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Stretches for Beginning Yoga Poses

woman doing yoga on a beach

Yoga is a wonderful way to relieve stress, gain flexibility, and strengthen the whole body. You’ve probably heard about all the wonderful things yoga can do for your health, but maybe you are worried that you aren’t flexible enough to try it. Don’t let your lack of flexibility deter you from this wonderful practice. Yoga poses for beginners can help you increase your flexibility and open up a whole new world of possibilities for your body. Read on to find out how you can get started.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice that combines physical exercises through yoga poses, mental meditation, and powerful breathing techniques to help relieve stress, and strengthen the entire body. Just about anyone can practice some form of yoga, from toddlers to the elderly. There are several different types of yoga, that can all be modified to suit a person’s activity level. The most common yoga styles that are practiced today include:

  • Vinyasa
  • Kundalini
  • Ashtanga
  • Bikram
  • Restorative
  • Hatha

Yoga Poses for Beginners

Getting started with a yoga practice is easier than you think. The basics of yoga poses all start with light stretching. The point is not to strain your muscles, but to gently open them so you can gain the benefits of increased flexibility. Start with these easy yoga poses and see how you feel.


Cat Pose

Start on your hands and knees with your back straight like a “tabletop.” Your head should be centered with your eyes looking down at the floor. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, curve your spine towards the ceiling while keeping your knees and shoulders in the same position.

At the same time, allow your head to gently move towards the floor. As you inhale again, come back to the original “tabletop” position. Do this pose several times and notice how your back begins to relax with each breath.



Cow Pose

Similar to Cat Pose, start in a “tabletop” position, again your eyes will be looking at the floor to begin. Take a deep inhale and at the same time lift the muscles in your bottom and chest toward the ceiling. Your hands and knees will remain on the floor.

As you do this, your belly will sink towards the floor and your head will lift so you are looking straight forward. Exhale and come back to neutral. Repeat this pose several times. Try it alternating cat/cow/cat/cow, etc. 



Child’s Pose 


This is known as a resting pose, but provides a nice gentle stretch as you breathe. Kneeling on the floor, bring your big toes together and sit on your heels. Spread your knees open to about hip length and lie down in between with your belly as close to the floor as comfort allows.

You can either lie with your hands (palms up) beside your legs, or palms down on the floor in front of your head. Try to hold this pose for three minutes or longer.


Downward Dog


Start with your hands and knees on the floor, your hips should be directly below your knees and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Turn your toes under and push your knees up off the floor, keeping them slightly bent. Your heels should comfortably be raised from the floor.

Work towards lifting your tailbone towards the ceiling and getting your legs straighter and your heels closer to the floor. Don’t strain, just gently stretch and notice how much easier it gets each time you try it. 


Twisting Pose


Sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, bend your right knee and bring your foot as close to your sitting bone as you can while keeping it firmly on the floor. Your other leg should stay straightened with your foot flexed to engage the muscle.

Take a deep breath and as you exhale rotate your torso to the right and wrap your left arm around your right thigh, holding onto your outer thigh. Pull your thigh up with your hand as you bring your right hip toward the floor. Bring your fingertips to the floor behind you and gently encourage your body to twist. Try to twist a little more with each exhalation. Try to hold this pose for at least 30 seconds. 

Yoga doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can reap all of the healthy rewards of the practice with these basic yoga poses. You will gain flexibility and strength and you will get better the more you try. Make yoga a part of your daily healthy routine with well-rounded meals, high quality multivitamins, anti-inflammatories, and glucosamine supplements, and you should see major improvements in your flexibility quickly. We recommend trying Joint Complex by Professional Botanicals and other great supplements from the Professional Supplement Center. Namaste!