The 20 Fundamental Poses

Create a solid foundation for your beginning practice with this pose sequence. Twenty fundamental poses are covered in this 31-step sequence.
∗ MP3 Audio Downloads available for this Sequence
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Downloadable MP3 Audio for this Sequence:
1. Seated Meditation • 2. Fundamental Poses3. Shavasana

1. Start in Easy Pose

easy pose

A. Inhale and press the hips down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Relax the face and rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

B. Lengthen the inhalation and exhalation by breathing deeply into the belly through the nose. Release any thoughts or distractions and let the mind be focused on the breath.

C. Breathe and hold for 10-30 breaths.

2. Recommended: use whole body warm-up for 1-2 repetitions

3. Come into Table position on your hands and knees

table pose

A. Place the palms under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.

B. The back is flat and the gaze is between the hands.

C. Press back through the tailbone and forward through the crown of the head to lengthen the spine.

4. Inhale into Dog Tilt

Dog tilt pose

A. Reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling by arching the spine and letting the belly drop towards the floor.

B. Press down into the palms to drop the shoulders away from the ears and look up at the ceiling.

5. Exhale into Cat Tilt

cat tilt

A. Tuck the tailbone under by rounding the spine and pulling the belly up towards the spine.

B. Press down into the palms to reach the middle of the back up towards the ceiling. Let the head hang from the neck.

6. Repeat #3 and #4 moving with the breath 3-6 times

7. From Dog tilt, exhale into Downward Facing Dog

table pose

A. Tuck the toes under, bend the elbows and lift the hips up and back.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck.

C. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

D. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

8. Exhale and bend the knees to the floor into Child Pose

child pose

A. Press the hips to the heels with the tops of the feet flat to the floor. Let the forehead rest on the floor and allow the body to completely relax.

B. Breathe deeply into the belly for 3-6 breaths.

9. Slide the arms forward and scoop into Cobra

cobra pose

A. Press the palms flat to the floor directly under the shoulders to lift the crown up. Relax the shoulders down and back to press the chest forward.

B. If the back feels strained, bend the elbows more or come onto the forearms.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breath

10. Exhale into Downward Facing Dog

table pose

A. Tuck the toes under, bend the elbows and lift the hips up and back.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck.

C. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

D. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

11. From Down Dog, step both feet forward into Forward Fold

yoga posture

A. Press the palms flat to the floor and lift the hips up by straightening the legs, if necessary keep the knees slightly bent.

B. Use the arms to press the forehead in towards the legs, use the legs to lift the hips up towards the ceiling.

C. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

D. Bend the knees, walk the hands behind you and lower the hips to the floor.

12. Bend the knees and slowly roll up into Mountain

yoga pose

A. Bend the knees and slowly roll the spine up to standing with the feet close together.

B. Palms are lightly pressed together with the shoulders down and back and the chest pressing in towards the thumbs. Crown of the head lifts up, chin is parallel to the floor.

C. Breathe and hold for 1-3 breaths.

13. Inhale and step or jump out into Five Pointed Star

yoga pose

A. Step or jump the feet out wide apart with the arms out to the sides. Feet are parallel, directly under the wrists.

B. Press down into the feet, out through the fingertips and up through the crown of the head

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

14. Exhale into Triangle

yoga posture

A. Turn the right toes towards the right wall and the left toes slightly in towards center. Press the left hip out and slide the arms to the right. Rotate just the arms, resting the back of the right hand against the inside of the right leg.

B. Press down through the feet and out through the fingers and crown.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

15. Inhale into Warrior II

yoga pose

A. Inhale the arms parallel to the floor. Bend the right knee directly over the ankle into a deep lunge. Keep the hips and chest forward and look at the right middle finger.

B. Press down through the feet and out through the fingers and crown.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

16. Rotate the torso and inhale the arms up into Warrior I

yoga pose

A. Turn the hips and torso forward while keeping the legs in a lunge position. Inhale the arms towards the ceiling.

B. Relax the shoulders down from the ears and press the chest forward.

C. Breathe and hold for 1-3 breaths.

17. Inhale and step forward into Mountain

yoga pose

A. Step the feet together at the top of your mat, bring your palms together in front of your chest.

B. Lightly press the palms together and let the shoulders roll down and back. Reach the chest towards the thumbs. The crown of the head lifts up; the chin is parallel to the floor.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

18. Repeat #13 through #17 on the other side, with the right leg forward

19. From Mountain, exhale and hinge at the hips into Forward Fold

yoga posture

A. Inhale the arms out to the sides and exhale and hinge at the hips rounding forward. Bend the knees enough to hold onto the backs of the ankles and to press the head against the knees. Gently pull with the arms, bend the elbows to the back wall and press down into the feet to reach the hips up.

B. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

20. Step back into Downward Facing Dog

table pose

A. With the palms on the floor, step one foot back at a time.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips up and back. Let the head hang from the neck.

C. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

D. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

21. Come into Table position on your hands and knees

table pose

A. Place the palms under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.

B. The back is flat and the gaze is between the hands.

C. Press back through the tailbone and forward through the crown of the head to lengthen the spine.

22. Cross the ankles and sit back into Easy Pose

easy pose

A. Inhale and press the hips down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Relax the face and rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

B. Breathe and hold for 1-2 breaths.

23. Extend the left leg forward into Seated Head to Knee

yoga pose

A. With the left leg straight, bring the right foot against the left thigh. Inhale the arms up and interlace the fingers. Exhale forward bending the knee enough to get the fingers around the toes.

B. Press the head in towards the knee, press out through the left heel and gently pull back on the toes.

C. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

24. Cross the left foot over the right knee into Seated Twist

yoga pose

A. Cross the left foot over the right knee and wrap the right arm around the left knee. Bring the left arm behind your back and look over the left shoulder.

B. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

25. Exhale and bring the bottoms of the feet together into Bound Angle

yoga posture

A. With the bottom of the feet together, interlace the fingers around the toes. Press down into the hips and up through the crown. Roll the shoulders down and back and press the chest forward.

B. Close the eyes and look up at the third eye point. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

26. Repeat #23 through #25 on the other side, with the right leg forward

27. Straighten both legs and exhale forward into Forward Bend

yoga posture

A. Bend the knees enough to hold onto the feet or ankles. Round the spine and press the head in towards the knees.

B. Press out though the heels and pull back on the toes. Relax the head, neck and shoulders.

C. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

28. Lower your back to the floor and inhale into Bridge

yoga posture

A. Bring the feet hip width apart with the toes pointed forward, slide the arms alongside the body with the fingers lightly touching the backs of the heels.

B. Inhale and lift the hips and spine up by pressing into the feet and engaging the lower and core body. Press down into the arms and shoulders to help lift the chest up.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

29. Bend the knees into Wind Relieving Pose

yoga posture

A. Bend the knees into the chest and wrap the arms around them, holding on to the elbows, wrists or fingers.

B. Press the tailbone, shoulders and back of the neck down into the floor as you pull the knees in to feel a stretch in the low back.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

30. Exhale and release into Shavasana

yoga posture

A. Release the legs straight and slide the arms alongside of the torso. The arms are 6-8 inches from the sides of your body and the palms are facing up.

B. Close the eyes and consciously relax the body from the toes to the crown of the head.

C. Breathe deeply through the nose into the belly and hold for 10-15 minutes.

31. End in Easy Pose

yoga posture

A. Bend the knees and slowly roll over to one side. Press up into a seated position.

B. Inhale and press the hips down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Relax the face and rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

C. Lengthen the inhalation and exhalation by breathing deeply into the belly through the nose. Release any thoughts or distractions and let the mind be focused on the breath.

D. Breathe and hold for 10-30 breaths.

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Comments 10

  1. Thank you for the downloads. It’s nice to have something to listen to as well as seeing the postures.

  2. thanks very much! this has been a perfect introduction to yoga practice! i used this sequence in conjunction with ‘whole body’ warm ups and ‘classic sun salutation’ to create what feel to me like a great practice for a beginner! again thank you, the audio leads were extremely helpful. cheers.

  3. tandgrad40 – please use our contact page to send a message to customer service. We need your email address to look up your account to see what the issue might be.

  4. I just signed up for a 1 year premium membership. I am unable to access the fundamental pose sequence and the emotional release sequence. Please advise

  5. Gurmukhi – please use our contact page to send a message to customer service. We need your email address to look up your account to see what the issue might be.

  6. I have tried to begin a yoga practice many times before over the past 30 years and with yogabasics.com I am finally being successful. I appreciate the clear instructions with cues for breathing, transitions, how to modify, and how to increase intensity. As a former professional dancer and now living with chronic back pain, I’m grateful to be able to move in my daily life with less pain as a result of trying new patterns (poses and the order of them) without having to go see my doctor because I pushed too hard. I’m beginning to think of myself as strong and whole again instead of broken. Thank you!

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