With its countless health benefits and body sculpting capabilities, yoga is a powerful exercise for everyone. It’s easy, though, to feel intimidated by a room full of yoga-pros when you are just starting out. So, we’ve developed a guide to mastering a few at-home poses before making your yoga class debut.

With its countless health benefits and body sculpting capabilities, yoga is a powerful exercise for everyone. It’s easy, though, to feel intimidated by a room full of yoga-pros when you are just starting out. So, we’ve developed a guide to mastering a few at-home poses before making your yoga class debut.

Best Down Dog

  • Plant your feet on the ground and walk your hands away from you until your body makes a perfect V.
  • Rotate your shoulders down and away from your ears while keeping your heels lifted and pressing your hands evenly into the mat.
  • Slowly take your pelvis up towards the ceiling and back to feel your body lengthen.
  • Imagine a string pulling your tailbone up to create a natural arch in your lower back.
  • If possible, bring your heels toward the mat, stretching out your hamstrings and calves.
  • Be sure to release and relax your neck while softening your gaze and focusing on your breathing.

Perfect Cobra

  • Lie facedown on the mat while stretching your legs back, touching the tops of your feet to the floor.
  • Spread your hands evenly on the floor, directly under your shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows close to the body while slowly pressing down and straightening the arms to lift your chest off the floor.
  • Open through the chest by pulling your shoulder blades into the back and opening the ribcage.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds while focusing on your breath, slowly breathing in through your nose and out through your nose.

Fantastic Fish

  • Lying face-up on your back, bend your knees, and as you inhale, lift your pelvis a few inches off the floor. Slide your hands with palms down underneath your bottom. Keep the forearms and elbows close to your sides.
  • As you inhale, lift your torso and head away from the floor. Then, release your head and back onto the floor. As a beginner, the back of your head will most likely rest on the floor. But with more practice, your gaze will shift so that you are looking at the back wall and the crown of your head will be the only part touching.
  • Depending on your comfort, keep knees bent or release the legs so that they lie flat on the floor.
  • Be sure to avoid straining your neck. If there is any discomfort release the pose.