The beginning is the hardest part of every routine. Starting a yoga practice is powerful in maintaining the balance of the mind and body only if it’s done well. The likes of Ashtanga are known for its intricate asanas that a first-timer would likely back off after a cramp. One reason for this is skipping the asana progression. If you practice Ashtanga yoga poses for beginners, you can avoid the mistakes others have incurred on their selves.
As I said, the poses I listed here would be easier for starters. Ashtanga is meant to be a holistic yoga where you nail each asana at a time. To get you going, check these simple postures:
1. Mountain Pose (Samasthitih Tadasana)
Improving your posture is important before you proceed to more difficult asanas. As Ashtanga is also about body alignment, the Mountain Pose will be an easy start on this principle. All you need to do is to stand straight with your big toes touching while your heels are a bit apart. You should have your palms open with fingers pressed together. Your palms should face the front while your arms are slightly elevated.
Do a rocking motion with the balls of your feet while you pair it with breathing. As you do this, tighten your thigh muscles and press your shoulders into your back. This is simple but make sure to practice it right for 30 seconds. Do reps if you must.
2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Savasana)
One of most important Ashtanga yoga poses for beginners is one that will stretch you sleeping muscles. The Downward Facing Dog will be flexing your hamstrings, calves, arms, and limbs in general. If you’re over 40 but still want to reap the benefits of Ashtanga, this one is really helpful.
All you need to do is to plant your feet and palms apart on the mat. Your knees should be placed below your knees while you slowly lift it with a breath. You should gradually straighten your knees and thighs to form a triangular pose. Don’t lock your knees and make that your neck and shoulders aren’t tensed.
3. One-Legged King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
This time, it would be for your shoulders and chest. You should begin with all fours and then slightly slip your left leg on your back. Make sure that you straighten your knee on the leg that’s on the back. The other leg should be folded on your front. You can plant your right hand on the floor or you can do the Gyana Mudra gesture.
After that, try reaching your left leg using your left hand. Arch your back slowly and don’t force it if you can’t nail these Ashtanga yoga poses for beginners. As a beginner, it’s advisable that you use a strap that you’ll tie on your calf and grasp with your hand.
4. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
The Chair Pose has a similarity to a squat but with a few tweaks. Start with the Tadasana pose I taught you earlier. After that, lift your arms with your spread fingers pointing to the ceiling. Bend your knees slowly as if you’re sitting in an invisible chair.
Make sure that your shoulder blades are firm but not tense. The head of your thighbone should be pressed in the direction of the hips. With your arms raised, you can either clasp it together or just face it forward. Do this for 30 seconds then inhale as you straighten your knees and exhale while you go back to the Tadasana pose.
5. Intense Side Pose (Parsvottasana)
The Intense Side Pose isn’t really that intense for beginners. You start with the Tadasana and carefully jump to separate your soles in about four feet apart. Put your hands on your hips while you turn your foot in separate degrees. Make sure that your thighs are firm before you do the next step.
Lean your upper body forward until your torso is parallel to the ground. Press your fingertips to the floor as if you’re playing the piano. If you can’t reach the floor yet, you can use a box or any block that can compensate for the gap. Try reaching the floor on your next sessions but proceed carefully with these Ashtanga yoga poses for beginners.
6. Locust Pose (Salabhasana A and B)
The Locust Pose belongs to a group called “baby backbends”. As it’s called a baby, this is definitely for beginners. Although it may look like a piece of cake, you should take note the discipline that it entails. Lie on your tummy, preferably with a mat, put your hands on the side and palms resting on the floor.
Inhale then exhale while you lift half of your torso and arms. Your lower ribs should be resting while your extremities are firm enough to support the body. You should face forward with a neck aligned on your lifted back. Make sure that your neck isn’t strained that much and you’re not feeling any pain.
7. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
The Extended Triangle Pose is a therapeutic pose that you can use as a beginner. Like the previous ones, you should start with the Tadasana pose. Jump lightly to spread your legs then spread your arms as if you’re giving a very big hug. After that, turn your other foot to the left while you lean sideways in the same direction. If you can achieve this, try to place your spread arms perpendicular to the floor. Press your fingers into the ground to support your body.
As a beginner, you can lean on a wall if you can’t balance well. You can also place the raised arm parallel to the body. If done well, your upper body will benefit from this very much.
These Ashtanga yoga poses for beginners is helpful if you’re looking for motivation to jump into this holistic movement. Beginning your Ashtangi journey might be hard, but if you got the right poses, you can look forward to long-term practice. Are you an aspiring yogi? We would like to welcome you in the comment section!