What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Yoga?
When you picture a Yoga class, do you think of intense poses that are hard to get into, people doing handstands and looking like their body is all twisted up at an odd angle?
Or do you think of soothing stretches and calm breathing to settle down and relax the body?
Most people, usually have the first thought in their mind about Yoga. An intense class with poses that are too hard for them to do, they won’t be able to get into the poses because they’ve seen them before and they look crazy. There’s no way they can do it.
If you have had this thought process, you’re not alone, and it’s okay!
As a Yoga Ambassador with Radect, I am here to help guide you through the necessary steps to begin your journey with Yoga with a Step by Step Lesson Plan that’s easy to follow and will allow you to feel comfortable and gain the confidence you need and want. Are you ready to begin?!
Yoga For Beginners
Begin in an Easy Seated Pose: This can be with your legs crossed, straight out in front of you, or however it feels the most comfortable to sit on the ground. You can use a mat, soft carpeting, or even a blanket or towel.
Sit up nice and tall and soften your shoulders down away from the ears, as we begin to connect with our breath.
Inhale through the nose and gently Exhale out the mouth. Take the next few moments just to focus on this, the breath coming into the body softly and going out the body gently.
This practice of connecting with the breath allows us to ground down - be present in the moment and be completely aware of our surroundings and our body. It also allows you time to set an intention for today’s class. What would you like to accomplish from today’s lesson? Think about that now as you focus on your breath.
Let’s begin some gentle movements for the body.
With your next Inhale reach your arms up overhead, lengthen through the fingers and look up towards the hands. See photo #1 for illustration
With your exhale draw your hands down to the center of your chest (heart center), gently place your palms together and relax your shoulders. see photo #2 for illustration
Take 3 more breaths this way. Inhaling to reach the arms up, and exhaling brings the arms down to the heart center. Take your time and focus on each breath, each movement.
When you’re finished with your 3 breaths; relax your arms down by your sides and Inhale reach your right arm up towards the ceiling and exhale gently lean over like your reach for something up overhead. See photo #3 for illustration
Hold this Side Body Stretch for a breath or two, feeling a gentle stretch along the inside of your arm, down the rib cage, obliques, all the way to the hips.
After a breath or two, with control, release the right arm down and repeat the same steps on the left side. Remember to breathe!
When you’re ready we’re going to transition on to our hands and knees, finding Table Top pose. See photo #1 for illustration
In Table Top, your hands are stacked under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keep a nice flat back and strong core by drawing your navel in towards your spine. Hold here for a moment and continue your breath; inhaling through the nose and out through the mouth.
After a breath or two we’ll begin. On your next Inhale drop your belly to allow your back to arch, look up at the ceiling and feeling this stretch through the front side of the body. - See photo #2 for illustration
On your Exhale you’ll round your back, tuck your chin, and feel a gentle stretch through the backside of the body. - See photo #3 for illustration
Repeat this flow ; inhaling and exhaling with each pose, for 3 more breaths moving at your own pace.
Coming back to Table Top Pose after your 3 breaths, we will transition from here. With your next inhale, tuck your toes and exhale straighten your legs, lift your hips and look back towards your toes. See photo #1 for illustration
Relax your heels towards the floors and fully plants your hands into the ground; spread your fingers wide. You can bend one knee and then the other allowing a gentle stretch in the back of each leg, one at a time. You can do this for a few breaths.
Then bring both your heels together again. With your next inhale bend both of your knees and begin to walk your hands back towards your feet as you exhale.
Separate your feet to hips width apart, let your knees stay bent as you relax your upper body towards the thighs and grab opposite elbows. See photo #2 for illustration. This posture allows the spine to decompress and the upper body to hang loose and relax. You can shake your head yes and no here, or sway side to side. Whatever feels good to you in this moment. Taking a breath or two.
When you’re ready you will inhale and slowly roll up to a standing postition. Bring your arms down by your sides, plant your feet firmly into the floor as you stand tall and proud. See photo #3 for illustration Take 3 breaths here and ground down once more, feel present in the moment; focus on your breaths.
