You’ve probably heard yoga is good for helping to ease aches and pains. And that it’s good for improving balance. There’s even evidence it can help us with heart health, brain health, diabetes, depression and more.
But getting started can be intimidating. You’re not as young as you used to be, and some of those positions look hard. And purchasing a program or taking a class is an investment you might not be ready to make just yet. It’s enough to keep you on the couch.
Well, I have good news. You don’t need to be young, or even in “good shape” to do yoga. And while there are many advanced moves folks with lots of yoga experience might do, there are ones for those of who aren’t so spry or flexible, too.
Get started with six easy yoga moves for beginners
I’m going to share six of those simple yoga moves with you today. Check with your doc for a thumbs up, and then give them a try.
Start slowly, doing each one only once. And remember, you should never feel pain. If you do stop immediately.
1. Standing Forward Bend:
Start in a standing position, feet together, body straight. Put your hands on your hips. Now, instead of rolling down, hinge forward from the hips, keeping your back straight.
While your goal is to, eventually, reach the floor, focus more on keeping your back straight as you hinge. If you can reach the floor, great. If not, use a chair and rest your hands on the seat. Hold the bend for at least a minute.
To stand up, instead of rolling your back, put your hands on your hips, and hinge upwards. Make sure that you keep your ab muscles tight to support your lower back.
Good for – flexibility, osteoporosis, blood pressure, and insomnia
2. Downward Facing Dog:
Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulder line and your knees right under your hips. Gently lift your bum into the air, straightening your knees as you go. Your legs should end up as straight as comfortable without locking your knees. Your body will now resemble an upside-down letter V.
Hold this stretch for up to three minutes. Gently lower yourself back down to your knees and sit up.
Good for – flexibility, back pain, blood pressure, insomnia, osteoporosis, and sciatica
3. Bound Angle Pose:
Sit on the floor, back straight, legs out in front of you. You can sit against a wall for balance if that helps. Bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together to form a diamond. Keeping the outer edges of your feet on the floor, gently pull your heels as close to your body as is comfortable.
Hold your ankles, shins, or big toes. Relax your thighs, allowing your knees to drop towards the floor, keeping your back straight. Hold for up to five minutes, before straightening your legs and releasing the position.
Good for – flexibility, blood pressure, and sciatica
4. Fire Log:
Sitting on the floor, bring your right heel in toward your hips, as if you’re about to sit cross-legged. Then, carefully bring your left leg on top of your right leg, so instead of sitting cross-legged, your left leg is lying on top of the right.
Your right ankle should be stacked under your left knee, and your right knee will be stacked under your left ankle. If this position is uncomfortable or your hips are too tight at first, simply sit cross-legged instead.
Hinging from the hips lean forward slightly. Eventually, the goal will be to rest your hands on the floor in front of your legs. But to start just push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone. Hold for up to three minutes, and then sit up slowly. Straighten your legs to release.
Good for – flexibility, back pain, insomnia, and osteoporosis
5. Warrior I:
Standing straight, take a large but comfortable step forward with your right foot, so your feet are about 3-4 feet apart. Your front knee should be bent, while your back leg is straight.
Keeping the toes of your right foot facing more or less forward, turn your left foot left to a 90* angle. (Imagine your heels have a straight line between them.) Keep your torso facing front in the same direction as your right toes.
Lift your arms above your head, pushing your palms together. Straighten your back and breathe deeply. If you don’t feel steady enough on your feet, you can allow your arms to rest at your side instead.
Hold this position for up to a minute. To release, put your weight on your back, left foot, and bring your right foot to it. Repeat on the other side.
Good for – flexibility and sciatica
6. Warrior II:
Start with your feet in Warrior I position (see above). Instead of lifting your arms overhead, hold them out to your sides, parallel to the floor, palms facing down.
Without turning your head, open your torso so it faces the left wall. Your arms should be over your legs, and you’re looking at the fingers on your right hand. Hold for up to a minute, and release like Warrior I. Repeat on the other side.
Good for – flexibility, back pain, osteoporosis, and sciatica
Remember, yoga is for everyone no matter your age, shape, size or fitness level. These six simple moves are a great way to get started.
Try performing them at least three times a week and you will find your flexibility and balance improving and your aches and pains easing. When you’re ready you can search YouTube for more advanced routines or sign up for a class at your local gym or YMCA.