Yoga is a fantastic way to shake and awaken your spiritual side.
It all started many, many years ago when people observed how animals behave in their natural habitat and tried to imitate them.
This is how the beginning of yoga looked. And when the yogi masters found out firsthand that these poses make them experience benefits for their bodies and souls, the rest is history.
We all know how many benefits there are for the body when trying to stay physically active. But this is not about staying fit and handsome.
Believe it - it's something more meaningful.
If we're talking about practicing yoga, all yogis out there know that this line is on the bottom of the priority list. Maybe some of you will wonder why. But others will know that yoga is the kind of practice that comes in between the combination of physical and mental workouts.
So, what are you waiting for? Hop into your favorite yoga pants, and roll out your yoga mats. We're about to start stretching and getting that summer body and mind in shape.
All Benefits From Doing Yoga Poses Every Day
There is no doubt that there are benefits from yoga practicing. Both for the body and mind.
Every exercise has its upsides, and this is why experts on body and wellness recommend them so much.
What could you expect from doing yoga?
Well, it's as bright as day that the yoga practice will improve your body strength. In yoga, it's all about balance. So you can expect to be and feel way more balanced than you used to be before starting with yoga.
The deep stretching poses will improve your flexibility. Moreover, you could finally say goodbye to the awful back pain. Yoga is also good for your heart, your thyroid gland, and your whole being in general.
The phrase "a healthy mind lives in a healthy body" has never sounded more clear, right?
Beginner-Friendly Yoga Poses You Need To Know
First of all, the best advice that one could get when it comes to starting your yoga journey is to be gentle.
Being tender with yourself is the key.
Don't start with too many expectations. Just go with it by following your intuition, and never push yourself too fast or too deep in a pose.
Try as much as your body allows, and don't be ashamed if you need some props to modify a challenging pose.
Yoga blocks, straps, bolsters, and soft cushions are more than welcome.
And once in a while, when you start getting some demotivational thoughts, think again and remind yourself that this is just the beginning of everything.
We were all beginners at some point, and time and regular practice are here to fix everything that gets in the way.
#1 Savasana - Corpse Pose
This is one of the easiest and most challenging poses at the same time.
You need to lie down with wide legs placed each on both corners of the yoga mat. Your arms are spread wide too, and the back of your hand is placed on your mat while the palms are facing up.
It's a meditative pose, and yogis usually practice it as the last thing in their practice when they dive deep into meditation.
Everything you need to do is relax. And release your mind from thoughts.
#2 Tadasana - Mountain Pose
When you do the Mountain pose, at first glance it may seem that you'll need to stand in one place with arms slightly spread and just exist.
But it's not that simple and easy.
You need to plant your feet on the yoga mat. And sink into it while flexing all muscles on your body - arms, legs, stomach, everything.
Avoid having any unnecessary thoughts, and focus on your breathing. Inhale all the love in the world, and exhale your worries.
You can lift your arms to the sky too, to give your body a good stretch.
#3 Bidalasana - Cat Pose
To do the perfect Cat pose, breathe in and get on all your fours.
Inhale and tuck your tailbone. Start opening your chest and let your back sink between your shoulders and hips.
As you exhale, start bending your back and curl it like you're a cat that's trying to stretch its back.
Don't slump the shoulders, and keep them away from your neck and ears. Breathe a couple of sessions here, and with each exhale, try diving in deeper in the pose.
#4 Vrksasana - Tree Pose
The easiest way to do the Tree pose is to switch to it from Tadasana.
So, as you're standing firmly, put your hands on your chest in Namaste, and prepare to shift your weight to one leg. Let's say this would be the left leg.
Bring the right foot on top of the left foot. Your right heel should be up, so be ready to stand and balance on your right foot's toes.
#5 Trikonasana - Triangle Pose
The Triangle pose starts when you part your legs a couple of feet. Your right foot should be pointing the toes at the shorter side of your yoga mat, and the toes on your left foot should be turned to the longer side of the mat.
Spread your arms wide and bend towards the right leg. The goal is to touch the ankle of your right leg, but any distance under your knee is good to go. Your left arm stays firmly up and straight, pointing to the sky.
#6 Balasana - Child's Pose
This is a great pose to stretch your back and take a couple of breaths to rest.
