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11 beginner yoga poses everyone knows but performs poorly

YOGA – Do you remember when you decided to do more yoga? You sat at the back of the classroom while the teacher said ridiculous things like “stretch your spine”. You then wondered what you were doing there.

Yes! We are here to help. Yoga does not have to be shrouded in a veil of mystery. This week we joined Lisa Sochocki, owner of Yoga Loft Hawaii on the island of Oahu, to talk clearly about how to perform each basic yoga pose to perfection.

Sochocki has spent the last 16 years practicing yoga all over the world, and the last 10 teaching it. She’s helped dozens of budding yogis transform their rigid downward dog poses into smooth standing lunges, and she knows every mistake the novice yogi makes on the mat.

“A lot of people believe that to start doing yoga you have to be super flexible. In reality, everyone has to start somewhere,”Sochocki told The Huffington Post. “And it usually starts with the first breath. If you don’t forget to breathe, everything else will fall into place. ”
So take a deep breath, relax and let this blessed yogini guide you through all the basic postures that you need to know in order to master the practice of yoga. Perform each pose for three to five slow, deep breaths through the nostrils.

1. The mountain Pose

YOGA – Do you remember when you decided to do more yoga? You sat at the back of the classroom while the teacher said ridiculous things like “stretch your spine”. You then wondered what you were doing there.

Yes, we are here to help. Yoga does not have to be shrouded in a veil of mystery. This week we joined Lisa Sochocki, owner of Yoga Loft Hawaii on the island of Oahu, to talk clearly about how to perform each basic yoga pose to perfection.

mountain yoga Pose

Sochocki has spent the last 16 years practicing yoga all over the world, and the last 10 teaching it. She’s helped dozens of budding yogis transform their rigid downward dog poses into smooth standing lunges, and she knows every mistake the novice yogi makes on the mat.

“A lots of people believe that to start doing yoga you have to be super flexible. In reality, everyone has to start somewhere,” Sochocki told The Huffington Post. “And it usually starts with the first breath. If you don’t forget to breathe, everything else will fall into place.”

So take a deep breath, relax and let this blessed yogini guide you through all the basic postures that you need to know in order to master the practice of yoga. Perform each pose for three to five slow, deep breaths through the nostrils.

2. The mountain Pose 2

Knees bent above the ankles, thighs parallel to the floor as much as possible. The torso should form a right angle with your thighs. Bring your feet together for a more advanced posture. Breathe as you raise your hands.

mountain yoga Pose 2

Common mistakes: The knees shouldn’t go past the toes. Sochocki says: “Put more weight on the heels to prevent the knees from ending up above the toes.”

3. The stork Pose

(The top photo is for beginners, the bottom photo is for advanced students.)
This pose opens the back of your legs, allows the spine to decompress, and fresh blood to flow from the heart to the head.

Start in the mountain pose. With one breath, bend over your hips, keeping your spine as straight as possible. Let the head hang down heavily and relax the jaws. Keep your feet away from the pelvis if you are a beginner, glue your feet up if you are intermediate or advanced.

Common mistakes: Keeping your spine straight is more important than having your legs straight. Bend the knees as much as necessary to keep your spine straight and chest in contact with the thighs.

stork yoga Pose

Sochocki says, “In yoga consistency is important and over time the back of your legs will open up forward. Keep your knees flexible, don’t block them.”

4. The dog upside down Yoga Pose

(The top photo is for beginners, the bottom photo is for advanced students.)
This inversion opens up the whole body. From the plank position, feet apart from the pelvis, lift your hips up in one breath until your body conforms to an inverted “V” shape. Look between the legs or towards the navel. Tuck in the stomach and ribs.

Common mistakes: People with stiff hamstrings and calves tend to assume square postures. In order to correct this, bend the knees more and pull the chest up the thighs, hands flat on the floor to push the thighs back.

dog upside down Yoga Pose

Sochocki says: “Keeping your back straight is more important than keeping your legs straight.” Don’t be afraid to bend your knees or raise your heels if necessary. “Imagine that you are a fish, that you have a hook hanging from the tailbone and that you are pulled towards the boat. It will help you lift your hips.”

5. The warrior 1 Pose

The starting posture is that of the dog upside down. Step the right foot between your hands, turn the left heel inward, then lift the torso and arms in one breath. The heel of the forward foot should be in a straight line with the sole of the back foot, the front of the knee directly above the ankle. Place both hips forward, pull the tailbone down then pull in the ribs. Resume the posture on the other side of the body.

warrior 1 yoga Pose

Common mistakes: The back hip should be facing forward, not outward, and the back foot should be closer to a 45 degree position than a 90 degree position.

Sochocki says: “Imagine that both of your hips are headlights. You want both headlights to face forward.”

6. The warrior 2 Pose

Similar to the First Warrior Pose, but with the arms stretched out in opposite directions, parallel to the ground and in line with the shoulders. Lift your arms and torso with one breath. The back foot should mark a 90 degree angle and the front thigh should be parallel to the floor with the front of the knee directly above the ankle. Look above the middle finger. Resume the posture on the other side of the body.

warrior 2 yoga Pose

Common mistakes: The back and stomach should not protrude too much, and the lower back should not be hunched. Also, the feet are often misaligned. Make sure the heel of your front foot is in line with the arch of your back foot.

Sochocki says: “Imagine unrolling your carpet. To align your hips, place your hands on them to make sure you don’t lean too much over one hip.”

7. The triangle Yoga Pose

Spread your feet wide, forming a triangle between your feet and your pelvic bone. Start by turning one foot outward 90 degrees and the other inward 15 degrees. Stretch the arms in line with the shoulders and, with one breath, turn the torso towards the outward foot. The fingers should touch the tibia for beginners, the ground for the more advanced. The other arm should be outstretched towards the sky, and the eyes should be on the raised hand, the neck straight and away from the shoulders. The shoulders and arms should form a line.

triangle Yoga Pose

Common mistakes: The front hip should not protrude while the rear hip should not flex.
Sochocki says: “In order to ensure proper alignment, perform the posture slowly.”

8. The child’s posture Pose

(The top photo is for beginners, the bottom photo is for advanced students.)
The posture of the child is a posture of surrender. Begin in a kneeling position, with toes touching and knees as wide apart as shoulders. Pull the hips towards the heels while stretching the arms forward, on the floor, as your forehead moves closer to the floor. Close your eyes and let your forehead rest on the floor. Breathe in a way that makes you comfortable.

child posture yoga Pose

Sochocki says: “There is no wrong way to perform the child’s pose. However, if you have tight hips, it may be helpful to place a blanket or pillow between the thighs and heels, and a block for the forehead.”

9. The sphinx Pose

This pose is performed on the stomach, with the pubic bone and the tops of the feet on the floor. The feet are as wide apart as the hips, in addition to being placed backwards. The hands rest close to the rib cage with the shoulders engaged backwards, towards each other. Using the force of the lower part of the lumbar spine, push the upper chest and ribs off the floor. With one breath, perform an upward motion, take a few breaths, and perform a reverse motion with one breath.

Common mistakes: The hands should not come out ahead of the shoulders, and the shoulders should not be near the ears. To correct this, pull the shoulders back and away from the ears.

sphinx yoga pose

Sochocki says: Your shoulders should form a 45 degree angle and you should use your lower back – pushing lightly on the hands – before lifting your torso off the ground.

10. Sitting twist with extended leg Pose

This seated twist of the spine neutralizes the spine. Start in a seated position with your behind on the floor and legs parallel in front of you. Stretch the right leg forward and flex the foot. Turn the right knee and cross the right foot over the left foot. The right elbow presses the outside of the left knee, with the right hand placed on the floor to the right of the body. The right hand should be planted to the right of the column, supporting it. Look over the shoulder or as far as your neck allows. Resume the posture on the other side of the body.

Sitting twist with extended leg yoga Pose

Common mistakes: Don’t arch your back. Extend the spine by lifting your back. Make sure your back hand is helping you lift the column.

Sochocki says, “Breathe out as you twist your spine. Inhale to create space (in your torso) and the exhale will place you more in the space you created.”

11. The muzzle dog facing the sky Pose

Our yogini says that it can be risky to believe that the dog nose facing the sky is a posture for beginners. In fact, this is an intermediate to advanced posture, as it is a flexing of the lower back that requires quite a bit of strength. Sochocki recommends that beginners learn about the sphinx before attempting the muzzle dog facing the sky.

muzzle dog facing the sky yoga Pose

Take a plank position with feet hip-width apart and arms at shoulder level, then exhale and use your arms to slowly lower your body until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Use your toes to push your body forward, then place your feet facing the floor. With one breath, straighten your elbows so that your torso, knees, and thighs are clear of the floor. Your hands and feet should be the only parts of your body touching the ground. Look slightly upward, past the tip of your nose. Exit the posture of a single exhalation.

Common mistakes: “I most often see students trying this pose before their back is set. You can see that their shoulders are high and close to the ears. I recommend beginners to start with the sphinx pose, closer to the ground. The sphinx requires little or no strength in the hands and slowly increases the strength of the back.”

Sochocki says, “If you are determined to master the sky-facing muzzle dog, be sure to push off firmly with your feet and tuck your torso between your arms. Lift yourself up from the middle of your heart while pulling your shoulders towards your back.”

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