Yoga for beginners: equipment, the most common poses, etc.
Even the easiest yoga poses can be challenging the first time you practice it. In addition, unlike other sports or fitness, yoga has its own vocabulary, a certain breathing technique and, for some schools of yoga, self-actualization. Doing yoga is likely to change the way you approach other sports, your body,
and your perception of yourself. While some people feel the benefits of yoga from their first session, most people usually notice a change after three to six weeks. What applies to yoga applies to any other activity: the hardest part...is getting started! In this article, we explain to beginners everything you need to know about yoga.
Before you begin, read our article "Yoga Basics: Origins and Benefits". This will allow you to learn about yoga vocabulary (which comes from Sanskrit) and history and also learn about the different types of yoga that are more commonly practiced.
In the world of sports...
... The main thing is not to achieve perfection, but rather to practice and find the right balance. This is the goal of the new yoga program on the adidas Training app. Whether you're a beginner or an expert in yoga, our 8-week program paves the way for mobility, fluidity, and mindfulness. From pranayama to vinyasa, aum to namaste, our yoga instructor will guide you every step of the way. All you need is a mat, a little curiosity, and the desire to get stronger on the inside!
Step 1: Your Yoga Space
Although outdoor yoga is a great source of inspiration, we recommend that you start practicing indoors instead, where you can easily hear and see your instructor, and follow the explanations in your application or on other means. Let's be clear, yoga can seem pretty weird when you start practicing! It can take some time for you to be completely comfortable and master the awkward situations at times. That is why we advise you to practice yoga in a quiet place that suits you.
Make sure you have enough space to practice. You should be able to lie on the floor without feeling embarrassed. Leave enough space around your rug so you can move around easily. Also consider the height of the room: you should be able to raise your arms above your head without encountering obstacles.
Once you've memorized positions and learned a few sequences, you can then practice outside. Once again, we recommend that you find a convenient and comfortable place where it does not bother you. In fact, you will have to refocus on yourself, live the situations and experience the flow of different situations (situations). If your skin is light or sensitive to heat, look for a shaded spot.
Your yoga equipment
As with most other sports, a yoga session can work well even if you don't have all the equipment. However, the right equipment will make things easier for you. Here are the equipment we recommend for yoga sessions. As much as possible, we encourage a preference for sustainable and if possible recyclable materials!
In yoga, we often talk about "props" to designate small equipment (blocks, blankets, mats, belts, etc.) that help achieve poses or correct alignment. For example, you will hear a teacher say, "In this position, put the 'props' under your knees." In fact, many people who practice yoga use props without even being asked. There is no rule. The accessories you may need should adapt to your body and level.
The following accessories can be very useful for a yoga session, but they are not mandatory. It is up to you to find out which material suits you best.
Mat: A yoga mat should not be too slippery. Avoid mats for Pilates. Yoga mats are generally thinner and only a few centimeters thick.
Blocks: about 23 cm long and 15 cm thick. They come in many shapes, colors and materials (wood, cork, etc.). Avoid buying a block that is too heavy, as it will be difficult to move or move. It is recommended to purchase two blocks (one for each hand). If you do not have cubes, you can use other things at hand: a book, a shoebox, a small hard pillow, etc.
Water Bottle / Water Bottle: Even simple yoga poses will make you sweat! So it is essential to stay hydrated.
The Towel: Even though yoga isn't as frequent, you'll still be sweating, especially if you're a yoga beginner! The towel will be very useful to avoid slipping on your carpet, and in addition, it can also be used as a pillow.
Pillow: Small pillows are often underrated as luxuries! They are very useful for supporting the back of the head and for getting a more comfortable neck position when you are lying down. They can also be used to support the knees when kneeling.
Warm clothing: It is perfectly possible to do yoga in a very short top and shorts. But when you lie down into the savasana position (literally, 'corpse position'), your heart rate and body temperature will drop rapidly. Before doing this position
Take a short break to wear, for example, socks and a hoodie.
Blanket: In addition to warm clothing, have a blanket nearby. You can use it to cover yourself during savasana, or to meditate more comfortably. You can also use it as an extension to install poses like "halasana" (plow), for example.
Bracelet: There are straps specially designed for practicing yoga, which are made of non-stretchable materials and equipped with a system of accessories at the ends. But a strip of fabric whose ends can be attached or a leather strap, for example, can also do this trick. Straps are used to facilitate stretching and develop flexibility, such as in a seated pincer position.
Diary: Consider keeping a diary before or after your yoga session. You'll find more information later in this article, in the Mindfulness chapter.
