So you want to start practicing yoga? Anyone and everyone can benefit from yoga, whether it be from the meditative qualities, increasing flexibility, or the healing properties. There are many poses and many benefits from each pose, but this article is going to cover a few of the common ones. All of the poses have a Sanskrit (an Indian language) name, which I will list as well. These do not cover every beginner pose, but some of the more common ones. It is definitely a good base to build off of.
1. Sun Salutation AKA Surya Namaskar. This is actually a combination of 12 movements that help you warm up and prepare for the workout. I see it used a lot in between sets as well.
2. Downward-Facing Dog AKA Adho Mukha Svanasana. This is one of the most common poses and it basically stretches the whole body (especially back, chest, and upper body). You can use it as a resting pose or to transition into another pose. The posture resembles a dog stretching (hence the name) and you are forming what appears to be an upside-down V. To make the stretch easier, I usually slightly bend my knees and arms.
3. Balasana AKA Child’s Pose. This pose is a relaxation pose. You can do this as part of a workout or by itself whenever you feel stressed or tense. It is done in the on the floor in the fetal position with your forehead resting on the mat. I find this pose very soothing, especially at the end of the workout.
4. Mountain Pose AKA Tadasana. This is a pose that is wonderful for your posture. It is important to try and bask in the stillness of this pose. Though it sounds easy, it can be especially difficult, at first, not to fidget.
5. Cobra Pose AKA Bhujangasana. This pose stretches the back and is really good for alleviating back pain. It also helps with spine flexibility.
6. Cat Pose AKA Bidalasana. This is another pose that stretches your back and abdomen as well. This is one of my personal favorites and I can’t even really say why. It just feels so good on my back. As the name suggests, you resemble a cat stretching it’s back.
7. Standing Forward Bend AKA Uttanasana. This pose is standing (obviously) and you basically bend over and touch your toes or if you are flexible enough, you rest your palms on the floor. It works your hamstrings and calves very well.
8. Corpse Pose AKA Saasana. This pose almost always is at the very end of your yoga session. You work deeper into relaxation and can stay there an extended period of time (as long as you wish, really). As the name suggests, you are laying very still (like a corpse) and relaxing any parts of the body you can detect tension in.