Yoga does not have to be so complicated, and sometimes the easiest way to start your practice is through a few simple poses. You often hear yoga teachers say that the most advanced poses are usually the simplest ones to execute, and that an advanced yoga practice is defined not by what postures you can do, but how mindfully you do them.
Remember: everyone was once a beginner stumbling through their very first yoga class, even the yogis who now look like circus performers.
Your main goal in each posture is to breathe evenly and stay present, regardless of whether you think you're performing the poses perfectly.
Child's Pose1 of 10
Start seated on your shins. Separate your knees about hips-distance apart. Walk your hands forward as you lay your torso on top of your thighs. Extend your arms out in front. Relax your shoulders, jaw, neck and hips.
As this is the first pose of the practice, begin to breath slowly in and out through the nose. Stay in Child's Pose until you feel your breath smooth out and become more rhythmic. Stay in the pose as long as it feels good.
Downward Dog2 of 10
Start in a tabletop position with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck your toes, press through your palms and lift your hips up. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, pull your front ribs in and your heels down.
Don't worry about what it looks like, just breath and notice how it feels. Hold yourself in this posture for up to one minute.
Cobra3 of 10
Come onto your belly with your legs extended behind you and your toes untucked. Place your palms by your ribs. Draw your shoulder blades and elbows in, and keep your neck long. Extend your chest forward and up as you press down through your palms.
Hold for 15 seconds, relax and then repeat one more time.
Tree4 of 10
Stand with your feet beneath you. Grab your right shin and draw your knee into your chest. Pull your heel close to you and place your right foot on the inner left thigh. If this position is not accessible, place the foot on the left calf.
Once you position the right foot on the left leg, stand tall and strong on your left leg and bring your palms together in front of your chest. Balance here for as long as comfortable and then switch sides.
Standing Forward Fold5 of 10
Stand with your feet beneath you. Hinge forward from your hips and fold. Draw your weight to the center of each foot and keep a soft bend in the knees. Reach your fingers towards the floor and feel the strength in your hamstrings and calves.
Hold this position for up to one minute.
Bridge6 of 10
Start on your back with your feet flat on the floor, close enough to touch them with your middle fingers, and about hips-distance apart. Lift your hips and draw your shoulder blades together. If possible, clasp your hands beneath you. Press down through your feet and upper arm bones to widen your chest.
Keep your hips lifted for up to 15 seconds while you continue to breath through your nose, then relax. Repeat up to three times.
Pigeon7 of 10
From your hands and knees, draw your right knee towards your right wrist. Place your right shin on the floor and extend your left leg behind you. Roll towards the front of your left thigh. To deepen the stretch, drop down onto your forearms or all the way down to your forehead.
Stay in this stretch for up to one minute, then switch sides.
Happy Baby8 of 10
Start on your back and draw your knees into your chest. Grab the outsides of your feet with your hands and place your elbows inside of your knees. Draw your heels up so they stack over the knees. Pull down on your feet as you try to lengthen your lower back to the floor.
Channeling your inner child, spend as much time in this posture as is comfortable.
Savasana9 of 10
Lay down on your back with your legs and arms extended. Relax your whole body and close your eyes. It is now time to rest. You cannot spend too much time here so lay back and enjoy.