Top 15 Yoga Poses For Beginners

Yoga has numerous benefits to our mental and physical health, and all of them are backed by Science. For example, the activity can help relieve stress and even help us lose weight.

If you’re just starting yoga, don’t feel intimidated by their “foreign-sounding” names. Some poses are actually quite familiar to you; you just don’t know them yet. We’ve compiled 15 yoga poses to help you build your practice as you embark on your journey to physical fitness and mental clarity.

What Basic Yoga Poses Should I Learn First?

If you’re a newbie looking to try yoga for the first time, here are some basic yoga poses for beginners you can get yourself acquainted with:

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

The Mountain Pose is the foundation of standing yoga poses. This is one of the most basic poses you should learn as a beginner, often used in preparation for other poses.

To get started, stand tall with your weight distributed evenly through your soles. Keep your feet hip-width apart, place your arms on your sides with your palms facing forward, and relax your shoulders.

Hold this pose for 5 full breaths.

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

When it comes to standing poses, the Tree Pose is one of the first taught to yoga beginners. Some may struggle with this pose (as it involves standing on one leg), so don’t be frustrated when you end up wobbling at first. 

Start by doing the Mountain Pose. Then, shift your body weight into your right foot as you lift your left foot slowly while engaging your core muscles to help maintain your balance. Make sure to keep your right leg straight without locking your knee.

Continue lifting your left foot and place your sole in your inner right thigh, with your toes pointing to the floor. 

Press your foot into your thigh and your thigh to your foot while fixing your gaze on something stationary to help you maintain your balance (known as the Drishti point). 

Hold this pose for 5 full breaths, then slowly lower your left foot and repeat the procedure using your right foot. 

Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

The Forward Fold Pose (also known as the Standing Forward Bend) is one of the poses for beginners that requires careful execution. 

The goal shouldn’t be hyper-focused on touching your toes to the point of overextending your hamstrings. 

Instead, you should stretch your muscles just enough to release built-up tension and tightness in the back, shoulders, and neck area.

To begin, put yourself in the Mountain Pose. Soften your knees and slightly bend them while folding your torso over your legs (make sure to hinge from your hips and not your lower back).

Let your hands land on the ground in front of you or on your feet. Inhale slowly and extend your chest while lengthening your spine. 

Exhale and lift your kneecaps while gently spiraling your upper and inner thighs back.

If you have tight hamstrings, you can place your fingertips (or palms) onto 1 or 2 stacked blocks several inches in front of your feet.

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

The Downward-Facing Dog is the best-known pose in yoga because it is repeated numerous times during yoga classes, especially in Vinyasa Yoga. It serves as a transitional pose and can also be a resting position.

Begin by going in a tabletop position, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees aligned under your hips. 

Curl your toes, and as you exhale, push back with your hands while lifting your hips and straightening your legs. 

Rotate your upper arms outward to broaden your collarbones. Move your shoulder blades towards your hips and away from your ears. Let your head hang in the process.

Hold this pose for 5 breaths.

Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Often shortened to “Up Dog” or “Upward Dog,” the Upward-Facing Dog helps in stretching the abdominal muscles and the chest while strengthening the triceps, shoulders, forearms, and lower back.

This pose is usually performed as part of the Sun Salutation Sequence of poses, which often goes from Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog and the Downward-Facing Dog.

As this is a transitional posture, it is essential to avoid rushing it and end up doing the pose incorrectly. Over time, repetitive incorrect practice may lead to possible shoulder injuries.

To begin, lie face-down on your mat, extend your legs behind you, and let the top of your feet rest on the mat. 

Arch your back slowly, opening your chest towards the ceiling as you straighten your arms.

Your head will also go up slightly (although throwing your head back is unnecessary—just keep your neck in line with your spine). 

Slowly lower your hips. The tops of your feet and the palms of your hands should be the only body parts touching the floor. 

Draw your shoulder blades toward your spine while keeping your shoulders over your wrists. Hold this pose for a few breaths. Then, exhale and slowly lower your chest down to the mat.

Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

While many people hate doing the plank, there are those who adore it—and for good reasons! The Plank pose works almost the entire body effectively, even if you are just in one static position.

If you hold this pose for at least 1 minute daily, you will have a more muscular back, core, glutes, arms, shoulders, legs, and abdominal muscles. 

Perform this pose by going on all fours, bringing your shoulders over your wrists (with your fingers spread), and pressing your hands on the floor.

Extend your legs until you are in a high push-up position, and your body is straight from your head to your heels. Make sure your core is tight by holding in your belly muscles. 

Then, draw your legs together, creating more stability and core strength. Hold this pose for 5 breaths (or up to a minute if you can). 

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

The Child’s Pose is one of the most important resting postures in yoga, and it is a great way to stretch your body, reassess your position, catch your breath, and prepare yourself for the following poses. 

To do this pose, kneel on your yoga mat with your knees hip-width apart. Sit back slowly, and let your buttocks rest on your heels. 

Spread your knees (use your mat as your guide; your knees should at least be on the edges or outside of your mat), and rest your belly between your thighs.

Your forehead should also be rooted on the floor. If it’s uncomfortable for you to have your forehead on the floor, you can use a block (or two) for support.

Stretch your arms in front with your palms toward the floor, or bring them back beside your thighs with your palms facing upwards. 

You can stay in this position for as long as you need as you reconnect with your breath’s steady inhales and exhales. 

Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

The Triangle Pose is one of the foundational yoga poses you will encounter from the beginning of your first few yoga classes and the years to come.

Start this pose by standing on your mat with your feet 3 – 4 feet apart. Ensure your feet are parallel to each other and that your toes are pointing forward.