Get on all your fours, and start lowering your chest onto your thighs. Your forehead should touch the yoga mat, and your arms are long and straight.
A slight variation would be to place your hands right next to you or even spread your knees and dive your chest deeper in the pose. The choice is yours.
#7 Virabhadrasana I - Warrior I
Remember the Triangle pose? Well, good!
Place your feet on the mat and make that same start once again. But this time, shift the foot of your left leg for about 45 degrees. Then, bend your knee for about 90 degrees. Keep the knee and the ankle aligned to avoid unnecessary pressure on your knee.
Lastly, put your hands in a namaste pose, and then bring them up, up, up to the sky. Keep the shoulders away from your ears, breath, and enjoy the pose.
#8 Virabhadrasana II - Warrior II
In this Warrior pose, your feet and legs are placed on the mat exactly the same as they were when you tried to do the triangle pose.
Your next step should be bending the knee (no pun intended at all!) for 90 degrees and keeping it aligned with the ankle. The crown of this pose is your hands, widely spread, looking like a giant T.
Keep them straight and balanced.
#9 Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - Bridge Pose
Lie down on your back and bend your knees. Your arms should be placed at your sides with palms facedown. Bring the knees as close as you can. Then inhale and engage the muscles in your whole torso by pressing your glutes away from the floor.
Stay in this pose for a couple of breaths and then release.
#10 Kumbhakasana - Plank Pose
Two seconds in plank time are equal to two minutes in real-time.
The easiest way to do a plank is to lie down on your stomach and put your hands under your shoulders. Then, use all your strength to push yourself up from the mat.
Anchor your toes and hands deep in the yoga mat, keep calm, inhale and exhale for a couple of sessions.
#11 Baddha Konasana - Bound Ankle Pose
This pose is a slight variation of the well-known Butterfly pose.
Sit in a comfortable position on your mat. The next thing you need to do is bend your knees and open them, like a book! Stick your feet together during this pose. They should look like they're glued one to another.
The hands are placed behind your tighs, touching the mat. Or you could lay them on your knees if you want a casual meditative pose.
#12 Paschimottanasana - Seated Forward Fold
Let's learn how to do the Forward fold.
As you're sitting on the mat with legs straight in front of you, flex your feet and raise your hands. Then, try to grab your feet. And push forward.
Keep your spine and neck straight, and with each exhale, push deeper and deeper into the pose. But don't force it! Push until you feel like you've reached your limit.
Intermediate Yoga Poses You Can Do At Home
A couple of months into your yoga routine, and look where it took you!
You're now an aspiring yogi to be, and yoga has become something that helps you survive even the hardest things that your everyday life serves in front of you.
Also, not to brag, but vinyasa and yoga flows are part of your favorite thing in the day.
If you can recognize yourself and your yoga progress in these bunch of lines, then you need to try out these poses during one of your next yoga practices.
#13 Ustrasana - Camel Pose
For the Camel pose, first, you'll need to kneel on your mat. And keep an eye on your legs - they should be spread within the width of your hips.
Touch your heels and keep pushing yourself backward. Transfer all your weight to your shoulders and arms. If this sounds too much for you, then here's a little hint: you could lift on your toes. It'll get easier to reach your heels this way.
#14 Dhanurasana - Bow Pose
Lying down on your belly never sounded more appealing.
But why not try to do the Bow pose? Let's do it!
As you are lying, bring your knees up to the sky, raise your torso and reach behind to grab your feet or if you could reach to your ankles. that would be fantastic!
All you need to do is release yourself into this pose. And keep your grasp strong.
#15 Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward-Facing Dog
The easiest way to prepare yourself for this pose is if you get down in the child's pose first.
Then, as your hands are already rooted in the mat, start pushing your legs and glutes up. Work your way gradually. The goal in this pose is to keep your legs and your back straight.
Try to keep in mind that if this is too much for you, you could always bend your knees slightly to keep the back straight. The back is the crucial thing in this pose because you're working on stretching your spine.
#16 Chaturanga Dandasana - Four-Limbed Staff Pose
The Chaturanga is a prep-pose yogis do during vinyasas. It comes between switching from a Down-dog to an Upward-facing dog.
It's similar to a plank. But here, you need to bend your arms at 90 degrees.
