8 Yoga Poses for Beginners

8 Yoga Poses for Beginners
There are many great reasons to add yoga to your exercise routine. Yoga improves muscle tone, flexibility, and balance, and it helps you relax and reduce stress. Ready to give it a try? Here are eight beginner poses — called "asanas" — recommended by yoga instructors.

1.    Easy pose – to relieve stress

Sit cross-legged on a yoga mat with your hands on your knees, palms up. Keep your 
spine as straight as you can. Push the bones you're sitting on down into the floor — your "sit bones" in yoga-speak. Close your eyes and inhale.

2.    Cat-Cow – to ease back pain

Get on your mat on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your 
knees directly below your hips. Inhale and round your back, arching it up as you lower your chin to your chest. As you exhale, lower your back down all the way to a scoop shape as you lift your head, and tilt it back.

3.    Tree Pose – toimprove your balance

Start by standing straight for this pose. Bring your hands together in the prayer 
position and lift them over your head. Balance on your right leg. Bend your left knee out to the left side and press your left foot to the inner thigh of your right leg. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

4.    Downward-Facing dog – to enhance flexibility

Start by placing both hands on the mat in front of you, palms down. Place your knees 
on the ground directly under your hips. Exhale as you lift your knees off the ground and lift your buttocks and hips toward the ceiling. Push the top of your thighs back and stretch your heels down toward the floor. Keep your head down between your upper arms and in line with them.

5.    Child’s Pose – to relax

From Downward-Facing Dog, simply bend your knees and lower your butt to your 
heels as you bring your chest toward the floor over your knees. Lower your shoulders and head to the floor. Place your arms along your sides, palms down, or you can support your head by folding your arms under your forehead. Breathe and relax for as long as you need to.

6.    Baby pigeon Pose – to open up your hips

From all fours, move your right knee forward between your hands. Now rotate the 
right knee toward the right wrist and bring it down to the floor. Lower your upper body over the bent leg, either all the way to the floor or resting on your elbows. Slowly inhale and exhale five times. Repeat with your left leg bent and right leg extended.

7.    Mountain Pose – to improve your posture

Stand still, with your chest open and broad and your hands at your sides, and feel 
your feet on the floor and the sensations in your legs and back. Then analyze your posture in front of a mirror. This pose will show if you have any imbalances in your shoulders and give you clues about what you need to work on.

8.    Legs up the wall Pose – to revitalize

This is a great ending pose for beginners and those experienced at yoga alike. Lie on 
the floor with your butt right up against a wall. "Walk" your legs straight up the wall so that your body is in an L shape with your torso flat on the floor and perpendicular to the wall. Keep your elbows out to the sides on the floor for additional support. Breathe deeply and hold the position for as long as you like. To release, bring your knees to your chest and roll over to your side.
 
Beth W. Orenstein Source: Everyday Health Author: Beth W. Orenstein