My Favorite Yoga Poses for a New Year and Fresh Start

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for me. I graduated from a crazy master’s program, and moved to a new city for a new job. I’ve hardly taken any time for myself in the past year. I’ve been relying on yoga more and more to help ground myself once again. As we turn a new page into a new year, yoga becomes a vehicle for fresh starts and personal transformation.

Downward Dog


Photo credit: Risavasana Yoga

Downward dog entails a complete change in perspective. Maybe that’s why I love it so much. In my humble opinion, downward dog is one of the most overlooked yoga poses. With your hips in the air and your head facing downwards, you are forced to embrace a new perspective. New perspectives help us break free. For directions to this pose, see here.

Warrior 1


Photo credit: Daku Resort via Flickr

Warrior 1 involves unleashing inner power as you stretch your hands in the air, and rely on the strength of your thighs and hamstrings. I love the pose for this reason: it strengthens the lower body and seems to unleash inner strength. Inner strength helps us make more positive changes as we work our way into the new year. I like to vary the pose a little bit: I love rounding my shoulders and reaching forward as I exhale, and inhaling as I reach my arms toward the sky. For directions on this pose, see here.

Mountain Pose


Photo credit: Pixa Bay

In my opinion, mountain pose is one of the simplest, and most transformative yoga poses. To the onlooker, it may look like you are simply standing, but in reality you are probably scanning your body which improves body awareness, or opening your heart which opens love and compassion. Awareness, love and compassion help us embrace the new year. I love standing with my hands at my heart, then ever so slowly lowering my hands out from my hips, palms facing forward to open my heart. For directions, see here.

Happy Baby


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Happy baby is one of the most calming yoga poses I’ve ever experienced.  Happy baby primes me to relax and embrace and child-like enthusiasm and openness. Let’s commit to living life like children this year. For directions, see here.


Now tell me…what are your favorite poses for new beginnings?


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