Foundation Poses

Breathing for Beginners
Breathing for Beginners

05:31 | Charlie Taylor-Rugman

Breathing Basics

An introduction to how to breathe in yoga classes. In this tutorial you'll also learn how to notice the movement of the breath.

MoveTime Teacher Level
05:31 Charlie Taylor-Rugman Beginners
 

What is it and Why

The breath is crucial for your physical and mental health and provides a meditative focus in yoga. Breath exercises are one of the key components of yoga. The breath can be simple and accessible to all of us and breath work can become increasingly more complicated.  For beginners, we recommend becoming more aware of the breath as you move and to take full breaths.

How to do it
  • Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands on your belly and as you inhale feel your belly rise under your hands and as you exhale feel your belly.
  • Move your hands to the side of your ribcage and feel the side of your ribs expanding away from each other as you breathe in and draw in as you breathe out.
  • Try raising your arms over your head as you inhale and bring them back by your side as you exhale.
Hints
  • Try not to hold your breath - sometimes this can happen when you are doing something a bit tricky or concentrating hard but you’ll feel better for breathing through it!
     

Cat Cow
Cat Cow

50 | Adam Hocke

Cat Cow

You will learn how to move through a key warm-up for the spine in under a minute.

MoveTime Teacher Level
50 Adam Hocke Beginners

Benefits

A great warm-up for the spine and to help you connect to the breath as you move.

How to do it
  • Begin on your hands and knees with your shoulders over wrists and your hips over knees.
  • Take a slow inhale, and on the exhale, round your spine and drop your head towards the floor (this is the 'cat' posture).
  • Inhale and lift your head, chest, and tailbone towards the ceiling as you arch your back for 'cow.'
Hints
  • Moving from all-fours is a great option if you find high lunges difficult.
  • If your knees are sore - pad up with a blanket or double fold your mat.

Downward Dog
Downward Dog

03:28 | Andrew McGonigle

Downward Dog Tutorial

Learn one of yoga's fundamental poses which you will encounter in almost every class.

MoveTime Teacher Level
03:28 Andrew McGonigle All Levels
 

What is it and Why

Downward Dog looks like an inverted V, gives you a great spinal stretch, builds strength and increases flexibility. Eventually, this will become a resting pose, though it might not feel that way yet! 

How to do it
  • Come onto your hands and knees, push your hands into the floor as you arch your back. It’ll feel like you’re trying to look at your belly button.
  • Keep pushing into your hands and the balls of your feet as you tone your belly, which might feel like you’re pulling it back towards the spine.
  • Finally, move your hips and bottom towards the ceiling as you continue to push into your hands and feet.
Hints
  • Press firmly into the hands, and try experimenting with how far you turn out your hands out!
  • Try bending your knees when you first get into the pose.
  • Don’t worry if your heels don’t touch the floor - this isn’t the aim of the pose!
     

Child's Pose
Child's Pose

42 | Adam Hocke

Child's Pose

A child's pose tutorial from Adam Hocke.

MoveTime Teacher Level
42 Adam Hocke Beginners
 

What and Why

Child’s pose draws the body back into the foetal position and is often used to rest in between poses. In this pose, your gaze both literally and metaphorically are drawn inwards.

How to do it
  • Kneel down, sitting on your heels with your knees, shins and feet on the floor.
  • Fold forward over your knees and bring your forehead to rest on the floor in front of you.
  • Your arms can be folded back alongside your shins with the palms facing up, or ahead of you with forearms on the floor and palms facing down.
Hints
  • Keep your feet close together but you can bring your knees apart for greater comfort
  • You can place a rolled up blanket under your ankles for comfort
  • You can place a foam block or blanket under your forehead
  • Focus on how your breath moves within your body - the front of the body can feel restricted in this pose but this enables us to direct our breath more fully into our back body

Mountain Pose
Mountain Pose

03:58 | Andrew McGonigle

Mountain Pose Tutorial

Mountain pose is the basic standing pose in yoga. This tutorial helps you find alignment and build strength.

MoveTime Teacher Level
03:58 Andrew McGonigle All Levels
 

What and Why

This might look like standing up, and it is, but it is also a great way to feel your muscular strength as every muscle in your body is engaged in this pose.

