Are you new to yoga? Do you feel inflexible? Are you wondering what yoga poses to start with and how to make them work for your body? Here are five yoga poses you can try if you're new to yoga, if you're feeling inflexible, or if you have back pain. If you dont have the yoga props I'm showing you can use things from around your house. For example, instead of a yoga strap you can use a towel or a long sleeved shirt. Instead of a yoga bolster you can use a sofa cushion. If you dont have yoga blocks, you can use another sofa cushion or pillows, or any other type of support you can find around the house! You dont need a yoga mat for this either, you can do these beginner yoga poses on carpet or on a rug.
Get your space set up and lets get started, here are 5 yoga poses for inflexible beginners!
1. Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
Butterfly pose is a yummy yoga pose that opens up the hips, especially the inside of the groins and inner thighs.
Here's how to do Butterfly Pose:
sit either on the floor or on a yoga bolster, you want to sit with your pelvis tilted slightly forward so you're on more the front of your sitting bones. This helps to keep the natural curve in the low back and not round it.
place the soles of the feet together, as close to your groin as feels good.
sit upright, imagine the crown of your head drawing up towards see sky. If its hard to sit upright and you feel like you're falling backwards, you sit on more support (add another bolster, a rolled up blanket etc)
if the stretch feels too intense, try placing yoga blocks (or other support) under the knees
if your knees bother you, try rolling up a small towel and placing at the back of your knee. This can help alleviate any pressure you might feel in the knee joint.
2. Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
Thunderbolt pose is a wonderful seated yoga pose that can be great for meditating or as an alternative to the often more uncomfortable cross legged seated position called Easy Seat, or Sukhasana in Sanskrit.
Here's how to do Thunderbolt Pose:
sit back with your hips on your heels, toes untucked.
sit with the back straight, imagine the crown of your head drawing up towards the ceiling.
if this feels uncomfortable in your knees, thighs, or hips, you can place a yoga bolster between your feet and buttocks. Feel free to stack as much height as you need here!
if your ankles are uncomfortable, try placing a rolled up blanket underneath.
3. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Depending on your flexibility, you might not fold at all at first - and thats totally ok! This is where I started too, these photos are my actual flexibility back in 2020!
Here's how to do Seated Forward Fold for inflexible beginners:
sit either on the floor or on a bolster, depending on your flexibility. You can also sit on a yoga block here or even a chair!
extend your legs straight in front of you, try placing a blanket under your knees that you can press into and activate the front of the thighs.
if you can tilt your pelvis forward and hinge from the hips (not the low back) you can place the hands on the floor and stay in this version of the pose.
if you feel like you're falling backwards, you can place a strap around the soles of your feet and hold it with your hands. Make sure your pelvis is still tilting forward (add more support underneath you as needed).
another option if you're not able to bend with straight legs while keeping the pelvis tilting forward, is to keep a slight bend in your knees.
4. Reclined Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
This is a great hamstring stretch thats accessible for most students as you can adapt it A LOT! The name can be confusing but basically if you're super flexible you can hold on to your big toe. However, chances are since you're reading this article the strap version might feel better for you.
Here's how to do Reclined Big Toe Pose for inflexible beginners:
lay on your back, feel free to use a blanket under your head if that feels more comfortable.
place a yoga strap around the sole of your left foot, and straighten the leg. Your leg may be higher or lower than what I'm showing and thats ok, work to a point where you feel stretch in the back of the leg.
you can keep the right leg bent or straight, bent feels a bit easier in my opinion - but see what feels better in your body.
if you feel any sharp sensation in your lower back, lower the leg.
you can also hold behind the thigh or the calf if you can reach it (or the big toe!), then you may not need the strap.
5. Childs Pose (Balasana)
This fully propped up Childs Pose is one of my absolute favorites, especially if my back hurts! Its calming to the nervous system and very grounding. Feel free to stay in this one for as long as you'd like, 5 minutes or longer!
Here's how to do fully propped Childs Pose:
Place a yoga bolster on top of two yoga blocks.
Place a rolled up blanket (or two!) under the hips and one under the ankles.
Fold over the bolster and place the forearms on the floor.
I hope you found these yoga poses for inflexible beginners helpful! Let me know if you try them and feel free to shoot me an email with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, did you know that you can practice yoga with me from anywhere in the world? I have lots of beginner- and back friendly yoga classes, as well as pilates classes, guided mediations, 5 minute yoga classes, yin yoga, vinyasa yoga, and much more! Check out The Yoga Studio here!
I hope to see you soon!