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Yoga poses for beginners

Yoga is a great way to stay fit, toned and flexible at any age. Despite the pretzel-like twists you might often associate with yoga, there are plenty of yoga poses well-suited for beginner yogis, whether you are looking to get strong and flexible or just exploring a new way to relax.

 

Downward-facing dog

When you think yoga, this is probably one of the first poses that comes to mind. For downward dog, begin facing the floor on your hands and knees. Slowly shift weight into your toes, and lift your hips until your shoulders and back are in a straight line, and your legs are fully straightened with heels pressing down to the ground, forming a triangle or upside-down V shape with your body.

 

Warrior I

From a standing position, reach one of your legs back behind you into a lunge position with back foot angled slightly to the side and front knee aligned directly above the ankle. Lift arms wide toward the sky, shoulder-width apart. Allowing your chest to pull up and back, squeeze shoulder blades together, shifting into a mild back bend. Turn your palms to face each other, or allow palms to meet above your head.

 

Warrior II

From warrior I position, lower your arms to reach straight out in line with your shoulders. Rotate your upper body to the side of whichever leg is lunged behind you until your arms are parallel with your legs, reaching directly in front of and behind you, palms facing the ground.

 

Mountain pose

Begin in an upright standing position with feet at hips' width, legs straightened and feet grounded. Inhale as you extend both arms upward, reaching for the sky. Feel the stretch in your back and shoulders as you extend your hands up above, with stability in your hips and legs and a solid connection between your feet and the ground.