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If you generally live a sedentary life and plan to start with some basic stretching exercises at home, then I highly recommend that you start with Yoga. 

Through a group of several exercises or asanas, yoga helps improve one's body, mind and respiratory system while also bettering one's immunity. With so many advantages to gain by sparing just 20 minutes everyday, it is not surprising to know why many people world over, including medical professionals and famous personalities are so supportive of this ancient Indian gift.

With Yoga, one can start practising asanas any time and at any place. You need not think about your age, gender, weight or size when planning to start yoga. If you are not flexible enough, then do not fret. That is neither a prerequisite nor an issue. Yoga is for everyone. With over 300 yoga asanas to choose from, you can begin with the 7 basic yoga postures that any newbie can perform and then start adding new asanas to practise, as and when you feel comfortable with the below given ones.

So, just roll your yoga mat and discover the many health benefits of these body and mind exercises, starting today.

1. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose)

One of the most recognized yoga poses in the world, Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward dog pose or downward-facing dog pose can be done independently as well as a sequence of poses for Surya Namaskar. For a beginner, however, doing this asana independently and comfortably is advisable.


Adho mukha svanasana is so common that is taught to beginners in nearly all yoga classes. This asana is beneficial in stretching and firming the calf muscles and hamstring in the back of the legs. It also strengthens the ankles, legs, abdominal muscles and arms and counteracts stiffness in the shoulders. This asana is also wonderful in improving your digestion and leaves one energized after practising it a couple of times.

How to do:
  1. Begin with bending your knees and sit comfortably on your heels. Your back should be straight and hands resting on your knees.
  2. Move your body forward to come onto your fours, i.e. form a table like position with your hands and knees on the floor and back forming the table top.
  3. Move your hands slightly forward. Exhale and steadily lift your hips up. Your legs and hands should be straight as much as possible.
  4. Your hands should be wide apart i.e. shoulder width apart and palms firmly pressed to the floor. Your feet should be hip width apart. Slowing stand on your toes. Your pose should look like an inverted V.
  5. Lengthen your neck fully but in downward and inward direction. Your ears should touch your inner arms.
  6. Hold this downward dog position for a minute and take deep and long breaths.
  7. Exhale and bend your knees slowly to go back to the table top position and relax.
2. Vriksasana (Tree Pose)

Vriksasana or commonly referred to as the Tree Pose, is one of the most recognized and graceful asanas in yoga. This standing and balancing yoga asana is perfect for beginners, who want to learn how to steady and balance their body without twisting or bending it.


A comparatively simple but powerful yoga asana, Vriksasana tones and strengthens the muscles of your legs, arms and spine. This asana is also known to be beneficial for people with flat feet problem and in sciatica. Through this asana, you develop a sense of balance and coordination, while also learning some very useful and practical lessons in improving your ability to concentrate and steadying your mind.

How to do:
  1. Stand straight on both your legs, with arms by the respective sides of your body.
  2. Bend your right leg in such a way, that you place the entire right foot high up on the left inner thigh. The toes of the right foot should point downwards. Make sure all your body weight is shifted on the lone standing left leg.
  3. Once you get your balance and steady your body, slowly raise both your arms above your head and clasp your palms (like a namaste pose).
  4. Look straight ahead and hold your gaze. Ensure that your entire body is straight. Hold this stance for at least 30 seconds while taking long and deep breaths.
  5. Exhaling slowly, return to the original position. Separate your palms and bring down the arms at the sides. Then, slowly remove the right foot from the inner left thigh and stand straight on both legs.
  6. Repeat the above steps by now standing on the other leg.
* Beginners tend to fall often while trying to steady and keep the balance. They can use the wall for support initially. 

3. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

Sitting on a chair is pretty simple. Isn't it? But imagine sitting on a non-existent chair. Isn't it slightly difficult? Well, this is exactly what one has to do in Utkatasana or the Chair Pose.


Utkatasana (were 'Utkata' means intense and 'asana' means posture) is a powerful standing and low squatting exercise. It is a wonderful asana for working out the muscles of your legs, arms, chest, shoulder and back. Additionally, this asana also strengthens your torso area and stimulates the diaphragm and heart. Utkatasana also helps you learn the lesson of endurance and determination while giving your body a burst of energy.

How to do:
  1. Stand straight with your feet slightly apart.
  2. Now inhale and raise both your arms high above your head. Your arms should be parallel and in line with your ears. The palms should be facing each other.
  3. Exhale, bend your knees and push your pelvis downwards, as if you are sitting on a chair.
  4. In this pose, your chest is forward and shoulders and back are firm. Your front torso will now form an approximate right angle with the top of your thighs. Look straight.
  5. Try holding this stance for at least 30 seconds while breathing normally.
  6. To come out of this stance, inhale and slowly straighten your knees to stand straight. Exhale and release your arms to their respective sides.
4. Balasana (Child's Pose)

One of the easiest yoga asanas that a beginner can try at home is Balasana. Also known as Child's Pose or Child's Resting Pose, this kneeling asana is quite restful and is usually performed in the midst of challenging yoga asanas or when one is starting/ending their regular yoga practice.


