Regardless of your age, weight, or physical condition, yoga for beginners can help you look and feel better. There are 84,000,00 yoga asanas, according to many sources. There are variations on most asanas to make them easier (or more difficult) for practitioners.  

Some yoga poses are considered safe for most novice students. Even the easiest poses may be a challenge for some students, but with practice and patience, you’ll see and feel the rewards.

Here’s a list of simple asanas to get you started as a junior yogi.

Downward Facing Dog

The downward facing dog is an easy pose and a great introduction to yoga for beginners. Begin the pose by getting on the floor on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be under your shoulders and knees under the hips. Your wrists should be parallel with the top of your activity mat.

Point your middle fingers towards the top mat edge. Relax your back and stretch your elbows. Spread your fingers apart and press them firmly through knuckles and palms. Your weight should be distributed evenly across your hands.

Exhale while tucking in your toes and lifting your knees off the floor. Point your pelvis towards the ceiling. Draw your sitting bones to the wall behind your body. Slowly straighten your legs without locking your knees. Make your body into the shape of the letter "A." Avoid putting your feet close to your hands.

Lift your pelvis and press the floor away with your body. Elongate your spine and lift your sitting bones to face the ceiling. Press down with your palms and your heels.

Firm your arm muscles while you press your index fingers into the ground. Lift the body up with your arms’ inner muscles to your shoulder tops. Your shoulder blades should then be drawn into the upper ribs of your back and towards your tailbone.

Rotate both arms. The creases of your elbows should face your thumbs when you rotate your arms. Press the mat away from your body by drawing your chest towards your thighs. Decompress and lengthen your spine.  

Use your quadriceps now, as you continue to lift your torso and sit bones upwards. Sink your heels in the ground. Your ears and upper arms should be aligned. Relax your head and look toward your navel or between your legs. Hold the pose for between five and 100 breaths. 

Exhale and return to the original and hand and knee position when finished.  

Seated Forward Bend

The Paschimottan, or Seated Forward Bend, is often taught in beginning yoga classes. It is an intense stretch, but it’s easy to perform. It may cause some discomfort if you’re out of shape or have tight muscles.

Here’s how to perform the asana using a folded blanket. You don’t need to use one, but it makes the pose easier for beginners.

Sit on the floor with your backside with a folded blanket. Stretch out your legs straight in front of you. Press on your heels and rock on your left buttock. Pull the sitting bone area away from the heel using your right hand. Repeat this process on the opposite side.

Turn the top of your thighs in and press them on the floor. Press with your fingertips or palms on the floor next to your hips. Lift the top of your sternum towards the ceiling while your thigh tops move down.

Now draw the inner groin area into the pelvis. Keep the front torso long and inhale. Lean forwards from your hips instead of your waist. Elongate the tailbone away from the pelvis back. If you can, grab the sides of your feet with your hands and place thumbs on the soles.  Extend your elbows.

Loop a strap around the soles of your feet if you can’t hold them with your hands. Hold the strap firmly and keep your elbows straight. Lengthen the front of your torso into the forward bend when you’re ready; never force your body into the position. Keep your head raised when you ease into the position.

Bend your elbow to the side and lift them off the floor if you’re holding your feet. If you are holding the strap, loosen your grip and slide your hand forward with arms long in front of you.

Lift your torso and make it a little longer with each inhalation. Stay in the forward pose one to three minutes. Return to the original position by lifting the torso from the thighs and straightening your elbows. Inhale, lift the torso up and fold the tailbone back into the pelvis.  

You shouldn’t perform this pose if you have asthma or back problems. Talk to your doctor and yoga teacher if you have any concerns.

Child’s Pose

The Child’s Pose, or Balasana, is a relaxing pose you can use between more challenging poses, or perform any time when you want to relax. It’s one of the best poses for any person unsure about yoga for beginners because it’s so easy.

Kneel on your floor or mat. Sit on your heels and put your big toes, so they touch each other, Separate your knees till they are hips’ length apart.

Exhale and place your torso between your thighs. Your butt bone should be broadened across your pelvis back. The points of your hips should be narrowed toward your navel. The tailbone must be lengthened from the pelvis back as you lift the base of the head away from the back of your neck.   

Exhale and place your trunk between your left thigh and your right thigh. Expand your butt bone across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nuzzle down onto the inner thighs. Elongate your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your head away from the back of your neck.

Put your hands on the floor next to your trunk. Place your palms facing up, and release your shoulder fronts towards the ground. Stay in this pose from one-half minute to two or three minutes. To release, lengthen your front torso and inhale as you lift from your tailbone as it presses into the pelvis.

Warrior

The first Warrior Pose, or Virabhadrasana I, is a foundational, standing yoga pose. Stand straight in the Mountain Pose, then exhale and step till your feet are about for feet apart.  Raise your arms till they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor. Reach with your little fingers to the ceiling.

Firm your shoulder blades against your back and draw them toward the coccyx bone. Turn your left foot, so it's 45 to 60 degrees to the right. Your right foot should be 80 degrees to the right. Place the left heel in line with the right heel. Rotate your torso to your right side and exhale. Square your pelvis front with the edge of your mat.

Your left hip will turn and point forward, and as this happens, press the left femur head back to ground your heel. Stretch the coccyx bone to the floor. Arch the upper torso backward.

Exhale and anchor your left heel to the floor. Bend the right knee over the right ankle. Your shine will be perpendicular to the floor. Reach through your arms and lift ribcage away from the pelvis. Ground to the floor with the back foot. Put your palms together and spread them against each other.

Reach higher with your hands. Gaze forward with your hand in a neutral position. Alternately, you can tilt your head back and focus on your thumbs. Keep the pose for 30 seconds. Inhale and press your back heel to the ground to undo the pose. Stretch up through the arms while straightening your right knee.

Exhale, turn your feet forward and release your arms. Take a few deep breaths. Turn to the left and repeat the movements, holding for the same amount of time. Return to the Mountain Pose.

Students with high blood pressure or heart problems should skip this pose.

Plank

The plank pose is a beginner’s arm balance pose. It prepares you for more difficult arm-balancing asanas. The plank pose is called the Kumbhakasana in Sanskrit.

Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Bring your wrists under your shoulders. Focus your thoughts on the present time. Spread fingers and press hands and forearms down on the floor. Keep your chest firm. Gaze between your hands and lengthen your neck. Draw stomach muscles toward your spine.

Tuck your toes in and move back with your feet. Your body and head should be in a straight line. Don’t allow your hips to sink and keep your thighs lifted. Realign your biddy if your rear end sticks into the air. The floor muscles of your pelvis should be drawn toward your spine while you contract the stomach muscles.

Your head should be aligned with your spine. Draw yourself down through the bases of your fingers. Your hands should not roll open toward your little fingers. Press your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) toward the ceiling and elongate the tailbone toward the heels.

Hold the pose for a count of five breaths. If possible hold longer, for up to five minutes to improve stamina and strength. Release onto your knees and into the Child’s Pose.
Don’t perform this pose if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.