Remember when you resolved to do more yoga? Now it's time to do these simple moves the right way to really get the most out of your workout!
Take a breath, relax and let this routine walk you through all the beginner's yoga poses you need to know to master your practice!
Hold each pose for three to five deep and slow breaths, in and out of your nostrils.
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Stand tall, spine straight with feet parallel and big toes touching. Look straight ahead.
Common mistakes: The ribs and butt should not stick out too far. Try to keep your spine, from the top of your head to your tailbone, in one straight line.
2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Knees bent over the ankles, thighs as parallel to the floor as possible. Torso should form a right angle over your thighs. Move the feet closer together for a more advanced pose. Inhale as you raise your hands up.
Common mistakes: Knees should not go past the toes.
3. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
This pose opens up the back of the legs, allows the spine to decompress and lets fresh blood move from the heart and into the head.
Start in mountain pose. Hinge from the hips on an exhale and fold over forward, keeping the spine as straight as possible. Let the head hang heavy, and relax the jaw. Keep feet hip-width apart for beginners or touching for intermediate/advanced students.
Common mistakes: A straight spine is more important than having straight legs. Bend your knees as much as needed to keep a straight spine with your chest touching your thighs.
4. Downward-facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This inversion opens the entire body. From plank position, with your feet hip-width apart and hands shoulder-width apart, lift your hips toward the ceiling on an exhale until your body makes an inverted "V." Eyes are looking between the legs or toward the belly. Pull the belly and ribs in.
Common mistakes: People with tight hamstrings and calves tend to form boxy poses. To correct this, bend the knees more, and draw the chest toward the tops of the thighs, pressing your hands firmly against the floor to pull the hips back.
5. Warrior One (Virabhadrasana 1)
From downward-facing dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, turn your left heel in, and raise your torso and arms up on an inhale. The front foot's heel should line up with the back foot's arch, with the front of the knee directly over the ankle. Face both hips forward, draw the tailbone down, and pull the ribs in. Repeat pose on the opposite side of the body.
Common mistakes: The back hip should be facing forward and not outward, and the back foot should be closer to a 45-degree angle, not a 90-degree angle.
6. Warrior Two (Virabhadrasana 2)
Similar to warrior one, but with arms stretched out in opposite directions, parallel to the floor and in line with the shoulders. Raise arms and torso on an inhale. Back foot should be at a 90-degree angle, and front thigh should be parallel to the floor, with the front of the knee directly over the ankle. Eyes should look out over middle finger. Repeat pose on the opposite side of the body.
Common mistakes: The butt or belly should not stick out, and there should be no arch in the lower back. Foot alignment is also often wrong. Make sure that your front foot's heel aligns with the back foot's arch.
7. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Step feet wide apart, creating a triangle from your feet to your pelvic bone. Start with turning one foot out by 90 degrees and the other inward by 15 degrees. Stretch arms out in line with the shoulders, and, on an exhale, rotate torso toward the outward-turned foot. Fingers should touch the shin for beginners or slightly touch the floor for advanced. The other arm should be reaching up with eyes looking at the raised hand, neck kept long and away from the shoulders. Shoulders and arms should form one line.
Common mistakes: The front hip should not jut out, and the back hip should not drop down.
8. Child's Pose (Balasana)
Child's pose is a pose of surrender. Starting from a kneeling position, with toes touching and knees as wide as the shoulders, draw your hips down to your heels as your arms extend forward on the floor and your forehead lowers to the ground. Close your eyes and let your forehead rest on the ground. Breathe in whichever manner is comfortable to you.
9. Baby Cobra (Ardha Bhujangasana)
This pose is done on the belly, with the pubic bone and the tops of the feet pressing into the ground. Feet are as wide as the hips and straight back. Hands are resting beside the rib cage, and elbows are squeezed back, reaching toward one another. Using the strength in the lower lumbar spine, peel the chest and upper ribs off the floor. Lift up on an inhale, take a few breaths, and lower down on an exhale.
Common mistakes: Hands should not be in front of the shoulders, and the shoulders should not be by the ears. To correct this form, draw the shoulders down the back, and pull the shoulders away from the ears.
10. Seated Twist with Leg Extended (Marichyasana)
The seated spinal twist neutralizes the spine. Start from a seated position, with butt on the ground and both legs parallel in front of you. Extend your left leg straight out, and flex the foot. Bend your right knee, and cross your right foot over the extended left leg. Left elbow pushes against the outside of the right knee, and right hand is placed on the floor on the right side of the body. Right hand should be planted behind the right side of the spine, supporting it. Look over the shoulder or as far as the neck allows. Repeat pose on the opposite side of the body.
Common mistakes: Do not round your back. Lengthen your spine by lifting your back up. Make sure your back hand is helping you life the spine up.