Yoga has been around for centuries as a spiritual, mental and physical way to keep yourself in the best possible shape you can be. There are numerous ways you can get yourself started with yoga, like classes or retreats, to really make the most out of the experience and give it a real try. You can also get self-help books or online classes and guides to hit the ground running. It’s really up to you.

To get yourself started, all you need is a mat and the right clothing that is flexible and comfy to let you get into the zone in whatever way you need to. The right attitude is essential as well of course, in addition to the knowledge to know what it is you need to do and why in the first place, so here's some information to get you clued up.

Physical

The physical benefits of yoga are the main point of this article with it being so basic and with our speciality being exercise (who’d have guessed). Yoga is great because it offers you a range of options as to what you can do to build up some muscle tone and put your strength to the test depending on what it is you do.

It’s an incredible way to improve your flexibility as well though. The different poses will mean that you have to use muscles that you may never normally use in your standard training routine to get yourself into these positions in the first place. Even when you manage to get into these positions, the balance that is required to keep them is often even more taxing.

The next go to point about any physical activity, including yoga, is that it’s great for your cardiovascular system. It gets the blood pumping around your whole body as you recruit different muscle groups to help you out, and therefore helps keep your heart and respiratory systems in good shape too!

Mental

What more could you possibly ask for? Well, that's where the mental benefits come into play as well. Yoga allows you to take some time out to yourself so that you can centre your mind and body together and zone out. The focus on what you are doing is designed to help you release any anger and negativity that you might be withholding and truly allow yourself to relax and be happy.

This lack of stress and worry lasts outside of the yoga too so that you're a generally happier and more relaxed person throughout life with a better attitude, which will only help you further in your fitness as well.

Poses

As with any good yoga article, it’s always useful to have some positions that are not too advanced, to help kick start you on your way to mastering the harder stuff later on. These five moves should be more than enough to give you a feel for what yoga is about, as well as help your stretch and strengthen some areas of the body which may not be in their best state.

 

Cobra

Exercise Example

The cobra position is likely to be the most simple move in the list; it's relatively easy to do as you lay on your front and raise your torso upward, stretching out your lower back.

 

Bird dog

Exercise Example

The bird dog pose is the next simplest although it can be slightly taxing on your core strength if you intend to hold the pose for a long time. While on your hands and knees, you just need to raise one arm out directly in front of you and do the same with the opposing leg.

 

Downward facing dog

Exercise Example

The downward facing dog is the next step in the guide, due again to its reasonable nature but slightly increased difficulty. This time, you need to be on your hands and your feet instead of your knees so that you are making an upside-down V like pose.

 

Childs Pose

Exercise Example

A good transition from here is the child’s pose, as it remains on your knees and simply requires you to stretch your arms out in front of you and curl yourself into a sort of ball. This is a great way to isolate yourself to get the most out of the mental benefits that were discussed earlier.

 

Warrior

Exercise Example

Finally, as we continue to get higher from the floor, we finish up with the warrior pose. This is likely to be the easiest because of the raised centre of gravity and the fact that you can stand rather than having to remain on the floor. All you need to do here is to take a step forward and lean into said step, keeping your hips facing as forwards as possible.

 

These are 5 of the most basic moves in yoga to help get you off to a flying start, so make sure that you take your time and keep your head in the game and you'll get your first taste as to what yoga is like!

 

 


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.