How to do it
  • Come to stand up, with your arms by your side.
  • Feel your heel and the ball of the foot pressing into the floor keeping the knees a little soft, and your toes spreading out
  • Feel your crown rising up to the ceiling and as you do so, feel how your body from your waist up is reaching upwards and from the waist down is being drawn towards the floor.
Hints
  • Press the balls of your feet and your heels down firmly to feel your arches rise
  • Feel your inner thighs draw backwards and the corresponding rise you feel in the belly
  • Keep the natural arches in your back
  • Can your head float above your body, balloon like?

Cobra
Cobra

03:02 | Andrew McGonigle

Baby Cobra

A step by step tutorial to Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) with an attention to alignment given by our Dr Yogi, also giving a variation on the pose.

MoveTime Teacher Level
03:02 Andrew McGonigle All Levels
 

What is it and Why

A great pose to get used to backbending and one that will help ease out the kinks from sitting hunched at a computer.  Like all backbends, cobra can help to alleviate back pain, be energising and help alleviate depression. Cobra is a perfect foundational pose as it teaches you how to work your belly, legs and pelvis in a backbend.

How to do it
  • Lie down on your front, with your legs out straight and your forehead touching the floor
  • Bring your hands under your shoulders and press into the floor
  • Lift up your chest and your head and on an exhale lower gently back
Hints
  • Use the strength of the core and the tone in the belly to help lift the chest and head off the floor.
  • Aim for smoothness in the curve of your back rather than going for the deepest arch - an evenness rather than intensity is what you are after.

Warrior II
Warrior II

02:49 | Kate Walker

Warrior 2 Pose - Tutorial

Warrior II helps you to find strength and stability and is another standing pose you will return to repeatedly. This will help you to get to grips with this powerful standing pose.

MoveTime Teacher Level
02:49 Kate Walker All Levels
 

What is it and Why

Warrior II is a powerful pose incorporating the legs, arms and core.  There is a deep hip opening, deepening focus and can challenge our balance too. In addition to its strengthening properties, the pose can feel at once grounding and uplifting and makes us feel powerful. 

How to do it
  • Stand with your feet wide apart. Turn one foot in slightly, pushing this heel into the floor.  This will become your back heel 
  • Turn your other foot out and bend the knee 
  • Raise your arms out wide at shoulder height, with your palms facing down 
Hints
  • Remember to breathe and soften your gaze. Warrior II requires some challenge to maintain; don’t do so at the expense of an expansive breath, and letting tension creep into the shoulders. 
  • Press down on the outside of both feet.  Make sure your bent knee doesn’t begin to turn in.
  • Feel a broadening across the collar bones.

Triangle
Triangle

04:28 | Andrew McGonigle

Trikonasana Tutorial

This tutorial takes you step by step into Trikonasana (triangle pose), a wonderful pose for developing strength in our legs and length through the sides of our body.

MoveTime Teacher Level
04:28 Andrew McGonigle All Levels
 

What is it and Why

In this pose, you strengthen your legs and get a fantastic side body stretch. It opens the shoulder and stretches the spine.

How to do it
  • Step your feet wide apart.  If you feel a pinching in the hip joint in this pose as you move, you might need to move the feet closer.
  • Turn your left foot to the left and your right foot in slightly, and then lift the arches of both feet by spreading the toes.
  • Gently roll your right thigh inwards, lift your arms out wide to the side at shoulder length and then stretch out across to the left and bend down sideways over the left leg and bring your right hand first to the right hip and then raise it towards the ceiling.
  • Repeat on the other side.
Hints
  • Keep your right hip rolling back, whilst the right thigh rolls in, when bending to the left (and vice versa).
  • If raising your top arm is difficult, keep the hand on its hip but do turn the torso open.
  • Look in the direction that is most comfortable for your neck: this could be up, straight ahead or down! None are better than the others.

Tree
Tree

03:01 | Andrew McGonigle

Tree Pose (Vriksasana) Tutorial

This tutorial takes you step by step into Tree Pose, a wonderful asana to help you to develop focus, build core strength and find the balance between effort and ease in your practice. This tutorial takes you step by step into Vriksasana, a great asana to build strength in your legs, length in your side body and improve mobility and length in your spine.

