This week I’m featuring an awesome guest post by Lisa from My So Called Yoga Life Blog. Lisa is a 200 RYT yoga teacher and has studied and practiced yoga for more than ten years. She is a mother to two beautiful children, has a background in health sciences, a passion for essential oils and anything that can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. On her blog she shares yoga practices, relates how yoga influences every aspect of life, poetry from the heart and of course essential oils. Make sure you check out her blog and follow her on social media via her Instagram page. I asked Lisa to share with us her beginners yoga practice tips and sequences.
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Guest Blog Post
People come to yoga for many different reasons, from trying to lose weight to working on range of motion. I have been asked many times about which poses are suitable for a beginner. As an answer to this question, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to share a sequence for beginners! This sequence will work on range of motion and if practiced regularly, assist in weight loss, increase energy, increase lung capacity and increase overall health and well-being.
In preparation for doing yoga, I recommend putting on some comfortable clothing where you are able to move freely while wearing them. It is best to do yoga in bare feet. A yoga mat is great to have, but not necessary. All you need is a space large enough for you to comfortably lie down.
The main focus while doing this sequence is to remain open to your breath. Allow your breath to guide your movements. Listen to your body and do what feels right today. Sometimes the body feels energetic and other times it feels tired or stiff. Be sure to honour that within you and have fun!!
Easy Beginners Yoga Practice To Be Fit And Healthy!
Beginners Yoga practice – Warm Up with Sun Salutations
The best way to warm the body and breath is to do some sun salutations. It is a flow that passes through 11 poses.
1. Samasthiti- Begin with the feet together, big toes touching. Pressing down through the big toe mound, feel the strength in your legs as you tighten the muscles here and draw the low belly in. Bring the chest up and feel the neck become long. Begin to deepen your breath. Longer inhales and exhales, which you will try to maintain throughout your practice. Let the breathing guide your movements as best as you can.
2. Arms up- On an inhale, bring your arms up and the palms to touch as you look up to your fingers.
3. Fold forward- On the exhale, fold at the hips down and bring your hands towards the floor.
4. Flat back- Inhale and flatten your back, bringing the hands towards your shins.
5. Push-up pose- On the exhale, bend the knees until you can plant your whole palms onto the floor and then step back into the plank pose. Bring your knees onto the floor and bend at the elbows to bring yourself down into a push-up position with the elbows tight to the body.
6. Upward dog- On your inhale, press down into your hands and the tops of your feet as you draw your chest up and forward, straightening your legs into upward facing dog.
7. Downward dog- On the exhale, bring your knees down and press your hips back into downward dog. Feet are hip width apart. Press firmly into all of your fingers on your hands. Draw the low belly in and the heels towards the floor. Stay HERE for 5 deep, long breaths.
8. Flat back- Inhale as you come up onto your toes and step the feet back up in between your hands at the top of your mat coming into a flat back.
9. Fold forward- Exhale as you fold down at the hips, hands coming towards the floor.
10. Standing- Inhale as you raise your body and arms up, bringing the palms to touch above your head.
11. Samasthiti- Exhale as you bring your arms back down to your sides.
Complete 4 more rounds of the sun salutation to warm up. You will feel that you have built heat and did some work!
Beginners Yoga practice – Anjaneyasana
Step back with your left foot and bring the knee down to the floor. The right knee should ideally be above the ankle. Let the left knee move back along the floor as you allow the hip flexor to feel the stretch here. Bring the hands first to the right knee and work on balancing and then raise the arms up and lift the chest up, look up.
This pose can also be done with the left toes turned under and then straightening the back leg keeping the hips as low as possible. As you become more proficient in the posture, welcoming further challenge will be fun! Breathe deeply for 5 breaths and then step the left foot back up to meet the right. Do the pose on the other side now, right leg steps back.
Another variation you can add to this lunging pose is a twist. Twisting is excellent for digestive function as well as strengthening the core further.
Begin by stepping the left foot back and then finding the stretch once again in the extended leg. Using the variation with the knee down or turning the toes under and straightening the leg, take a deep inhale with the hands together at the chest. As you exhale, turn and twist over the right knee, bringing the left elbow to the outside of the thigh. Breathe deeply and continue to lengthen the chest up and pulling the low belly in. Also, be sure to keep the right thigh from turning in by pressing back into the left arm. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Slowly come out of the pose and step forward to standing. Prepare for the other side by stepping the right foot back and doing the pose on this side. Then come back into standing at the top of your mat.
