Top 10 Beginner Yoga Poses

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Published on September 1, 2017

Welcome back to Reflection Yoga.

My name’s Kyle. If you’ve been on the site before, of course you know this young lady. This is Erin, she’s one of our instructors. For today’s posture breakdown, she’s going to be our model for Tadasana or ‘mountain pose’. This is a very fundamental posture that you see in almost every single one of our Yoga flows, so we wanted to give you guys just a quick posture breakdown to make sure that you’re doing it with proper alignment.

yoga pose

Yoga Pose

So, Erin’s going to get started at the top of our mat here. So the feet can be either together, with your big toe mounds kissing and then just a slight sliver facing the heels or they can be inner hip width distance apart, whatever feels good for you. Erin’s going to go inner hip width distance here. All ten toes facing forward and we start from the ground up here, so we’re really rooting through the four corners of the feet. That’s the corner behind the big toe mound and pinky toe mound and then the two corners in the heels.

So when you root down through these parts of your feet, all ten toes should be able to lift and sort of wave back at your face. Moving up from there, we activate the quadriceps so much that the knee caps lift. We don’t want to lock out or hyperextend the knees but we want to stay active. So Erin, use your left leg here to really pop it back, like hyper extend it. See like that, she’s lost all alignment, lost all muscle engagement. Know the difference, you’ll feel this in your body. Know the difference from being active and then really just throwing the legs back. Now the tailbone is the biggest point of concern in Tadasana. Too many people tend to bring it way back, go ‘cheerleader butt’ style. That’s not good for anybody; a lot of crunching in the lower spine. Or if we bring it too far forward, that doesn’t look very comfortable either. So, the hips stack directly above the knees and then the shoulders are directly above the hips, so Erin’s honoring the natural curvature of her spine and then on the inhale, we’ll take the arms up high for mountain pose; Tadasana.

So Erin, do me a favor and scrunch up real high. See, that’s not comfortable for anyone. So we set the heads of the arm bones back into the shoulder girdle and then raise the fingertips up towards the ceiling. I prefer to turn the pinkies in and then spread my hands to really tone up the muscles of the forearms. Gazes forward, chin is slightly lifted and you’ll notice Erin has one straight line from heels to hips to shoulders to crown of head and out her hands, so that is our breakdown for Tadasana. I know it seems like there’s a lot going on in a fairly simple pose, as you’ll find that tends to be the case with almost every Yoga posture you visit as you get deeper into your practice. Please check us out for more posture breakdowns and full-length videos here at Reflexion Yoga. I think that’s it for us. I’m Kyle, this is Erin. You guys have a great day.  What’s up guys? Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. My name’s Matt, this is Kyle and we’re going to break down a pose that comes up a lot in Yoga practice; upward facing dog pose.

We’re actually just going to talk as we do this, so just start out with downward facing dog, if you would Kyle. So from downward facing dog, just take a moment here, find your distance and our focus here for this is going to be upward facing dog. So we’re going to work through the Chaturanga. We have a breakdown of Chaturanga on our site, so we’re really going to focus and get into detail on upward facing dog. So come forward to plank if you would, inhale. Exhale, Chaturanga, lower halfway down, thinking about keeping this external rotation of your shoulders. Good. Now from here, flip your feet, press into your palms, lift up through your heart. Come into upward facing dog. So first you’ll notice the tops of Kyle’s feet have flipped over, so they’re on the ground, so avoiding the tucked toes under. And then, press down through your feet so much that your thigh bones start to lift up. Now, starting to get into what’s going on here. Think about rolling open through your shoulders and you’ll notice Kyle doesn’t have a bunch of muscles around his elbows.

He’s not crunching here, he’s rolling open and then his shoulder blades are working down. That allows for his heart to lift up, so his heart’s breathing through his chin. He’s reaching up through the crown of his head and he’s not tilting his chin so that he’s crunching on the back of his neck. He’s reaching up through the crown of his head and then just reaching back through his ears. So this is kind of a breakdown of what’s going on with upward facing dog. Go ahead and tuck your toes and just press back to downward facing dog. So I just threw a lot of information at you there, so feel free to watch this again; that’s the beauty of this site. And be sure to check out all our posture breakdowns here on Reflexion Yoga. Thanks. ˛ Hi. Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. My name is Ben, this is our lovely model Casey and today, we’re going to be working into downward facing dog. Now we’re going to begin this posture in tabletop.

So first, we’re going to set up the hands. You want the wrists to be underneath the shoulders, but you want your hands to be a little wider than shoulder-width distance. Then your fingers are spread wide, index fingers point straight forward. Once you have your hands set, go ahead and walk your feet back and come to plank pose. So in plank pose, again the shoulders are over the wrists, hug the shoulder blades together to draw the heart forward.

