POPSUGAR Fitness

The Ultimate Beginner-Friendly Yoga Sequence

May 5 2014 - 5:03pm

When you're brand new to yoga, heading to a studio for hands-on instruction and expert supervision is the best way to build a safe and strong practice. With that said, if you're a little intimidated at the idea of your first class, we don't blame you. If you relate, this ultrabeginner sequence is designed with you in mind. It includes some of the most common poses you will see at any Vinyasa-style yoga class and will teach you how to transition from one yoga pose to the next. After moving through this sequence, you'll feel more confident before stepping into the studio for your first time.

Source: Shutterstock [1]

Child's Pose

The most important pose to have under your belt before your first yoga class? The oh-so-relaxing Child's Pose, of course! Child's Pose is the perfect place to reconnect with your breath and give your body a moment to recoup. Whenever you're feeling overwhelmed during class or your breathing feels shallow or harried, drop your knees, and hang out in Child's Pose for a few deep breaths. It will change everything.

Photo: Laughing River Yoga

Downward Facing Dog

You'll be asked to step back to this upside-down V shape all the time during class! It will feel very active and difficult in the beginning, but with time and practice, you'll come to experience it as a resting pose. Do your best to let your arms and legs equally share the weight of your body. It's your best bet to feel stabler and more comfortable in Downward Facing Dog.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [2]

Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend is another pose that looks like it's all relaxation, but you will feel a deep and intense stretch in your hamstrings and upper back. While the full expression of the pose calls for straight legs, if that feels like too much on your body, give a little bend to your knees to create more space.

Photo: Laughing River Yoga

Upward Facing Dog

Upward Facing Dog is another common pose in any Vinyasa-style yoga class, but it is not as easy as it appears! This chest-opening pose requires ample arm strength to lift your hips up and away from your mat. If the stretch feels too intense from the start of class, don't be afraid to start off in Cobra Pose [3], a gentler alternative that offers the same benefits to your upper body.

Photo: Laughing River Yoga

Warrior 1

Warrior 1 opens up tight hips while strengthening your whole lower body. Do your best to turn and square your hips toward the front of the room while straightening and engaging your back leg in Warrior 1. These tips will help your body get the most of the stretch, and you'll be able to stay comfortable in this pose for a longer period of time.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [4]

Warrior 2

Warrior 2 is another quad-strengthening and hip-opening pose you'll need to know for class. Once you take the initial shape, roll your shoulders back to loosen up your neck and continue to extend your arms toward the front and back of the mat. If you start to feel the burn, remember that's good! Breathe deep, and stick with the pose.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [5]

Open Triangle

The pretzel-like Open Triangle Pose might look a little confusing, but just follow these step-by-step instructions to build this pose from the ground up. Once you're in your full expression of Open Triangle, try to swing your upper body and chest back to be in line your hips. You'll feel an amazing stretch across the side of your body!

Photo: Laughing River Yoga

Boat Pose

If you're looking to test your core strength [10], Boat Pose is a great indicator. Don't be afraid to keep your knees bent in this core-toning posture; you'll be able to extend your legs out long with time. Also, don't bail if your body starts to shake, it just means your center is engaged and working!

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [11]

Half Wheel

Before you jump into a full Wheel Pose or any sort of crazy backbend, you need to build a solid foundation, and Half Wheel is the perfect inversion for beginners. It stretches out a tight torso and has a surprisingly calming effect on your whole body.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [12]

Savasana

Here's the moment you've been waiting for! Nearly every yoga class ends with Savasana (or Corpse Pose), which is basically an extended meditative nap. When you hear the teacher call out Savasana in class, you know that the active portion of the practice is behind you.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [13]


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