Being a truly resting pose, Balasana helps relieve fatigue and offers relaxation and calmness to the body and mind. It also gently stretches the spine, ankles, hips and shoulders and helps strengthen them. Regular practise of this pose is also found to be helpful in easing neck and back pain.

How to Do:
  1. To do this asana, bend your knees and sit comfortably on your heels. Your back should be straight and hands resting on your knees.
  2. Ensure that your hips sit on your heels, while your knees should be a little further wide apart than the hip distance.
  3. Now bend forward and lower your head on the floor/yoga mat. Stretch your hands in front of you and place them in line with your knees. Your thighs should be pressed against your chest in this pose. Since this is a resting pose, you can stay in this stance for about 30 seconds to a minute. Breathe gently, while relaxing.
  4. To get back to your original position, use your hands to slowly move back and sit upright on your heels.
  5. Repeat.
* If placing your head on the floor seems uncomfortable or difficult, then use a pillow.

5. Naukasana (Boat Pose)

If you are looking for a simple yoga asana that will build your core strength and help reduce your belly, then Naukasana is one of the best asanas for you. This seated yoga pose is also known as Navasana, Paripurna Navasana or Boat Pose, as it makes our body appear like a boat in the final stance.


There are some amazing benefits of the empowering Naukasana. Regular practise of this asana strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, hips and back and helps stretch the hamstring. Doing the boat pose will also massage your abdominal organs and improve digestion. This pose is known to be a stress-reliver and aids in restoring stability, getting rid of lethargy and giving vitality to the body.

How to do:
  1. Lie on your back with your legs together and stretched out in front of you. Your arms should be at the sides.
  2. Take a deep breath and then while exhaling, lift your chest, arms and legs in an upward direction. Your arms should be stretched forward and in parallel with the floor, while the palms face each other. Legs should be together and high up.
  3. Keep your eyes on your feet while breathing deeply and holding this stance for a few breaths. Your balance is now only on your buttocks.
  4. Exhale and lower your hands and legs on the floor. Relax by laying back on the floor.
6. Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)

Named after the mythical fierce Hindu warrior Virabhadra (were 'Vira' means hero and 'bhadra' means friend), Virabhadrasana is a group of three standing asanas that symbolize fierceness, strength, stability and grace in its true sense. Here, I am including Virabhadrasana 2 or Warrior Pose 2 for a beginner, who intends to start with simple yoga asanas to stretch and tone the entire body. 


A Warrior Pose is basically a strength building asana. This pose in particular is a powerful stretch and helps strengthen the ankles, legs, arms, chest, groin and lower back. It also helps improve balance, stimulate the abdominal organs and release tension from the shoulders. Warrior 2 pose is also known to improve digestion, increase stamina and better your concentration.

How to do:
  1. Stand straight with your feet spread wide (about 3-4 feet apart) and your arms at the sides.
  2. Now turn your right foot outwards by about 90 degrees and your left foot inwards by about 15 degrees.
  3. Raise both your arms upwards to shoulder height and parallel to the floor. Your palms should face downwards.
  4. Exhale and bend your right knee. Ensure that your bent right knee and right foot are in line.
  5. Turn your head to the right and look straight.
  6. As you get comfortable in this stance, gently push yourself a bit downwards while stretching your arms further.
  7. Hold this pose as a determined warrior, while breathing normally. 
  8. Inhale and bring your legs to their original position. 
  9. Exhale and drop yours arms down.
  10. Repeat the above steps by turning your left foot outwards. 
7. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose) 

Baddha Konasana is a simple sitting yoga pose and also befitting as a meditation seat. This pose is most popularly known as Butterfly Pose, as the leg movements during this stance, appear as if a butterfly is flapping its wings. Sometimes, this posture is known as Cobbler's Pose, as it is the regular sitting pose of cobblers when they are at work. 


This simple looking pose offers a good stretch to the groins, inner thighs and hip area, thus relaxing the stressed tissues and improving flexibility in these regions. It also helps stretch and strengthen the knees and intestine. Being a relaxing pose, it helps remove fatigue in the legs and hence great for people whose work involves long standing hours.

Baddha Konasana is particularly good for women. Regular practise of this yoga asana even late into pregnancy is known to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and help in smooth delivery. Besides this, the butterfly pose is an excellent yoga asana for ladies who are looking for relief from regular menstrual discomfort and even while tackling menopause related symptoms.

How to do:
  1. Sit erect with your legs spread straight out in front of you.
  2. Exhale, bend your knees and bring your feet towards your pelvis, as close you can. The soles of your feet should touch each other.
  3. Now, using your palms, clasp your feet tightly. 
  4. Breathe in deeply. Breathing out, gently press your thighs and knees downwards. Do not force your knees to touch the floor.
  5. With your spine straight and shoulders firm, hold this stance for about 1 minute.
  6. Inhale, take your knees away from the floor and release the posture. Straighten your legs out in front of you. 


  1. Thank you can such simple asanas. Amazed to know its health benefits. Very well written too.

  2. Thank you for your kind comments. Try them out too!

  3. Thanks for giving out this good information thankful to visit this blog. Very Informative blog! Yoga helps to connect your body, mind and soul. There are numerous yoga benefits and this has led many to practice it on a regular basis. SS Corporate Wellness provides the onsite corporate yoga. You can visit their site and enjoy their services.


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