Pull the belly in and up to support the lower back and energetically extend back through the heels to create length through your entire body. Now the reason why I’m having Casey come to plank first is because if you set your plank up correctly, plank is going to automatically give you the right distance between your hands and feet for downward facing dog. So go ahead and send your hips high for down dog. Okay so again, plank gives you that distance between your hands and feet. Now once you come into down dog, you want to actively grip the mat with the hands. Your fingertips root down and the knuckles at the top of the hand root down. And then energetically draw the power up into your arms and feel the chest move back towards your thighs. But at the same time, you want to draw the head and the arm bones forward so that you stay strong and supported. Now as the hips rise, you’re going to allow the heels to mount down towards the mat and feel the backs of the legs open. Not everyone’s going to be able to bring their heels flat to the mat.

In fact, not everyone’s going to be able to keep a long, lengthy spine like this. So if that’s the case, know that it is okay to take a subtle bend of the knees to help you create that length in your spine. And if your heels don’t go all the way down to the mat, don’t let that stress you out as well. Go ahead, come back forward to plank and then release to tabletop. Thank you for joining us. Namaste. ˛ Hi guys. Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. I’m Julia and today, Kyle and I are going to be showing you a crescent lunge. So stepping forward with the front leg, Kyle’s going to show you here on his left side. When you come into a crescent lunge, you’re opening up a lot in the hip flexor. You want to stay low in your lunge. Again, just like our warrior poses, we want this 90° bend in the front leg. What we’re doing here is we’re strengthening our legs.

We’re really rooting into our bodies. So knee presses forward enough, you want the stacking knee over ankle. You’re going to hear this a lot but this is an important part of these poses. Reach the arms up towards the ceiling. Now if you start to reach the arms up and your shoulders are lifting up towards your ears, drop them down your back. So you should have imagined grapefruits in-between your shoulders and your ears. You have that much space there. Shoulder blades are coming together, so if you’re super tight, you’re rounding forward, then I’m going to invite you to bring your palms forward. The palms come forward and the head and the shoulder bones are to draw back. If you need to modify this pose, drop your back knee down to the floor.

There is never anything wrong with modifying this if you feel super tight one day. We want this opening in the hip flexor. Again, so you want to keep the front knee forward and if you can’t do that with the legs straight, then drop down. Kyle’s going to lift his knee just so you can see this again. Now if you start to pull the butt back, I want you to root down towards the floor so that you have a full length in your spine coming out of this pose. And that’s our crescent lunge. ˛ Hi guys. Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. I’m Julia, and today Erin and I are going to be showing you warrior two. So coming into the right leg, warrior two posture is something that we do in most of our classes when we come into any kind of warrior sequence.

You’re drawing the front knee forward, so notice Erin’s knee is stacked over the ankle. Our goal here is to come down deep enough that we have a 90° bend in our front leg. Now noticing where your back leg is, the back leg is straight, not locking, pressing the knee out but keeping a soft knee here, engaging your leg. Outer edge of the foot is pressing into the ground. Now you’re looking over your front arm. If this is really hard on the neck, you can always look forward — whatever feels more comfortable. But our goal here is to keep looking over the fingertips, so your middle finger, you’re looking directly over the finger.

Shoulders come together on the back. We want this engagement, so think about where all parts of your body are. Inner thighs are lifting, you’re rooting your tailbone down, not to curl the tailbone but lengthening in the spine so that you root. Now coming out, Erin’s going to show you now on the left side. Your feet are perpendicular, so your feet are at a 90° angle. Your heels are in one line. Your toes pressing forward, knees are pressing forward. Again, staying low enough that you find this 90° bend in the front leg. Again, look forward if you need to, if your neck is hurting you. Coming out of this pose. And that is warrior two. ˛ Hi. Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. My name is Ben, this is our model, Julia. And the pose that we’re going to be working today is extended side angle. Okay, we’re going to be starting for this pose beginning in a lunge. So setting up your lunge, the first thing you want to make sure is that your feet are parallel, running inner hip-width distance apart.

Your back leg is strong and active, the hands are under the shoulders and your front knee is stacked over your front ankle. Okay, now the reason why you want to set your feet parallel is when you spin your back foot flat (go ahead and spin the back foot flat), when your feet are parallel, your front heel is going to automatically bisect the back of the foot. That way, you’ll have the right foot stance for extended side angle. Now what Julia’s going to do is she’s going to go and bring her right elbow on top of her left knee and then bring her left bicep by her left ear and reach forward and up. Again in an extended side angle, you want to try to create length all the way from the outside edge of your foot out through the fingertips of the hand. As you reach the hand forward, you want to relax the shoulder back and down and then press the right elbow into the right knee to help you spiral the lung to the sky. And then gaze under the armpit and breathe.

