There’s no doubt that we’re in a pretty stressful time right now. With that, a lot of people are looking for a way to stay healthy, mentally and physically. Yoga is the perfect way to do just that. If you’ve never tried it, you may think yoga is only for people who are a certain shape, size, or those who are really physically fit. But that’s not the case. Everyone has to start somewhere; that’s how we learn. So, here are the top 4 yoga poses you can get started with, no matter your level of expertise or fitness.

Upward-Facing Dog

Lay with your stomach flat on your yoga mat with your legs stretched back and the tops of your feet on the floor. Press your palms into the mat near your waist, so your elbows are pointing up. Lift your head, chest and stomach off of the mat, pressing your palms and the top of your feet into the mat. Straighten your arms while engaging your core, legs and glutes. Hold this position for up to one minute. 

Downward-Facing Dog

Start on your yoga mat, on your hands and knees. Your hands should be under your shoulders, and your knees should be under your hips. Spreading your hands wide, press your index finger and thumb into your mat. Lift your tailbone and press your butt up and back, drawing your hips toward the ceiling. Straighten your legs as best you can, trying to press your heels toward the floor. Keep your head between your arms, facing your knees, and your back flat. Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths. 

Childs Pose

Start by kneeling on your mat with your feet together and knees shoulder-width apart. Make sure you’re sitting on your heels with your hands resting on your thighs. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs, bringing your chest and head toward the floor. Your forehead should rest comfortably on the mat. Pull your tailbone and head away from each other and imagine you’re adding space along the vertebrae in your spine. Rest your hands and arms next to your legs on the floor with palms facing up. Release any tension in your shoulders and add space between your shoulder blades. This is a resting pose, so this position for 30 seconds to a few minutes. 

Cat Pose

On your mat, bring yourself up to all fours. Bring your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and your hips right about your knees and your toes pointing straight back. Look down at the mat in front of you. Take a deep breath in. When you exhale round your back, drop your head, tuck your chin to your chest and draw your abs in. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths.

Yoga can be intimidating, but just remember, your poses don’t have to be perfect. The goal is to move your body, find what’s comfortable for you, and allow your body and mind to feel good. Practice these poses daily, and you’ll make them look easy in no time.

Crystal Pavis

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