I love the idea of yoga. The stretching. The calm. The connection with my body. It all sounds great.

But I have something else I have to admit. I’m just not that confident with it yet. On the one hand I know it’s “just stretching”, but on the other hand I’ve been there before, struggling to hold a pose and stay calm and not distract those around me, and well, the truth is, I’d rather not.

If you’re someone who loves yoga but needs a little practice at home first, here are a few poses to help you out.

1. Breathing

It doesn’t really matter which technique you use (at least to begin with), but you’ll want to start with slow, deep breathing. Focus on each breath as you go. If you’re worried about what to do with your body, just start lying on your back, legs stretched out in front of you.

2. Tree pose

This one is all about balance, breathing, and focus. You start with your feet together, and then you lift one foot into the opposing inner thigh. The key with this is a slow transition into the pose; and from there you place your hands in prayer at your chest, and find a spot in the room to focus on. Hold this pose and breathe slowly, holding for 8-10 breaths.

3. Child’s pose

Weirdly, for me, the most relaxing of all poses. It’s a pose you use in-between other poses to rest, and it’s wonderful. Position yourself on all fours, hands directly beneath your shoulders and knees on the ground beneath your hips. Slowly lower your butt backward to the ground so that it comes to rest on your feet, while allowing your arms to stretch out in front of you. Lower your forehead to the ground, and feel your body relax into the pose.

4. Downward facing dog

Start on all fours, hands directly beneath your shoulders and knees on the ground beneath your hips. This time, instead of lowering your butt to the ground, lift your hips up towards the sky and press your feet down into the ground, stretching out your arms in front of you to lift your upper body. Your legs should be fully stretched out and your upper body should be at a right angle to your lower body. Hold this for a few breaths, and then lower down into child’s pose to rest.

5. Mountain pose

This is a standing pose, but it’s more than just standing. Stand with your feet a little more than hip width apart and place your arms down by your side. Push your feet down into the ground, big toes and little toes, and both sides of your heels. From here, straighten your legs and tuck your tailbone in. Breathe in, drawing your upper body up towards the sky and lifting your arms up and wide over your head. Breathe out, slowly returning your arms to your sides.

Looks like you’re ready to start practicing yoga at home! What’s your favorite pose?

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams