So, we’re asking: How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Are those vigorous workouts and hard-to-reach fitness goals getting you down even more than these dim and depressing winter days? If you answered yes, then you might be ready to take up yoga instead.
Don’t shake your head. These days, yoga really is for everyone, even for you. Come on now. You don’t need to be able to stand on your head or wrap your face around your ankles to reap the benefits of this ancient practice. In fact, this beginner sequence from guru (literally) Rodney Yee, is ideal for learning your way around a mat and limbering up for more vigorous activities—like, ahem, on Valentine’s Day.
These core poses function as a foundation for most other poses. They’re just right for beginners because they will challenge you without requiring serious strength or flexibility. So strap on your favourite sports bra and get ready to follow along.
YOGA 101: RODNEY YEE’S BEGINNER YOGA SEQUENCE
Downward Facing Dog, Warrior 1, Upward Facing Dog and Plank
These poses are a great way to greet the morning. Performing them as soon as you wake provides a golden opportunity for meditation and focus. They engage and lengthen the muscles and boost energy as they wake up the spine.
Staff , Cobbler’s, Child’s, and Savasana
Do these poses at any time of day. But, since they’re all about relaxation, you may enjoy them best in the evening as your soothing pre-bedtime ritual.
Yoga Beginner Tips
- The transition into and out of every pose should be very slow to avoid injury.
- Focus on the breath. In order for these poses to truly be effective, you must ensure slow steady breathing through the nose. Take 3-5 seconds for each breath. It’s time well-spent to just lie on your back and practice taking long deep breaths through your nose and feeling your tummy rise and fall. That‘s the same feeling you should have during these exercises.
- Poses should be held for at least 5 breaths or 30 seconds. The final Savasana—the best part, in our opinion—should last for at least 2 minutes.
Rodney Yee was a professional ballet dancer who ended up studying Iyengar yoga. He travels nationally and internationally to teach workshops, teacher training sessions and yoga retreats. Rodney has been designing and performing in Gaiam programs for over 15 years. He has been featured on Oprah and other national programs.