Step 2: Discover the 12 most popular yoga poses
As you progress down the path of yoga, you will experience all kinds of postures, each more difficult than the next. These highly complex situations are generally modern variants of the traditional basic situation. It is necessary to learn the basic postures correctly before you can perform more creative sequences and asanas. Moreover, for the first yogis, these postures were intended to lead to inner calm. So, start gradually! We will introduce you to 12 basic poses. This will allow you to understand how to make it, but also how to modify and adapt it later.
Do you know ?
The term "modification" simply refers to differences from the original position. When a yogi adopts a modified posture, it is not necessarily uncomfortable. If he's using a different form, it's because his or her body finds it more effective and/or more enjoyable. Learn how to "edit" without making judgments! Your body is unique and deserves to be treated as such.
1. Table pose (BHARMANASANA)
Objective: to find consistency between left/right, up/down, forward/backward. Activate the heart muscles.
Realization: The back should be very flat. Since most people are perfectly arched, the abdominal muscles must be strong enough to reduce the curvature of the lower back. The muscles between the shoulders are activated. Make sure to lengthen your neck. The gaze is directed towards the ground.
Common mistakes: Avoid bringing your hands and knees close together: When doing these poses, use the space around you. Don't let your lower back sag. Do not raise the shoulder blades. If your hands are closer to the top of the rug than your head, your neck will be tight and your shoulders will be very high. Your head is not slack: make sure it is aligned with your shoulders.
Adjustments: Many people find it difficult to achieve tabletop position due to the stress on the joints (knees and ankles). In this case, place one of the accessories (see above the equipment list) under your knees.
Inspiration: grounding and feeling centered. Inner reflection and silence. Mentally prepare for what is to come. Self-assurance.
2. Standing Pinch Position (Uttanasana) and Pinch Position (PAŚCIMOTTĀNĀSANA)
Purpose: Standing and sitting forms stretch your back muscles, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. But also to tighten the abdominal muscles.
Perception: The legs are touching or separated by the width of the hips. The lower abdomen contracts, causing the spine to flex. Flexion is done at the hips, not at the back. The knees can be bent, but try to straighten them as you get more flexibility. The feet are directed toward the top of the rug or the sky, while the hands are extended toward the feet. The head rests towards the legs
Common Mistakes: If your feet are too far apart, the gluteal lateral muscles cannot be activated effectively. The toes are parallel, and the feet do not deviate from the coasts. If you stretch your shoulders and arms too hard, the neck will be tight and the shoulders will be very high. It's not the back that bends, but the hips that work. Be sure to engage the core muscles. do not hold your breath.
Adjustments: People with a herniated disc should use caution or even avoid this situation. A brace can be placed between the legs and the chest to support the spine. A tape that is passed under the toes and secured to the hands can help with flexibility.
Inspiration: Achieving goals and facing challenges boldly, with self-awareness and reflection. To love yourself in spite of difficulties.
3 - Half standing pose (Arda Uttanasana)
Objective: This posture belongs to the vinyasa type of yoga. It is used to increase the flexibility of the spine. In a series of positions, it is generally placed between the "permanent clamp" and the board. Strengthens the muscles of the trunk, hip, back, hamstrings and calves.
Realization: The half-flexed pose is undoubtedly a difficult pose to achieve but it is nevertheless used quite often! This is a tabletop position, but it is performed in a vertical plane. Start as a standing pinch pose. Bend forward until the spine is in line with the hips, and draw a nice flat line. Place your hands on your calves or thighs (not your knees), raise your head so that it is in line with your shoulders, and your gaze is at the floor. On exhalation, return to the "permanent clamp" position or switch to another position.
Frequency of errors: the same observations regarding the position of the table. Prevent the rib cage from collapsing toward the floor so as not to create tension in the spine. Remember to keep your head high enough. Your gaze should be downward, not forward. Make sure your back and core muscles are fully activated. Do not put your hands on your knees: they are not good for these joints. Be careful not to extend your knees too much.
Modifications: People with very tight lower back muscles may find it difficult to achieve this pose: The lower back muscles tend to do all the work. If this pose is embarrassing, remove it from your routine and focus more on the standing hack pose.
Inspiration: the willingness to overcome a challenge or achieve a goal. Visualize yourself in the future while staying grounded in the present. Do not lose sight of your aspirations and projects
4. High (ASHTA CHANDRASANA) and LOW (ANJANEYASANA) lunge positions
The goal: Whether they're on the floor or standing, these two poses aim to soften the muscles in the hips. It also strengthens the leg muscles (especially in a standing position). They will teach you how to properly work the muscles of the hips, torso and back while raising the arms.
