Start Practicing Yoga: 5 Beginner Yoga Poses You Can Do At Home (Video Tutorial)

Kari-Ann Levine
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Do any of these thoughts sound familiar to you?
 
“I would love to start practicing yoga, but I’m pretty sure I’ll make a fool out of myself.”
 
Or….
 
“I think I would get so much out of yoga but I don’t think I could keep up in a public class.”
 
Or any other version of an “I want to do yoga, but…..” statement?
 
First things, first… Please give yourself a little more credit than that!
 
Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about your concerns of starting a yoga practice. These kinds of “I want to do yoga, but…” thoughts do us no good. They communicate to ourselves that we are limited instead of limitless in what we are capable of. Yoga is called a “practice” for a reason: because practice is all that is required. And because you, my friend, are limitless in your abilities, any practice you commit to, you will also succeed at.
 

“Practice and all is coming” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

 
These self-defeating thoughts also reveal something peculiar about the contemporary U.S. psyche. We tend to aggrandize the results of our efforts over the efforts themselves. But I ask you this. Which is more impressive? The strong, lean yogini who effortlessly floats her legs into urdvha vrksasana (upward tree pose, better known as handstand), or the faith and determination she demonstrated in her countless attempts at rising and falling, rising and falling — only to rise and fall again until she finally stuck it?
 
In our society, we forget that the first step and all the baby steps in between are the hardest ones to take. And because of this, these steps are also the most beautiful and the most impressive. Even more beautiful and impressive than a perfectly executed handstand.
 
This article and videos are intended to support you as you take your own first step in starting a yoga practice at home. These are five common beginner yoga poses you will encounter in a yoga class. My hope is that after watching and practicing the poses in these videos, you will feel comfortable enough to take that leap of faith, and finally sign up for that first class at your local studio. Until then, practice, practice, practice these beginner yoga poses at home.
 
 

Balasāsana (Child’s Pose)

The first pose, Balasāsana, will decompress your entire spine, relieving tension particularly in the low back. Depending on which variation you take (I offer two in the video), it can also stretch the inner thighs, the muscles of the buttocks, the hamstrings, and the tops of the feet and ankles. It is a gentle pose that is lovely to open a practice with or to do on its own to slow down a racing mind or relax a tense body.

 


 

Tadāsna (Mountain Pose)

The second beginners yoga pose, Tadāsna, strengthens and tones the muscles of the feet, thighs, and abdomen while enhancing balance and training healthy posture. Upon first glance, it may seem like the pose requires nothing more than to just stand there. But pay attention to the many nuanced details I describe in the video and you will find that Tadāsana is much more than simply standing.
 
Tadāsana is an important foundational pose for beginning and experienced yogis alike because every alignment cue can be universally applied to all other yoga poses. Come to understand what Tadāsana feels like in your body and this will develop a reference for you to return to when learning other new poses.

 


 

Vīrabhadrāsana A (Warrior I Pose)

The third of the beginners yoga poses I offer you in this video is Vīrabhadrāsana A. Vīrabhadrāsana A strengthens and tones the muscles of the feet, legs, and core, while stretching the calf muscle, hamstring, and hip flexors of the back leg. It also promotes a sense of personal power and an ability to face obstacles head on.
 
It is essential that the novice yogi spend some time feeling through the complexities of this pose, because even though its alignment is complex, Warrior I is offered frequently throughout many yoga classes. When learning Vīrabhadrāsana A, feel free to take a shorter stance between your feet from front to back, and a wider stance side-to-side. Over time, as you increase strength and flexibility in this pose, you can lengthen and narrow the position of your feet.


 


 

 


 

Vīrabhadrāsana B (Warrior II Pose)

Vīrabhadrāsana B is the fourth pose in the video, and offers similar benefits to Vīrabhadrāsana A, though the particular muscles strengthened and stretched in the legs vary slightly between the two poses. This pose also refines our focus towards our goals so we can resist distractions and pursue our goals with power and confidence.
 
Like Vīrabhadrāsana A, Vīrabhadrāsana B has many nuanced alignment details and is encountered frequently in most yoga classes. Just like Warrior 1, you can modify Vīrabhadrāsana B by taking a shorter stance between your feet front to back. As you build strength, you can gradually lengthen it.

 


 

Savāsana (Corpse Pose)

The final of the beginners yoga poses I offer in this video is also the final pose done in every yoga class. Savāsana (Corpse Pose) facilitates the practitioner’s mental and physical release of the practice, allowing its healing benefits to integrate through the body and mind. Savāsana is the transformative bridge between your physical yoga practice and emerging from it reborn.

 
While nothing is required physically in the pose, the mind must remain focused just like in any other yoga pose. When in savāsana, release control of your breathing but remain conscious of it. Let your body become heavy and soft, but continue feeling the sensations within it. If your mind becomes distracted, gently remind it that it is allowed to enjoy these few moments of zero expectation, with nothing to accomplish except to simply be.
 


 

The first step in any new journey is also the scariest one to take. But this fear is also a clear sign that the journey we plan to embark upon is an important one, and has much in store for us.
 
While the poses in this video will get you started, they are not the first step of your practice. They are merely a supportive bridge, easing the gap between your fear and intimidation of attending your first yoga class. By practicing these yoga poses at home first, my hope is that the strength, flexibility, confidence, and peace of mind that they cultivate will support you from the inside out as you take that first step on this incredibly rewarding journey.
 
The final thought I would like to leave you with is this: as you embark on this path of yoga, always remember that the goal is not to “get good” at yoga. The goal is simply to practice. Because with practice, all is coming. Because you, my friend, are limitless.
 
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Kari-Ann Levine

Kari-Ann is a freelance writer, yoga teacher, and CrossFit coach. Her approach to all three is to get down and dirty with the realness and rawness of being human. Kari-Ann believes that spirituality is experienced right here, right now – in all the dust and divinity that is the earth, our body, and the seen and unseen. Her passion is to be a continual student of her heart, body, soul, and mind, and to share what she learns with others.

kariannlevine.com

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