Poses to Know
No matter the style of yoga you choose — hatha, vinyasa, or hot yoga — nearly all of them include a few key moves. To stay safe, your best bet is to work with a trained instructor who can show you the right way to do each position. If you’ve had neck, back, or joint pain or flexibility problems, talk to your doctor before you start a yoga routine. Most of all, don’t push yourself to do anything that hurts. You can tailor most poses to work for your body.
This move seems simple, but doing it right helps with posture and balance. Stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (or wider if that’s more comfortable), arms by your sides. Imagine lifting through your inner feet and ankles. Pull your shoulder blades down, and widen your collarbones. Keep your head in line with your shoulders (not pulled back or forward), your chin parallel to the floor. Your pelvis and lower back should be neutral, not tucked or arched. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose works the upper body and stretches your arms, chest, legs, and back muscles. Get on all fours, toes turned under, knees below hips, and hands a bit in front of your shoulders. Exhale and start to straighten your legs, letting your heels pop up from the floor. Lift your sitting bones to the sky, and push your heels toward the floor. Lightly press your palms into your mat and slowly straighten your arms as you draw your shoulder blades down. Relax your head, and try to keep it between your upper arms. Hold 1-3 minutes.
From downward facing dog, lower your torso forward with straight arms until they are perpendicular to the floor, your palms right under your shoulders. Widen your collarbones, pull your shoulder blades down, and look straight down at the floor. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute. The plank pose will help you build stronger arms, wrists, and core muscles.