Updated: Sep 10, 2019
If you're soon to be attending your first yoga class you may well be feeling a bit nervous, and that's fine. It's always daunting trying something new, and when you have lots of options to choose from.
Over the last 10 years or so yoga – in all its lovely forms (hot, cold, with beer and even, goats) – has become a go-to work out for fitness lovers.
It's evolved from being a workout you might do once a week wearing slouchy tracksuit bottoms to an exemplary example of physical and spiritual prowess. For many, yoga is a lifestyle, not just a form of exercise.
You won’t regret going to you first class but if you're still unsure what class to attend check out my guide and see what type of yoga you like the look of.
Regardless of what type of yoga you decide to do there are some key poses that will get you off to the best start.
If you do each one of these for 5-10 breaths, it also creates a great beginner’s yoga program for you to do every day.
Here are my picks for the 5 most important yoga poses for beginners. Just remember, you don't have to be able to do all these poses exactly as pictured. Always listen to your body.
If you find you are struggling with any of these poses, try modifying them to make them easier, or go for something easier.
1. Downward Facing Dog
Downward Dog is probably the most well-known yoga pose as it's used in most yoga practices and yoga classes. The main benefits of the downward are that it stretches and strengthens the entire body.
The Triangle pose is a great first standing posture to try, and a great warm up for more to come. It stretches the sides of the waist and opens up the lungs. The triangle pose also strengthens the legs and helps tone the entire body.
3. Tree Pose
Tree pose is another awesome standing pose for beginners to try to gain balance, focus and clarity. This pose will also help you learn to breathe while standing and keeping the body balanced on one foot.
4. Childs Pose
In yoga, you'll come to learn that everyone needs a good resting pose. Child’s pose is an awesome one not just for beginners but for yoga practitioners of all levels.
The child’s pose gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. Whilst calming the brain and relieving back and neck pain. As you progress and get more advanced in your practice, you'll look forward to this pose!
It’s good to learn child’s pose to use when you’re fatigued in Down Dog, before bed at night to work out the kinks, or anytime you need a mental break and stress/tension relief.
5. Warrior 2
Warrior 2 pose is a good starting point for many side postures including triangle, extended angle and half-moon balance. If you can master this pose it will provide a very good base to build upon.
This pose is an external hip opener and opens up the inner thighs and groin and develops concentration, balance and groundedness.