Although it's one of the most gentle forms of exercise, to an outsider—a non-yogi, if you will—yoga can seem slightly intimidating.
Especially if your only impressions of the practice come from crazy-looking poses shared on Instagram or that one class you went to where there were way more "ohms" than actual instructions, who could really blame you for thinking it's not the easiest form of exercise?
Not to say that yoga can't serve as a way to build and challenge your fitness, just that there's no need to see it as scary or impossible.
Because it's not. Sure, there are plenty of demanding poses and balances you can eventually work your way up to if you want, but on the other hand, there are also many poses that are simple and beginner-friendly; no extreme flexibility or superhuman balance necessary.
Ready to reap some of those benefits without feeling entirely overwhelmed? Try starting with these 12 simple and relaxing yoga poses for beginners.
This basic pose simply involves sitting back on top of your heels and looking straight ahead. If it feels good, you can stretch your arms above your head. Otherwise, simply rest your hands on your thighs and hold for three to five deep breaths.
Benefits: Diamond pose can help to calm your mind and strengthen your focus. It may also help to reduce back pain and strengthen your thigh muscles.
A gentle, backbend pose, to perform baby cobra start lying on your belly with your palms flat on the floor directly next your chest. Your fingertips should be in line with the front of your shoulders. Make sure to keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides as you press your hands into the floor and slowly lift your chest into a slight backbend. Concentrate on pressing your shoulder blades into your upper back and expanded your chest as you breathe in. Hold for three to five deep breaths.
Benefits: This pose will help counteract any pain or tension built up from spending long hours seated and hunched over your computer.