10 Perfect Yoga Poses for Beginners

DownwardFB Facing Dog

Starting anything new can be really daunting and the same goes for yoga.  There are so many different postures, with weird names that it can be really hard to know where to start. To know what yoga poses are safe to try as a beginner that don’t require you to have the flexibility of an elastic band and to be able to put your leg behind your head. I mean it can be challenging to even touch your toes sometimes!  So let’s make it nice and simple, these are the top 10 yoga poses for Beginners based on my years of experience teaching beginners yoga classes and beginners yoga courses in Southampton (see below for details of upcoming 6 Week Beginners Yoga Course in Southampton and Eastleigh).




Child’s Pose – A Back Stretch & Resting Pose

Beginners Yoga Childs pose

From hands and knees, bring your feet together and separate your knees about hips distance apart. Sit your hips back to your heels and relax your chest down between your legs. Relax your head to the ground and breath deep. Focus on softening the muscles in your lower back, resting and relaxing.

Cobra Pose – Improves flexibility in the upper back and stretches the chest and the shoulders.

Beginners Yoga Poses Cobra

Start lying on your tummy, place your hands on the floor fingers in line with your chest. Focus on drawing your chest forwards and up whilst keeping your hips on the floor and your shoulders down. Don’t try and lift up too high, you don’t want to feel any discomfort in your lower back but instead and engagement of the muscles between your shoulders blades.

Downward Facing Dog – A back and hamstring stretch

Beginners Yoga Poses Downward Facing Dog

This is a great all round posture stretching the back, hamstrings and calves whilst strengthening the arms and the shoulders. From all fours lift up into this upside down ‘V’ shape. Your feet are hip distance wide apart and your hand shoulders distance. Straighten your arms and push the ground away with your arms as you stretch your hips up and back. It’s OK to have a soft bend in your knees and focus instead on straightening and lengthening through your back.

Low Lunge – A Hip Stretch

Beginners Yoga Poses Low Lunge Pose

From Downward Facing Dog, step your right leg between your hands and lower your left knee to the floor. Make sure your right knee stacks above your ankle and that your back leg it extended far behind, stretching the hip flexor of this back left leg. Inhale and lift your chest up with your arms extended above your head. Hold for 3-5 breaths before repeating on your other leg.

Warrior 2 – A Pose of Strength & Focus

Beginners Yoga Warrior 2

This powerful posture strengthens the thighs, tones the arms and stretches the hips whilst bringing focus and clarity to the mind. Standing at the top of your mat, take a large step backwards and turn the back foot out to a 90 degree angle. Line up the heel of your front foot with the arch of your back foot. Bend your front knee over your ankle. Raise your arms to shoulder height, palms face down. Turn to look over the front arm. Hold 3-5 breaths before repeating on the other leg.

Triangle Pose – A Whole Body Stretch

Beginners Yoga Poses Triangle

From Warrior 2 pose, straighten your front leg, careful not to over straighten though, keep the back of the knee soft. Reach forward, then lower your front arm to the shin of the front leg and reach your top arm skywards. Turn your chest to face the long edge of the mat. Hold for 3-5 breaths before repeating on the other side.

Tree Pose – A Balancing Posture

Beginners Yoga Poses Tree Pose

From standing, shift your weight onto your right leg. Lift your left leg, bend your knee and place the foot either on the inside thigh of your standing leg or the calf (don’t place the foot on the standing leg knee). Stand tall and extend your arms overhead. Focus your gaze on one point to help with the balance. Try to breathe steadily and not hold your breath. Swap sides.

Dancers Pose – A Balance and a Thigh Stretch

Beginners Yoga Poses Dancers Pose

Similar to tree this is another balance but with an added stretch thigh stretch, shoulder stretch and chest stretch! From standing shift your weight onto one leg. Bend the other leg and catch a hold of your foot behind you. Kick your foot back opening up your shoulders and your chest. Try to keep your chest facing forwards and your hips square. Focus your gaze to help with balance. Hold before swapping sides.

Pigeon Pose, a Glute and Hip Stretch

Beginners Yoga Poses Pigeon Pose

Please be careful with your knees in this posture. If you feel any pain in your knee come out. From all fours slide one knee forward point the knee off to the side of your mat, with your shin on a diagonal. Stretch the other leg back on the floor behind you. Fidget looking for the sensation of stretch in the buttock of the front leg, your glutes. Hold before swapping sides.

Bridge Pose, a stretch for upper back whilst toning the glutes

Beginners Yoga Poses Bridge PoseLying on your back, knees bent and feet planted hip distance wide apart. Lift your hips and your back up off the mat. Interlace your hands underneath you and straighten your arms, walk your shoulder blades in towards you. Keep your neck straight. Hold for 5 breaths.


I hope that you give these postures a try and home.  It is always best to learn yoga with an experienced teacher and its great if you get the opportunity to learn with other beginners as this is way less daunting! I’d love to welcome you to either of our upcoming Beginners Yoga Courses here in Southampton and Eastleigh.

What: 6 Week Beginners Yoga Course

Where: Richard Taunton’s College, Southampton

When: Monday 25 Sept – Monday 30 Oct

Time: 18:00 – 19:00

Price: £46

Course is hosted by Laura Green and taught by Caroline Eyles


What: 6 Week Beginners Yoga Course

Where: The Hub, Eastleigh

When: Monday 25 Sept – Monday 30 Oct

Time: 19:15 – 20:15

Price: £46

Course is hosted by Laura Green and taught by Veronique Dumont


To book email laura@lauragreenyoga.co.uk




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