Perception: the feet are wide apart at the width of the pelvis. Move your right foot forward until the right knee is perpendicular to the right ankle (for a low lunge, the back knee is on the floor). The pelvis is directed forward. Seuls les orteils du pied gauche sont en contact avec le sol, le talon est levé, la cheville est alignée sur la racine de doigts de pied (dans le cas de la fente basse, la face avant de la
jambe et du pied plat sont on the earth). The back is straight, the hips are slightly tilted towards the back of the pelvis, the anterior rib cage is pulled towards the center. Arms up, elbows straight, shoulders relaxed. look forward. The spine extends vertically from the coccyx to the top of the head.
Frequent mistakes: The feet are far apart from the width of the pelvis: therefore, the legs and feet should not be aligned on the same line. The rib cage should not go forward: remember to touch the abdominal muscles without arching your back. Be careful not to raise your shoulders toward your ears. Avoid bending forward: Conversely, make sure your shoulders, spine, and hips are aligned. The front knee should be bent.
Adjustments: This position touches the whole body. Instead, start with a low lunge until you've mastered it. If you have back or shoulder pain, keep your hands in a prayer position at heart level or rest on your hips. If your front knee hurts, move your foot forward or backward until you find the correct position. You can also start slowly without making the lunge too deep.
Inspiration: Go from one point in your life to another without hesitation or worry. Accept the unknown by showing boldness and courage.
5. Downward facing dog pose (ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA)
Objective: To strengthen the shoulders and upper back muscles. Stimulating brain function. Strengthening the deep abdominal muscles.
Accomplishment: Begin in a plank position on your hands: your body rests on your fingertips, hands and arms straight. Next, lift your buttocks muscles straight up to the sky without moving your hands or feet. Once in this position, move your feet forward slightly so that you can place your heels on the floor. If your ankle is flexible enough, you don't necessarily need to lift your feet forward. The body
should resemble an isosceles triangle in profile: arms lined up with buttocks, buttocks lined up with ankles and the distance between the hands and feet the same length. Feet are hip-width apart. The abdominal muscles are activated so that the tailbone is slightly inclined and the muscles of the lower back relax. The shoulders pull the spine down, not up, toward the ears. Fingers spaced on the floor and most of the hand touching the ground.
Common mistakes: Don't clench your fingers. Most of the hand should not be off the ground (otherwise it may cause wrist pain). The spine should not be arched, and the chest should not come close to the legs. The hands and feet should not be too close to each other to avoid raising the pelvis or creating tension in the spine. The ankles should not be so tight that the heels stay on the floor. The arms and legs should not be too tight nor too far apart.
Adjustments: People with high blood pressure or high blood pressure should avoid or avoid holding this position for a long time. Your knees may bend slightly if you feel hamstrings or lower back strain. Baby pose is a great alternative to lying dog.
Inspiration: Stopping from difficult times and trials allows us to examine our true intentions and desires. Show detachment when the expected isn't happening. Believe in your abilities. Develop your inner creativity.
6. Raised and Low Plank (KUMBHAKÂSANA-DANDÂSANA)
Objective: The raised plank is done with your arms and hands on the ground. The low plank is done with the forearms on the floor. In schools of yoga that prefer the dynamic, flowing style, the high plank is always dispensed with as it requires a lot of effort from the elbow. Both versions of this pose work the core and shoulder muscles as well as the quadriceps. Most of the muscles in the body will be strengthened through this asana.
Perception: the shoulders are aligned with the hands, and the ankles are aligned with the toes. The back of the head, shoulders, spine, and hips form a straight line (hence the name plank). The gaze is directed towards the earth. The legs can be together or spaced hip-width apart. The muscles of the back and trunk are activated. Tilt your pelvis back slightly.
Common mistakes: Make sure the fingers are not too tight and the hands are not lifted off the floor. The hands should not be too far from the head, otherwise the shoulders may be too high and tense. Be sure to use your back muscles to prevent the spine from leaning toward the floor. The hips are no higher than the lower back and the tailbone should remain aligned. The lower back should not hang over the hips and be below shoulder level. Avoid spreading your feet too far. In a low plank, the elbows should not spread to the sides.
Objective: To strengthen the spinal extensor muscles, the muscles of the upper back, and the muscles of the buttocks. Stretch the muscles around the chest and in front of the shoulders. Release the hip muscles, activate the hip extensor muscles and activate the gluteal muscles. Stretching the thigh muscles.
