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Top 10 Yoga Workouts for Beginners

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Updated April 09, 2014

Eye of the Needle Pose - Sucirandhrasana

Eye of the Needle Pose - Sucirandhrasana

© Barry Stone
Top 10 Yoga Workouts for Beginners

Cow and Cat

© Barry Stone
Warrior II

Warrior II - Virabhadrasana II

© Barry Stone

One of the most challenging things about doing yoga at home (right up there with getting motivated) is figuring out how to sequence poses. After you take a lot of classes, you may start to notice that there are certain patterns that teachers follow repeatedly, but beginners often need a little help. That's why we're here! These ten short sequences are all appropriate for new yoga students. You can do them independently or run them together for a longer routine. Use them as building blocks and, with a little trial and error, you'll soon be set up with the perfect sequence for your home practice.

Part I. Warm Up

1. Warm-Up Sequence

  • 9 Poses
  • Focus: Hips, Shoulders, Spine
  • A quick warm-up series that touches on the major tension-holding areas of the body. You can do a few of these poses if you get to class early or do the whole sequence at home.

    2. Ten Simple Yoga Exercises

  • 10 Poses
  • Focus: Hamstrings and Hips
  • Yoga poses don't have to look like a crazy, twisted pretzel in order to be effective. The ten poses in this series are likely positions that are familiar to you. Do them regularly and you will definitely feel a difference in your body.

    3. Daily Stretch Routine

  • 10 Poses
  • Focus: Hamstrings, Hips, Spine
  • This is my go-to sequence for a short practice you can do every day. It's also a good place to start a longer practice. On the days when you have more time, add on one or more of the sequences below.

    Part II. Expand Your Routine

    4. Sun Salutation

  • 11-13 Poses (Depending on the version you choose.)
  • Focus: Whole Body

The sun salutation is a basic series of poses that moves you from the front of your mat to the back, warming up the whole body as you go. For this reason, it's often done at the beginning of vinyasa yoga classes and is a good way to start a home practice too. There are a few variations for beginning and advanced students, so pick the one that works best for you.

5. Standing Poses

  • 8 Poses
  • Focus: Legs, Particularly Hips and Hamstrings

This step-by-step guide leads you through a flowing sequence of eight classic standing poses, including warrior I and II, triangle, and half-moon.

6. Warrior Sequence

  • 6 Poses
  • Focus: Legs, Core

A shorter sequence than the previous one, but a little more challenging since it includes some balancing postures to incorporate core strength.

7. Strength Workout for Beginners

  • 9 Poses
  • Focus: Core, Arms, and Legs

    In order to move into intermediate poses like inversions and arm balances, you need to build up your strength, especially in the core. This sequence is designed to get you there.

    8. Improve Your Flexibility

  • 10 Poses
  • Focus: Hamstrings, Hips, and Shoulders

    With regular practice, you will be surprised how much you can change your level of flexibility. This series is broken down into three areas of focus and all the poses are accessible to most new beginners. It's a good idea to do these poses near the end of your practice when you are already warm.

    Part III. Cool Down

    9. Seated Hip Stretches

  • 5 Poses
  • Focus: Hips and Hamstrings

    Take advantage of the heat you have built to get a little deeper into your hips and hamstrings with a series of seated poses, including forward bends.

    10. Relaxation Sequence

  • 8 Poses
  • Focus: General Relaxation

    Cool down with these eight relaxing poses. Look for a few restorative postures and savasana. This sequence can also stand alone on days when you just need a few minutes of relaxation.

Related Video
Yoga Standing Pose Sequence
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