The Beginner's Guide to Yoga: 5 Easy Postures
Article written by @MichaelNaja

If you feel the need to take up yoga and find it too difficult, this beginners guide to yoga is for you!

Yoga is fashionable, it's everywhere and everyone is doing it, whatever their age or physical condition. It is a holistic practice that allows you to regain awareness of your body, and to progress in a benevolent way by avoiding injuries.


Maybe you are like me a few years ago: you don't dare to enter a yoga studio. 

You think it's for women, for the elderly, or for people who are already very flexible!

Well, these are all preconceived ideas that are far from reality!


I was finally able to look into it and discover that it's nothing like that. 

Of course, there are yoga studios that are more spiritual than others. There are also yoga studios with disciplines to push yourself further and further physically. And there are yoga studios that offer gentler classes, in complete acceptance of what is, without ever going beyond.

Each to his or her own style of yoga

The exciting thing about yoga is that everyone can get into it. All you need is a beginner's yoga guide as simple and effective as this one to get you started. It's designed to help you gain confidence in your body, in your desire to take care of yourself, and to get you through the doors of different studios to find the one that's right for you.


Outside of yoga studios, there are many teachers, each with their own expertise and know-how. You will naturally have more affinity with certain teachers, we are talking about energy here. You will "feel" one person better than another and this is quite normal.

Yoga helps you to do this, to feel things, to be open to what is good for you.

Yoga is the union of body and mind

Before having a spiritual practice and meditating for hours in a sitting position, it is good to prepare yourself. This is where the postures, asanas in Sanskrit, will help you to become aware of your body, relax the muscles and release tension. 

Then the body will be ready to meditate.


Before starting the yoga postures, and before practising complete sessions, it is recommended to prepare the joints. Whether you are a beginner in yoga or an advanced practitioner, this advice is always valid.

Together we will look at 5 postures/movements to do before your session and even outside of it if you wish.

Yoga postures for beginners and athletes

These yoga postures are for everyone, for athletes who want to prepare their bodies before training. They are also for future yogis to learn how to connect to the body in a simple and welcoming way.


These postures can be done on a yoga mat, a sports mat or a mat that you have at home in your living room or bedroom.

Make yourself comfortable, avoid being directly on the floor to give yourself the best chance to be comfortable in your body.


You can create a space in your home that will become your space to do these yoga exercises.


What about the outfit? Choose a soft, comfortable outfit so that you feel comfortable. A yoga bra or tank top, yoga leggings, shorts and/or a t-shirt will do the trick.

At Circle, discover Crop Tops, women's tank tops, or Iconic t-shirts; and leggings, women's shorts, and unisex shorts. Circle also offers men's yoga clothing!

The 5 yoga postures for beginners


Photo credit: Swami Satyananda Saraswati "Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha


  1. The basic position (Prarambhak Sthiti)

Positioning

Sitting with legs straight out in front of you, feet close together but not stuck together.

Place your hands behind you, about shoulder width apart, so that you are well supported.

The back, neck and head should be straight.

Arms outstretched.

The body is slightly backwards so that it is supported by the arms.

Eyes closed and body completely relaxed.

Here is a first posture in which you can completely relax and be supported.

It is very simple, there is nothing else to do or add.

This is the basic position that will serve many others.

2. toe and ankle flexion (Padanguli Naman & Goolf Naman)

Photo credit: Swami Satyananda Saraswati "Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha


Toe bending (Padanguli Naman)

Positioning

Sitting in the basic Prarambhak Sthiti position (seen just before). 


The movement

As you inhale, bring your toes towards you (backwards).

As you exhale, bring your toes forward.

Remain conscious of following your breath for these two movements by focusing only on the toes, the rest of the foot does not move.


The little extra 

Open each toe on the inhale. 

When you bring your toes towards you, spread each toe wider to regain the control you lost because of your shoes!

Ankle flexion (Goolf Naman)

Positioning

Sitting in the basic Prarambhak Sthiti position.


The movement

As you inhale, bring both feet backwards. The movement is done at the ankle without using the toes.

As you exhale, bring both feet forward. The movement is done at the ankle without using the toes.

Repeat 10 times.

Focus only on the ankles to engage them without the use of the toes.


The little extra

Try to touch the floor as the feet move forward on the exhale.


Ankle rotation (Goolf Ghoornan)



Positioning

Always starting from the basic position.

Bend the right leg so that the right foot is on the left thigh.

Then bring the right foot towards the left hip.

If you feel stiffness, leave the foot more towards the left knee while bending slightly forward.

Grab the right ankle with the right hand.

Grab the toes with your left hand.

With the help of the left hand, rotate the ankle.

Keep your back straight and your body engaged.

10 times clockwise.

10 times in the opposite direction.

Then rest the leg and bend the left leg to do it all again on the other side.

Do it with awareness by adopting a calm and natural breathing that you can accompany on the rotations.


The little extra

Relieves pain and cramps.


4. Knee bend (Janu Naman)


Positioning

Always starting from the basic position.

Bend the right leg.

Bring the thigh against you and cross your fingers on the back of the right thigh.

Keep your back straight and your body engaged.

Left leg active, foot flexing.

The body must remain stable in order to focus attention on the movement of the leg held in the hands.


The movement

As you inhale, extend the leg by contracting the knee and pointing the foot.

On the exhale, bend the knee, keeping the back straight and the body engaged.

Repeat 10 times.

Then change legs.


The little extra

Try to bring the thigh as close to yourself as possible by pulling with your hands under the thigh with each exhalation.


5. Butterfly (Poorna Titali Asana)


Positioning

Always starting from the basic position.

Bend both knees and stick the soles together.

Bring the heels as close to the perineum as possible.

Catch the feet with the hands on top of the feet.

The thumbs are on the inside of each foot to put pressure on the centre.

Back straight, shoulders relaxed away from the ears.


The movement

On the inhale, press the knees against the floor without the help of the elbows!

As you exhale, let your knees come up and relax your hips.

All concentration will be placed in the hips. Keep the body engaged.


The little extra

If the posture is complicated, move the feet away from the perineum until you find a middle ground to perform the movement.


For all these postures, I have given the details of placement with the right leg because we start with that. Don't forget to do the left leg as well.

You now have 5 easy yoga postures for beginners that will allow you to prepare your body, and to feel it so that you are fully aware of it.

These movements can be practiced every day before or after a session.

Do as you feel and need to!


This may sound very simple indeed, yet doing it regularly can give you a lot. Take the time to start gently to prepare your body and mind for a more advanced yoga practice.


No more excuses to get started!

You have all the keys to success :)


NAMASTE