Beginner Extension Course I

Learn yoga basics with expert guidance in this introductory beginners yoga course. The Beginner Extension Course I is the third part of the four-part Yoga Selection online yoga for beginners program. Progress from beginner to intermediate in 18 video classes. The Yoga Selection beginners program is the most comprehensive and structured beginners program available online. It will help you to build a safe and solid foundation for your yoga practice. Once you complete the four-part beginner program you are then ready to progress to intermediate level classes.

The Beginner Extension Course I takes you through an introduction to inversions. There will also be a shift in the structure of the classes – with a focus on one particular group of poses in each individual class. You will commence with standing poses, then seated poses, backbends, and finally, restorative poses and breath awareness. This rotating approach ensures that you evenly cover the full spectrum of poses in a balanced way. This balanced approach to your practice will start to provide you with a corresponding feeling of balance in your body and mind.

Who is this course for?

  • Individuals new to yoga
  • Those new to Iyengar yoga
  • Anyone needing to re-visit basic yoga principles

Ideally, complete Basic Beginner Course (parts I and II) prior to commencing this course. Beginner Extension Course I is designed to extend the knowledge you have gained from the Basic Beginner Courses and develop it through to the intermediate level.

How will learning yoga help me?

People try yoga for varying reasons. You might be looking for relief from back pain or some other discomfort. Perhaps you are interested in sport and want to improve your performance or minimise your injury risk. Maybe you need a tool to manage stress. These are all good reasons to give yoga a try.

What do I get from this course?

  • A comprehensive and structured introduction to yoga using the Iyengar method
  • Essential foundations and key principles clearly communicated to help you go further on your yoga journey
  • Step by step tracking of your progression through the course
  • Email reminders to help keep you motivated and on track
  • Email support from your teacher

By now you have had some yoga experience and will be feeling more consistently stronger, flexible and energetic. You might notice you are more able to relax. Your concentration, whilst practicing and in other settings, may be more sustained. There will be a building sense of confidence in your body awareness and control as you learn inverted poses. The rotating and balanced structure to your practice found in this course can start to provide a corresponding feeling of balance in your body and mind.

To find out more about learning Iyengar yoga online as a beginner, see our blog article.

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Course Progress

Beginner Extension Course I - Class 1

Focus: This class groups together all the standing poses from the Basic Beginner courses. As well as looking at some of these familiar poses in a new light, you are introduced to a new standing pose called Virabhadrasana III. In addition to being energizing, standing poses are strengthening and help to correct imbalances in the body. They are stabilizing poses that help you to feel grounded and anchored in your feet. The preparation poses for headstand and handstand are explored in more detail. Be ready to practice these poses more regularly in each class.

Key Poses: All standing poses from the Basic Beginners Course, Virabhadrasana III, preparation for headstand and full arm balance.

Equipment: Mat, 2 blankets, bolster, 2 blocks, belt

Level: Beginner Extension

Duration: 55 min

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Beginner Extension Course I - Class 2

Focus: Class 2 focuses primarily on seated poses. You will revise the seated poses from the previous course and then develop them into forward bends. During this class you will learn how to practice forward bends without putting strain on your spine. Various techniques and methods are demonstrated. These techniques will help you to adapt to more advanced poses when the time is right. Notice the inward focus that is required for these poses. Forward bends can help you to feel a sense of containment and inner calm. You might find that they help to reduce anxiety.

Key Poses: Dandasana, Paschimottanasana, Buddha Konasana, Janu Sirsasana, Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana.

Equipment: Mat, 2 blankets, bolster, 2 blocks, belt

Level: Beginner Extension

Duration: 55 min

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Beginner Extension Course I - Class 3

Focus: Backbends are introduced in class 3. These poses will be brand new if you are progressing from the Basic Beginner Courses. You will be working mainly with preparatory poses, often referred to as “baby backbends”. These poses teach you the fundamental techniques required for backbends. They help to strengthen the muscles around the spine and bring some elasticity to the upper back. You have already been working with some backbend techniques in several of the standing poses from previous classes. These poses are also included in this tutorial to help you make the link between what is new and what is familiar. Backbends are often popular with yoga practitioners due to the energising and stimulating effect they have on the body and nervous system. They can assist in relieving low energy and depression.