MoveTime Teacher Level
03:01 Andrew McGonigle Beginners
 

What is it and Why

A great pose to improve balance and focus the mind. This one may feel familiar from childhood and will strengthen your legs and ankles too! 

How to do it
  • Come to standing and put your weight onto one foot. 
  • Place the other foot against the standing leg either at the ankle, on the shin or against the inner thigh. 
  • The arms can either be placed overhead or at the heart in prayer. 
Hints
  • Pushing the hands together can assist in steadiness.
  • Look at one point ahead of you.
  • Wobbling is normal, don't worry if you topple out of it, that's normal. The skill is to come back into the pose without beating yourself up.
     

Seated Twist
Seated Twist

02:17 | Andrew McGonigle

Seated Twist Tutorial

A guide to the seated twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) shown by Dr Yogi.

MoveTime Teacher Level
02:17 Andrew McGonigle All Levels
 

What is it and Why

Twists are a great way to release tension in the muscles of the abdomen and help with digestion and increase blood circulation.  In addition to this, twists keep the spine mobile. 

How to do it
  • Sit on a foam block if you have one with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Bring your left heel towards your bum and then cross the ankle outside of your right knee.
  • Twist with your ribcage to your left. 
  • Bring your left hand to the floor behind you and your right hand to your left knee. 
  • Bring length to your torso and twist round. 
  • Repeat on the other side.  
Hints
  • Root down through your sitting bones, reach up through your crown and twist from the navel.
  • Notice how your neck feels, remember it is a part of the spine and should follow the same direction rather than being yanked around.
  • Lengthen along the collar bones.
     

Bridge
Bridge

02:39 | Andrew McGonigle

Bridge Pose Tutorial

The bridge pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana as guided by Dr Yogi. A step by step guide to the alignment to watch in this pose.

MoveTime Teacher Level
02:39 Andrew McGonigle All Levels
 

What is it and Why

Bridge pose is both a backbend and a slight inversion.  Bridge can be both a restorative pose or a stimulating pose which opens and strengthens the body in particular the mid and upper back as well as giving the hips a stretch.

How to do it
  • Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip distance apart and your arms down by your side.
  • Push your feet into the ground, lift your hips and roll up in your lower, middle and upper back
  • Roll your shoulders underneath and clasp your hands together on the floor under you
  • Roll down slowly after a few breaths in bridge pose.
Hints
  • Make sure your ankles are directly under your knees
  • Allow there to be length in your neck, allowing for its natural curve.

Sun Salutation
Sun Salutation

03:59 | Sylvia Garcia

Sun Salutation Tutorial

This is a fantastic tutorial dedicated to Sun Salutations, which appear in varying forms throughout many different styles of yoga, especially Vinyasa Flow sequences. With specific focus on precision and alignment, Sylvia will guide you on how to perfect this pose which can be very useful for your future practice.

MoveTime Teacher Level
03:59 Sylvia Garcia Beginners
 

What is it and Why

The sun salutation links movement and breath and moves and flexes every part of the body, providing a great warm-up, flow and mini-practice all of its own. The sun salutation also recognises the importance of the sun with its life giving properties. You will move through a number of the poses featured in our beginners section.

How to do it

There are several different variations of the sun salutation and you will encounter it in almost every class. We suggest watching the video above to begin to learn the sequence but the principle steps are set out below:

  • Stand in mountain pose, lift the arms above the head on an inhale.
  • Forward fold on an exhale
  • Lift half way up, with your hands on your shin and your head reaching towards the horizon.
  • Forward fold.
  • Step back into a plank
  • Roll down onto your belly
  • Pressing your feet and legs into the floor, bring your hands under your shoulders and rise up into a little cobra
  • Push back into a dog, take a few long breaths
  • Step to the front of your mat
  • Lift half way up, with your hands on your shin and your head reachign towards the horizon.
  • Forward fold.
  • Come up slowly raising your arms above your head.
  • Come back to mountain pose.
Hints
  • Before forward folding, feel the feet rooting into the ground and your crown reaching up.
  • Become aware of your breathing before moving.