I love yoga. By no means am I an expert. Still I practice yoga as often as I can for one simple reason — it makes me feel good. It improves flexibility, I’m less sore after other workouts when I include a yoga regimen, and I injure myself far less frequently.
Even if you don’t do yoga as a part of a larger workout plan, it can also be incredibly relaxing. No matter what your reasons are, here are some relatively easy yoga poses just about anyone can do — something to get you started if you’re a beginner. I’ve included both photos and videos to show you how to do the moves properly.
Note: Any type of exercise carries some risk of injury. Please consult your doctor before engaging in any new workout program.
All yoga poses illustrated in the images below were released under a GNU GPL license by TheHolisticCare.com. I encourage you to check out their full collection of illustrated yoga poses. You’ll find other easy yoga poses you can try, as well as more advanced poses for more experienced readers. In the meantime, here are ten of my favorite easy yoga poses that most readers should have no problem doing.
This is a very simple pose. It helped me improve my balance significantly when I first started doing yoga several years ago (and I was always somewhat uncoordinated, so I didn’t think good balance would ever be in the cards for me).
This is a simple yoga pose you can do to stretch and expand your chest. I usually feel it a bit in my shoulders as well, and I find that it helps me open up my breathing.
Wide Angle Bend
This is a simple stretch / pose that’s great for stretching out your thighs (especially your inner thigh muscles). I remember doing this frequently at sports practices well before ever getting involved with yoga, but it’s still one of my favorite leg stretches today. This is one of those that helped me improve my flexibility in my legs, which made my walking, jogging, and biking workouts far more comfortable (less pain afterward).
I like to do this pose in combination with the following one (the big cat pose). I find the reverse motions of the spine to be a great way to stretch out my back either when I first wake up in the morning or after another workout.
Big Cat Pose
This is the other pose I mentioned previously, which I like to do in sequence with the cow pose. Unlike the cow pose (where you let your spine sink down with your abdomen pushing towards the floor), the big cat pose involves you arching your spine upwards instead. Think of the classic image of a frightened cat with their back arched.
Downward Facing Dog
This is a very well-known yoga pose, and another easy one for beginners to do. You can get a good stretch in both your arms and legs with the downward dog.
While the triangle pose can stretch your legs pretty thoroughly, I specifically love it for the way it stretches my calves and my hip area — two areas prone to tight muscles after my other workouts. This one can take a bit of balance. If you can’t quite reach the floor, try using a yoga block for elevation until you become more flexible (have the block on the floor where your hand should hit, so you give yourself an extra few inches).
If you’ve ever participated in sports, you’re probably used to stretching your quadriceps (the front of your thighs). One way to do that is to grab your foot behind you and pull until you feel a stretch. The camel pose can give you a much deeper stretch. I have to admit it took me a while to build decent flexibility where I could reach back to the floor on this one. If you can right away, great. But don’t push it. You don’t want to hurt yourself. If you need to just let your hands hang behind you, or have them rest on your heels, it’s okay to do that while you work to become more flexible over time.
This is officially my favorite pose. It’s basically putting you into the fetal position. Not only does this pose give me a great lower back stretch, but I find it incredibly relaxing.
Okay. Even if you can’t bring yourself to do the other yoga poses listed, you can certainly handle the corpse pose. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Focus on your breathing and relaxation with this one.
There you have it! You’ve now seen a few simple yoga poses that just about anyone can do — even you. Are you going to give them a try?
If you’re ready to go beyond trying a few new yoga poses, here are some YouTube videos featuring easy yoga workouts combining some of these (and other) poses. Enjoy! And share a comment to tell us what your favorite yoga pose is.
Child Pose into Downward Facing Dog
Yoga on the Go! 10 Minute Yoga Workout
Yoga for Beginners – Healthy Back