How to do it?
Well, as you are lying down on your belly, put your hands under your shoulders and push yourself off from the mat. Use your toes to help you lift your legs from your mat, and you've made it.
#17 Urdhva Mukha Svanasana - Upward-Facing Dog
As you are breathing in and out in your Chaturanga dandasana, start pushing away from the floor by straightening your arms by their length.
Tuck your toes down and use their strength to keep yourself away from the mat.
Inhale, and enjoy your breathing with full lung capacity.
#18 Parivrtta Trikonasana - Revolved Triangle Pose
The Reverse triangle is very similar to the original triangle pose, but it allows you to stretch your back even more and a deeper spine twist.
This pose begins with spreading your legs and shifting your back foot for 45 degrees. Both your feet should face the shorter side of the mat, which is where the stretch begins.
Bend your chest, and try to reach your left foot with your right arm. Then, it's time for a twist! Raise your left hand and feel how your spine whispers its thank you words.
#19 Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana - Dolphin Plank
A Dolphin plank is nothing more than a variation of the classic plank. And it feels like floating!
Instead of putting your palms on the mat, now you need to get down on your forearms and push from there.
Both legs are straight, and everything except the position of the arms stays in the same way as it was when you tried to do the regular plank.
#20 Ardha Chandrasana - Half Moon Pose
Feel free to start this pose from Tadasana.
Bring your hands on your chest in a Namaste, and start bending your torso until you reach an L-shape. Then, start lifting your left leg and keep it parallel and aligned to the torso as much as possible with flexed foot.
Now you look like the letter T.
Then, to add some balance and support, touch the yoga mat with your right arm. Don't panic if you can't reach the ground; you can always use a block to support yourself. And last but not least, spread your left arm up to the sky and try to align it with your right arm.
#21 Vasisthasana - Side Plank
It's time to work on those abdominal muscles! And there's nothing better for them than a good old Side plank.
First of all, you need to make a regular plank. Then, whenever you feel ready for it, transfer all your weight to one hand (feel free to choose which one) and bring the other up.
But keep both hands aligned. They need to look like a straight line.
Bundle both your feet together, one on top of the other. And just keep pressing the floor away by engaging the core muscles.
#22 Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana - Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Prepare yourself for a deep side stretch and a good twist.
All you need to do is to place your legs on your mat. But this time, you tuck one of your legs (for example, the right one) close to your pelvis and fold it to your thighs. The other one is stretched on the mat.
Here comes the twist.
Put your left arm on your tucked leg. Then, twist your torso and let your right arm chase the toes of your left leg. Grab the toes and feel the pose. Get comfortable in your own skin. Let your torso sink in the pose, but don't slump your body and keep it strong between your left leg and your right arm.
Advanced Yoga Poses, For Your Yogi Pleasure Only
If you're not new in the yoga world, and you're far from the beginner's fascination with what yoga does to your body and soul, congratulations - you're a veteran!
And these advanced asanas will probably feel to you like water is for fish.
But don't be afraid. Fear not, even if you haven't tried them by now.
You can do it!
Just one small note: respect the boundaries of your body, and don't try to break them. If you're struggling with a pose, modify it, or leave it.
Tomorrow is a new day, and you'll try again. There's no need to push yourself. Some of our boundaries are here for a reason.
#23 Virabhadrasana III - Warrior III
Warrior III is the most advanced Warrior-pose of all.
And to calm you down - it's similar to the Half-moon pose, so you already know the drill.
From Warrior, I slowly start bending forward. Your chest and the whole torso should make a move, including your hands. They all need to be straight.
Then, start lifting your back leg, and stop when you align it with the hands. In the end, your whole body should look like a T.
#24 Salamba Sarvangasana - Shoulder Stand
Feel free to avoid this pose if you have some neck issues. Always remember that everything is better safe than sorry.
But if you're up for an adventure with another inversion pose, then prepare your mat, and let's get started!
Lie down on your mat with hands beside you. Then, bend your knees and start bringing your legs to your chest.
Place your hands on your lower back. They will be the supporting pillars that will help you lift your legs easier.
The last thing you need to do is start lifting your legs and transfer all of your weight to your forearms and shoulders. Don't put too much pressure on your neck, and engage your core muscles.
