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Yoga for Beginners

22 Beginner Poses Every Yogi Needs to Know

Unsure what Sanskrit word your yoga teacher is calling out during class? Learn the foundational beginner yoga poses every yogi should know as you continue to develop more skill and flexibility in your practice.

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If you’re new to yoga, this guide will help you learn some of the basic poses.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)


The foundation of all standing poses, Mountain Pose makes a great a starting position, resting pose, or tool to improve posture.

Mountain Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)


Urdhva Hastasana literally translates to “Raised Hands Pose,” but it is also sometimes called Talasana, the Palm Tree Pose (tala = palm tree).

Upward Salute: Step-by-Step Instructions

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)


Chair Pose clearly works the muscles of the arms and legs, but it also stimulates the diaphragm and heart.

Chair Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)


Find length in front body before forward folding in Ardha Uttanasana.

Standing Half Forward Bend: Step-by-Step Instructions

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)


Uttanasana will wake up your hamstrings and soothe your mind.

Standing Forward Bend: Step-by-Step Instructions

Plank Pose


Nurture your love-hate relationship with Plank Pose. A beginner’s best friend, it’s the perfect precursor to more challenging arm balances.

Plank Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)


Learn four-limbed staff pose because it is frequently practiced as part of the traditional Sun Salutation sequence.

Four-Limbed Staff Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)


Open the heart and roll the shoulders down to promote flexibility in Cobra Pose.

Cobra Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)


Deservedly one of yoga’s most widely recognized yoga poses, Adho Mukha Svanasana, offer the ultimate all-over, rejuvenating stretch.

Downward-Facing Dog: Step-by-Step Instructions

Cow Pose (Bitilasana)


Cow Pose is an easy, gentle way to warm up the spine.

Cow Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)


This pose provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs.

Cat Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

High Lunge


Counteract the effects of Modern-Day Sitting Syndrome by lengthening your hip flexors in High Lunge.

High Lunge: Step-by-Step Instruction

Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)


Learn the basics of this foundational yoga pose, Virabhadrasana I.

Warrior I Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)


Named for a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, this version of Warrior Pose increases stamina.

Warrior II Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Low Lunge


This low lunge variation stretches the thighs and groins and opens the chest.

Low Lunge: Step-by-Step Instructions

Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)


Upward-Facing Dog will challenge you to lift and open your chest.

Upward-Facing Dog Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Child’s Pose (Balasana)


Take a break. Balasana is a restful pose that can be sequenced between more challenging asanas.

Child’s Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)


Vrksasana clarifies just how challenging it can be to stand on one leg.

Tree Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)


Fold into Paschimottanasana to help a distracted mind—and your hamstrings—unwind.

Seated Forward Bend: Step-by-Step Instructions

Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)


A classic restorative posture, Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose can be modified for any level of hip and groin resistance.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Easy Pose (Sukhasana)


Don’t let the name fool you. If you’re used to sitting in chairs, Easy Pose or Sukhasana can be quite challenging.

Easy Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Corpse Pose (Savasana)


Savasana is a pose of total relaxation—making it one of the most challenging.

Corpse Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions