As a beginner, getting yourself a hang of yoga takes a bit of time. It is common to compare yourself with others who seem to do a stretch seamlessly, while you struggle to attain it. Using props like folded towels, straps, cushions, or blocks help you kickstart successfully. Doing minor changes to a yoga pose without impacting it significantly also help. Mentioned below are such tweaks to the most common yoga poses.
Beginner-friendly Tweaks To The Most Common Yoga Poses
1. Bound Angle/Cobbler’s Pose (Baddha Konasana)
Bound angle pose stimulates the abdominal muscles, groin, prostate, bladder, and kidneys. It relieves menstrual discomfort and menopause-related issues. If practiced during pregnancy, this pose eases the process of childbirth.
- As a beginner, giving your thighs the extra support will help achieve the stretch without much discomfort.
- Begin with sitting on the yoga mat, cross-legged.
- Bend your knees and bring soles of feet together. Let your heels be drawn as close as possible to the pelvis.
- Now, slide one block each under your knees to get a comfortable support.
- Holding your big toes together, bend down to make your head touch the floor and your stomach to the feet.
- Stay for a few breaths and gently come back to the beginning position.
Once you are can easily bend down without feeling a pain while stretching, it is the time to do the pose without the support of the block.
2. Warrior III Pose (Veerabhadrasana)
The warrior III pose strengthens your core and tones your entire body, especially the abdomen area. It improves your energy and concentration and energizes you.
- Place two blocks (or a single block) of about 8 inches height, shoulder-width apart.
- Bend forward and place your palms on the blocks.
- Now, lift your right leg and keep your leg and torso parallel to the ground.
- Let your left leg and two hands hold the weight of your body.
- Hold for 5 breaths and return to the starting position.
- Repeat the pose by lifting your left leg.
This pose tests your balance and stability. Once you find yourself stable and comfortable, it is the time to get rid of the blocks. Try further versions of stretching your hands forward or folding them near your chest.
3. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
The downward facing dog pose relieves headaches, strengthens shoulders, back, and spine, and promotes stronger hands and wrists. Since it enhances circulation, it helps relieve anxiety in a quick span.
Finding your wrists weak to hold the weight of your body is common as a beginner. A block will ease your woes.
- Start with getting on your fours.
- Place your palms on a block each and knees and feet resting on the ground.
- Curl your toes and lift your hips up.
- Try to widen the angle at your waist, by pushing your feet behind and keeping your knees straight.
- The blocks act as support and weight stabilizers.
- Hold this pose for a few comfortable breaths and curl back to the normal position by getting down on your knees.
It is the time to get rid of the blocks when you no longer feel the pain in knees as you bend down.
4. Garland Pose (Malasana)
The garland pose keeps your pelvic and hip joints healthy. It aids in digestion and strengthens your metabolism.
As you begin practicing yoga, you might find your hip and pelvic joints tighter to attain certain positions. A block or folded towels help.
- Begin with standing hip-width apart.
- Place a block (about 3–4 inches height) each under your heels.
- With heels inwards and toes outwards, attain a deep squat position.
- You could alternatively place the blocks one above the other and place them under your butt.
- Push your elbows against the inner thighs, and press palms together near your chest.
- Stay for a few breaths and rise up slowly.
Once you find yourself being stable in the position, get rid of the blocks.
5. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
The half moon pose builds concentration, coordination, and balance. It improves digestion and relieves stress. The pose strengthens your abdomen, buttocks, spine, and legs.
Since this pose tests your balance, using a block, to begin with, is the best bet.
- Stand erect and place a block about 8 inches beside your right feet.
- Lean towards your right to place your right hand on the block, while transferring the weight of your body on the right leg.
- Lift your left leg parallel to the ground, pointing your left arm towards the ceiling.
- Hold your gaze downwards to completely concentrate on your balance.
- Your chest shouldn’t face the mat.
- Return to normal pose standing erect and taking your hand off the block.
- Repeat the pose with left hand on the block.
When you can hold the position for a long time comfortably, remove the block and try resting your fingers on the mat.
6. Half-forward Fold Pose (Ardha Uttanasana)
The half-forward fold pose improves your posture and strengthens your back. It stimulates the belly and stretches front torso.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.
- Place two blocks in front of each feet, about 8 inches away.
- Bend forward and place both of your palms on the blocks.
- Keep your knees straight and gaze forward.
- Hold the position for a few breaths and return to the beginning position.
As you get comfortable doing this pose, your knees won’t feel strained. The block can be removed, after which, try placing your palms on the mat directly.
7. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
The cobra pose increases flexibility, improves menstrual irregularities, decreases the stiffness of the lower back, enhances mood, and strengthens arms and shoulders.
- As a beginner, lie down facing the mat with your elbows tucked under your waist.
- Inhale and draw your shoulder blades towards your back.
- Keeping your gaze forward, push chest further above the mat resting the weight of your body on the palms, abdomen and legs.
- Keep your elbows slightly bent.
Once you are comfortable in this pose, lift up your abdomen, torso, and face along with your chest and stay in the pose.