Yoga for Beginners: Moves for the New Yogis

Young woman doing ashtanga yoga practice in a loft studio, surrounded by bright sunlight. Beutiful girl meditating makes herself a healthy body and strengthening the spirit.

Key Points

  • The Hindu people started yoga as a mindfulness practice that improves strength, balance, and flexibility.

  • Yoga for beginners includes sitting and breathing deeply for the first few moments.

  • Mantras are words or phrases repeated during yoga.

  • Yoga for beginners includes poses that are gentler on the body.

Routines get boring after a while. You might be exhausted from the work week or disinterested in your usual activities. Yoga for beginners is an excellent way to improve your health and well-being while shaking up your routine.

Learning yoga for beginners benefits your personal, professional, and academic life. Yoga is an excellent way to decrease stress, improve mood, and even lose weight. Best of all, it’s easy to get started in this ancient mindfulness practice.

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is the Hindu practice of controlling the mind and senses. It involves focusing solely on your consciousness. While yoga benefits health and well-being, its goal and purpose are to control energy, mind, and balance.

Yoga is about becoming one with yourself. It involves deep concentration on yourself during the movements. You listen to your body and experience the present.

Like most humans, you probably spend much of your time thinking about the past and future. You mull over mistakes and worry about what's in store for you next. Yoga asks you to look around and consider where you are right now.

Are you in danger? Chances are you're safe, but you might feel stressed or anxious. Concentrating on the present moment instead of the past or future allows you to see that you're safe.

Yoga is about reaching and keeping the mindset that focuses on you in the present time. The stretches and muscle movements of yoga remind you to stay focused.

Beginner yogis workout together

Meditative Mantras

Mantras are words or phrases you repeat to prevent your mind from wandering. Sit on a firm surface with your legs crossed and hands resting on your legs. Close your eyes and choose a mantra to chant.

It's easy to let your mind drift during yoga because you sit still with little stimulation. It's easy to get distracted when you focus only on your thoughts. Using a mantra keeps your focus on the present and brings you back to yoga when your mind starts to wander.

Repeat a mantra slowly out loud or silently to yourself. Some mantras people like to use are below.

  1. "I have everything I need within me."

  2. "I am safe."

  3. "I am powerful."

  4. "I am patience, kindness, and love."

  5. "I'm strong, and I will achieve my dreams."

Some fitness workout quotes are perfect to use as mantras. Find a quote that speaks to you and integrate it into your yoga routine.

Yoga for Beginners at Home

Some people are more comfortable at home than in a studio. Performing yoga when you're comfortable is more effective because you’re able to relax and focus.

Start with the easiest poses, then move down the list and advance in difficulty as you go. Stretch out in the comfort of your living room with some of these yoga moves.


Savasana relaxes the whole body. It improves circulation, decreases stress, and enhances your mood.

To complete a savasana, lay flat on your back with your arms at your side and palms raised towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath, then exhale.

Easy Pose

Easy pose is — you guessed it — easy. It's a great pose for beginners. The easy pose stretches and strengthens the core.

Sit on a flat surface with your legs crossed. Rest your hands on your knees and sit up straight. Take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, then exhale.

Child's Pose

Child's pose stretches the hips and arms. It opens the lower back by relaxing the muscles around the spine, making it feel like your back is opening wider.

Start on your knees. Sit back on your feet and rest your palms on the ground before you. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and slide your palms forward as far as possible.

Your face points toward the ground, and your body curls over your legs. If you want to open your lower back more, spread your knees and let your stomach relax between your legs.

Beginner yogi holds a pose during session

Forward Bend

Forward bend relaxes your hamstrings, thighs, and calves. It is beneficial for the back and hips, as well. Complete this pose standing or sitting down.

Keep your back upright and your toes pointed forward. Try to keep your knees straight and reach for your toes. If your knees start to bend or lift off the ground, ease up.

Waterfall Pose

The waterfall pose is popular among people with neck, back, and shoulder pain. This pose improves circulation, foot and leg pain, and headaches.

Begin by laying on the ground with your knees bent and your toes against the wall. This looks like you're doing crunches.

Straighten your legs against the wall and rest both heels on the wall. Move your butt as close to the wall as possible. Your body should look like the letter "L."

Completing a solid "L" gets a deeper stretch in the hips and back. Pull your toes towards your shin for a deeper stretch in the calves and feet.

Bridge Pose

Bridge pose strengthens the glutes, hips, and lower back. It's an excellent way to stretch the spine and abs.

You start the bridge pose similar to the waterfall pose: on your back with your knees bent. Place your palms flat on the ground on either side of you.

Press through your heels and palms and raise your butt off the ground. Leave your shoulder blades and head on the ground. Try to make a slant from your knees down to your head.

Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Make sure you're squeezing your glutes and core. If your body starts to sag toward the floor, rest for a moment and restart.

Lying Twist

Stay on the ground and transition into the lying twist. Lay on your back with your arms straight out to your sides and your palms on the ground.

Maintaining contact between your shoulder blades and the floor, slowly lower your knees to the right. This pose stretches your sides, back, and hips. Raise your knees to the start position, then lower them to the left side.

