at the elbows to maximize the strength-building potential of this pose.

Advanced Tips for Side Angle Pose

If you’re ready to take your Side Angle Pose to the next level, try combining it with a bind and an open twist. To do this, start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and walk the back foot out to the side so that it is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. Then lower the torso into Warrior II Pose, bringing your right hand to the outside of the left foot. Then exhale into Bound Extended Side Angle and repeat on the other side.

The bind and twist in this combination of poses will increase the challenge on the spine, shoulders, hips, and arms while adding to your yoga strength and endurance. It’s important to practice the more difficult poses before moving to these more advanced combinations, but they are worth it in terms of increasing your ability to hold strong and stable standing positions for longer periods of time. The more challenging poses will also encourage you to work harder to maintain your balance and focus. This will also help you develop more patience and endurance as you build your practice.