At Yoga Beyond the Studio, our mission is to help more people find approachable yoga. We specialize in working with beginners and making yoga accessible.
Our private yoga lessons are appropriate for men and women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and experience levels. Our private yoga lessons can take place at your home or office, depending on your preference.
Read below to learn more about the benefits of yoga and to try our self-guided beginner yoga practice!
Yoga is for Everyone
Beginner yoga students are often surprised by how quickly they notice the benefits of yoga.
With skilled guidance, patience, and appropriate modification, yoga truly can be accessible to anyone.
Whether you are hoping to increase flexibility, strength, or balance, reduce stress or lose weight, the beginner yoga poses included below are a good place to start.
The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has been proven to help increase overall health, prevent disease and optimize healing. Its studied benefits help improve both physical and mental health.
The physical benefits of yoga range from improving spinal health and mobility to preventing joint breakdown and even improving bone health and immunity.
The mental benefits of yoga include improving mood, focus, sleep, and relaxation.
The medicinal benefits of meditation and yoga are now firmly established in scientific literature. Yoga helps to elicit the body’s relaxation response, which in turn “directly affects physiologic factors such as heart rate, blood pressure, stress, anxiety, oxygen consumption, and more.”
Yoga truly is a whole body practice!
Simple Beginner Yoga Poses
The following is a self-guided beginner yoga class appropriate for men and women of all shapes and sizes. Have a blanket and two blocks nearby and let us walk you through some basic poses!
1. Mountain Pose
Stand at the top of your mat with your feet 3-4 inches apart. Bring your arms alongside your body, palms facing forward. Feel evenly grounded in both feet and lengthen up through the top of your head. Draw your belly in slightly, relax your shoulders, and broaden your chest.
Benefits: Improves posture and proprioception while serving as an alignment blueprint for all other standing poses.
2. Standing Side Bends
From mountain pose, lift your arms overhead. Take your left wrist in your right hand and lean over to the right side of the room. Notice a stretch along the left side of your body. Keep your legs in a mountain pose as your upper body moves to one side. Come back up through the center, find your right wrist with your left hand and side bend over to the left. Notice the stretch now along the right side of your body.
Benefits: Stretches the abdominal muscles while increasing spinal flexibility and improving overall balance.
3. Table Pose
Come to all fours on your mat. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Pull your belly in slightly to engage your core and maintain a neutral spine. From this foundation, find a little more length from the top of your head to your tailbone. As you press down through your palms, lengthen your arms. Breathe naturally.
Benefits: Teaches foundational alignment and balance.
From table pose, we will start to take some simple movements. To come into cow pose, allow your belly to drop toward the ground and the center of your chest to lift forward. Keep the back of your neck long and your gaze forward (not up). Cow pose is a gentle backbend. From cow pose, press down into your palms and begin to arch your back. Bring your gaze to your belly button for cat pose. Move slowly between cat and cow, taking 5-10 of each.
Benefits: Moves the spine into extension and flexion, thus increasing mobility. Serves as a blueprint pose for backbends (cow pose) and forward bends (cat pose).
5. Low Crescent Lunge
From table pose, step your right foot in between your hands (you can place one block underneath each hand here to make this transition easier). Make sure that your right knee is stacked on top of your right ankle and lift your arms overhead.
Hug your inner thighs towards the center of your body. Engaging your quadriceps will help your balance in this pose.
You can also modify by placing your blocks outside of your hips and keeping your hands on the block. If you experience pain in the knee that’s on the floor, simply place a blanket or a pillow underneath for added comfort. Hold the right side for 3-5 breaths and then come back to Table Pose and switch sides.
Benefits: Stretches the hips, quadriceps, and hamstrings while improving balance.
From table pose, lower all the way down to your belly. Lengthen your legs behind you and bring the tops of your feet to the ground. Place your palms under your shoulders and point your elbows behind you.
Start with your forehead on the ground. Ground down through the tops of your feet, engage your legs, and press down through your palms. Keep this engagement and start to lift your forehead off the ground. Broaden your chest, reach your shoulders back, and keep your gaze down.
In Cobra Pose, you are back bending, just like you were in cow pose. Let the muscles in your upper back do most of the work here. Keep your legs strong and your palms light and stay for 5 breaths. To exit the pose, gently lower your forehead back to the ground and press yourself back to Table Pose.
Benefits: Builds strength in the upper back and entire back body while opening the front body.
7. Knees to Chest
Come down to your back and hug your knees into your chest. For added relief, rock your knees forward and backward, side to side, or in a circular motion. Stay here for 1-3 minutes.
Benefits: Provides a gentle stretch along the spine and hips and serves as a great resting pose.
8. Spinal Twist
From knees to chest, drop both of your knees over to the right side and open your left arm to the left. Use blankets or blocks to fill in any space between the ground and the knees, in between the knees, or between the ground and the left shoulder. Bring your right hand to the top of your legs and your gaze over your left arm (if that feels ok on your neck – otherwise gaze up). Stay here for 5-10 breaths, then bring your knees back through center and drop them over to the left side.
Benefits: Stretches the hips and outer legs while also opening the chest and shoulders.
Get in Touch!
Let us know how you liked these poses by commenting below! We want to hear from you.
We want you to feel supported in your practice. If doing these poses alone doesn’t feel right or if you’d prefer one-on-one instruction, book a private yoga class with us today so we can help you start your practice!