Beginners Yoga practice – Forward Fold
Bring the feet hip width apart and interlace your fingers behind your back. Let your knees bend as needed to hinge at the hips and fold the body over. Let the hands come back and over your head. Really press down into the big toe mounds of your feet and draw the low belly in. Let your head and neck be soft. Hold here for 5 deep breaths. Slowly come up and let your hands come down to your sides.
Beginners Yoga practice – Triangle Pose
Step the left foot back about 3.5 feet. Open the toes on the right foot to the front edge of your mat. Turn the left foot in slightly, but the hips should be facing the side of your mat. Inhale deeply and lengthen the spine as you bring your arms up horizontal to the floor. Exhale and let your hips move back towards your left foot. Reach the right arm forward and then bring your hand to rest on the shin.
Top arm reaches up towards the ceiling and gaze towards this hand. Press firmly down into the big toe mound of your front foot and draw the low belly in. Breathe deeply for 5 breaths. Slowly come up and turn the right foot in and the left foot out so you can do your triangle on the other side. Then step back to the top of your mat after doing both sides.
Beginners Yoga practice – Wide-Legged Fold
Take a large step back with your right foot, around 4 feet wide. Both feet should be facing the same direction as your hips. Inhale deeply as you bring your hands to your waist. Exhale, fold at the hips and bring your hands to the floor. Inhale here. Exhale, draw your head towards the floor as you bring your hands back towards the feet. Elbows bending directly behind your hands. Hold here for 5 deep breaths. Inhale flatten your back. Exhale holding there. Inhale coming back up to standing. Step to the top of your mat.
Beginners Yoga practice – Tree Pose
This pose is great to work on balance. Pressing firmly down into the left foot, turn the right foot out and draw the foot up your standing leg. Find a place to stare at on the floor a few feet in front of you. Let the foot come to rest either on the calf or inner thigh, just not on the knee. Bring your palms together at the chest. Press firmly with your foot into your leg and draw the right hip down. Hold here for 8 deep breaths. Come out of the pose and repeat on the other side.
Beginners Yoga practice – Seated Poses
Coming to sit down with your feet together, let the knees come out to the side. Hold here or if it feels good, fold at the hips forward, keeping the spine straight. Place your hands on your feet and your elbows to the inside of your thighs to assist the stretch in this pose. Hold for 8 deep breaths. Slowly come out and let your legs come out in front of you.
Bend the knees, put the feet flat on the floor. Grab behind your thighs, tighten your core and lean back to lift the feet off the floor. Keep the neck long and the spine straight. Hold here or take the arms parallel to the floor, palms turned in. Hold for 5 breaths deep and then bring the feet down. Repeat 2 more times.
Beginners Yoga practice – Back bends
Come down onto your mat, chest down. Bring the feet hip width and press down into the tops of the feet activating the muscles in your legs. Come onto your forearms, palms down, press down into your forearms. Pulling the low belly in, bring the chest forward. Hold here for 5 deep breaths and then slowly come down and release the pose.
Bring the feet together, tops of the hands on the mat beside your body. Firm the legs, pull the low belly in and lift the feet and chest off the floor. Hold here for 5 deep breaths and then slowly come down.
Push your hips back and down towards your feet. Let your body relax here, arms can be out in front or resting beside the hips. Hold for 10 deep breaths
Come down onto your back into the final resting pose. Comfortably let your legs and arms open out and take rest for 10 minutes or more.
I hope you enjoyed doing this practice with me! Please do check out the yoga sequence section on my blog to learn more.
Please note that no part of this beginners yoga practice is intended to be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any health related conditions. It is not meant to replace consultation with a medical professional. This information is for educational purposes and the practice is completed at your own risk. If you have any health concerns, please contact your medical doctor before engaging in this practice.End Of Guest Blog Post
Thank you so much Lisa for a wonderful beginners Yoga practice routine. You are a true yogi and a wonderful teacher. I am forever inspired by your dedication to the practice of yoga and incorporating it into you entire lifestyle. This is the motivation I really needed to get back to my weekly yoga routine.
What do you think of this beginners Yoga routine? Are you a yogi yourself? What pose is your favorite one? Share with me in the comments below. Let’s motivate each other to stay fit and healthy.
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