Yoga for Beginners Page 5 of 20

simple beginners yoga sequence

Let there be Yoga

A simple beginners yoga sequence you can do anywhere, anytime. By Eva Kristlova

Aiming for a daily yoga practice is great! But perhaps more realistic for most is 2-3 times a week — and if you can only practice once a week that’s still wonderful! I prepared this simple sequence so you can follow from the comfort of  your home or from wherever you are, whenever you can.

1. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Start your practice lying down on your back with your arms slightly away from your body and your palms facing upward. Relax your legs and ankles and let your feet flop to the sides. Make any adjustments that make your body feel more comfortable. You can place a folded blanket under your knees to take pressure off your lower back and feel more relaxed.

Start to focus on your breathing and allow your body to relax a little bit more with each passing exhale. Let go of your daily worries and try to stay in this moment in time. You will notice that your mind tries to take you away from here, to the past and to the future. Keep coming back to now.

2. Knees To The Chest (Apanasana)

Bend your knees and bring them towards your chest. Here you can gently rock and sway from side to side. This posture will massage your lower back and will give your internal organs a massage too. After a couple of lovely rocks, let your body roll over to your right side.

Beginners Yoga Sequence Knees To The Chest

3. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Sit cross legged if your body lets you, use a block or folded blanket or cushion for support. Your spine needs to be straight and posture comfortable, if you find this challenging you can stretch your legs or sit on a chair. Bring the tip of your thumb and index finger together into Chin Mudra. Time to reconnect with your breath. Observe your inhalations and exhalations, try to lengthen and deepen your breath. If your mind wanders bring yourself back to this present moment again and again

Beginners Yoga Sequence Easy Pose

4. Side Bend (Parsva Sukhasana)

Place your right hand on the floor beside you, or on a block. As you inhale lift your left arm up and with your exhale take your arm over your head, fingers pointing to the right. Stay here for several breaths (four is fine). Feel a beautiful opening across the left side of your body. Repeat on the other side.

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Side Bend

5. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)

Stretch your legs, pull the flesh of your buttocks away and reach up to the sky as you inhale. Lengthen your spine and as you exhale fold forward placing your hands either on your thighs, shins, toes or floor each side of your legs. Stay for several breaths and with each exhale try to relax your shoulders and jaw. To come out of this posture walk your hands back towards you with your inhale. A lovely alternative here is making use of props. You can sit on your block, put a blanket under your knees and use a strap to wrap around your feet. Try it and notice the difference.

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Seated forward fold

6. Cat/Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Cat Pose
Cat Pose
Beginners Yoga Sequence - Cow pose
Cow Pose

Start on all fours, with your wrists directly under your shoulders, fingers stretched out and your middle finger pointing forward. Your knees are under your hips and slightly apart. Your spine is neutral to start with. Give your hips a little sway from side to side and loosen your shoulders. As you breathe in lift your head and tailbone and as you breathe out round your back and drop your head and tail. Move with your breath! This is a wonderful movement for your spine, neck, shoulders, hips and chest. If your knees are sensitive place a folded blanket under them for support and comfort. If your wrists are achy, you can either practice this on your forearms or make fists. Try all three variations and see what feels best for you.

Beginners Yoga Sequence

7. Low Lunge With Twist (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Low Lunge With Twist
beginners7a1
Beginners Yoga Sequence - Low Lunge With Twist
beginners7b1

Now lift your right leg up, bend your knee and step your right foot forward – place the foot between your hands. Keep your left knee on the floor, feel free to put a blanket underneath. Bring your hands to Anjali mudra (hands in prayer) and roll your shoulders slightly back so your chest feels beautifully open. Your right knee is above your ankle – adjust if not. Take a couple of breaths here and then slowly start to twist your torso to the right with your exhale. Keep your hands together as you place your left elbow on top of your right thigh and your right elbow will be pointing up towards the sky. Keep your chest lifted and open, try not to sink into this posture and don’t forget to breathe! You can rest in child’s pose before you go to the other side.

8. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

From all fours tuck your toes under and slowly start to lift your knees off the ground gradually straightening your legs and sending your heels towards the ground. Paddle your feet and sway your hips a little, gently stretching your hamstrings. It’s okay to keep your knees bent and stay just for a few breaths! With practice you will be able to stay in this posture for longer. Don’t forget to breathe, focus on your exhale. Feel free to sigh the breath out! This posture strengthens your whole body.

beginners8

9. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

We are coming up into standing. Slowly come up, roll your shoulders back and down and lengthen your spine. Notice your feet, they are slightly apart and your weight is distributed equally between the left and right side. You might feel a gentle natural sway of your body. Close your eyes and connect with your breath. If your breath is fast, try to slow it down. Is your mind here in this present moment?

