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International yoga expert Colleen Saidman once explained, “yoga offers women solace, reflection, joy, acceptance and ease in their bodies.” A regular yoga practice can provide benefits for the feminine body, mind and spirit. Below, we introduce 5 beginner yoga poses that are particularly beneficial for women. Be sure to join our newsletter to receive the second part of this article, 5 More Yoga Poses for Women. And special thanks to our friends at Surf Yoga Maui for these great photos!

Child’s Pose on the beach by Surf Yoga Maui

1. Child’s Pose: Great for resting, openings hips, and relieving lower back stiffness.

Kneel on the floor with big toes touching and knees about hip-width apart. Sit on your heels. Bring your forehead to the mat and extend arms straight in front of you. Breathe deeply. Stay here for at least one minute.

Downward facing dog pose at the beach by Surf Yoga Maui

2. Downward Facing Dog: Great upper body strengthener and inversion stimulates circulation.

With feet and knees hip-width apart, position hands about shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers wide. Press firmly through your hands and straighten your legs. Tighten thighs as you press them back. Relax the head and neck and let your shoulder blades slide down your back. Breathe deeply. Hold for at least one minute.

Plank pose on the beach by Surf Yoga Maui

3. Plank Pose:  Builds upper body strength, tightens core and strengthens muscles in your arms and back.

Start in a extended push up position. Press into the palms and bring your shoulders directly over your wrists. Press your heels back and extend the crown of your head forward to form a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Hold for at least 1 minute.

Tree pose on the beach by Surf Yoga Maui

4. Tree Pose: Stretches hips and thighs, improves posture, strengthens legs, spine, and core. Also, great for centering the mind.

Stand with your legs and feet together, hands on hips. Transfer weight to your right foot as you bend the left knee and place the sole of the left foot on the inside of your right leg. Gently press the left foot against the right leg. Bring the palms of your hands together in prayer pose. Hold for 1 minute on each side.

Warrior II pose on the beach by Surf Yoga Maui

5. Warrior II: Tightens and lengthens core muscles, legs, and arms.

Step your feet wide apart and turn your right foot so the toes point toward the front of your mat. Turn your left foot in. Keeping your palms down and arms parallel to the floor, raise your arms to shoulder height. Bend your right knee and tilt your tailbone under as you draw your core muscles in. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Straighten the leg and repeat on the opposite side.