If you need help getting on track with your yoga practice or if you’re a beginner looking for a good way to start a successful yoga routine, a 30-day yoga challenge for beginners is a great way to jump in. Not only do you learn a lot of poses but you’re also building good habits with daily practice.
Looking for some poses for your 30-day yoga challenge? Here are nine of our favorite beginner poses:
1. Mountain Pose
Mountain Pose is the starting position for all standing yoga poses so it’s a good one to work on when you’re a beginner. To the naked eye, it looks like you’re just standing but there’s actually a lot going on in your body.
Stand with your feet together, putting pressure on your toes to splay them apart. Use your thigh muscles to lift your knees, drawing in your abdominal muscles as you lift your chest. Push the tops of your shoulders down by pulling your shoulder blades together, keeping your palms facing the body. Imagine a string pulling your head to the ceiling and elongating the spine. Hold for eight breaths.
2. Tree Pose
Tree Pose is another simple standing pose that is beneficial for beginners. It helps gain clarity and focus and is a great opportunity to practice combining breathing and balance. Stand with your feet together, then place the sole of your foot on the upper inside thigh of the opposite leg.
Press your hands into a prayer position at chest height and fix your gaze. Keep the shoulders relaxed and try to use your abs, not your legs, to maintain balance. Hold for ten breaths then switch to the other side and repeat.
3. Warrior I
Warrior I is another essential yoga pose for beginners to practice. It builds stamina and strength in the core while giving the hips and thighs a good stretch. It also opens up the front of the body. Start standing up with your feet together then take a giant step back with one foot. Turn the heel and angle your toes forward. Then, lift your chest and press your palms together above your head. Step forward to switch legs and repeat.
4. Warrior 2
Another pose that’s a perfect fit for a yoga challenge for beginners is Warrior 2, which opens the inner thighs and groin and makes a good starting position for other side postures. Stand with your feet a leg-length apart with the right toes turned out 90 degrees and the left toes 45 degrees. Bend the right knee until it’s directly over the ankle, keeping the torso centered. Stretch your arms to the sides, turning to look over your right hand. Hold for 10 breaths then shift to the other side and repeat.
5. Seated Forward Bend
It’s important for beginners to learn how to breathe through difficult positions and the Seated Forward Bend is a great place to start. This pose stretches the sides, upper back, and hamstrings and is a great way to open up your body in the morning. Sit with your legs together, feet flexed and straight, hands at your hips. Bend forward at the waist, imagining your belly button being pulled toward your thighs. Once you’re as far forward as you can go, hold the position for 10 breaths. If you feel pain, pull back a bit, but try to breathe through it if you’re only experiencing a little bit of tension.
6. Downward Facing Dog
Here’s another popular pose you’ll come back to many, many times along your yoga journey. Downward Facing Dog stretches the entire body. Start by getting on your hands and knees, carefully positioning yourself so your wrists are directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Lift your hips off the floor and back toward your heels. Straighten your legs while keeping your hips back if you can. Move your hands forward if it helps. If not, you can keep your knees slightly bent and come back to the pose every day to loosen the hamstrings and increase flexibility until you can straighten them.
Press into your palms, turning the inside of your elbows to face one another, continuing to use your legs to keep your torso elevated. Hold for five to eight breaths then return to all fours.
Open your body
This is a standing posture that tones the entire body, opens the lungs, and stretches the waist. Start with your feet straddled about a leg length apart. Open your arms and stretch them out to your sides at the height of your shoulders.
Then, position your right foot out at a 90-degree angle and your left toes in at about a 45-degree angle. Use your thighs and abs to bend over your right leg. Touch your ankle with your right hand or your shin or knee if you can’t bend quite that far yet. Lift your left arm up, pointing toward the ceiling.
Look at your elevated hand and hold for eight breaths. Then, switch to the other side and repeat.
8. Child’s Pose
Here’s another pose every beginner needs to learn. This is an excellent resting pose and is used by yogis at every experience level. This is a great pose to move into after Downward Dog or when you need to get mentally prepared for the day ahead. It’s also a really good pose to try right before bed to clear your mind after a hectic day.
Start on your hands and knees, bringing the knees forward and feet together. Then, sit with your butt on your heels and stretch your arms in front of you. Try to lower your forehead to the floor or use a yoga block or other prop if you can’t get down quite that far. Breathe, relax, and connect with your body. You can hold this one for as long as you want.
Plank position is a great strength-building pose that focuses on balancing on the hands while using the entire body to maintain balance. This is a great exercise for the abs and pushes your breathing skills – using the right breathing technique helps extend the length of time you can hold the pose.
To do it, get on your hands and knees then tuck your toes under you, lifting your legs off the mat. Position your feet until your body forms a straight line. Use your abs to hold the position, keeping your shoulder down, and pulling the ribs together. Hold the position for 10 breaths or as long as you can.
Your 30-Day Yoga Challenge Starts Here
Committing to a 30-day yoga challenge for beginners is a good way to learn some basic poses that you’ll use throughout your yoga journey. Just as important, it helps you get into a good routine, creating a habit that you’ll continue long after the 30 days are up.