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With the majority of the year behind us and spring well and truly in full swing, most of us begin to clean out our homes and prepare for the fun of the summer and holiday season. But in the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day we often forget to take a moment to ourselves to reflect, meditate and practice mindfulness.
If you’re looking to become a yogi or are just after a couple of beginner yoga moves to get you through your first class, these beginner yoga positions are the perfect ones to make a start.
We have picked out some simple foundational yoga poses which form the building blocks of more advanced yoga moves. So, you can begin working your way up to intermediate moves in no time!
Whether you’ve been to a yoga class before or not, you would likely have heard of the yoga position called ‘child’s pose’ or ‘balasana’. This yoga move is often used throughout a yoga flow as a resting point between other yoga moves to relax the nervous system, centre yourself and regulate your breathing. It also offers a gentle stretch of the hips, thighs and legs.
How To Do Child’s Pose:
To do a child's pose, start in a kneeling position with your hips over your knees and your hands on the ground in front of you. Next, sit back on your knees and get into a kneeling sitting position with your toes tucked comfortably underneath you. Then lower your forehead to the ground and stretch your arms straight out in front of you. To come out of the pose, slowly sit back up and return to a kneeling position.
Yogi Tip: you can also place a pillow or blanket under your head for added support.
This is one of the easiest yoga moves and forms the basis of all standing yoga positions as it engages all main muscle groups, so it is a great move to learn when just starting out. It also ensures you are practising the correct alignment and shape right from the start before moving on to more advanced movements.
How To Do Mountain Pose:
To do a mountain pose, start standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Then, inhale and raise your arms up and out, lifting above your head and stretching your whole body upward. You can also place your hands in a prayer position in front of your chest. To come out of the pose as you exhale, lower your arms down to your sides and return to standing.
Yogi Tip: To check in on your body’s alignment in Mountain Pose, begin by practicing the move against a wall to ensure you are standing up straight and tall.
A classic move you’ve probably heard of before, the cat & cow yoga move is simple yet effective and is known to improve posture, balance, focus and coordination. It is often included at the start of a yoga flow to warm up the body or between more advanced moves.
The Cat/Cow movement stretches the hips, abdomen, back, spine and neck to relieve stress and calm the mind. Typically, this pose is held as long as comfortable, but we recommend trying to hold it for at least 15 seconds.
How To Do Cat/Cow Yoga Pose:
To do a cat/cow pose, start in a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the ground. Your back should be flat, and your head in line with your spine. Then, arch your back and tuck your chin to your chest to round your spine (cat pose).
Next, drop your belly toward the ground and lift your gaze to the sky to arch your back the other way (cow pose). Repeat these two movements for a total of 10 reps. To come out of the pose, slowly return to the tabletop position.
Wanting to really centre yourself and take the time to practice mindfulness? The Tree Pose, or Vrksasana is a beginner yoga move used to steady and balance by grounding the body to the floor or yoga mat like the roots of a tree.
The tree pose targets the lower body through the legs, glutes, core and back, along with overall posture. It is a great pose to use when working from home or while at the office to take a break from your desk to realign your spine and stretch out your body.
How To Do The Tree Pose:
Start in the mountain pose with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Then, shift your weight onto your left foot and bend your right knee, placing the sole of your right foot against the inner thigh of your left leg. Bring your palms together in front of your chest and as you exhale, lean your torso to the left, keeping your right foot where it is.
Next, reach your left arm up toward the ceiling and then over to the right, placing your hand on the floor beside your right foot. If you can’t reach the floor, place your hand on your right thigh. Gaze up toward your left hand and hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Yoga Tip: For beginners, start by practising this pose against a wall. Then, if you have begun to hold the Tree Pose with ease, try lifting your bent leg upwards towards the groin for a more advanced move.
Another instantly recognisable move for its familiar shape and form is the downward-facing dog, otherwise known as Adho Mukha Svanasana. This pose offers a full body stretch and is also great for building up your upper body strength, spinal alignment, and posture, improving circulation, as well as relieving tension and stress. The downward-facing dog is a great stretch to do after a long day of working at your desk or on your lunch break to stretch out the effects of prolonged sitting periods.
Practicing the downward-facing dog can also begin to build up your overall balance and flexibility, which can assist with achieving more complicated movements in the future.
How To Do Downward Facing Dog:
Start in a table-top position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Next, press down into your palms, keeping the knees with a soft bend, heels lifted off the floor, and toes tucked under; lift your hips up and back to lengthen your tailbone.
Keep your arms straight, head between your arms and looking down at your mat, straighten the knees to feel the stretch. To ensure correct alignment, place your ears in line with your upper arms and head.
Remember to breathe and hold the pose for 10 breaths and on exhalation, lower yourself into a child's pose.
Yogi Tip: To feel the stretch a bit more, lift up onto the balls of your feet and place your heels away from the floor. Then, lengthen and place your heels back onto the floor.
Something we also find that really elevates our yoga practice and mindfulness routine is finding the perfect restriction-free yoga wear that ensures we can stay present in our movements rather than tugging and tucking our activewear to stay in place.
At Lorna Jane, we have developed an entire Yoga & Studio collection that was crafted and engineered to work best for yoga and Pilates practices. This curated collection is full of beautiful activewear pieces such as sports bras, tanks, tops, shorts, leggings, bike shorts and gripping socks so you can focus on your yoga flows distraction-free.
A great staple set for spring is our Lotus Sports Bra and Lotus No-Chafe Leggings or Bike Shorts matching activewear for a chic yogi look. Want to explore the rest of the collection? Shop ‘Yoga & Studio’ online or in-store now.
And there you have it! Our favourite beginner-friendly yoga moves to centre yourself this spring and some great yoga-friendly activewear pieces to get you feeling your best.