Realization: In a position lying on the stomach, place the hands under the shoulders, elbows bent along the chest. Keeping the pelvis on the floor, raise the chest. The elbows accompany the movement of the torso and gradually unfold. Tighten the muscles between the shoulder blades to enlarge the chest.
Engage the glutes by bringing the hips close to the floor. The upper surface of the foot and toes rest on the floor. The gaze is directed forward. Stretch the neck to align the elbows and shoulders. In the cobra pose, the thighs and pubis remain on the floor, while in the upward facing dog pose, the hips and thighs are raised off the floor.
Common mistakes: Your hands should not be higher than your shoulders. Do not extend your elbows outward. Do not raise your shoulders towards your ears. The arms don't get involved too much: the hips come off the floor using the glutes (not the lower back muscles). The feet should not form a right angle with the man: on the contrary, they naturally rest on the floor.
Modifications: If you suffer from lower back pain or if you have a herniated disc, it is best to perform this pose very slowly (otherwise avoid it completely by staying in the plank position). However, there are many ways to adjust this position to reduce pressure on the spine. First, you can keep your elbows
on the floor so that only the vertebrae in the back and neck are raised. Second alternative: Take a few breaths on the floor without raising your torso. Third form: Get support on your toes, raise your spine and pelvis by supporting yourself on your hands, slowly lowering your hips while maintaining a plank position. Don't put your knees or hips on the floor. Keep the abdominal muscles energized.
Inspiration: Feeling able to face all challenges with confidence. Send love. Accept the love and reactions of others. Have good self-esteem while remaining humble.
8. WARRIOR POSE II (VIRABHADRASANA II)
Objective: To strengthen the quadriceps and quadriceps muscles. Strengthen and stretch the muscles of the pelvis, thighs and shoulders. The development of awareness, whether conscious or not, of the position of the different parts of the body (also called proprioception).
Realization: The position of the feet is undoubtedly the most important point of the Warrior II pose. The back foot rotates 90 degrees (it is parallel to the short side of the rug). The front foot remains straight (it is parallel to the long side of the mat) and the knee is perfectly aligned with the ankle. Both feet are resting on the floor. Also, the hips and shoulders are parallel to the long side of the rug. The
upper body is aligned vertically from the top of the head to the tailbone. The gaze is directed forward, above the hand. The arms are straightened towards the front and back of the mat, aligning the ankles. The front knee of the leg forms a 90-degree angle to the ground. The knee of the back leg is extended.
Common mistakes: The chest should remain straight: Avoid bending towards the front leg. Remember to bend the front knee without going beyond the front of the foot: make sure it is aligned with the ankle. Your arms are spaced apart (not to the sides!) and your wrists are parallel to your ankles. The
arms remain horizontal and straight (no bent arms or bent elbows). Straight bust: the lower back should not be arched and the abdomen should not be relaxed. The pelvis should not be tilted forward. The knee of the hind leg should not be tilted inward and/or bent. The back foot should not make an obtuse angle to the front foot, it should be perpendicular. So they form a 90-degree angle.
Adjustments: Warrior II is one of the most comfortable poses in yoga, although it can be difficult to hold on the muscles. People with knee pain can shorten this position and limit forward bending of the knee. If you feel pain in your back, ankle, or knee, try bending or straightening the knee until you feel comfortable. Make sure the back foot is perpendicular to the front foot!
Inspiration: hope and courage for the future. Respect the nature of the past, present and future. Caution and precautions before throwing yourself into battle. Focus on the present moment.
10. Child's Pause (Balasana)
Objective: To tighten the muscles of the back and trunk. Tighten the gluteal muscles, the front of the calf, and the ankles. Tighten the knees. Relax the neck muscles.
Realization: Sit on your knees, sit on your heels, legs slightly apart. Resting your thighs on your calves and touching your big toes. Lean forward, resting your forehead on the floor. Your buttocks are still resting on your heels. To stretch your back more, extend your arms forward and push your tailbone back. If you want to let your shoulders rest, put your arms along your chest.
Common mistakes: Avoid bringing your knees close together. Don't pull your ankles. Be careful not to over-stimulate your stomach muscles to allow your buttocks to descend.
Adjustments: Although the baby pose is considered comfortable, it can be painful for some yogis' knees. There are many differences. Start by placing a small pillow or blanket under your knees. You can also place a second pillow between your calves and your thighs to keep your hips away from your ankles. You can also keep the hips directly above the knees in a tabletop position. If you feel pain in your neck or shoulders from the arms above your head, bring your hands back to your feet, palms facing up.
Inspiration: Self-reflection and self-communication. Visualize its existence as part of a larger whole. Relaxation, stress reduction, independence, wonder and creativity.
