May 02 2017

Beginner Yoga: What You Should Know!


Yoga has become a big fitness trend over the past few years. If you are on social media such as Instagram, you may have come across fitness accounts of individuals doing difficult handstands or holding a complicated twisted pose that look nearly impossible to accomplish. Although these poses are neat to look at, they are not necessary to be able to do. If you are just starting out with incorporating yoga into your workout, you can try out a beginner yoga class to help you get more comfortable. The nice thing about yoga is that anyone can do it. Each of the poses have modifications if you are still working on improving your flexibility and strength.

My Experience

Before doing my first yoga class I will admit I was very intimidated as I’m sure a lot of people are. I was worried that I would not be up to speed with the different poses. Not only was I intimidated, but I really did not think I would get a good workout since I was used to doing cardio. I was pleasantly surprised during the class because even though I had never done a lot of the poses the instructor did a good job of describing the pose and showing it to the class. We also had yoga blocks and straps available to use as an aid to help if you are not quite flexible enough to do a pose with proper form and technique.

I was also surprised to find out that yoga is a very good workout, even though it is a different form of exercise than your typical cardio workout. I was definitely sore the next day from holding some of the poses. You would not guess it from watching someone that has experienced in yoga, but doing yoga and holding some of the poses takes a lot of strength. It also did not end up being as intimidating as I originally thought. Everyone in the class was at their own level, ranging from other beginners to people that were obvious regulars. Yoga is a very non judgemental form of exercise. It is not about what other people can do, but it’s about challenging yourself and working on your own practice.

Types of Yoga

There are several different types of yoga, two types of yoga that are offered at the CSU Recreation Center including Vinyasa Yoga and Power Yoga. Vinyasa Flow is a form or yoga which coordinates the breath and movement into a flowing sequence. It also typically incorporates a specific sequence of poses which includes moving from the chaturanga to upward facing dog or cobra to downward facing dog. Power yoga is a variation of Vinyasa Yoga that is focused on strength building.

Key Poses for the Beginner

There are a few key poses that you might want to know before your first yoga class. These are just some of the poses that are very common in your typical beginner yoga class.

Child’s Pose

Childs PoseTable Top

Table Top








Cat Cow Pose

Cat Cow Pose

Downward Dog

Downward Dog








Chaturanga Pose

Chaturanga PoseCobra

Cobra Pose








Tree Pose

Chair Pose

Chair Pose









Warrior 1

Warrior 1

Warrior 2

Warrior 2









Hopefully this will help to spark your interest in trying out yoga if you are a beginner! It is truly a great workout that you can continuously challenge yourself. Each time you practice, try to hold your poses longer or stretch a little bit further. Before trying out any new workout, be sure to consult your physician.


Contributed by Becca Hof, fitness and wellness enthusiast in the Adult Learning and Development Graduate Program at Cleveland State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics.

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