Starting yoga for the first time can feel a little daunting. Those who do yoga regularly can perform moves some of us can only dream of – but the beauty of yoga is you don’t have to be able to bend your foot over your head to reap its benefits.
Yoga is a personal adventure. It’s about physical and mental balance, and is just as beneficial for your mindset as it is your body.
Whether you’re looking to increase your flexibility, reduce stress, or improve your overall health and wellbeing, yoga can be an excellent way to achieve your goals.
However, for those new to yoga, the sheer number of poses and movements can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most basic yoga moves and explore why they are so beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels.
We’ll also point you to some of the latest yoga products in our online shop that are perfect for first-timers.
- Benefits of yoga – It may take weeks for your mind and body to realise some of the benefits of yoga. But other positives will be felt almost instantly. Here are just a few reasons why yoga is beneficial:
- Increased flexibility – Yoga helps to increase flexibility by stretching and lengthening muscles, which can help to reduce the risk of injury and improve overall mobility. It’s great for healthy joints and muscles, regardless of your age.
- Reduced stress – Yoga is known for its ability to reduce stress and promote relaxation. By focusing on the breath and practicing mindfulness, yoga can help to calm the mind and promote a sense of inner peace.
- Improved strength – Many yoga poses require you to use your own body weight as resistance, which can help to improve overall strength and muscle tone. This in turn helps with posture and prevents aches and pains from reoccurring.
- Better balance – Yoga can help to improve balance and stability, which is particularly important as we age and our balance naturally declines.
- Increased mindfulness – Yoga encourages mindfulness and present-moment awareness, which can help to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm and wellbeing.
The Basic Yoga Moves
Now that we’ve explored some of the benefits of yoga, let’s take a look at some of the most basic yoga moves. These poses are accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels and can be a great starting point for those new to yoga.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Mountain pose is a foundational pose in yoga and is often used as a starting point for many other poses. To practice mountain pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Root down through your feet, engage your leg muscles, and lift through the crown of your head. Hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on your alignment and the sensation of your feet on the ground.
Mountain pose is a great way to improve posture and alignment, and can help to build strength in the legs and core.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward-facing dog is one of the most recognisable yoga poses and is often used as a transition between other poses. To practice downward-facing dog, start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs and coming into an inverted V-shape. Hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on lengthening through the spine and pressing your heels towards the ground.
Downward-facing dog is a great way to stretch and strengthen the entire body, particularly the shoulders, hamstrings, and calves.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Warrior II is a standing pose that helps to build strength and stability in the legs and core. To practice warrior II, start in mountain pose and step your left foot back about three to four feet. Turn your left foot out to a 90-degree angle and your right foot in slightly. Raise your arms to shoulder height, with your palms facing down, and bend your right knee so that it is directly over your ankle. Hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on your alignment and the sensation of your feet on the ground.
Warrior II is a great way to build strength and stability in the legs and core muscles. It’s also a great pose to relax in before resuming with more difficult poses.
What to buy when starting yoga
The yoga industry is full of products that can help you on your way to achieving mental and physical wellbeing. And while you’re unlikely to need everything that retailers offer, it’s worth having the basics so you can get started without any fuss.
Here at takegoodcare our yoga equipment is ethically sourced from sustainable companies. Here are the basics you’ll need to begin your yoga journey…
A yoga mat helps centre your work and provides a comfortable spot to stand, sit, stretch and rest. Yoga mats are usually made of foam or cork, and need to be grippy so that you don’t slip and hurt yourself.
Here at tgc we offer vegan suede yoga mats from Yoga Studio and cork yoga mats. We also stock Yoga Studio’s The Grip alignment yoga mat which features a rubber base to ensure you won’t slip. All our yoga mats are delivered free of charge.
Yoga can be sweaty and rewarding work. And you’ll almost certainly need a towel. Some forms of yoga such as hot yoga even require it! Yoga towels are quick-drying and efficient, and are designed to be soft on skin that is flushed and sweaty. You can buy microfibre yoga towels from takegoodcare.
Keep all your equipment in one place for easy access with a yoga bag. Our yoga bags are stylish and designed for ease of use, so you can quickly get our your mat and towel and begin your workout.
Something for the more advanced among us, a yoga wheel is perfect if you need to go deep into your muscles. It can help stretch your chest, shoulders, back, hips and pelvis, and provide the balance and stability you need to target these core parts of your body. You can also order a cork yoga wheel from tgc with free delivery.
Pilates Sitting Block
Sitting blocks are ideal for those doing yoga and pilates but need a helping hand with posture while doing the moves. Any pilates sitting block will do but it’s worth getting a block that is comfortable for your hip bones and grips to both you and the floor.