Top 5 Yoga Routines for Beginners

Yoga has been proven to reduce stress, increase strength and flexibility and improve breathing. It’s a great workout for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, it’s important to follow a safe and consistent routine. This beginner’s yoga routine includes warm-ups, poses for the back and arms, and a cool-down pose.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose, also known as Balasana, is a resting pose that soothes the back and neck. It also helps the practitioner focus on deep breathing and relax the shoulders and head.

This restorative posture can be used at the beginning of a yoga routine or to refocus during practice. It can also be incorporated in a sequence of postures as a counter to backbends.

Kneel on the floor and separate your knees hip-width apart. Bring your torso down between the thighs and close your eyes. You can keep your arms by your sides or, for a deeper stretch, you can “thread” them forward and up toward the ceiling, facing each other.

Tabletop Pose

Tabletop is often used as a base pose to build and strengthen the core, back, hips and shoulders. It is a gentle stretch and can be paired with Cat and Cow Pose to help lengthen the spine.

For more challenging variation, try to extend a leg or arm while in Tabletop to engage the core and test the balance. Children love this movement, as it can be done while pretending to be a tiger or other animal.

Ardha Purvottanasana, or Reverse Tabletop Pose, is a wonderful posture for restoring balance to the body after long days of forward-facing work or exercise. It also stretches the front side of the body and is helpful for preventing injuries to the shoulder and chest.

Extended Side Angle Pose

This challenging and invigorating pose is all about extension—from the outer edge of your foot to the tips of your fingers. This stretch strengthens oblique muscles and widens the rib cage, encouraging deeper breaths.

Incorporate this pose into your yoga routine to help sculpt and tone the legs, hips, groin and butt. It also helps to improve balance and create a strong foundation for standing poses.

This pose is often a preparatory position for the standing balance pose Bird of Paradise (Svarga Dvijasana). A block can be used to support the body in Extended Side Angle Pose, as well as to preserve correct alignment and prevent strain.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) is one of the most recognizable yoga poses in the West. Often repeated in Sun Salutations and other Vinyasa flows, this pose is both a transitional and resting posture that also builds strength and stretch the entire body.

The key to getting this posture right is making sure the feet are set hip distance apart and not touching. Beginners often have trouble determining this distance and can end up placing their feet too close together, which can cause discomfort and a rounded back.

Cat-Cow Pose

The cat-cow stretch is a common yoga move that helps limber the back and neck. It is simple enough for newbies and can be done at any time. It is a great way to prepare for more difficult poses. It also works well for people with wrist injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Start in a tabletop pose and then, on an inhale, arch your spine to come into cow pose. On the exhale, tilt your pelvis and round your back into cat pose. Repeat these movements with a matching breath cycle. The rippling movement of the spine feels great and can help prevent back pain, especially for those who spend most of their days sitting.

Pyramid Pose

Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana) stretches the hamstrings, hips, and chest while strengthening the core. It also improves balance and full-body coordination and calms the mind. It can be a difficult pose for beginners, so it’s important to practice slowly and carefully. People with back injuries or who are pregnant should avoid this pose.

Stand with feet shoulder-distance apart and front foot pointing toward the front edge of the mat. Then bring the back foot forward, allowing it to abut the front foot. The hands can either be brought behind the back into reverse prayer or held on to opposite elbows.

Urdhva Hastasana

Urdhva Hastasana, also known as Mountain Pose with Arms Overhead or Volcano Pose, is a standing pose that helps open the shoulders and stretches the arms. It is a foundation posture in the Sun Salutation sequence and can be used as a transition between other poses in vinyasa yoga flows.

Typically, students new to yoga struggle with this posture. They tend to forget to engage the legs, press down evenly through all four corners of the feet and lengthen their spines upward and out of their pelvises.

Additionally, they often turn their palms out as they reach their hands overhead, which impinges the shoulder joints and limits the range of motion.