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12 Easy Yoga Poses For Beginners

When it comes to yoga, the best thing you can do is start slow to build your foundational muscles and form. But, if you’re like me, you don’t like starting slow with anything! 

So we’re going to jump in while using the best poses for building stabilizer muscles and form. 

These poses are something that anyone – even advanced yogis – can benefit from. They build muscle, lubricate joints, improve posture, aid digestion, and improve energy. And you can safely perform the whole routine every day without being hard on your body. 

Let’s get into the poses…

Beginner Yoga Poses

1. Childs pose

childs pose - woman in white performing childs pose

This is one of my favorite beginner poses because it helps you form a mind-muscle connection to the state of your spine. When you’re in Child’s Pose, focus on lengthening the spine, releasing tension, and building the flexibility needed for a healthy back. 

Performing Childs pose: 

  • Begin by sitting on your heels with your legs together. 
  • Extend your arms up to the sky keeping them shoulder-width or slightly wider. 
  • Now roll forward bringing your chest to your thighs and your forehead to the mat. 
  • Lower your chest as close to your knees/the yoga mat as you can. 
  • Hold the pose for as long as you like. Do your best to focus on breathing and releasing that tension throughout your shoulders and spine. 

2. Downward dog

woman performing downward dog on yoga mat

This is one of the better poses for building strength in your shoulders while at the same time releasing tension along your entire posterior chain. Downward dog requires that you’re on a surface with excellent grip and stability so make sure you have a quality yoga mat, yoga gloves and socks, or a sticky surface to practice on. 

It’s okay to bend your knees if your hamstrings and glutes are tight. Just keep working on your pose and you’ll eventually lengthen those muscles and straighten them out. 

Performing Downward Dog: 

  • Begin on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees hip-width apart.  
  • Now walk your hands out just slightly above that position. 
  • Spread your fingers so they’re like roots going into the ground and providing you with a stable base. 
  • Bring your toes under so you’re on the balls of your feet and move up into an “A” frame. 
  • Engage your core to solidify the position. 
  • Take a few deep breaths and focus on releasing the tension in your back, shoulders, hamstrings, and glutes. 

3. Mountain pose

woman performing mountain pose

If you want to improve your posture, Mountain Pose is an excellent tool for doing so. Essentially, you’re putting yourself into ideal alignment and standing firm, like a mountain. And if you’ve never done it, you may become enlightened to just how much that office chair is harming your posture. 

Performing Mountain Pose: 

  • Standing at the front of your yoga mat, put your feet together, relax your shoulders, and evenly distribute your weight through your feet. 
  • Engage your quads to lock your knees (not too tight) and straighten your legs. 
  • Engage your abdomen to straighten your core and lift your chest. 
  • Let your arms fall directly to your sides with your palms facing your thighs. Now press your shoulders down so that your shoulder blades come together.
  • Hold this pose and visualize a straight line running from the crown of your head down through your feet. Take a few breaths and feel the difference in your posture.

If you notice any areas are tight (i.e. your lower back, shoulders, neck, hamstrings, etc.) these are going to be key areas for you to focus on in the future. The Mountain pose is a foundation pose so anything you notice here should be noted and worked on.  

4. Plank pose

woman doing plank pose

You’ve probably done planks before. 

This exercise has stood the test of time because it’s so effective for building core strength and keeping your spine healthy. You may think you don’t need planks because you do crunches or sit-ups. In fact, the plank engages all muscles including the transverse abdominis which the crunches don’t work. So, even if you’re a fitness buff, planks are still needed for a balanced core.

Performing planks:

  • Get into a pushup position on your yoga mat. 
  • Now drop down to your elbows while keeping your feet in the same place. 
  • Engage your core by tightening all of the muscles and drawing your belly button in. 
  • Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds but aim for a minute or more. 
  • Repeat this pose three times each day and you’ll notice your waist will slim down and your posture will improve. 

Note: Avoid bringing your hands together in the plank pose because this puts unnecessary strain on your rotator cuffs.

5. Warrior 1 & 2

The Warrior pose builds flexibility in tight hips. Many of us sit at desks which keeps your hamstrings and hips in a constant contraction (shortening) which can have major impacts on our posture. Fortunately, you can use Warrior 1 and 2 to correct this problem. 

woman doing warrior one pose

Performing Warrior 1:  

  • Stand at the front of your yoga mat with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Take one big step back with your left foot. 
  • Angle your left heel so that your toes face about a 75-degree angle. 
  • Now lift your arms overhead and press your palms together. Stick your chest out and look up toward the ceiling. 
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths and repeat on the opposite side. 
woman doing warrior two pose

Performing Warrior 2

  • Start at the front of your yoga mat with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Take one big step back with your left foot. 
  • Turn your toes so they’re facing 90 degrees or perpendicular to your front-facing foot. 
  • Bend your front leg (right) until you have a 90-degree angle with your knee above your ankle. 
  • From this position, align your torso so you’re straight and supported. Take a breath and stretch your arms out to your sides and look forward. You should feel a stretch in your back, legs, and hip-flexors. 
  • Take a few breaths and then repeat on the other side. 

6. Tree pose 

woman doing tree pose

Balance is a key component of yoga and general athleticism. With Tree Pose, you’re building tons of stabilizer muscles in your feet and ankles while finding your center of gravity and getting comfortable with balance. It easy in concept but can be challenging so it’s something to spend a little extra time with if needed. 

Performing Tree pose:

  • Begin on your mat with your arms at your sides and feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Now shift your weight onto your right leg while placing the bottom of your left foot against your opposite leg.
  • Once you’ve found stability, move your hands into a prayer position in front of you. 
  • For an added c