If you notice your shoulder blades leaving the ground, slightly rotate your knees back to the original position.

New yogi performs pose on rock near lake


The cobra pose opens the chest and relaxes the muscles that tighten when stressed or anxious. It’s a great chest stretch for women who sit at a computer or bend over a phone most of the day.

Start by lying on your stomach with palms flat on the ground and arms bent at your side. Press through your hands on the ground and lift your upper body into the air. Your hips need to stay on the ground.

Hold for 10 to 20 seconds while breathing deeply. Slowly lower yourself to the ground.

Chair Pose

If you want to strengthen your legs, butt, hips, back, arms, and core, then the chair pose is for you.

Stand tall with your arms at your side. Keep your knees directly above your toes and sit back in a squatting position. As you lower, raise your hands in front of you like you're reaching for something on a shelf above your head.

Your body makes an even slope from your hands down to your butt. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing deeply.


The warrior pose makes you feel strong, powerful, and in control. It improves leg strength and balance. If it is difficult to balance, spread your feet a little farther apart.

Stand with your feet together and arms at your side. Take one large step forward with your right leg while keeping your left leg straight. Your right leg is bent, and your left leg is straight behind you.

Your right foot is flat on the ground, and your left toes are on the ground keeping you stable. Raise your hands into the air above your head. Keep your back straight and focus on keeping your weight balanced.

Breathe deeply before standing up and switching to the other side. Repeat on each leg or hold for 30 seconds on both sides.

Woman stretches back during yoga

Yoga for Weight Loss

Yoga is significant for many people who use it for weight loss.

Yoga is beneficial for:

  • Stress and anxiety

  • Flexibility

  • Improved strength

  • Circulation

  • Breathing

  • Heart health

Yoga alone may lead to weight loss, but there are certain factors to combine with your routine that maximize your ability to burn calories.

Muscle Engagement

All yoga poses are beneficial, but depending on your goal, some are more helpful than others. Each yoga pose focuses on different goals: flexibility, balance, or strength. Focusing on the poses that target strength improves weight loss.

When you use your muscles, your body burns calories to provide energy for movement. Burning more calories than you eat leads to weight loss. More muscle engagement means burning more calories, making it easier to lose weight.

Yoga poses that require strength include the plank, chair, bridge, and bow.

Woman holds yoga pose during workout

Hot Yoga

Yoga practiced in temperatures higher than 85 degrees is hot yoga. Find a hot yoga studio, wait for a hot day, or shut yourself in a room with a heater and knock out your yoga routine.

James Roland with Healthline states, "An environment like a hot yoga studio can make yoga poses easier and more effective. The heat allows you to stretch a little further and achieve a greater range of motion."


Hot yoga requires more attention than a regular workout because it's easy to pass out or get an injury. When practicing hot yoga, wear a bra or tank top and shorts.

Keep water with you and a towel or rag to catch sweat. Turn off the heat source or slowly move to a cooler area for the cool-down poses.

Is 10 Minutes of Yoga a Day Enough?

Absolutely. Practicing yoga for only 10 minutes results in amazing benefits. Depending on your goals, a quick, 10-minute yoga session may help you get there faster.

10-Minute Yoga Routine

Hold a pose for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds, or hold for 30 and rest for 10 twice. Make the most out of your 10 minutes by doing the stretches correctly.

Study the poses before your routine so you don't waste time figuring out how to transition to the next move. Start and finish your routine with easier moves for a warm-up and cool-down. It's best to use 7 to 8 poses for a 10-minute yoga routine, so you're not going over if you need a little more time to transition.

Yogi performs meditation during workout

Morning Yoga

Sleeping allows the body to rest and recuperate from the day before. However, staying in one place for hours causes muscle tightness and decreased circulation when you get up. Completing a yoga routine in the morning improves the pains, fatigue, and mood imbalances often experienced after waking up.

Yoga improves your circulation. Improved circulation leads to enhanced oxygen and nutrient transportation to various systems throughout the body. Better oxygen and nutrient storage improves muscle tightness, pain, and fatigue.

Yoga boosts your mood. Stretching and practicing mindfulness releases helpful chemicals in the brain responsible for making you happy. Yoga in the morning mentally prepares you for the day.

Yoga also jump-starts the body for the day. It wakes you up faster, makes you think more clearly, and prepares your body to get going. Make your morning even better, and spread the joy with partner yoga.

Are You Excited?

Trying anything as a beginner is intimidating. You wonder if you're even going to enjoy it and be good at it. Yoga for beginners is an excellent way to try something new.

Yoga improves your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It allows you to create a deeper connection with yourself. You're able to move your body in ways that make you feel powerful.

Conquering yoga isn't about folding yourself in half or practicing for two hours a day. Yoga for beginners is slow, deliberate, and thoughtful. Practice makes perfect, so stick with it to become a master yogi in no time.

Yearning for more info on yoga? Subscribe to FitandFab for yoga poses, routines, and tips to try the next time you roll out your mat. 

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