We’re going to flow through the first steps of another pose - not going through the entire flow just yet, that will come later in more advanced practices. For today, you’ll begin by inhaling and reaching the arms all the way towards the ceiling, the gaze will follow. See photo #1 for illustration
Then exhale forward fold, you’ll lower the upper body down towards the ground. Relax the hands to the legs, ankles, or maybe the floor; wherever they land today. Keep the head and neck soft. See photo #2 for illustration
Inhale halfway lift; keep a flat back as you lift up half way and look forward a few feet a head of you (if you have a mat, look to the top of the mat). Hands will go to the shins lightly holding on, no tight grips. Feel a stretch in the back of the legs through the hamstrings as well as the low back - pause just for a moment. See photo #3 for illustration
Exhaling return to the forward fold, completely relaxing down again. Soften the upper body.
Inhale slowly roll up and return to Mountain Pose, the starting Position. Take a cleansing breath here!
Repeat the flow 3 more times; going at your own pace and moving with the breath.
From our previous pose, gently make your way down to the floor, have a seat and straighten your legs out in front of you. Inhale reach your arms up towards the ceiling and as you exhale begin to reach towards your feet as you lean forward towards your legs; coming into a Seated Forward Fold. Let your hands fall wherever they feel comfortable; to the legs, ankles, or maybe they reach the feet/toes. See photo #1 for illustration
Keep a flat back as you fold forward. You’ll know when stop leaning forward when you feel a stretch through the back of the legs; you’ve gone too far if you feel any pain or tension anywhere in the body, especially in the low back, neck, legs, or upper body. You can always come out of a pose if it doesn’t feel right to you.
Take 3 breaths here then gently roll onto your back, draw your knees into your chest and rock side to side. Massaging your low back, relaxing your shoulders, head, neck, into the floor. See photo #2 for illustration
Open your arms out the a “T” reaching to the sides of the room, allow your knees to fall to the right side of the body and your gaze to shift to the left. Coming into a Supine Twist, with bent knees. See photo #3 for illustration
Your knees may only go a little bit to the side, half way, or maybe they go all the way and touch the floor. Whoever your body is today, honor it and respect it. You can use pillows, blankets, or even your hand underneath your legs to support them if that feels more comfortable for you.
You’ll take 3 breaths on this side and then carefully draw your knees to the center before allowing them to soften over to the left side. Repeating the 3 breaths on the left, shifting your gaze to the right, arms stay the same - open out in a “T”.
After your breaths in the Twist you’ll straighten your legs all the way out. Take a big inhale to reach the arms overhead, then exhale relax your arms down by your sides, let the hands and feet fall open and away from the body; our Final Pose. See photo above for illustration
It is here you can fully relax the body. If this position isn’t comfortable feel free to move around and adjust, find a position that you can relax in for these last for moments.
Let your breath come to it’s natural breathing rhythm. Feel the cool soft inhales, and the warm gentle exhales as you soften your arms, your legs, relax the belly and the back.
Let your eyes close and relax your mouth, your jaw, cheeks, eye brows, and forehead.
Feel your entire body relax and soften here. Take 3 full breaths and soak it all in.
Lastly, I want you to recall your intention that you set for today’s lesson. Did you accomplish what you set out to do? Holding no judgment whether you did or didn’t, just think about that intention and what today’s lesson brought you.
After another breath or two start to wiggle your fingers and your toes, circle your wrists and ankles, take a deep breath in as your reach your arms overhead then exhale draw your knees to your chest rocking side to side.
Roll over to one side and take a breath here coming back to this space, being aware of our surroundings. Gently press up and come back to an Easy Seated Pose.
We will end today’s lesson with our hands at the heart center taking a breath together feeling grateful for everything we learned. Inhaling through the nose, and exhaling we bow forward to say “namaste”. 🙏
Namaste in short translation means “I respect & honor you, you respect & honor me”
Written by: Desiree Schmidt