7 Yoga Poses For Beginners | The Ultimate Beginners Yoga Guide

Yoga is a growing practise, and with good reason: Since its birth, yoga has been proven to help improve state of mind, health, lifestyle and much more. However, one question is always on the mind of people aspiring to be a yogi, and that is "Where do I begin?".

That’s why we put together this list of the ultimate 7 yoga poses for beginners.

If you’re one of these aspiring yoga fanatics, then you’re in the right place: Here at Sunflower Retreats, we have been yoga experts since the late 1980’s, and we know the poses you should be doing whilst learning yoga. So all you have to do is practice the following seven yoga poses on a frequent basis, to become a fully-fledged yogi.

Let’s get started.

Mountain Pose - Tadasana

The Mountain Pose is one every beginner yogi should know, and get used to.

It might look like you’re just standing up straight, but this pose is an active pose, that will improve posture, balance and focus.

  • Begin by standing up straight, with your feet hip-width apart and parallel to the floor.

  • Start to distribute your weight evenly between your feet.

  • Align your hips directly over your legs, which should align directly over your feet.

  • Lengthen your lower back, by allowing your tailbone to drop.

  • With your body now in a neutral position, centre your shoulders between the front and back of your body.

  • With your shoulders and upper back aligned properly, your head should feel like it’s floating off of your neck.

  • Breathe normally and hold for as long as you like.

To release from this pose, simply relax.

One Leg Tree Pose - Vrksasana

The One Leg Tree Pose is no doubt one of the best poses out there for improving your balance and concentration.

  • Start by standing at the front of your yoga mat, with your feet hip-width apart, and your arms down by your sides.

  • Ensure your spine is erect and distribute your weight evenly.

  • Shift your weight onto your left leg.

  • Bend your right knee and draw your right heel up towards your pelvis.

  • Grab your heel with your hand and lift your heel up, and place it on your inner thigh of your left leg.

  • Keep your toes pointing down your leg toward the mat.

  • Your knee should be facing out.

  • Press your foot and inner thigh against each other.

  • Gently drop your tailbone toward the floor, allowing your lower back to lengthen.

  • Place your hands in front of your chest with your palms pressed together in the prayer position.

  • Extend your arms overhead, and keep your elbows straight, while keeping your hands in prayer position.

  • Hold the pose for several seconds, maintaining a calm breathing pattern.

  • Lower your foot to the mat, so both feet are on the ground and shift your weight over to the other side.

  • Repeat the pose on your other leg.

To release the pose, simply lower your foot.

Upward Facing Dog - Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

This pose is designed to lengthen and strengthen your spine, torso, and arms in one single hit.

  • Start by getting in the push-up plank position.

  • Lower yourself down and lean into one foot.

  • Set one of your feet on the floor, and point through the ankle. Spread toes and use your thigh bones.

  • Lift your thigh bones away from the floor.

  • Bring your chest forward, while keeping your shoulder blades back.

  • Bend your elbows slightly.

To release this pose, simply roll back into the push-up plank position.

Triangle Pose - Utthita Trikonasana

This standing yoga pose is great for toning legs, reducing stress and increasing stability.

  • Stand with your feet about one metre apart.

  • Reach out your arms to the sides, parallel to the ground, palms down.

  • Turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right and turn your left foot inwards by 45 degrees, toward the right.

  • Shift your hips a little toward the left, and bring your chest and arms slightly to the right.

  • Bend your hips, lower your torso to the right so your left side is facing towards the sky.

  • Place your right hand on the mat outside of the right foot. If you have trouble reaching the floor, place your hand on your shin, or where feels comfortable.

  • Stretch your left arm toward the sky, palm up, creating a straight line from your left hand down your arm, through your left shoulder, right shoulder, and your right hand.

  • You can either keep your head in a neutral position or turn your face to look up, perform whichever feels comfiest.

  • Make sure your chest is facing forward at all times.

  • Hold the pose for several seconds.

  • Inhale, and lift your torso up to a standing position, keeping your arms out straight.

  • Turn your feet to the left, and repeat the pose on your left side, holding the pose for the same duration.

To release the pose, inhale and stand up straight, putting your arms down by your side and putting your feet together.

Seated Spinal Twist - Ardha Matsyendrasana

This pose is great for relieving tension from your body and is also great for stretching.

  • Sit on your heels with your back straight.

  • Shift your weight onto your butt to the left, keep your knees bent. Allowing you to stay seated on your mat to the left of your feet.

  • Raise your left knee up your so your right foot is flat on the floor, and begin to slide it to the outside of your left knee.

  • Twist your torso to the right, place your right hand (palm down), on your mat close behind your right hip.

  • Raise your left arm straight up towards the sky, whilst remaining twisted.

  • Lower your left arm so your elbow is on the outside of your right knee (keep your elbow bent or reach down to hold your right ankle).

  • Turn as far as you can without causing unwanted stress on your knees, spine, neck and shoulders.

  • Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.

  • Release from the pose by removing your left elbow from your right knee, allowing you to release your body from the twisted position.

  • Repeat on the other side of your body.

To release from this pose, simply remove the elbow that is resting on your knee, allowing you to release from the twist. Bring your leg around to join the other behind your butt, and stand up into mountain pose.

Warrior I - Virabhadrasana

The Warrior I pose is perfect for increasing the mind and bodies focus, power, and stability.

  • Stand at the front of your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Ensure spine is erect, and your arms are at your sides.

  • Distribute your weight evenly.

  • Spread your legs three to four feet apart, keeping your hands at your thighs.

  • Turn your feet to the right so the right foot is facing toward the right side of the mat.

  • Turn your left foot 45 degrees toward the right side of the mat.

  • Rotate your torso to the right, and square your hips toward the right side.

  • Begin bending your right knee at a 90 degree angle, bringing your shin perpendicular to the ground and centered over your front foot.

  • Bring your palms together, and reach them up until they are straight above your head. This will lift your ribcage up from your pelvis.

  • Lengthen your lower back, and keep your shoulders relaxed.

  • Look up at your thumbs or keep looking straight forward.

  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds - breathe deeply and smoothly - keeping your torso and hips turned facing the right leg.

  • Release the pose by pressing your left heel into the floor, begin straightening your right knee, rotate your torso back to the center and bring your arms back down to your hips.

  • Repeat the pose on the left side by following the above steps, and hold for the same amount of time that you did on your right side.

To release from this pose, straighten your knee, and rotate your torso back to the centre. Bring your arms back down to your sides.

Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana

The Forward Standing Bend is great for rejuvenating the mind and the body.

  • Stand in the middle of your mat with your legs together. Center your weight on the balls of your feet.

  • Inhale, and begin stretching both of your arms straight above your head, beside your ears.

  • Exhale and bend forward at the waist - keeping your legs straight - reach down and grab the back of your legs wherever feels comfiest.

  • Ensure you keep your head and neck relaxed, making gravity do the work for you.

  • Hold this pose for several breaths.

To release from this pose, bring your hands to your hips, and start to lift your torso to waist-level. Lift until you’re parallel to the floor, next, inhale and raise your torso up straight until standing with your spine erect.

There you have it, our top seven yoga poses for beginners.

Perform these poses on a daily basis, and before you know it, you will be able to perform more advanced yoga poses with ease.

If you'd like to expand your knowledge of yoga and practise yoga with like-minded people, surrounded by nature, then why not look at our yoga retreats in Italy and Costa Rica.

I see yoga and daily meditation as the path to bringing awareness and gratefulness in our everyday actions.
— Laura - Sunflower Retreats Teacher