Yoga: 5 postures to get started gently

To release pressure, relax, and (re)find a certain harmony between body and mind, nothing better than yoga. You’ve never done it? Here are 5 postures very easy to perform, to initiate you at home in a few minutes, and very gently.

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When you start yoga, it is not always easy to find your way among all the postures and unknown names! There are dozens of types of yoga developed according to unique approaches around postures, breathing or other, and about as many ways to approach them as there are teachers. It is common to be confused during the first class and to conclude, often too quickly and with the ego in the socks, “yoga is not for me”. For a smooth start, Caroline, yoga teacher at OLY Be, offers 5 postures allowing you to start without pressure. To fully understand the proposed postures, see the photo slideshow above.

1. Child’s posture

How to do ? Get on your knees with your buttocks resting on your heels and your knees slightly hip-width apart. Move the bust forward to place the forehead and the chest on the knees. Do not hesitate to round your back, then bring your arms along your legs, almost at your feet and turn your palms upwards. Inhale and exhale deeply to feel the air flow. Try to visualize the opening of the lower back for more relaxation.

Why it’s good: The posture of the child, Balâsana, allows you to refocus on yourself and immediately release all the tensions in the body, and more particularly those accumulated in the lower back, shoulders and neck.

For further : Spread your knees further apart to go further in the stretch. In this case, stick the two inches of feet together and spread the knees about the width of a mat. Move the bust forward between the legs.

2. Cat-Cow Pose

How to do ? Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your hips above your knees. On the inhale, hollow the back from the top of the head to the tip of the coccyx while looking upwards. As you exhale, round your back by pushing into your points of support and particularly in your arms to open your shoulder blades. Repeat the movement several times while tuning it to your breaths.

Why it’s good: This posture not only allows work on the mobility of the spine but also a massage with compression and in-depth stretching of the internal organs, in particular the intestine, to free up space and boost circulation.

The alternatives : To create more movement in your body, roll up the transitions by stretching to the sides and making the adaptations that feel good between the two positions.

3. Downward Facing Dog


How to do ? Get on all fours on the mat. Check that the knees are positioned under the hips and the hands under the shoulders. Spread the fingers apart keeping the indexes parallel or slightly turned outwards and rest the toes on the mat. On an exhale, lift the knees up while pressing into the hands. First, keep your knees slightly bent, your heels lifted. Then pull the seat bones (the small bones of the buttocks) towards the ceiling. On an exhale, push the upper thighs back and the heels against the mat or towards the floor. Straighten your knees but be careful not to lock them. Press the base of the index fingers against the mat. Based on these two points, move the shoulders away from the ears. Keep your head parallel to your arms, don’t let go. – Stay in the pose for 1 to 3 minutes. Rest the knees on the ground on an exhalation and rest in the posture of the child.

Why it’s good: It is the resting posture of Yogis which stretches the entire back of the body and emphasizes the back.

4. Upward facing dog

How to do ? Start standing and lean forward until both hands are on the ground (if the ground seems too far away, place blocks under your hands). Shift your body weight onto one foot and lift the other leg in the air behind you, pointing your toes toward the ceiling. Bring the hands towards the toes (or for more challenge grab the ground ankle with one hand then the other) and release the head forward. Take at least three deep breaths. Repeat on the other side. Avoid locking the knee of the ground leg in hyper extension. Instead, focus on stretching the thigh of the leg that is in the air, while keeping its pelvis facing the front leg (rather than opening the back hip to raise the leg higher).

Why it’s good: balance work calms the mind by encouraging us to let go and find harmony between body and mind.

5. Standing clamp

How to do ? Get back into downward facing dog before attacking this position. Step the feet forward and the hands back until you come to the middle of the mat and have the ankles forming a vertical line with the knees and hips. Catch the elbows with the hands. Swing your upper body right and left. Release the head with the chin towards the chest to relax the neck.

Why it’s good: this posture allows in particular to stretch the hamstrings (the muscles located behind the thighs) and the hips, to improve digestion, to stretch the spine gently, to calm the mind and therefore to reduce stress.

Go back to the child’s position to end the session. It is advisable to repeat this sequence 3 to 5 times to warm up the body at the start of practice or as a complete practice to start the day on the move.

Thanks to Caroline, yoga teacher at OLY Be, for the realization of these exercises. Launched in 2016, OLY Be is a community dedicated to yoga in France; today it brings together nearly 60,000 members/students. Its mission being to make yoga accessible to as many people as possible, OLY Be offers thousands of classes each month, both in studio and online, from €9, with more than 600 tested and certified teachers. Find more information on the website

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Yoga: 5 postures to get started gently

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