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Mountain Pose

10. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

We are coming up into standing. Slowly come up, roll your shoulders back and down and lengthen your spine. Notice your feet, they are slightly apart and your weight is distributed equally between the left and right side. You might feel a gentle natural sway of your body. Close your eyes and connect with your breath. If your breath is fast, try to slow it down. Is your mind here in this present moment?

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Tree Pose
Beginners Yoga Sequence - Tree Pose

11. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

You need to be facing the long edge of your mat. Step your feet wide distance apart, and turn your right foot to the right. If you look at your feet check that your right heel is pointing to your left in-step. Your hips should be parallel with the long edge of the mat – place your hands on your hips and notice where they are pointing and gently guide them to the point where they are level. If you feel any discomfort in your right hip, knee or ankle please make sure you keep the hips where they feel more comfortable – no forcing. Okay we are now ready to bend the right knee. Check that your knee is directly above your ankle and make any adjustments if not. As you inhale, lift your arms up to the shoulder level and turn your gaze to your right hand, middle finger, fingertip and beyond. Your arms are strong but shoulders are relaxed and away from your ears. Breathe! Take about four breaths and really feel your strength, physical and mental. Say to yourself ‘I am strong’.

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Warrior II

12. Wide-Legged Forward Fold With A Twist (Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana)

You need to be facing the long edge of your mat. Step your feet wide distance apart, and turn your right foot to the right. If you look at your feet check that your right heel is pointing to your left in-step. Your hips should be parallel with the long edge of the mat – place your hands on your hips and notice where they are pointing and gently guide them to the point where they are level. If you feel any discomfort in your right hip, knee or ankle please make sure you keep the hips where they feel more comfortable – no forcing. Okay we are now ready to bend the right knee. Check that your knee is directly above your ankle and make any adjustments if not. As you inhale, lift your arms up to the shoulder level and turn your gaze to your right hand, middle finger, fingertip and beyond. Your arms are strong but shoulders are relaxed and away from your ears. Breathe! Take about four breaths and really feel your strength, physical and mental. Say to yourself ‘I am strong’.

beginners12

13. Child Pose (Balasana)

Time to rest now and come back to the ground. Sit on your heels and let your upper body fold over your thighs with your head resting on the floor. Your arms are resting beside your legs. For extended child pose, separate your knees but keep your big toes together and stretch your arms out in front of you. For more comfort you can place a blanket under your knees or bolster under your torso. Enjoy this beautiful resting pose. Slow down your breathing and relax.

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Childs Pose

14. Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)

Lay on your back and either place your legs up against the wall or wrap a strap around your feet and stretch your legs up to the sky. This is a wonderful way to unwind and rest your legs. Good for your circulation and nervous system. Stay for around 12 breaths or even longer.

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Legs up the wall pose

15. Supported Fish Pose With A Block Or Blanket (Matsyasana)

After our inversion we will come to a beautiful chest and throat-opening pose – supported fish pose. Place a folded blanket or a block under your shoulder blades and gently lower yourself down. Your head is on your mat or a cushion with your shoulder blades supported, chest lifted and head slightly tilted back.

Beginners Yoga Sequence - Supported Fish Pose

Savasana And Relaxation

Remove your block or blanket and find your comfort in Savasana (same as you did at the beginning of the class). All that matters now is for you to feel comfortable and relaxed, so use your props, cushion, blanket, eye pillow, maybe even a lovely lavender essential oil. Lay back and close your eyes, letting go of your practice, slowing down your breathing and your thoughts. This is your time to relax. You can give yourself a little body scan, relaxing all parts of your body from your toes all the way up to the crown of your head. Alternatively, you can simply follow your breath, listen to gentle soothing music or enjoy a few minutes of silence.

Remember we all used to be beginners. When I first started to attend classes with my teacher Wenche Beard, my mind was super busy. Throughout the class I was overthinking and analysing, going over situations and things that were happening in my life. It took me a good couple of months to be able to switch off and let go of my ‘monkey mind’. But it was so worth it. My first proper relaxation without ticking off the never-ending list of things to do was out of this world and I never looked back! I was hooked on the ‘good stuff’ and passionate to share the teachings of yoga with others. Enjoy the ride!

Eva Kristlova is a professional BWY yoga teacher based in East Sussex, who runs Yoga Life Studio in Eastbourne (yogaeastbourne.com). Find her online at: yogawitheva.co.uk or follow her on Instagram @evakristlova and @yogalifestudio