3 Foundational Yoga Poses To Kickstart Your Practice

Your first yoga class may feel overwhelming: The practice features thousands of poses, which are called “asanas” in Sanskrit, and people spend entire lifetimes attempting to master them. That said, it’s possible to create a yoga foundation that makes you feel strong, flexible, and stable —even when you’re just starting out. On this week’s episode of Good Moves, the teachers at Brooklyn Yoga Club are introducing you to some of yoga’s most foundational (and essential) asanas.

You don’t need any equipment to lay down the foundation of your yoga practice. So whether you’re looking to increase your mobility, get stronger, or experience the brain-healthy benefits of this age-old tradition, you’re ready to get moving. Below, learn how to move through a trio of beginner yoga movements. Then, make sure to flow through the whole video. Just like that: You’re a yogi.

3 foundational yoga poses to practice today

1. Downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Come down onto your hands and knees to start. Place your knees directly underneath your hips; your wrists can be directly beneath your shoulders. On an inhale, push into your palms and lift your hips toward the sky. If your hamstrings are tight, keep a generous bend in your knees and step your feet back a few inches. Spin your bicep to the front of the room and engage your belly to keep your ribs from flaring out.

2. Child’s pose (Baslasana)

Come to your hands and knees once again. Spread your knees, so they’re about as wide as your mat, and bring your toes to touch. Press into your palms to gently guide your hips back to your feet. If your head can’t quite reach the ground, that’s totally okay! Grab a block, pillow, or sweatshirt and place it beneath your head for support. Breathe here, energetically pushing your hips toward your heels.

3. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Start standing at the front of your mat. Take a big step backward with your left foot, bringing the outside of your left foot parallel to the back of your mat. (For reference, the heel of your right foot should align with the inner arch of your left foot.) Deeply bend your right leg, but keep the ankle directly below the knee. (You may need to widen your stance to make this happen.) Raise your arms parallel to the floor, engage your core, and tuck your pelvis forward slightly. Look gently over your right shoulder if it feels comfortable for your neck. Take several deep breaths here before switching sides.