Beginner Yoga Routine

Learn to Practice Yoga With Our Guide and Tips

Do you think yoga is a little complicated or intimidating? A beginner yoga routine of starter poses can help you master the basics, and before long you will be practicing the Asanas like an experienced pro. 

Are you avoiding yoga because you are overwhelmed at the thought of twisting your body into awkward pretzel-like postures? Are you worried about looking completely clueless because you can't learn the long Sanskrit names? 

Yes, taking yoga for the first time can be intimidating, but like anything else, with practice you will become more comfortable and confident. And, the benefits of participating in physical activity routines like yoga can be amazing! 

It is true that some yoga poses and sequences can be quite involved, but there are many simple and easy postures that can be mastered by almost everyone.


Tips for Getting Started

If you are a beginner, the first thing you need to know is that there are a lot of misconceptions:

warrior ll pose on the beach
  • No, you do not need to be able to stretch like an elastic band or be able to put you left foot behind your right ear to practice yoga. Yes, the various poses are designed to improve flexibility, but even the tightest, stiffest person can still see great results.

  • No, you don't have to do a lot of chanting or meditation. There are many styles of yoga, and some focus more on the spiritual and calming aspect like restorative poses while others emphasize improving muscle mass and stamina.
  • Yes, yoga can help you lose weight. Relaxing the mind and relieving stress is an important aspect of yoga, but it is also a great way to burn fat, trim inches, and tone up flabby areas.

  • Yes, you will get a cardio/aerobic workout. If you think that the slower, flowing movements of yoga means that you will not raise your heart rate or work up a sweat, then you are in for a huge surprise. If you are looking for a great cardio workout then choose a style of yoga that is more fitness-based such as Vinyasa or Power yoga.

Where to Go and What to Do

1. Find A Good Studio/Class: If possible, try to join a class that is geared to new students. This way, you won't feel so out of place since everyone will be at a beginner level.

2. Choose a Style: Some people take one yoga class and decide that it isn't for them. But, there are many different styles, so you may dislike one and absolutely love another. Some styles are very specific about temperature so the room can be quite hot and humid. Some types are slower moving while others flow from one pose to the next quite quickly.

Still others will focus more on meditation or relaxation rather than toning and weight loss. Research the different types of yoga and then try a few classes to find a style that suits your personality, fitness level, and personal goals. Some studios even offer free or reduced rate classes for new students who are wanting to decide which program to join.

3. Dress Appropriately: Stretchy, breathable clothing is usually best. You should try to wear a more fitted shirt so that it doesn't twist around, bunch up, or fall over your face during inverted poses. Struggling to keep your clothing in place can be a big distraction and will likely take away from the focus and concentration that are fundamental to most yoga styles. 

4. Buy A Good Mat: Some gyms will have mats available, but considering all the sweating you will be doing, it is a good idea to buy your own. Besides, you will probably want to practice the poses at home anyway.

5. Learn The Etiquette: Each studio will have their own rules so be sure to ask about what is expected. Most classes require you to remove your socks and shoes.

There are also guidelines on when you should or shouldn't leave the class. Typically, proper etiquette states that you should only leave the room between certain poses and never during the Savasana, or final pose.

6. Don't Eat Before Your Class/Workout: Some of the yoga postures, particularly the twists are designed to detoxify and improve the digestive system. Performing these poses on a full stomach could be uncomfortable. If you must eat, keep it to a light snack.

7. Master The Basics: Proper body alignment, breathing, and movement between postures is very important. Once you master the basic Asanas and improve your balance, strength, and flexibility, you can move on to the more difficult poses or sequences.

Be Committed: To enjoy the most benefits, you should practice yoga regularly. It may take a couple of months to see significant results, but your persistence will pay off.


forward bend yoga poseTaylor Demonstrating the Yoga Forward Bend Pose



Beginner Yoga Routine

It is recommended that you take at least a couple of classes so you can learn how to perform the basic postures properly. Once you are comfortable and confident with the fundamentals, you should be able to practice yoga right in the comfort of your own home.

Since it is important to maintain a smooth flow between movements, designing a sequence can often be challenging. However, creating your own routine at home can be quite simple if you follow a basic pattern.



A typical yoga sequence will usually include the following:

  • Warm-up and stretches
  • Sun Salutations
  • Standing poses
  • Back bends
  • Forward bends
  • Seated Poses
  • Inversion Poses
  • Twists and Supine Poses
  • Savasana (Corpse Pose)

 

Beginner Yoga Categories and Poses

Choose 1-2 poses from each category. Hold each posture for 3-15 breaths, depending on how quickly you want to shift from one movement to the next. If you need to rest in between poses, simply move into Child's Pose (pictured below) and hold this posture until you are ready to move on.

CATEGORIES

POSES

Warm Up Stretches

Sun Salutations 

Sun A & B

Standing Poses

Downward Dog, Side Angle Pose, Full Squat Pose, Mountain Pose, Crescent Lunge Pose, Pyramid, Triangle, Tree Pose, Warrior I, Warrior II, Dolphin Pose

Back Bend Poses

Locust Pose, Camel Pose Cow/Cat Pose, Bow Pose, Scorpion Pose, Bridge Pose, Fish Pose, Child's Pose

Forward Bend Poses

Seated Forward Bend, Standing Forward Bend, Dolphin Pose

Seated Poses

Staff Pose, Cobbler's Pose, Pigeon Pose

Inversion Poses

Legs-up-on-Wall Pose, Plow Pose, Shoulder Stand Pose, Downward Dog, Fish Pose

Twists and Supine Poses

Reclined Twists, Half-Lord-Of-Fishes Pose, Reclining Pose, Hero Pose

Savasana   (end of class)


Corpse Pose



Other pages that might interest you:



I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum



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