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Try This Basic Beginner Yoga Sequence for All Levels

Yoga can be intimidating if you’re just starting out, but you don’t have to be a seasoned practitioner to gain the many benefits that yoga offers. There are many physical benefits of yoga, and this beginner yoga sequence is for everyone!

From endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility, science has shown over and over the many healthy benefits that even the most simple yoga practice can have.

Even a very basic yoga practice can benefit your overall health and well-being. So without further ado, let’s jump in! All you need is comfy clothing and ideally a yoga mat (but if you don’t have one, a beach blanket or towel works too!).

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Practice This Basic Beginner Yoga Sequence to Increase Strength and Flexibility:

Practice this beginner yoga sequence regularly to increase your flexibility and strength.

1. Upward Salute, Forward Fold, and Mountain Pose

Moutain Upward Salute Forward Fold

Physical movement can positively impact your emotions, and raising your arms above your head helps. Notice how your mood changes by these simple movements up and down.

Let’s Try It:

  • Start in Mountain Pose standing with your feet hips-width distance apart
  • With an inhale, lift your arms above your head and stay for the exhale
  • Take a big inhale through your nose and look up toward the ceiling
  • On your exhale, breathe out from your nose and bend your knees, coming into a Standing Forward Fold
  • Bend your knees as much as you need to, allowing the back of your legs to feel a stretch while your upper body lays over your legs
  • After staying in Standing Forward Fold for a few breaths, take a deep inhale and lift back up into Mountain Pose

 

2. Neck Circles and Side Stretches

Neck Rolls

Neck pain is a major cause of disability in everyday life and at work in many countries, so ensuring your neck is free of pain is very important.

Let’s Try It:

  • Stand (or sit) up tall with your spine lengthened
  • Drop your head to your right shoulder, then drop your head back, then to the left, then tuck your chin to your chest
  • Continue this motion for a few breaths before switching directions
  • After you’ve finished your neck circles, reach your right arm up toward the ceiling and then over to the left side for a side stretch (like your arm is drawing a rainbow), and hold
  • While you are holding this position, breathe deeply
  • Hold this opening side stretch for a few breaths and then switch to the left side
  • Side Stretches

 
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3. Tabletop Into Downward Facing Dog

Now we will begin to create larger movements in your body to start to get all of your joints involved.

table top

Let’s Try It:

  • Come onto all fours on your hands and knees
  • From there, curl your toes and lift your knees off of the mat
  • Then move your glutes back toward your heels. If they can touch, allow them to
  • Finally, straighten your legs as you rest in Downward Facing Dog and feel the back of your legs lengthen

Downward Dog

Feel you need to learn the basic poses before jumping into your beginner yoga sequence? Here are the 10 Most Common Beginner Yoga Poses (And How to Practice Each Pose)

4. Hip Circles

Hip Circles

Research has shown that prolonged sitting and leading a sedentary life can compromise metabolic health. Oftentimes, the hips feel the brunt of a sedentary lifestyle, so to stretch the hips, begin with gentle hip circles.

Let’s Try It:

  • In a standing position, let your feet be wider than hips-width distance apart
  • Put your hands on your hips and move your hips like you are hula dancing in a big circle

5. Heel-to-Glutes

Heel to Glutes

To stretch the muscles that flex the hips, start standing.

Let’s Try It:

  • Pull one heel to your glute and hold
  • Take a big inhale through your nose and a bigger exhale from your nose before switching to the opposite side

6. Lunges

Low Lunge

Lunges help us get even deeper into the hips!

Let’s Try It:

  • To begin, step your right foot back as far as possible and bend your left knee, making sure your ankle is in line with your knee
  • Bring both hands and your right knee to the ground as you rock forward and back, loosening muscles in your hips
  • If you want to intensify, bring your hands up to your hips or even high to the sky and hold
  • Before switching to the opposite side, take five deep inhales and exhales from your nose

Low Lunge arm Extension

 

7. Seated Forward Fold Into Seated Twist

Seated

Before you take a final rest, come to your seat for a final stretch and spinal twist.

Let’s Try It:

  • Allow your legs to extend long out in front of you and lengthen your spine
  • On an inhale, reach your arms high toward the sky and look up
  • On an exhale, fold over your legs and reach your hands toward your feet
  • Seated Forward Fold

  • Stay folded for a few breaths, ensuring that you can still breathe deeply
  • After you’ve held the Seated Forward Fold, transition out of the pose by walking your hands back toward your hips and sit upright once again
  • Bring both hands to the ground on the outside of your right hip, and on an exhale twist your torso to the right
  • Seated Twist

  • Stay for a few moments in the twist, before switching to the left side

 
Is back pain stopping you from practicing? These 6 Beginner-Friendly Yoga Poses Will Help Ease Your Back Pain

8. Savasana

Savasana

Lastly, allow yourself to chill! Research has shown that prolonged strain on the body from stress can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses including mental disorders.

Meditation in Savasana can ignite the parasympathetic nervous system in your body and reduce your risk of these harmful effects.

Whether you choose to lie down flat on your back, sit cross-legged, or something in between, Savasana is a well deserved pause before you exit your yoga practice on your mat and resume daily life. Use it wisely!

Let’s Try It:

  • Let your body relax completely and allow your breath to deepen
  • Set a timer for a few minutes and simply breathe and relax – you have earned it!

 
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Experience the Immense Benefits of This Beginner Yoga Sequence

Whether you consider yourself a yogi or simply want to find a form of movement that helps you feel good mentally and physically, yoga can improve your health.

If the spiritual side of yoga interests you, you can explore and find more information to dive into. But, feel welcome to practice yoga for the physical benefits as well. It is all beneficial.

The Science Behind Yoga and Spirituality: 3 Reasons Yoga Leads to Spiritual Growth

Science has proven that movement is beneficial for your body, and using yoga is a great way to receive these benefits! Taking a no-frills approach to the practice can still greatly benefit your body and your mind.
 

Ready for More Beginner Yoga Sequences?

Learn all about the fundamentals of yoga with Beginner Yoga Basics on YA Classes by YogiApproved!

With Leah Sugerman

6 Classes | Beginner

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