Hope Knosher outlines the basic sequence of a well-rounded yoga session. Use this as a standard to start your home practice!Read more
If you are new to yoga and you’re concerned about learning in a group setting, these are great beginner poses for you to get started on your own! Once you build your confidence and experience, you can begin to try out a group setting.
Developing a home practice is important. It’s helpful to keep a consistent practice on those days when you can’t make it to a studio or you don’t have time for a class. Think 5-30 minutes, and then work in what you can. When you approach your practice with flexibility, you are more likely to practice consistently. It is through a consistent practice that you get the most benefits.
Try these great poses to get you going, and if you have kids, grab them as well! Kids love to do yoga, and it’s fun to learn together. Hold each pose for 5-10 breaths unless otherwise noted.
- Come to your hands and knees.
- Sit back on the heels as you reach your arms forward, palms down.
- Rest your forehead on the ground.
Notice the weight of the body and the support of the earth underneath you as you continue to soften with each breath.
- Come back to hands and knees.
- While inhaling, extend your spine forward, and draw your head up and back.
- On exhale, round your spine, and drop your head, like a cat arching its back.
- Repeat this flow from Cat Pose to Cow Pose 5-10 times, moving with the breath.
Downward Facing Dog
- Come to your hands and knees, on an exhalation.
- Next, inhale as you lift your hips up to the sky.
- Try to evenly distribute weight between your arms and legs.
- Press your arms forward as you pull your thighbones back, and release any tension in your face.
- From the front of your mat step your left foot back about three feet and toward the left side of the mat, grounding your foot at an angle.
- Draw your right knee directly over your ankle.
- Engage the core and sweep your arms and upper body upward, palms facing inward as you square your hips and lunge forward.
- Take your gaze upward.
- Feel the internal rotation of your back leg as it spirals into the earth.
- Press into your front foot, lifting the heart and softening the shoulder blades down the back.
- From Warrior 1, release your arms and place your hands on your hips.
- Straighten your front leg and extend your left leg further back, finding a heel-to-arch alignment with your feet.
- Bend the front knee just over the ankle, connecting through the soles of the feet and with the legs.
- Lengthen downward through your pelvis as you firm the lower belly and extend your arms out at shoulder height.
- Take your gaze over your right fingertips.
- From Warrior 2, straighten your front leg, shifting your hips back and your fingertips forward.
- Once fully extended, continue to lengthen as you reach your right hand down to your shin or ankle, spiral your heart open, and reach your left fingertips to the sky, gently taking your gaze torward the fingertips.
- Repeat poses 4-6 on the opposite side.
- Start in a seated position.
- Bend your knees and cross your legs with your left leg on top.
- For tight hips sit on the edge of a folded blanket.
- Fold your legs in toward your torso.
- Lengthen your spine and relax your feet and thighs.
- Place your right hand behind you.
- Bring your left hand to the outside of your left knee.
- Exhale gently, twisting to the left.
- Take your gaze over your left shoulder.
- With each inhale lengthen your spine, and with each exhale move gently into the twist, keeping your head aligned over your tailbone.
- After 5-10 breaths exhale as you come back to center.
- Change the cross of your legs and repeat on the other side.
- Come to a supine position, with knees bent and your feet parallel and close to the sit-bones.
- Grounding through your feet, lift your hips into Bridge Pose, with your feet hip-width apart and knees stacked over your ankles.
- Press your shoulder blades inward, interlace your fingers behind your back, and extend your arms toward your feet.
- Exhale to release.
- From a supine position, draw your knees toward your chest.
- Open the knees, bringing them towards the armpits.
- Stack ankles directly over the knee, so that the shins are perpendicular to the floor.
- Flex the feet.
- Hold the outer edges of the feet as you draw the knees towards the floor.
- Exhale to release feet to the mat.
- After moving, stretching, and engaging your body, it is time to let go and relax!
- Lie on your back and take all the time you need to get comfortable.
- Let you arms extend beside you with palms up and extend the legs, allowing the feet to gently fall apart.
- Place support under your knees or your head and neck if it assists you in letting go into this important pose.
- Bring your attention to your breath.
- Expect that your mind will wander to something else; when it does and you become aware, gently bring your awareness back to the breath.
- Start with 3-5 minutes and expand from there.