11. Chaturanga Attitude
The goal: to strengthen all the muscles of the body (as with push-ups). Especially the triceps, shoulder and core muscles. Shoulder and wrist movement development.
Realization: Chaturanga begins as a plank. The elbows tighten the body and bend at an angle of 90 degrees. The less intense version is to go down toward the ground. The more intense version includes balancing above the floor with your arms in a horizontal position. The gaze is directed towards the floor, the head is aligned with the shoulders (not down!). The back is completely flat, without a curvature of the spine. The shoulder blades are close together. You are standing on your tiptoes. Inhale to get ready, then exhale to land.
Common Mistakes Chaturanga is a difficult pose but it gets easier with practice. Problems arise when the lower back hangs, the shoulder blades separate, and the head drops below the shoulders. The posture should look like a straight plank coming down to the ground, not a snake crawling and drooping! Don't differentiate your elbows too much. do not hold your breath.
Modifications: Lower knees to the floor, then chest and chin. The hips are the last to touch the ground. Have someone stand over you and hold your elbows so that you can feel the elbows squeezing the body. Look forward so that the head remains in line with the shoulders. Place yoga blocks under your hands, letting your fingers hang over the front edge to encourage wrist movement.
Inspiration: Overcoming challenges and hard work leading to personal development. Self confidence. Ability to state facts humbly.
12. Lateral Bending (Parsva Tadasana)
Objective: Tighten and strengthen the abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and shoulders. Strengthen the inner thigh muscles. Balance.
Perception: During the standing lateral flexion, only the muscles on both sides of the body contract and stretch. The pelvis and spine remain passive. The ribs remain in line with the hips, while the ribs (abdomen) contract on one side and shorten on the other (the opposites). Raise your arms above your head, and your left hand sticks to your right wrist, the fingers of which remain outstretched. The elbows, knees and legs are stretched. The hips remain horizontal.
Common mistakes: only the sides move: it is not a bend in the back. Hips do not rise. Be careful not to bend your elbows.
Adjustments: If you feel pain in your shoulders or if your elbows can't fully straighten when your arms are above your head, drop the arm to the side you're leaning toward and keep only one arm. 'Air. If you have trouble with your balance, stand with your feet slightly apart. If you have lower back pain, keep your pelvis tilted back slightly and activate your lower abdomen.
The inspiration: bend but don't break. Choose unique and innovative life paths. Hope you feel uncomfortable. Self exploration. Feeling powerful in unexpected situations.
Step 3: Practice Mindfulness
Yoga offers many physical and athletic benefits, and is a simple way to improve your flexibility and mobility. However, it also includes elements of spirituality, meditation, and mindfulness. It's not about religion, it's about exploring the relationship between body and mind: it's an important part of yoga! Here are some tips for practicing mindfulness.
We have an entire article devoted to this topic! Keeping a diary is a great way to keep track of the big and small changes that happen in your body and mind during yoga sessions. Try to record it with yourself before you start setting your goals for the session. Next, inquire about your feelings and emotions after the session to see if any changes occurred.
listen to your body
The goals of yoga are not entirely comparable to those of other sports activities: it values the experience of the practice rather than the result. You can set custom goals before each session, depending on your needs. In yoga, the changes and variations you make to the pose - to make it easier or harder - show that you are self-aware and show respect for your body. Yogis let their bodies decide the intensity of the class and postures. At first, this self-listening and adaptation to the smallest details of the body may seem a little overwhelming. But over time, this perception will become very natural and calming.
Yoga promotes curiosity and can be a source of creativity. Just as you are experimenting with new foods, a new style of dress, etc., doing yoga should be an opportunity to escape routine and find fun! Here are some examples of changing your practices:
- Instead of online classes, take a face-to-face yoga class near you
- Combine yoga with other sports, for example in nature during a walk or after a football match
- Invite your friends to join you! Share tips and advice for performing your favorite yoga poses.
- Experiment with unusual poses... and laugh when you lose your balance!
- Take action and buy yourself a new yoga outfit
- Take a yoga class at different times of the day and adjust the intensity accordingly
- Try different types of yoga just to enjoy the experience
At first, when you start doing yoga, it can seem confusing, difficult, and sometimes completely bizarre. If this is your case, it means that you are doing things right! Yoga is unlike any other form of exercise, mindfulness meditation, or physical rehabilitation. In fact, all of this. By learning about yoga, and being kind to yourself when you encounter the first difficulties, you will find that the practice becomes easier and easier over time. And who knows? You may find that your body, mind, and spirit need it!