Yoga is for everyone – you don’t need to be well-trained or super bendy to reap the benefits. Whether you are young or old, fit or unfit, yoga for beginners has the power to strengthen the body and help you find the mental clarity that you never knew you had.
For those that are new to yoga, you might be wondering what it involves. It is an ancient practice originating from India. It aims to unite the body, mind and spirit through movement, breath and meditation. Each yoga for beginner’s class generally involves a set of poses performed on a yoga mat, which uses the weight of the body as resistance, whilst focusing on breath and presence, to deepen into each stretch.
Classes can range from gentle and nourishing, to challenging and sweaty. There are so many different hybrids and styles of yoga, from Vinyasa and Hatha, to Yin Restorative and Yoga Nidra. This means there is bound to be a class for everyone.
Benefits of incorporating yoga into your lifestyle are endless, but just to name a few – you can expect better mental clarity, increased muscle strength and tone, better alignment and flexibility, improved respiration, energy and vitality, a decrease in stress and anxiety, and a more balanced metabolism.
So, it’s time to roll out your yoga mat and discover the combination of physical and mental benefits for yourself – benefits that have hooked yoga lovers all around the globe. Here is a quick, 20-minute home yoga workout to get you started!
Cat/Cow is the perfect warm-up exercise for beginner yoga. Begin in tabletop position; make sure your wrists are right under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Curl your toes under and arch your back, looking up at the ceiling – you are now in cow pose. Hold for a long inhale.
To transition into the cat pose, uncurl your feet so that your soles are facing up. Tip your pelvis forward and tuck your tailbone. Move your gaze down to your mat, pull your navel into your spine and hold. Hold for a long exhale.
Continue to do this sequence several times.
- Downward Facing Dog
Downward dog energizes and rejuvenates the entire body. It deeply stretches your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, arches, hands, and spine while building strength in your arms, shoulders, and legs.
Start in plank position, taking a deep breath in, and then exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Reach your pelvis up toward the ceiling, drawing your sit bones toward the wall behind you. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Bring your body into the shape of an “A”, keeping your arms stretched out in front of you and chin tucked to the chest. Breathe here.
- Warrior 1
Start in mountain pose, standing up straight, with your arms down by your side, at the top of your mat. Exhale as you step your feet wide apart into a lunge pose.
Turn your front foot out 90 degrees, so that your toes are pointing to the top of the mat, and pivot your back-foot inwards at a 45-degree angle. Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot, keeping your pelvis turned toward the front of your mat. Exhale as you bend your front knee over your front ankle. Your shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Reach up strongly through your arms, lengthening the sides of your waist. Breathe here. Don’t forget to switch sides.
Lie on your back with your arms down by your side. Point your knees up to the roof, with feet pressed firmly on the floor in front of your gluts. Lift your hips, pushing your pelvis towards the roof. Press firmly into your feet to hold you in a stable bridge position. Breathe here.
- Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is a common beginner yoga pose, and a pose we often take when we are feeling fatigued in class and need a break. Child’s Pose helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress and fatigue. It gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso. To do a Child’s Pose, spread your knees out wide, let your belly rest between your thighs and stretch your arms out in front of you, resting your head against the floor.
Our favourite sleeping pose! Savasana is a pose where a lot of our students fall asleep accidentally! We also hear that a lot of people come to our yoga classes purely for the Savasana at the end – and we don’t blame them! Savasana involves lying on your back, with your arms on either side of you, palms facing up.
Follow Kaya @ Home
The easiest way to see if beginner yoga is for you, is to try out one of our online Kaya @ Home workout videos. Our 20-minute Yoga with Wendy video is a great place to start, as even though you will be learning through a screen, you will still be receiving Wendy’s guidance, and being able to mimic her technique within each pose. This really does make all the difference.
So, roll out your mat, remember to breathe, listen to your body and be kind to yourself. Enjoy!