So this is a basic way to get in the pose. You can take this posture deeper by bringing the hand to the outside edge of the foot. Okay, now not all of us are going to be open enough to do this right away, so if you do have a block and you want to practice on getting deeper, you can bring that block to the outside of the foot and use the block to help support and lift the torso, then eventually remove the block to help you deepen the pose. Go ahead and release. All right, so now we’re going to go ahead and give you the back view of the extended side angle. So go ahead and bring the elbow down to the knee, the bicep by the ear, fingertips reaching forward. So again, you want to create length all the way from the outside edge of the foot. Again, you want it sealed down to the mat, the back leg strong and active and again, there’s length through the leg all the way out through the fingertips and again, as you reach forward, you want to hug the shoulder blade onto the back, creating space between your ear and your shoulder.

And then again, use the elbow to press into the knee to help you spiral the bottom lung up to the sky, allowing you to twist, gaze upwards and breathe. And again, to deepen the pose, you can always bring the hand to the outside edge of the foot, but if you’re not ready to bring the hand all the way down, you can always bring a block to the outside edge of the foot and use the block to help you support you in the pose. And that’s our extended side angle. Thank you. ˛ Hi guys. Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. I’m Julia and today, Erin and I are going to be showing you reverse warrior. So coming into a lunge, we come into this pose similarly as we do into a warrior two. You’ll notice these poses a lot through our flows. Important here to come into the legs first. So here, Erin’s knee is stacking over her ankles, she’s drawing herself forward. Now for reverse warrior, you take the back arm, start to draw the arm down the leg. You’re coming into a side bend, so reaching the right arm up, you’re scooping back. Now lengthening here, if you start to rotate back, be sure that your chest is still square and you’re lifting out of the right side, reaching back.

You can start here, keeping the hand onto the leg. When you feel ready, this back arm is going to wrap behind you and you keep stretching back. Point the fingers back so the palm is coming back, looking up towards the ceiling to where the momentum is going. Coming out of this pose, you come back into the warrior two, so you want to keep the legs really engaged here. And that’s our reverse warrior. ˛ Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. My name is ben, this is our lovely model Julia and today we’re going to be breaking down tree pose Vrikshasana. Okay, so we’re just going to have Julia stand facing the camera and what you’re going to do is you’re going to go ahead, reach down, grab your right foot and bring it to the inside of your left thigh.

Once you have that set, go ahead and bring your hands to heart center. So I’m going to leave Julia here for a moment. Now, not everyone’s going to be able to bring their foot to the inside of their thigh. If this is the case, if you’re one of those people that are bringing your foot up into your leg and you’re constantly having your foot slide down and you’re constantly grabbing your foot, then you’re not actually practicing balancing. You’re just practicing grabbing your foot and letting it slide down your leg. So if that’s the case, what you want to do is just simply bring your foot to either your calf or your ankle. It doesn’t matter where the foot’s at, as long as you’re just balancing on one leg. So once you have your foot placed either on the inside of your thigh, your calf or your ankle, let’s go ahead on work on activating our midline.

So what you want to do is you want to feel your leg press into your foot, and your foot press into your leg. Now when this happens, you want to draw the belly in and up and hug the knee out to the side to help you open the hip and then when the belly draws in and up, that’s going to help you elevate the heart and then when you’re ready, go ahead and reach the hands high. And this is your tree pose, Vrikshasana. Go ahead, bring your hands to heart center and release the foot to the mat. So again, we’ll go ahead and show you this pose from the side again so that you can see the opening and closing of the knee. A lot of times, peoples’ knees will be in. You want to hug the knee out. So go ahead and face the front of the mat and we’ll go ahead and switch things up.

Go ahead and now reach down and grab the left foot, bring it to the inside of the right thigh, calf or ankle and once you’ve got your foot set, return the hands to the heart center. Again, feeling strong in your balancing leg. Activate the midline by pressing foot into thigh, thigh into foot. Then draw the belly in and up and allow your knee to open up to the side. Feel the heart lifted and then go ahead, reach the hands high.

Bring your hands to heart center and release the foot to the mat. So, that’s our tree pose, Vrikshasana. Now not everyone’s going to be able to balance as gracefully as Julia, so know that if you do sway and wobble as you practice this pose, know that’s okay. Practice makes perfect. Thank you again for joining us at Reflexion Yoga. Please check out the rest of our posture videos. Thank you. ˛ Hey guys. Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. I’m Kyle, this is Erin. She’s one of our instructors on the site. Today, she’s going to be our model for this posture breakdown where we visit eagle pose. Eagle pose is a really interesting one. It’s a one-legged balance and it’s also what they call a compression pose, so we’re binding at the joints which tends to slow down the blood flow which in general, over long periods of time, not a good thing.

