Ready to try yoga, but worried about whether you can do some of those poses? Here's four beginner-level yoga poses with modifications that keep your curves in mind.
Downward facing dog is a core yoga pose, and an easy one to learn if you're just beginning. This modified downward facing dog is perfect if you're practicing at home. All you'll need is a yoga mat and a wall.
Come into Child’s Pose by tucking your legs under your bum and extending your arms on the floor in front of you. Your toes should just be touching the baseboard. Lift your hips until your bum is in the air, but your shins are still on the ground. Use your thigh muscles to raise yourself up into an upside-down V, but instead of keeping your feet flat on the ground, rest your heels on the wall while the balls of your feet are on the floor. This little bit of elevation takes the stress off of your hamstrings.
Feeling wobbly during warrior? Find a folding chair and turn it upside-down with the seat toward you. Step “through” the chair and use the legs to help yourself balance. Be sure to toss a towel over any bars between the chair’s legs to keep things soft (you can also use this to rest your thigh for additional support).
Forward fold, along with downward facing dog, are two of the key poses in a sun salutation (another pose, Upward Salute, is pictured below). Instead of keeping your legs straight and folding over at your waist, try bending your knees just slightly. Only bend forward as much as you feel able. As with the modified downward dog, bending your knees will put less stress on your hamstrings.
The lunge can also pose some balance problems for beginners. To help keep your balance and be kind to your knees, get a towel and place it on the floor under your knee. Instead of holding your hands above your head, place them on your knees. You’ll still get a good stretch without feeling out of balance.
Do you have any go-to modifications for your yoga practice? Tell us in the comments!