Release tension, build strength, increase flexibility, and improve balance!
Yoga is about so much more than flexibility. It’s an excellent way to build strength, increase muscular endurance, improve balance, and make you feel more in tune with your body overall. But if you’re a beginner, jumping right into class can be a little nerve-racking. You may be unfamiliar with the movements and for many, that can make you self-conscious! There goes that “inner peace!”
Having said that, there are always beginner classes available if you’re interested in trying one, but a lot of people like to begin their practice at-home. Our full body yoga flow for beginners is a great entry-level option that will get you feeling stretchy and strong all over!
A Couple Tips for a Successful Flow
Assuming that you’re brand new to all things yoga, we wanted to share some tips that will help your flow be as effective and go as smoothly as possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Create a Space
Yoga is meant to be calming. The practice is supposed to help you focus and relax. When practicing at home, it’s very important that you create a space for yourself that provides for this calm. So, we don’t advise performing this full body yoga flow in the middle of the family room while the kiddos or pets are running all around you. Yet, we’re not saying you need to have a room dedicated to yoga, but you do want a quiet space with enough room to move, breathe, and focus. The corner of your bedroom, in your office, or even the back patio are all excellent spaces! Ideally, it should be warm, not hot, with comfortable flooring and a mat, both for extra cushioning and traction.
Yogis of all experience levels will tell you they’ve struggled with holding their breath (when they shouldn’t be) while going through the poses. One benefit of attending class is, many instructors are really good at noticing our breathing patterns and reminding us to breeaaatheeee when needed. When practicing at home, we’re solely responsible for keeping the oxygen flowing!
Our pattern of breathing is integral to maximizing our yoga experience. For example, while holding a pose, you should breathe with deep, slow breaths throughout the duration. But many people find themselves wondering how to breathe as they transition from one pose to another. Fortunately, there’s a really great tip I learned a while back that’s helped me ever since– and I bet it can help you too!
Here it is: Breathe in conjunction with the natural movement of your spine.
Allow me to explain: Whenever you inhale, your spine lifts and straightens as you fill your chest cavity with air. Conversely, your spine softens and rounds as you exhale. You will notice that each of the poses below has you either lift or lower as you transition into the next one. On a lift (straighten), inhale and on a lower (bending), exhale. The one exception to this is if you are ever bending backwards, you would want to inhale. And since your head is at the top of your spine, always be sure to lead with it. It may seem unnatural at first, but with and regular practice, your flow will become smooth as silk!
Full Body Yoga Flow for Beginners
So, given that tip, let’s begin.
Once you get settled in your space, take a few moments to focus and relax before getting into the first pose. Note that you do not need a timer for this total body yoga flow — your breathing is going to be your timer.
On average, one deep inhale and exhale takes approximately 5 seconds. So, for the 30 second holds, take 6 full breaths and for the 60 second hold, take 12 breaths. As you transition into the next pose, follow the rule above (inhale with a rise and exhale with a bend).
We highly recommend watching all of the instructional videos before beginning your yoga flow, so that you can familiarize yourself with the individual poses, and perform the transitions smoothly, without interruption. Let’s get into it!
1. Child’s Pose
Exhale to sink into the pose. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds).
2. Cobra Pose
Inhale as you rise into the pose, stretching only as far as comfortable. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds).
3. Downward Dog
Exhale to drop into the pose, pressing heels down to your mat as far as you comfortably can. Hold for 12 breaths (60 seconds).
4. High Lunge Pose
For this pose, start with your left foot forward. Inhale as you reach up. Reach a little higher with each inhale. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds). You will hold the reverse side in a few moments after puppy pose.
5. Puppy Pose
Exhale to relax into puppy pose. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds).
6. High Lunge Pose
This time, place your right foot forward. Inhale as you reach up. Reach a little higher with each inhale. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds).
Inhale as you push your hips off the ground, heels flat on the ground, opening your chest. Clasp your hands underneath you if you can. Otherwise, keep them on the ground at your side. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds). Exhale as you roll your spine back down to the ground.
8. Reclined Spinal Twist
Exhale as you turn and press your knee into the floor, keeping your head flat on the floor. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds) on each side. Deepen the stretch with each exhale. Straighten your legs out while you inhale. Move to the next pose after you’ve held the pose on both sides.
9. Wind Release Pose
Exhale as you bring one knee towards your chest. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds) on each side. Deepen the pose with each exhale. Inhale as you straighten your leg back out. Switch to the other knee and repeat hold. Move to the next pose after you’ve held the pose on both sides.
10. Seated Side Bend
Begin this pose with an inhale while sitting up straight. Then, as you exhale, bend and reach up and out to the side. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds), inhale as you re-center, and then exhale and hold for 6 breaths on the opposite side. If you can, try to keep your gaze up to the hand you are holding overhead. As always, stretch only so far as comfortable.
11. Seated Mountain Pose
Inhale as you reach up towards the sky and allow your shoulders to drop with every exhale. Hold for 6 breaths (30 seconds), deepening the stretch on every inhale.
12. Corpse Pose
And finally, exhale as you relax into corpse pose. Hold for 12 breaths (60 seconds)– or longer if you’d like! Let your thoughts go and allow yourself to sink into the floor.
And there you have it! You’ve successfully completed the full body yoga flow for beginners! Don’t judge yourself if you weren’t able to complete each pose for the directed time, or if you felt you weren’t fully engaged all throughout. There’s a reason it’s called a “practice.” Each time you begin a new yoga session, you are “practicing.” Even the most experienced yogis “practice” every time.
So, let us know how you feel in the comment section below! What was your favorite pose? Where did you find any difficulty? We’d love to help!
Want more great yoga routines and flows? Check these out next:
- Chill Out and De-Stress with this Yoga Routine for Beginners
- The Best Yoga Routine for Overall Flexibility
- Evening Yoga for Relaxation
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