Yoga is the perfect way to stay healthy and get in shape! You might be intimidated by this ancient practice, but there are plenty of postures that beginners can use to get started. In this blog post, we’ll go over some easy but effective yoga poses. This way you can start reaping the full benefits of yoga! Get the free yoga poses printable PDF too.
Free Printable Yoga Poses for Beginners PDF
Want an easy way to remember the names and poses of 15 of the most common postures? Download our yoga pose cheat sheets you can easily reference in the future.
Beginner Yoga Poses to Master
1. Downward Dog
- Downward dog is one of the most well-known yoga poses, and it gives you a great full-body stretch! You use most of the major muscle groups when you get into this pose. So you can really strengthen and tone up your body.
- To do a downward dog, you get on all fours and align your limbs. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders. Your knees should also be aligned with your hip bones. Then you just tuck your toes and press your palms into your mat, and fully stretch out. Lengthen your arms and legs so you are forming a triangle shape with your body.
2. Cat Pose
- Cat Pose is another great yoga pose for beginners. It isn’t hard to do this pose and it gives you back a nice stretch.
- You simply get on all fours, and then push your palms down as you round you back. Keep your head down and your arms straight and hold this pose. Basically, you want to keep your back curved like a bow.
3. Corpse Pose
- Corpse pose is pretty simple but entirely relaxing. Essentially, all you have to do for this pose is lay on your back, and keep your arms to your side.
- It’s a basic kind of position, which doesn’t require a lot of effort. But you need mental concentration to hold it. Many people have a hard time holding corpse pose as a result. Really, it's best to do this at the end of your practice so you can cool down.
4. Cobra Pose
- Cobra Pose, also known as upward facing dog, in another back stretcher.
- You start by laying on your stomach and putting your arms to your side. Then you bend your elbows and lift your upper body up. Your legs should stay planted to your mat, but your shoulders should be up and your head pointing towards the ceiling.
5. Bridge Pose
- Bridge pose can help strengthen your back with repeated practice.
- Lie on your back with your arms to your side and your legs bent. Then lift up your hips. You hold your body in this position for a few breaths. And you want to keep your feet planted and close to your hips.
6. Mountain Pose
- Mountain pose is one of the most basic yoga poses. This is a standing position, but you want to make sure your body is aligned right.
- Your feet can be together or hip-length apart. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. And make sure your back is straight. You want to lengthen up through your spine. Your arms should be palms up as well.
7. Tree Pose
- Tree pose requires some balance but is fairly easy to practice. It strengthens many muscles in the legs and improves ankle and thigh strength. When this pose is practiced the breath needs to be steady.
- One foot is planted on the ground. Your other foot should slide up your inner thigh or calf. And your hands go upward in a prayer-like motion.
8. Warrior Pose 1
- Warrior 1 is essential for building up your core strength. And if you do a lot of exercising with your lower body, this pose can help loosen up your hips and legs.
- When doing this pose, one foot goes out in a big step and your leg stays bent. The other foot is flat on the mat and your back leg is lengthened. Your arms should go up and your shoulders should stay back.
9. Warrior Pose 2
- Warrior 2 builds on warrior 1.
- Your legs stay the same, but the back foot should be shifted so that your heels are aligned. Keep your front leg bent, but move your torso so that it is facing sideways and not forward. Then stretch your arms out in a T.
10. Plank Pose
- Plank pose requires maximum amounts of core strength. It’s not hard to get into this pose, but it is hard to maintain it. There are a few ways to plank. You can get into a push-up position and stay there. Or you can lower yourself onto your elbows. Basically, you stay locked into this pose as long as you can.
- Keep your shoulders above your elbows, and keep your body in a straight line for the best results!
11. Easy Pose
- Easy pose is just another name for sitting cross-legged. It’s another foundational yoga pose, but it's harder than it looks. So you might need blankets or a cushion depending on your flexibility level.
- Get seated in a cross-legged pose, and try to keep your feet directly below your knees. Keep your hands on your knees or lap and make sure to keep your back straight! Don’t hunch over or keep your head down.
12. Hero Pose
- Hero pose is also a seated position but is a little unique.
- You sit with your knees bent to your side, near your hips. The underside of your feet should be visible and pointing toward the ceiling. Your back should stay straight, and your arms lengthened with your palms on your knees.
13. Locust Pose
- Locust pose provides a deep back bend. When doing this pose, you lay on your stomach. You take your arms to the side then put your palms facing up. After this, begin lifting your chest up from the ground. Then start raising your legs up.
- Your arms should be slightly hovering above the ground as well. Basically, you want to have your torso, legs, and arms above the ground. Your hips stay firmly on the mat to keep your rooted though.
14. Chair Pose
- Chair pose is a great strengthening pose for your upper and lower body regions. You can even increase your ankle mobility with this! Chair pose is a standing pose, but you will have to bend.
- So start by bending your knees until your legs create a ninety-degree angle. It will feel like you are almost sitting down in mid-air.
- Next, raise your arms above your head. Your arms should be in front of your ears and your back should stay straight too.
15. Child's Pose
- The final pose on this list is the child's pose. This is a restorative yoga pose that can be done at the end of your practice. It gets rid of tension and stress in the body.
- All you have to do is sit with your legs folded underneath you. Then you lean forward and rest your head on your mat. Your arms stay to the side for ultimate relaxation.
Printable Common Beginner Yoga Poses
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Surya Namaskar is a great ritual to wake up the body in the morning, focus the mind, and connect the feelings of gratitude for the new day, so waking up a little earlier in the morning to do it, can allow us to experience inner silence and more energy during the day. Get our Sun Salutations Guide here.