3 essential yoga poses to jump-start your practice

Your first yoga class can seem overwhelming: the characteristics of the practice Thousands of poses, which are called “asanas” in Sanskrit, and people spend their entire lives trying to master them. That said, it’s possible to create a yoga foundation that makes you feel strong, flexible, and stable, even when you’re just starting out. On this week’s episode of good movesBrooklyn Yoga Club teachers introduce you to some of the most fundamental (and essential) yoga asanas.

You don’t need any equipment to lay the foundation for your yoga practice. So whether you’re looking to increase your mobility, get stronger, or experience the brain-healthy benefits of this ancient tradition, you’re ready to go. Learn how to move through a trio of yoga moves for beginners below. Then make sure to flow through the entire video. Just like that: you are a yogi.

3 fundamental yoga postures to practice today

1. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Get on your hands and knees to begin. Place your knees directly below your hips; your wrists can be directly below your shoulders. On an inhalation, push into your palms and lift your hips up toward the sky. If your hamstrings are tight, keep a generous bend in your knees and move your feet back a few inches. Rotate your biceps toward the front of the room and contract your belly to keep your ribs from flaring.

2. Child’s Pose (Baslasana)

Come to your hands and knees one more time. Spread your knees apart, so they’re as wide as the mat, and touch your toes. Press into the palms of your hands to gently guide your hips toward your feet. If your head can’t reach the ground, that’s fine! Take a block, pillow, or sweatshirt and place it under your head for support. Breathe in here, forcefully pushing your hips back toward your heels.

3. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Start standing at the front of your mat. Take a big step back with your left foot, bringing the outside of your left foot parallel to the back of the mat. (For reference, the heel of your right foot should line up with the inner arch of your left foot.) Deeply bend your right leg, but keep the ankle directly below the knee. (You may need to widen your stance for this to happen.) Raise your arms parallel to the floor, engage your core, and tuck your pelvis slightly forward. Gently look over your right shoulder if it feels comfortable for your neck. Take several deep breaths here before switching sides.

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