That's it! Now you know how to do the Shoulder stand.
An important note for all further inversion poses would be to avoid them if you're on your period.
#25 Navasana - Boat Pose
The Boat pose is fun!
Sit on your mat with bent knees. The goal is to make a shape with your body that looks like a giant V.
So, find your balance and lift your legs. The goal is straight legs, but feel free to use the modification and make your shins parallel to your mat. However, your back and your spine must be straight. And your shoulders should be steady and far from your ears.
To lift the legs in the air and make the V shape, you need to engage your core muscles as much as possible. And an extra tip is to shift your back a bit backward.
The last tiny detail that makes this pose complete is stretching your arms forward.
#26 Adho Mukha Vrksasana - Handstand
The Sanskrit name of this pose surely will remind you of a Downward-facing dog. And this is not a coincidence.
Your Handstand should start with a Downward-facing dog. You'll see that it is an inverse variation that starts with this pose.
After you give yourself a good stretch, start walking your feet towards your torso and arms.
In time you'll perfect the Handstand and you will get your legs in the air one by one with a hop, but it can be too much if this will be your first time experiencing this pose.
Take the slow road to success.
Lift one leg and put the foot on the wall behind you. The wall should be only a couple of inches behind you, and you'll reach it without any problems along the way.
Then, start adding pressure to your foot on the wall and into your palms, activate your core muscles, and lift the other leg. If you're feeling comfortable, you can start getting your feet away from the wall.
But it's not necessary. Feel free to use the wall as a support system as long as you need it.
#27 Urdhva Dhanurasana - Wheel Pose
You can start with the Bridge pose. By gradually lifting your body inch by inch, you'll eventually get into the Wheel pose.
But let's explain it step by step.
Instead of laying your hands on your mat, transfer them behind your shoulders with palms down. Then, roll your head and place your crown on the yoga mat. Keep your glutes up and engaged, then slowly start lifting your arms.
While your arms are coming up, keep them straight and strong. Moreover, transfer all weight to the palms and feet. It will help you lift your back easier.
#28 Bakasana - Crow Pose
Make a deep yogi squat - everything starts from there.
Instead of putting your hands in front of your chest in a Namaste, bring your palms down on your mat. They should be placed between your knees.
Then, keeping your big toes together, start lifting your heels and balance your weight.
Your goal should be to lift your whole body by hooking your shins a bit lower than your armpits, somewhere around your upper arms. And when you feel like you can do it - just hop and lift yourself into the Crow pose.
#29 Pincha Mayurasana - Forearm Stand
This pose is an inversion that starts from the Dolphin pose.
And the key to do a magnificent inversion is: engage your core muscles.
Nothing less and nothing more.
While you're still in the Dolphin pose, start walking your feet towards your belly. When you reach the right distance, you'll know it. You will feel like your torso is weightless, and your legs start feeling like they're floating.
This is your safe zone. From here, lift your knees and keep them close by your belly. Engage your core muscles.
Breathe in and out.
Try to lift the legs even higher and keep them straight. Also, try practicing this pose close to a wall. It's always easier to lean your feet to the wall for extra support. And it's safer, too, especially if you're trying to make the Forearm stand without your yoga teacher.
#30 Sirsasana - Headstand
The secret behind the perfect headstand is not the body strength, but the core muscles.
If your core muscles are strong enough, you'll make it for sure.
Also, this pose is a big no if you're on your period. Inversion poses and menstruation don't go hand in hand. And if you're around those days of the month, it would be best to avoid them just until your period ends.
Start from a cat pose, then interlace your fingers and start doing the dolphin pose, but with the crown of your head touching the floor. Your hands with interlaced fingers need to hug gently and support the back of your head.
Walk your legs towards your torso, and start engaging the core muscles. When you reach a certain distance, you'll start feeling like your legs are floating in the air.
This is the moment when you start lifting your legs to the sky.
Try keeping the spine long and neutral, and avoid the banana shape of your back. Straighten your shoulders, and enjoy your headstand.
One significant note will be to try this pose next to a wall if you're feeling a little insecure. Or, for best results, always do it under the wide-awake eye of your yoga teacher.
We don't want any injuries because yoga should be fun, engaging, and easygoing. Better safe than sorry.