But when you do it in short burst, what it does is it slows blood flow and then you get this huge, huge burst of blood that is rich in nutrients, oxygen; all that good Yoga juju and delivers it straight to your muscles. So we’re going to have Erin demo actually two ways; one facing forward so you can see that view and then one from the profile. So let’s get started. We’ll ground down and we’ll start on the right side here to begin with. So really ground through the four corners of the right foot and then begin to sit the hips back, like you’re sitting into chair pose. And then take the arms up, find chair briefly, and the left arm is going to wrap underneath the right.

So from here, if you guys are real tight in the shoulders, go ahead and bring the hands to the shoulders here. If you want a deeper bind, you take that left arm, wrap it and you can connect at the back of the hands if you’d like or Erin is showcasing of course, bringing palm to palm. So for all you big dudes out there that are really tight in the shoulders, move slowly through this. Getting palm to palm comes with time. And now to go into full eagle, we ground down through the right foot and left leg begins to rise and come on over the right. So we’re bound at the elbows and we’re bound at the knees. Now Erin’s using her left toes as a kickstand here. If you want to take it a bit deeper and make it a one-legged balance, you can begin to bring those left toes off of the earth and if you can, then bind them all the way around that right shin. Not all of us can get there. I for one, certainly cannot. We’ll give Erin just a little break.

Go ahead, come out, unwind. Take the arms tall. After eagle, I just kind of like to shimmy out the hips, wiggle out the arms and the legs. Here, we’ll have her move on into the front of the mat here so you can get the profile view of what this looks like. So we begin once again by sitting the hips down, arms go up, getting into our chair. And this time, right arm comes underneath the left. Hands to shoulders, hand to hand on the back side or palm to palm if you can get it. And then when you’re ready, root down through the left foot and the right leg comes up and over. So you notice, Erin can get her toes to the ground here or bring them up and take them around her shin.

One thing about eagle pose, the deeper you sit into it, the easier it becomes. Now Erin’s already pretty good with her arms here. For those of you at home, think of lifting, so your elbows are parallel to shoulders and then taking forearms away from the face. And I think she’s had enough. We’ll come on out. Go ahead, unwind, shimmy it out. So that’s a good one to practice. You see this a lot in the flows that we do here on Reflexion Yoga or you see it a lot in the studios as well, if you practice there. So take the time, practice your eagle. It might feel a little weird at first but like all Yoga postures, of course it comes with time.

I think we’re all good to go here. Thank you guys for joining ˛ Hey everybody. Welcome back to Reflexion Yoga. Today’s posture breakdown is definitely a special one. Everyone’s most beloved pose in all of Yoga, that is of course Shavasana, dead man’s pose, corpse pose; whatever you want to call it. A few things I’ll say before we move into the breakdown of where the body should be.

Is that the reason we end every practice in a Shavasana is because you just put yourself through quite a bit of work and the Yoga philosophy is that you need to give your body an opportunity to rest in order to absorb the benefits of the hard work. So physically, it is the single easiest pose that you could possibly do in all of Yoga, mentally it is by far in a way the most challenging. What you want to do is only hear, feel, think about your breath and at some point, you even want to detach from that and not be thinking about anything. So thoughts will come into the mind, just let them go. You can revisit them later, I assure you. So we’ll have Alyssa just pop right into Shavasana and queue through a couple of things here.

So the entire body lays flat here. You’re seeing if you can really take the shape of your mat. Your feet and your hands spray out wide to wherever they land. If you have some space at home, I definitely recommend taking up as much space as possible, sort of making a human star on the floor. If you can practice in the studio and you have a person that’s a few inches away from you, obviously, you’ve got to be a bit more mindful of that. So palms facing up, both shoulders are plugged into the ground. The heart is shining up towards the sky and then the feet actually begin to spray open as well. So in Shavasana, there’s no movement; maybe just a slight rise and fall of the belly. We have this at the end of practice, so it’s a great opportunity of course, to let your breath return to its natural state. Drawing big, long inhales through nose and then just gently releasing out the mouth. And then eventually, the breath returns to something so normal that it’s not even audible any more.

So during Shavasana, if at the beginning, you have to wiggle out, maybe do a bit of fidgeting, that’s okay but the idea here is to settle in to complete in total stillness. Let the mind go. And so we’ll end this posture breakdown here but for those of you at home, just know at the end of every practice, whether we cut the video short at Reflexion Yoga or your practicing just on your own, stay in Shavasana for a minimum of 3 to 5 minutes at the end of every single practice. This is definitely a pose you don’t want to rush through. Okay? If you’re doing AM Yoga, this one will set you up for the day, give you a calm, clear mind.

Bye guys..

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