(Disclaimer: I took a beginner's yoga class at my former community college, and I honestly didn't take it very seriously because i dreaded to wake up and get to school at 8am.)
At this moment, I do not have a yoga studio that I attend, but for now, I'm going to try and begin on my own.
I definitely wanted to share with you guys, the first few poses that I learned in my previous yoga class.
1. Controlled Breathing
Every yoga routine would usually start off with one or two breathing exercises to help get you ready for your practice. The main exercise that I learned is to sit cross-legged on the floor with a straight spine with your back palms up on your knees. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Hold it for a slow count of four, then exhale for a slow count of eight..Before inhaling again, pause for a slow count of eight, then inhale for a count of four.
Continue to repeat this breath until you feel calm and centered.
2. Cat/Cow Posture
I pretty much consider the Cat and Cow poses to be one pose because they come together nicely. Come onto hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees lined up with your hips. As you inhale arch your back, tilt your head back, and press on the floor with your hands.Now, on your next exhale, you pull your belly in, fold your chin toward your chest, and arch your back in the opposite direction. Repeat this for 10-15 rotations. (
Pose 1: Cow
Pose 2: Cat
3. Downward Facing Dog
You can transition to downward dog right from your hands and knees. Just straighten your legs and push with your palms, letting your head relax to a neutral position. Focus on pulling your shoulder blades together and gently pressing your heels toward the floor. Relax and breathe in this posture for as long as you like!
I have to say, I am still struggling to hold this pose, only because I have weak arms! lol, I'll get there eventually.
4. Warrior II
From standing, walk or jump your feet apart. You want a nice, wide stance – more than shoulder width apart. Turn your right foot toward the right wall, and turn your left toes in slightly. Bend your right knee, bringing your thigh as close to parallel to the floor as you can. Inhale as you raise your arms, so they are parallel to the floor, then turn your head so that you’re gazing out past your right hand. Stay here for 10 deep breaths, then reverse your feet and repeat on the left side. Come back to standing up straight, feet together, when you’re done. This pose helps with both balance and the strengthening of your arms & legs.
I know, lunges seem like something for gym-goers, but the lunge is a powerful yoga pose, too! From standing, step your right foot forward, and bend your right knee so that just your left toes are on the floor. Keep your left leg straight, and slide it backwards, if you need to. You want your right thigh parallel to the floor and your left leg straight out behind you. You can either leave your palms or fingertips on the floor or lift your arms up over your head, if you feel like you’ve got good balance in this posture. Hold this pose for 10 deep breaths, then repeat on the opposite side. To come out of lunge, bring your back knee to the floor and sit on your knees.
6. Bridge Pose
This posture is my favorite! I can hold this pose forever lol. It stretches and strengthens without being too strenuous. Begin on your back with your arms by your sides, and bring your feet close to your bottom. Press your feet into the floor and tense your bottom, lifting your butt and lower and middle back off of the floor. You’re going for a straight line that begins at your knees and goes all the way to your chest. Hold for 10 deep breaths, then release slowly back onto the floor... I have this pose nailed to a T!! ( just saying)
Savasana is actually just as important as every other pose in this series. The savasana helps your body absorb the benefits of the poses that you just did, and at the end you’ll feel refreshed and energized. Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Let your feet roll out, and gently close your eyes. Think about relaxing every part of your body, from the top of your head and your forehead all the way down to your fingers and toes. Relax and breathe here for as long as you like. If you fall asleep in this posture like I always do, trust me, it's pretty common.
If any of you guys are interested in yoga and you may have some doubts, I assure you that it's not as intimidating as it looks. I've learned that yoga is all about self improving; you're not competing with others. Oh, and in case you were wondering, yoga is great for any and EVERY size! So, my curvy friends can do it too!!
Comment below to share your thoughts! xoxo