Gentle Yoga Postures for the Absolute Beginner - Sue Fuller 

Gentle yoga postures are perfect for the absolute beginner or those who have never exercised before. 

There are so many benefits to be experienced from a regular yoga practice. 

It is worth remembering that  absolutely anyone can practise yoga. This is because yoga postures can be performed laying, seated, kneeling and standing.   

Gentle yoga postures performed laying down are perfect for absolute beginners and those new to exercise.   

Spending time practicing these postures will help familiarise new yoga students with the concept of yoga, whilst keeping the body fully supported so no unnecessary stress is applied to any joints.   

The following yoga techniques are ideal for new yoga students.   

It is important to breathe slowly in and out through the nose.  This will help to focus the mind and gently relieve stress and tension from the body.   

Never force the body into any postures.  If pain or discomfort is experienced make sure that the body is relaxed immediately.  

It is a good idea to practise first thing in the morning after a emptying your bladder and bowels and before eating.   

It is recommended that you shower before and after your practise to remove any negative or stagnant energy.   

Always make sure the area in which you are practicing is warm, free from obstacles and odours and always use a non slip yoga mat. 

Semi Supine - Yoga PostureSemi Supine 

Although this is not a traditional yoga posture. It helps beginners establish correct alignment. 

Lay on the back with the knees bent and the soles of the feet on the floor.  Relax the arms alongside the body with the palms facing up.  Spend a little time scanning through your body noticing any areas of tension and become aware of your alignment.  The spine should form a straight line, the nose should point straight up, the hips should be square, both sides of the body should be equal in length, make sure that the weight is distributed evenly through the soles of the feet and the outside edges of the feet are parallel. 

Now place the hands to space between the navel and sternum.  Breathe slowly in and out through the nose, notice how the area above the navel rises with each inhalation and falls with each exhalation.  To prepare both body and mind for the following postures remain here for at least five minutes focussing on the breath entering and leaving the body. 

Spinal Twist - Jathara Parivartanasana - Yoga PostureJathara Parivartanasana (Semi Supine Spinal Twist) 

This posture will increase agility and coordination, mobilise the lower back and pelvis, provide a subtle massage for the organs of digestion and gently stretch the sides of the body.   

Begin lying on the back with the knees bent.  The arms are level with the shoulders and the palms are facing up.  Feel as though each hand is being pulled and gently relax the shoulders down into the floor.  Inhale and on the exhalation let the knees fall to the right and turn the head to the left.  Inhale and return to the starting position.  On the next exhalation let the knees fall to the left and turn the head to the right.  Inhale return to the starting position.  Continue with this technique coordinating breath and movement whilst breathing slowly through the nose.  Repeat for ten or more complete breath cycles. 

Aapanasana - Wind Releiving - Yoga PostureApanasana (the wind release) 

This posture gently massages the digestive system, helps to release trapped wind, improves posture, alleviates tension in the lower back and strengthens the lower abdominal muscles.  

Lie on the back and draw the knees in towards the chest, lightly hold the knees or shins. Breathe slowly in and out through the nose, lightly close the eyes and soften the shoulders down towards the floor.  Inhale and allow the knees to drift 5 – 10 cm away from the body.  Exhale and draw the knees in towards the chest returning to the starting position.  Continue like this breathing and moving slowly connecting both breath and movement.  Keep the lower back in contact with the floor especially as the knees drift away – to ensure this happens engage the lower abdominal muscles throughout the entire exercise, continue for at least ten slow and controlled complete breath cycles. 

Savasana - The Corpse - Yoga PostureSavasana (The Corpse) 

Perform this posture at the end of a yoga practice to help relax both body and mind.  Lay on the back with the arms along side the body and palms facing up.  Scan through the body to ensure that the body is in a straight line.  Breathe slowly in and out through the nose and work to release tension with each out breath.  

Always seek medical advice before beginning a new exercise programme if you are pregnant or suffer from any medical conditions.  

New to yoga then why not try a Yoga 2 Hear Gentle Yoga Class or a Yoga 2 Hear Beginners Yoga Class. 

Sue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher and writer. She is the creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes.  Yoga 2 Hear has a range of over 60 different classes suitable for all levels and abilities.