I recently found myself curious as to how I could transition between poses in yoga, and so I decided to make a list of all of the poses that I could think of. I searched through the videos I had saved on my phone and up popped a few that I had already done, but I realized that some of the poses I have done before I am too advanced for, and some I had not yet done. I am still trying to perfect the poses for poses that I have already done, I try to notice when I look at the video if I am comfortable with my form, and I try to find the right sequence to make it as easy as possible.
Everyone loves a good Yoga session, and a great way to start is with a beginner’s yoga routine. This post will walk you through the 6 Yoga pose transitions for beginners that can help to improve your body and mind!
In yoga, transitions are just as important as postures, if not more important. The transition from one posture to another requires a different physical and mental effort than that required to maintain a posture. Because the transitions between yoga poses are dynamic (rather than static), you stretch and strengthen your muscles and joints as you move, increasing and stabilizing your range of motion.
And you can tell a lot about yoga by the way it moves from one point to another – rushed, slow, bouncy, gentle, controlled? (Pro tip: you should aim for a certain amount of softness and control).
Below are some beginner’s postures with typical transitions. You’ll probably practice them in class (if you haven’t already). And if so, we’ve listed some tips to help you transition. Moreover, the list is conceived as a complete sequence of yoga exercises.
1. Cow to Cat pose
Start with the position on the table, on all fours. The shoulders should be above the wrists and the hips above the knees. Inhale and lower your belly to the ground, facing forward. The shoulders should be pulled up and back (shoulder blades close together) and the tailbone towards the ceiling.
Transition to chat : In the cow pose, begin to exhale and tilt the pelvis inward, arching the back. The gaze moves with the body, it is now focused on the belly.
Cat sitters tip: Activate the middle of the body and try to lift from the ground (but not up). You should feel like you’re retracting your belly and pulling the middle of your spine up towards the ceiling.
2. Deep half-squat slot
To begin a deep lunge, place the ball of your right foot on the floor in front of you, bring your left foot back and sink your left knee to the floor. The front knee and ankle should be in line and the toes of the back foot should be extended. Inhale and stretch across the spine, stretching upwards.
Low loin: To properly stretch your hips and prevent stretching of the hip capsule, tilt your pelvis back (posterior tilt).
Transition to half-split : As you exhale, extend your front leg and pull your hips back. This may be enough to stretch the Achilles tendon, and if so, stick with it. For more difficulty, rest your fingertips on the floor on either side of your front knee (or on blocks).
Tips for dividing the half: To prevent your chest from falling into the pose, keep your back straight and don’t twist your front leg.
3. Downward dog position in plank position
When you are in the downward dog position, place your arms and legs 3 to 5 feet apart (depending on your height). Form an inverted V, exhale and extend the chest towards the hips and the tailbone towards the ceiling. Push yourself off the ground and bring your heels closer to the floor.
Tip Down Dog: Instead of focusing on straight legs with your heels on the ground, try stretching your spine and arms. In the beginning, it is helpful to bend the knees slightly in the downward dog to become familiar with the pose.
Move over to the bar: As you inhale, move your body forward using your core muscles and align your shoulders with your wrists. The legs must be straight and in one piece. With the torso still in motion, the hips need to find the right balance (not too high, not too low). Bring your heels back as your neck neutralizes, and center your gaze a few inches from your fingertips.
4. Seat position before leaning forward
Squat into the chair position, spread your feet fist-width apart, bend your knees and lower your hips. Inhale and stretch along the spine, stretching the arms up and past the ears forward. Look forward and activate the middle of the body to bring the chest forward over the legs.
President’s Tip: It is also called the uncomfortable chair, but the position is actually uncomfortable. You must assume an intermediate position in the squat – not entirely comfortable, but not entirely uncomfortable either. Your knees should bend until the tips of your toes are above your knees.
Move to the forward folding position: As you exhale, stretch your knees and lift your hips. In the same movement, bend your upper body forward and downward, bending your hips and keeping your back straight. Relax your neck in a hunched position.
Forward folding tip : Keep your knees slightly bent to avoid straining your back.
5. Warrior II Triangle position
Standing in Warrior II stance, spread your feet a few feet apart and turn the back heel down at a 45 degree angle with the toes pointing outward. Note the alignment of the front and back heel. The front of the foot is facing forward and the front knee is bent at a 90 degree angle (with the knee above the ankle).
Breathe in. Extend the arms in a T-shape so that the front arm is extended forward over the front leg and the back arm is extended backward. Shift your gaze to the fingertips of your front hand and relax your shoulders down and away from your ears.
Council of Warriors II: The hips should be actively trying to open, and the diaphragm should be tense (which of course pulls the ribs in and the tailbone down).
Triangular transition: To get into the triangle position, extend the front knee and rotate the back leg 90 degrees (perpendicular to the front leg).
Keeping your arms in the T position, move your hips back as you exhale and extend your front arm as far forward as possible. Keeping your hips in neutral, begin to bend your upper body over your front leg, reaching down with your front arm and up with your back arm. Start looking up at the ceiling through your outstretched fingertips.
Advice on the installation of the triangle : Put your front hand lightly on your shin. OR press the back of your palm against the inside of your shin to create leverage for a wider opening in the stance.
6. Boat to Savasana
In seated position, lengthen your spine and assume the boat pose. As you inhale, lift your feet off the ground and bend your knees. Of course, the torso should move backwards so that the hips and torso are now in a V-shape. Look forward and extend your arms to your knees. Keep your back straight and bring your shoulder blades back and down.
Nautical Council: For greater difficulty, straighten your knees by stretching your legs lengthwise and upward.
Transition to Savasana : Keeping the body in the boat position, exhale and start stretching the legs. At the same time, slowly lower the rest of your body to the ground. Savasana is the last resting posture in yoga. Calm yourself in this pose by releasing your body, your mind, your thoughts and any tension.
Transitions can be difficult and seem strange at first, but always start by finding a solid foundation and stability before moving on to the next pose. Don’t forget to engage the diaphragm, so that these muscles can guide the transition to a different position.
Transitions can teach us, off the mat, to move from one situation to another with grace, reflection and ease. And most importantly: have fun! Find expression in your movements and give them meaning rather than just performing the movements.
Yoga is definitely one of the best ways to get into physical shape, but it can be confusing to know how to do each pose in the right sequence. It can be even more confusing when you’re new to it all. If you’re reading this right now, chances are you’re already interested in yoga. That’s great news, because there’s a lot you can do to improve your posture, health, appearance, and body. If you’re new to yoga, you’re probably wondering why it’s so popular, and there are a few reasons.