30 Minute Yoga for Beginners

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Yoga can be done by anyone but it is best that you do what everyone else does by starting with the easiest poses first. Building up your confidence and competence is a necessary step in order to progress to the next level. Doing 30 minutes of yoga per session with these poses the beginner will increase their mental and physical strength in a short period of time.

By developing a routine that is fixed and that can be easily accomplished the beginner will make yoga into an everyday event that is as much as part of his or her life as eating and sleeping. If you think of yoga as necessary as these basic events then you already have the right attitude to become an accomplished yoga practitioner. Yoga should be seen as one of the fundamental parts of your life simply because of the many benefits that it will bring to you.

The first step of course is to warm up. You can do this by sitting cross-legged either on a cushion or a folded-up blanket. Make sure that your back is straight and that you sit still for 5 minutes while you concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly. The goal is to get your mind on the task that awaits you and to adjust your breathing pattern accordingly.

A good way to start the actual yoga session itself is by lying on your back and drawing your knees onto your chest with your arms lying beside you. This is called the Knee to Chest Pose and is known as Apanasana in Hindi. This should continue for 5 minutes and throughout this time you should concentrate on having 10 very deeply controlled breaths. Make sure to have your head lying on the ground as this will aid your breathing considerably.

Now for the more challenging poses. This is the Supine Twist or Supta Matsyendrasana. After you have completed the first pose move immediately into this one by extending your arms fully into a cross pose with the palms of your hand resting on the floor. You then draw your knees up to your chest again but this time you then move them both to the right side with your knees level at your hip level. Repeat on the other side. Do this pose for 5 minutes and repeat each pose in line with one breath each which means you can do about 8 to 10 poses for each side. Above all, concentrate on quality because after a couple of months your abdominal muscles will start to feel very different. Make sure to do this pose in a very slow and controlled manner as this helps you to avoid back pain.

Now roll onto your hand and knees. The next pose is the Cat-Cow Pose or Marjaryasana or Bitilasanaa and you can set up by having your shoulders directly over your wrists and with the legs shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your thighs are situated vertically. Now move your head up and down in a very controlled manner. Allow your spine to arch fully as you do this. The legs should remain still throughout this pose. You repeat this pose for 5 minutes and this should really release some tension from your back. 

Remember to fully breathe in on the downward pose and exhale on the upward pose. The variation is to draw your knees up to your chest slowly and of course, this should also be done slowly and smoothly. You can do this exercise for 5 minutes as well and this will tone your stomach area as well as your hips and flexors. A variation of this ist o extend your arm and legs to their full extent and then draw them back in until your knees and elbows and then to repeat this on the other side.

From there you can move to the Child’s Pose or Balasana. For this, you might like to use a headrest cushion. For the beginner, it might be best just to get on your hand and knees and then extend your arms on the floor in front of you with the palms of your hands on the ground. Lower your body until your thighs are resting on top of your calves with your big toes touching each other. Your chest should be just above the mat at this stage and the goal is to stretch you back as fully as possible. Rest your head on the cushion in order to support your neck and shoulders. This should allow you to relax fully as you breathe deeply in this position for 5 minutes while all the time you should be concentrating on fully extending your arms in order to maximize the benefits for your back.

And now for what is probably the most iconic pose in all of yoga. This is known as the Downward-Facing Dog Pose and it is also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana in Hindi. Start once again with your hands and knees on the mat but this time push your hips as high as they’ll go while keeping both hands and feet on the ground in order to turn your body into an inverted V shape. If you’re a beginner then it is O.K. to have your knees slightly bent but over time you should aim to have your legs straight while you maintain this pose for approximately 5 minutes. Of course, there are many variations from this pose so it is an important pose to master for this very reason. It is also a chance to relax your head and shoulders while you are set in this position simply by dropping your head.

Yoga is a fantastic way to benefit the body both mentally and physically and these poses should be enough to get you started. As always research is always an advantage but the main lesson is not to go in too hard and fast. Take it slowly so that you can master the basics first and then build-up to the next level. Consistent effort is the key but if you feel bored maintaining certain positions for an extended period of time then perhaps you can change your routine in order to suit yourself. No two yoga practitioners are the same so it is very important to find out what works best for you. 

Photo Credits: unsplash.com

Nick Hanlon

I'm an Aussie interested in topical issues.

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