Key Poses: Salabhasana, Chatushpadasana, Ustrasana

Equipment: Mat, 2 blankets, bolster, 2 blocks, belt.

Level: Beginner Extension

Duration: 55 min

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Beginner Extension Course I - Class 4

Focus: Miscellaneous poses with a focus on hip and shoulder opening are explored in class 4. “Miscellaneous” is a category used to denote poses which don’t easily fit in to the other categories previously described. Categorising classes in this way helps to ensure that no poses or areas of the body are overlooked. Thus helping to promote balance. There is then a section on restorative poses.  From this point onwards they will become regular additions to the constantly growing range of poses and sequences. Restorative poses are rejuvenating, and hence are helpful to practice when you are feeling low in energy or unwell. They are also great poses for helping you to become more aware of your breath. Thus they are often used in sequences where you are moving towards Pranayama. Pranayama is an aspect of yoga more directly concerned with the breath. You will start to look at this more in detail in future classes.

Key Poses: Viparita Karani, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Savasana.

Equipment: Mat, 2 blankets, bolster, 2 blocks, belt.

Level: Beginner Extension

Duration: 55 min

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  1. Erin G

    Thank you so much for all of these wonderful classes. None of the Iyengar studios in my area made it through the lockdown. I have missed this practice style so much and have been so happy to find your classes. 🙏🏻🧘🏼‍♀️

    • Di

      Hi Erin, it is wonderful to hear that we have helped you continue your Iyengar yoga practice, though sad to hear that some studios did not survive the Covid lockdowns.

  2. Jackie F

    Even tho I have practiced yoga for many years, my practice came to a standstill during lockdown. I finally decided to subscribe to your classes and I am so glad I did. I started right at the beginning and it has helped me tremendously. The slow build up is definitely the way to do it. Thank you.

    • Di

      Great to hear you have gotten back to your practice Jackie!

  3. Lora D

    Hi Rod, just wanted to say a big Thank you for the excellent teaching! I have done Iyengar yoga for 20 years, with various degrees of success and with variety of teachers. For health reasons I had to stop moving in the past 5 years. Having lost touch during the lockdown also with the yoga studios I used to attend, I was so happy to find your classes online! Practising with you is like practising in a live class – Your teaching is truly superb, and the attention to the right detail at the right time is helping me progress into the poses marvellously. Thank you! LD

    • Annmarie c

      I’m enjoying the beginner extension classes a lot.It brings me back to perfecting my yoga poses

      • Di

        Thank you Annmarie, even with some yoga experience it is always good to go back to basics.

  4. Patricia K

    Hi Rod
    I really enjoy your teaching. My iyengar yoga studio closed down during lockdown so l am delighted to have found this site. When doing the handstand feet up the wall I feel a bit of pressure in my lumber region. I’m also a bit scared. I use the belt at elbows to ensure my arms don’t collapse and can only stay up a few seconds. Any advice?

  5. Arthi R

    Hi Rod,
    Enjoyed this series. I had started of with the intermediate classes and then decided to come back to the B. Extension 1. It did quite a bit of good to the way I approached the inversions. I struggled to get my legs up the wall in the intermediate classes. Hopefully will make progress

    • Rod

      Hi Arthi,

      That sounds like a really good approach. It is really useful for all of us to consolidate the basics. It can sometimes help to repeat the classes before moving on, until you are feeling really comfortable. I am sure you will make progress that way.

      Best wishes,


  6. Ghanasham A

    Namaste Rod
    I am enjoying the beginners extensions course 1 although some of the asanas are bit tricky and I am struggling with them. Would you recommend getting comfortable in all asanas before moving on to next stage?


  7. Kirstie M

    Hi Rod
    happily my knee is coping well and is getting stronger – but I cannot seem to stay in a handstand prep position with feet up the wall for more than one breath – its so difficult – am i doing something wrong?
    Thanks, from London

    • Rod

      Hi Kirstie,

      Glad to hear that your knee is doing okay. Thank you for your question. One way to try and alleviate some of this struggle is to move your hands further away from the wall. You can also try and use a belt around your elbows (shoulder width loop, placed slightly above the elbow). As you get stronger and are able to stay longer you can then move back in towards the wall and eventually try without the belt. I hope this helps. Feel free to let me know how you go!

    • Rod

      Hi John,

      Sorry to hear you have found this confusing. I have just sent you an email and would like to assist you.

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