Struggling with stress and looking for a natural remedy? Discover the wonders of yoga for beginners and learn simple yet effective techniques to release tension, calm your mind, and find serenity amidst the chaos of everyday life. Are you new to yoga and struggling to perfect your poses? This comprehensive guide will walk you through step-by-step instructions, tips, and modifications to help you achieve proper alignment and feel confident in your yoga practice. You will love the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga. From improving posture to cultivating mindfulness, learn to unleash your inner yogi with tips from yoga specialist Brett Larkin, who is the founder of Uplifted Yoga®.
How To Start A Yoga Practice As A Busy Mom
by Brett Larkin
Have you been wanting to get into yoga but don’t think you can “move like that”? I know, you see all the pretty yoga photos on instagram and it can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be!!
I could nerd out on yoga for beginners all day, but the important thing to know is that yoga does not have to be some fancy, hour long practice you have to schedule into your day. It’s not about going to a studio in expensive leggings and figuring out how to do a headstand. You can quite literally do yoga anywhere, at any time, on your own terms.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “how on earth does that work?”. Let me tell you!! I’ve got 5 yoga poses for beginners that you can easily slip in throughout your day. Let’s start with what they are and then I’ll tell you how to sneak them in.
Yoga For Beginners At Home: 5 Poses To Fit Into Your Busy Day
Want to learn easy yoga for beginners? I have you covered with these 5 poses. Get started on your home yoga for beginners today. You can try to set a morning yoga routine or just do a pose when you get a minute to recenter yourself and practice mindfulness.
Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)
Step 1: Find a comfortable seated position, bringing the soles of your bare feet together to form a diamond shape with your legs.
Step 2: Ground your sit bones. Inhale, and lengthen your spine while holding the soles of your feet.
Step 3: On the exhale, fold over your legs, maintaining a long spine. Hold this position for several breaths and round, allowing yourself to rest.
Step 4: Inhale as you gradually rise back up to a tall seated position. Extend your legs in front of you or return to a comfortable seated posture.
Variations: If needed, provide support for your knees by placing blocks or blankets underneath them. Adjust the distance of your feet from your body to a comfortable level for your fold.
Benefits: Butterfly pose is an excellent hip opener, offering relief from stress, nausea, stomach cramps, and low back pain. Additionally, it is one of the best yoga for beginners that provides a grounding sensation.
Step 1: Begin in a tabletop position with your hands beneath your shoulders and knees below your hips.
Step 2: Inhale as you arch your back, dropping the belly, while keeping the abs engaged. Open your chest, sending your heart forward, and draw your shoulders down and back – this is cow pose. Engage the lower back muscles to lift your tailbone toward the ceiling.
Step 3: Exhale and round your back, dropping your head, and guiding your tailbone down between the knees – now you’re in cat pose.
Step 4: Flow between these postures, syncing the movements with your breath.
Variations: For added support, place a folded blanket under your knees or use blocks under your hands if you have wrist concerns. This pose can also be done while seated.
Benefits: Cat/Cow pose is an excellent way to limber up the spine and release tightness. These fluid motions specifically target the chest and shoulders while simultaneously soothing the nervous system.
Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Step 1: Begin in a seated position with legs extended, ensuring an upright posture.
Step 2: Inhale, raising your arms as your heels touch or maintain hip-width distance. Flex your feet during this motion.
Step 3: Exhale, engage your core slightly, hinging from the hips to fold forward while keeping your spine straight.
Step 4: Place your hands on your shins or a comfortable position, maintaining the integrity of the low spine. Keep your neck long and take deep breaths.
Step 5: Inhale and press your palms into the floor, softly lifting yourself back to the starting position.
Variations: Provide extra support for your back by placing a folded blanket or pillow under your seat. Alternatively, transform this into a yin fold, allowing the entire body to relax into the posture with the support of pillows or blankets.
Benefits: Seated forward fold stretches the body’s backline, promotes flexibility in the hamstrings and low back, and relieves tension. It also stimulates the gut and serves as a calming pose. Ready to try the next 10 minute yoga for beginners?
Forward Fold (or Forward Bend)
Step 1: Start in Mountain pose (Tadasana). Inhale, sweep arms slightly forward and up, reach the fingers toward the ceiling. Exhale, hinging from the hips, and fold forward, placing hands or fingertips on the mat or on blocks.
Step 2: Firm the hips in and back, engage outer hips and point hip bones down. Hug the abdominals, bringing the chest toward the thighs.
Step 3: Draw the shoulders away from the ears and release crown of the head toward the floor, looking toward the shins.
Step 4: To exit, inhale mindfully, rise back up taking the arms overhead, and exhale back to Mountain pose (Tadasana).
Variations: Consider bending your knees or try a Half Standing Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana). Experiment with a wider stance and holding opposite elbows for added flexibility.
Benefits: Forward fold stretches the entire backline of the body and offers a mild inversion, reducing blood pressure and alleviating headaches. It’s an excellent pose to calm the mind and soothe the nerves.
Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
Step 1: Start by positioning the base of your seat close to a wall while lying on your yoga mat.
Step 2: Gently recline your body, extending your legs upward against the wall, aiming toward the ceiling. Take deep breaths as you settle into the pose.
Step 3: To exit, slowly lower your legs from the wall, roll to the side, and ease yourself back up to a seated position.
Variations: For added comfort, consider placing a block or blanket under your hips. If a wall isn’t available, you can put your legs up and fold your knees over the seat of a chair.
Benefits: Legs Up the Wall pose has a calming effect on the nervous system, instantly reducing anxiety and enhancing mood. It also promotes improved blood circulation, making it an ideal, comforting pose for moments of stomach discomfort, overwhelm, or after a particularly long day.
How To Create Yoga Habits
One of my favorite, and easiest, yoga habit hacks is “lazy yoga”. Meaning you fit your favorite pose in while watching your favorite show! All five poses above can easily be done while watching TV, I know because I do it all the time!! Just rest your legs over the back of the couch and you’re in legs up the wall, or set yourself up like the picture for seated forward fold and you’ve got a great set up to relax and watch.
Another one of my favorites is “in between yoga”. Waiting for water to boil or coffee to brew? Do a forward fold against the counter. Realize you have five minutes before the oven dings to take dinner out? Instead of grabbing for your phone and doom scrolling, drop to your hands and knees and do a few rounds of cat/cow. You can even sit in butterfly pose while on the floor with the kiddos. See some examples here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CoNV3s_JXG-/
I like to do breathwork while I’m waiting for my bath to run. Or if it’s been an especially rough night with the kiddos the night before, I’ll nourish myself with a nice Yoga nidra practice before bed.
There are endless possibilities, and if you’re thinking “that doesn’t sound like yoga” I assure you that it is. You can learn what makes these practices yoga and even more great yoga habits to fit into your day with my new book Yoga Life: Habit, Poses, and Breathwork to Channel Joy Amidst The Chaos.
Thanks again to fitness expert Brett Larkin for sharing these basic poses. Will you try this morning yoga for beginners or work beginner yoga sequences in at intervals throughout the day? You are going to love your new yoga habits and they will help you stick to it. Then you can add new yoga poses and breathing techniques to your practice as your fitness level increases. As you proceed on your yoga journey, you will find that your physical ability will show significant improvements along with mental well-being benefits. This beginners workout is the perfect way to start a new regular yoga practice. Which of these basic yoga postures is your favorite and why?