The first time I tried yoga, it wasn’t so much of a workout as it mainly consisted of me flailing my arms and legs around trying not to bust my ass for an hour…
Nobody in my life, to this day, has ever called me graceful.
What I do remember is walking out of my first yoga class, other than the slight embarrassment, was thinking:
- I have a lot to learn.
- I feel AMAZING from this style of workout.
The beginning was difficult and confusing for me, but over time I learned that there were 15 different yoga poses that most beginners need to master.
The great thing about yoga is that the more you practice, the easier it becomes and the more confident you feel on the yoga mat.
Here are the 15 yoga poses that strengthen, tone, and detox your body!
Lots of girls struggle with a hunched over posture and this is a perfect cure. Seriously, this pose feels AMAZING after spending so much time hovering over a computer. Hold for 30 seconds + when starting.
2. Wide Squat
This hold is GREAT for strengthening your legs and getting more flexibility to your hips. If you can’t get all the way down, that’s ok! Just try to push yourself a little lower each time and let gravity do the work. Hold for 30 seconds+ when starting!
3. Wide-Legged Forward Bend
If you need a little bump in hamstring flexibility, this is the best pose! Just make sure to keep your lower back locked in and not to round. Hold for 20 seconds + and do 2 sets.
4. Warrior 3
Also known as Virabhadrasana III (Who in the WORLD could pronounce that?). This is a great workout and vital to your yoga practice. The key to any balancing pose is to focus your eyes on ONE point of your yoga mat and keep them locked on that point! I know it looks difficult, but give it a try! Hold for 15 seconds your first try.
5. Downward Dog
This is the most important pose in yoga and the first inversion on this list. The best way to get good at this one is to simply practice, practice, practice. Use a mirror as well so you can make adjustments when working on it!
Another awesome benefit of yoga is the work it does on your core. We all know that we need to be doing more ab exercises and that it is a BIG part of a good yoga practice. Start with 3 rounds for as long as you can hold it.
7. Upward Facing Dog
Similar to the camel pose – this will help alleviate the back pain you probably feel from hunching over all day. It also relieves lower back pain if that’s a struggle in your life! Start with 2 round for a 20-second hold.
8. Crescent Lunge
The is a great workout for your butt and your legs! The goal is to push your hips closer to the floor while keeping your balance as best as possible. Start with 3 holds for 15 seconds each.
9. Side Plank
If I was naming the exercises, this would be called the “muffin top destroyer.” It really is amazing for shrinking those obliques. Start with 3 holds on each side for 30 seconds.
10. Tree Pose
Yoga is about BALANCE and this is one of the best poses for beginners to get better balance. If you find this is easy you should close your eyes for an added challenge! Start with 3 holds for 1 minute each.
11. Reverse Plank
This is such an underrated pose in yoga. While it can be a little challenging at first, you will find the reverse plank can work WONDERS for opening up your shoulders. Start with 1 hold for 20 seconds.
12. Forearm Handstand
No, I have not lost my mind. The sooner you start working on it, the faster you will be able to do it! Ask an instructor to help you work on this one. It’s much easier to master with a partner.
13. Bow Pose
Again with the crazy names, this one is officially called Dhanurasana… It’s a good thing that being decent at yoga has nothing to do with remembering that. This pose stretches your groin and thighs along with your back. Start with 2 holds for 30 seconds. If you can’t reach your feet at first, that’s fine, you can use a yoga strap to assist you.
14. Chair Pose
So painful, but soooooo good for those legs. Sit down deep in this move and focus on being STRONG. This is a move about strength and balance. Start with 3 holds for 30 seconds each set.
15. Corpse Pose
Don’t underestimate this! It takes time to master the ability to lay down after a workout, breathe, and relax. Doing this correctly will make you feel amazing and give you such clarity for your day! Do it after your workout for 5-10 minutes.