We just love yoga! It is so calming and relaxing and really helps us to get centered. We are total beginners and really wanted to get some yoga beginners basics so we reached out to Kelsey Lawrence, Arizona Yoga Instructor and an Alpha Chi Omega Alumnae, to show us the ropes. Kelsey shares just how to do each beginner's yoga workout. Whether it's doing yoga at a studio, on the beach, or in the comfort of your home, you can take yoga just about anywhere with these easy workouts. Thanks for sharing, Kelsey!
Cat Cow (Chakravakasana)
- Begin in tabletop position, hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
- Inhale and arch your back. Leading forward with your heart (not your head), shoulders on your back and chin tucked. Press down through your hands and feel your heart opening. Keep your shoulders relaxed, opened, and broadened.
- Exhale and round your back like a cat. Tucking your chin in towards your chest and exhaling all of the air out of your lungs.
- Repeat 5 times on your breath.
This pose is extremely beneficial for back pain. It moves your hips and spine and squeezes out the kidneys. When leading with your heart, feel the expansiveness and opening of new possibilities!
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Begin in tabletop position.
- It is important in this pose to angle your hands in the right angle in order to protect your shoulders.
- On your mat, widen your arms to where your pinky fingers are touching the edge of the mat. Make sure your pointer fingers are pointing forward.
- On your next exhale tuck your toes and push back, raising your seat into the air with your feet hip distance apart. Push back through your hips while being mindful not to hyper-extend your straight arms.
- Try and turn your shoulders out ward.
- Ground your heals into your mat and if not, bending the knees is a beautiful way to practice this pose, especially if you have tight hamstrings.
- It allows pressure to be taken off the hamstrings and lower back and you are able to sink deeper into the posture.
- Breath here for 5 breath’s. Long inhale and extended exhale.
Warrior B (Virabhadrasana B)
- Begin by standing on your mat; exhale and step your left leg behind you about 4 feet. Have your right toes facing forward and your left back foot angled about 45 degrees.
- Bend into your right leg; keep your knee over your ankle and breath.
- The outside of your back foot should be pressed into the floor and feel grounded.
- Feel the strength of your legs and the beautiful earth supporting you.
- Engage your abdomen, tuck the sacrum down, and try keeping the right knee over the ankle, not letting it dip inward or outward.
- Breathe here as long as you feel comfortable or for 3 breaths keeping your gaze at your right hand.
- Straighten your right leg; bring your left to meet the right and switch sides!
This is a very powerful pose. You are toning your quads and hamstrings as well as your core. It also prepares you for other challenging yoga poses. Mentally focus on the path you want to be on. Find strength in grounding in the earth and that energy will guide you. A beautiful mantra for this pose might be: There is no path to peace, peace is the path.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
- Begin on your back. Tuck your chin a little into your chest and breath.
- Tuck your pelvis under and bring the insides of your feet together and slowly move your legs closer to your body until you feel a stretch in your hips.
- Rest your arms beside you palms up to receive energy.
- Your legs will look like they are in the shape of a butterfly. If the sensation is too much, you can place a blanket under each of your knees for support.
- Lie here and breathe into your hips for 5 deep breaths.
Childs Pose (Balasana)
- Time to rest. Begin in tabletop position.
- Bring feet together and widen your knees open so that you are able to bring your buttocks towards your feet. Exhale and slowly rest your torso over your thighs so your forehead touches the mat.
- Extend your arms forward and breath. Another variation for this pose is to keep your arms bent or relax them next to you on your sides.
- Close your eyes and lengthen your breath for a deeper form of relaxation.
- Breathe here for 5 breaths and enjoy the stretch into the back of the torso
This pose helps relieve stress and anxiety, as well as helps with dizziness and fatigue. Flexes the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple, and lengthens and stretches the spine. It normalizes circulation throughout the body and calms the body and mind.
Enjoy these poses and I hope they bring you peace, love and beauty to your life.