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12 easy yoga asanas for beginners
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12 easy yoga asanas for beginners

It is important to do the yoga asanas in the right way to reap their benefits, say experts
yoga asanas
Representational Image | Canva

It is no secret that yoga serves as a great tool to improve flexibility, balance and even mood. The practice is suitable for people of different age groups and abilities as it includes both easy and advanced poses. With several yoga asanas, it might be confusing for beginners to choose one to start with. Moreover, one can make mistakes even while performing the easy ones. According to experts, only when we do the yoga asanas in the right form will we be able to achieve their benefits.

Bayu Prihandito, yoga teacher and life coach at Life Architekture, Germany and Prashant Jakhmola, certified yoga teacher, Yoga Vidya School, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand list the beginner-friendly yoga asanas, the mistakes one can potentially make while performing them and tips to avoid them.

Beginner-friendly yoga asanas 

  1. Child’s pose

“Child’s pose is great for relaxation,” says Prihandito. The pose can bring a sense of calmness while performing it. Moreover, this pose helps stretch our lower back gently, adds Prihandito. This is especially beneficial for those who have desk jobs as their backs become stiff after sitting for long.

Common mistake: Sitting too heavily on the heel puts pressure on the knees

Tip to fix: Use a cushion or rolled-up blanket between the calves and thighs for support, says Prihandito.

“Ensure that forehead rests well on the mat. This yoga asana helps lengthen the spine, helping in further stretch of the lower back,” says Jakhmola.

  1. Corpse pose

Corpse pose is well-known for its simplicity. As the name implies, it requires us to lie down like a corpse. One of its outstanding benefits is stress relief. Jakhmola says that it brings mental clarity and a sense of tranquillity. “It also brings awareness to your body,” adds Prihandito.

Common mistake: Rushing through the pose and tensing up the shoulders and neck, can hinder relaxation.

Tip to fix: Relax every body part and spend at least five minutes on this pose, say the experts.

  1. Happy baby pose

Jakhmola says this yoga asana can open the hips and stretch the inner thighs. In addition, it can lengthen the back, relieving its tension. “Happy baby pose soothes the mind too,” adds Prihandito.

Common mistake: Forgetting to keep the spine intact to the ground may affect the stretching of hips and thighs.

Tip to fix: Press the lower back to the floor while doing the pose. You can also gently sway from side to side while holding your feet up.

  1. Staff pose

“It is a foundational pose to build core strength,” says Prihandito. In addition, it stretches the shoulders and chest.

Common mistake: Utilising shoulder muscles more can affect the core engagement.

Tip to fix: Sit tall and keep your shoulders rolled back and down. Engage the core muscles.

  1. Cobra pose

Experts say this pose is great for strengthening and increasing the flexibility of the back. The corpse pose also stretches the chest.

Common mistake: Looking up too high and relying solely on arms’ strength.

Tip to fix: Maintain a forward gaze and keep the neck elongated to avoid compression. Engage back muscles, draw shoulder blades together and lift the chest with slightly bent elbows. Press the tops of your feet firmly into the mat.

  1. Cat cow stretch

The cat cow stretch enhances flexibility and promotes spine health. It also improves the coordination between breath and movement, says Jakhmola.

Common mistake: Rapid movements reduce stretch and breath coordination.

Tip to fix: Move slowly, coordinate breath with each movement for a smooth flow between arching and rounding the spine. Inhale for arching (cow pose), exhale for rounding (cat pose).

  1. Tree pose 

“This pose helps improve our balance, brings stability in legs,” says Prihandito. It also strengthens the arms, back and pelvic muscles.

Common mistake: Holding your breath or shallow breathing.

Tip to fix: Maintain smooth, deep breaths to aid in balance and focus.

  1. Upward salute pose

Performing this yoga asana can help stretch the belly and sides of our body. Regularly doing this asana can help improve digestion and energy levels.

Common mistake: Overarching the lower back.

Tip to fix: Gently tuck the tailbone and engage the abdomen.

  1. Standing half forward bend pose

Prihandito says this pose stimulates the belly organs and awakens the hamstrings, preparing one for deeper forward bends. Moreover, it can help improve hip flexibility.

Common mistake: Overstretching the hamstrings by locking the knees.

Tip to fix: Keep a slight bend in the knees to protect them.

  1. Squat pose

The squat pose enhances flexibility in hips and groin, strengthens and tones the abdomen and can improve posture and balance.

Common mistake: Collapsing the chest and rounding the back.

Tip to fix: Keep the spine long and chest open.

  1. Mountain pose

This asana improves posture, and strengthens thighs, knees and ankles, says Prihandito.

Common mistake: Ignoring the alignment of feet and legs.

Tip to fix: Keep feet parallel and distribute weight evenly.

  1. Downward facing dog

If you want to feel energised, go for this pose, say experts. The downward-facing dog pose can also help stretch shoulders, hamstrings, calves and hands.

Common mistake: Giving importance to having your feet touch the ground completely rather than focusing on elongating the spine.

Tip to fix: Bend the knees slightly to elongate the spine.

 

Note: Do these asanas only under the guidance of a yoga expert.

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