Turn your right foot into a 90-degree angle (going outside) to align your right heel with your left foot’s arch. 

Engage your thigh muscles, and as you inhale, slowly extend your arms out to the sides with your palms facing down. 

Exhale and shift your hips to the left as your right arm reaches down towards your shin or ankle. At the same time, extend your left arm towards the ceiling and make sure to keep it in line with your right arm.

Your arms should now be in a straight line. Make sure to keep your torso extended while doing this. 

You can turn your head and look towards your left hand, or if this strains your neck, simply keep your gaze forward (or downwards) for a more neutral position.

You can also soften your right knee to avoid hyperextension. Hold this pose for 5 breaths, then repeat it with your other leg forward.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

If there is a starting pose, there is also a resting and final relaxation posture, known as the Corpse Pose.

Even though this is a resting pose, it is not the same as sleeping. Make sure to continuously stay aware and present in the 5 – 10 minutes you spend in this pose.

To begin, lie down on your back. Separate your legs and bring your arms beside you (but slightly apart from your torso). 

Ensure your palms are facing upwards, and tuck your shoulder blades back for support. 

Once your body is in place, just relax, and don’t try too hard or exert much effort to hold it in position. 

Stay in this pose for 5 – 10 minutes, and if needed, set an alarm so you won’t have to check your phone consistently for the time (if you are practicing it at home).

Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

This is one of the foundational poses of yoga, but getting the alignment right might take some work. 

This pose is all about balance and helps you be more aware of how you position your body.

Start with the Mountain Pose, with your arms at your sides and your feet hip-width apart. As you exhale, step your left foot back (about 3 – 4 feet apart from your right foot).

Turn your left foot for about 45 degrees and bend your right knee while slightly rotating your left hip forward and your right hip back to align your pelvis and simultaneously engage your core.

As you inhale, bend your right knee over your right ankle. Aim for a 90-degree angle with your front leg, ensuring your thigh is parallel to the floor.

Then, lift your arms toward the ceiling with your palms facing each other. Lift your head and look at your fingertips—just don’t look too far back to avoid straining your neck.

Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

The Warrior II Pose helps enhance the strength and stamina of yogis—beginners and advanced practitioners alike. 

Start this pose by doing the Mountain Pose in front of your mat. Take a huge step back with your left leg and your toes slightly pointed in. 

As you inhale, slowly raise your arms parallel to the ground while keeping your neck long and your shoulders down.

Exhale and bend your right knee, keeping it over your ankle. Press back your top left thigh, and ensure your left foot remains grounded on the floor. 

Align your neck with your spine by slowly adjusting your lower abdomen and lengthening your spine. Fix your gaze over your right hand. Hold this pose for 5 breaths. 

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

The Bridge Pose stretches the back of the neck, spine, hip flexors, and thighs and opens the chest and shoulders. 

Since your heart will be higher than your head in this pose, it is considered one of the less strenuous inversions compared to a Headstand.

The best thing is you’ll also be getting the benefits of inversions, including relief from fatigue, anxiety, stress, insomnia, headaches, and mild depression. 

This beginner yoga pose is known to calm the mind and is therapeutic for those suffering from lower limb inflammations. 

To start, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms next to your ribcage. You can either bend your elbows for 90 degrees with your fingers pointing to the ceiling or hold the outer edges of your mat.

As you inhale, press your feet and the back of your shoulders on the floor while lifting your hips. Ensure your feet are pushed to the ground and prevent your knees from spreading by engaging your inner thighs.

Lengthen your tailbone and keep your neck neutral by slowly sliding your shoulder blades down. You can use a block to support your hips for a guided Bridge Pose if needed. 

Hold this pose for 5 – 10 breaths. 

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

The Chair Pose is one of the best beginner yoga poses for those who aim to tone their butt, shoulder, hips, and back. 

Start this pose by doing the Mountain Pose. Exhale while slowly bending your knees and moving your hips back like sitting on a chair. Draw your lower abdomen in for lower back support.

As you inhale, raise your arms over your ears. Hold this pose for 5 – 10 breaths.

Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

As the name suggests, the Legs Up The Wall Pose is one of the easiest yoga poses for beginners. 

Those who want to take it to the next level just add a couple of modifications to this yoga pose, making it accessible to many practitioners—beginner and advanced alike.  

Sit down with your right side against the wall. Bend your knees and draw your feet toward your hips. Put your legs up against the wall and turn to lie flatly on your back.

You can stay in this position for up to 20 minutes. 

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

The Cobra Pose is done mainly as part of a Sun Salutation. This yoga pose strengthens spinal support muscles, relieves back pain, and increases the spine’s mobility. If you sit a lot during the day, then this pose will be helpful for you.

To start, place your palms flatly on the ground and directly over your shoulders. Bend your elbows back slowly and put them close to your sides. 

Anchor your pubic bone on the floor and inhale to lift your chest from the ground. Roll your shoulders back and ensure your elbows continuously hug your sides. 

Keep your neck neutral and your gaze on the ground. Hold this pose for 15 – 30 seconds.

Can I do yoga every day as a beginner?

For beginners, doing yoga once or twice weekly is recommended as you build your strength and flexibility while giving your body time to rest and recuperate.


While yoga may seem a little intimidating at first (with all the twists, bending, and turns happening), there are actually a handful of poses you can start with as a beginner.

Just do them carefully and make attaining balance and the proper alignment your main goal. 

Whether you’re looking to tone your hips, align your spine, or just want to take your mind off of things, the journey to being a yogi starts with you taking the first step.

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