2K Shares

20 Minute Morning Yoga Stretch for Beginners

20-Minute Morning Yoga Stretch for Beginners

This 20-Minute Morning Yoga Stretch for Beginners routine is for anyone looking to start their day off on a high.

The yoga poses we have chosen are all relatively simple to perform, and we provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to do each one.

We also understand that as a beginner, some of the poses can still seem a little daunting. To take account of varying levels of flexibility, we have provided notes on how some of the poses can be modified whilst you build up your strength and flexibility over the initial few weeks.

Whilst everything on our website has been designed for women of a certain age range, this beginner routine is suitable for both women and men, regardless of your age.

WORKOUT INSTRUCTIONS:

To do the following yoga routine, all you need is a yoga mat, and a little peace and quiet. If you haven’t done any form of exercise or stretching for many years, you may benefit from some yoga blocks and/or a yoga strap in the early stages, until your flexibility improves.

The whole routine should take about 20 – 25 minutes to complete. We recommend that you try to hold each pose for 30 seconds.

If a pose focuses on a specific side of the body (right or left), ensure you repeat the same pose on the opposite side for an equal amount of time before moving on to the next pose in the workout.

We suggest that you start off by completing the whole routine twice. If you need to, take a 1-minute rest between each set of the routine. Eventually, build up to performing the whole routine 3 times. After that, simply increase the time spent in each pose.

20-Minute Morning Yoga Stretch for Beginners

Warrior 1Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Stand upright on your yoga mat, with your arms at your sides. Your feet need to be about shoulder width apart.
  2. With your left foot, step to the left so that your feet are now about 4 feet apart.
  3. Twist your body to the right. At the same time turn your right foot 90 degrees so that it is now facing the same way you are.
  4. Twist the left foot about 45 degrees. Keep the heel on the floor and ideally your left heel should be in line with your right.
  5. Now exhale and bend at the right knee until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and at right angles to your lower leg.
  6. Raise your arms overhead keeping them shoulder width apart. Stretch upwards with your fingertips.
  7. Repeat on the opposite side.

Modifications:

Many beginners find it difficult to keep their balance. If this happens, rather than trying to keep your heels aligned, let them be shoulder width apart to create a more solid base stance.

Benefits:

Creates a stretch for the whole front side of the body, whilst at the same time strengthening the thighs, ankles, and back. Develops greater flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the feet.

Downward Facing DogDownward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Start on your hands and knees on your yoga mat. Your knees should be directly below your hips, and your hands should be slightly forward of your shoulders. Your fingers must point forwards with fingers apart wide.
  2. Next lift your bottom straight up in the air until your knees come off the ground and your legs are straight. The shape looks similar to an inverted ‘V’.
  3. Keep your core muscles tight and slightly tuck the tailbone to elongate the lower back. Press your heels down toward the mat and attempt to straighten the legs without locking them. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. It is more important to maintain the length of your spine and the lift of your pelvis.
  4. Look back towards your toes and keep your ears in line with your arms.

Modifications:

Ideally this pose should be done with your feet flat upon the floor. However, there is no harm in raising your heels slightly in the early days until your hamstring and ankle flexibility develops.

Upward Facing DogUpward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Start by lying facedown on your yoga mat with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. The tops of your feet should rest on the mat. Do not tuck your toes underneath.
  2. Place your hands alongside your body with your fingers pointing toward the top of the mat. Keep the elbows in, close to the sides of your body.
  3. Breathe in and use your core and your arms to lift your head, chest, thighs, knees and hips off the floor.
  4. Keep looking forward. Do not strain your neck by looking up if you are a beginner.

Modifications:

This pose can take time to develop. Practice the Cobra Pose before moving on to this pose if you find it too hard. If you find it difficult to keep your legs lifted above your mat, place a folded blanket below the top of your thighs for support.

Benefits:

This is a great move to stretch the chest and back, whilst at the same time developing strength and flexibility in the wrists, arms and shoulders.

Good for improving posture and also stimulating the internal organs which can improve digestion. The backbend movement can also provide relief from tiredness and mild depression.

Chair RevolvedRevolved Chair Pose Variation (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

(The first 2 steps are the same as for the Chair)

  1. Stand up straight on your yoga mat with your feet together.
  2. Slight bend your knees and ‘sit downwards’ as if you were about to sit in a chair behind you. Ideally your thighs should be parallel to the floor.
  3. Press your palms together in a prayer position at chest height.
  4. Twist your torso so that your right elbow points down towards the ground and the left points towards the ceiling. Your right elbow should be on the outside of your left knee if possible.
  5. Look upwards towards your left elbow.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Modifications:

It is not uncommon for beginners to have balance issues to start with. In this case, place your feet hip width apart to help with balance.

If you have good shoulder mobility, try keeping your arms straight so that your right hand touches the floor and your left points upwards.

standing forward bend 02Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Stand up straight on your yoga mat
  2. Exhale and bend forward at the hips, reaching down towards your toes.
  3. It is very important that you keep your back flat throughout this entire pose. You may find it easier if you slightly exaggerate this by almost arching your back and ‘pushing’ your bottom towards the sky.
  4. Do not bend over any further once you start to lose the flat back.
  5. The aim of the pose is to bring your belly to rest against your thighs. It is not to touch your head on your knees, as this leads to rounding the back!

Modifications:

Use a yoga block, or bend your knees, if you are unable to get your belly to touch your thighs. Always ensure you keep a flat back.

Benefits:

Lowering the head below your heart helps relieve stress, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, mild depression, and insomnia. It also creates a deep stretch in your hamstrings and calves.

camel 01Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Kneel on your yoga mat with your knees hip width apart.
  2. Place your hands on the back of your pelvis with your fingers pointing downwards.
  3. Lean slightly backwards and tuck your chin in a little to your chest.
  4. Reach back and take hold of each heel with the appropriate hand.

camel 02

Modifications:

Beginners may find it difficult to take hold of their heels. In this case, curl your toes underneath you, which will have the effect of raising the heels slightly.

If this is still not enough, place a yoga block on the outside of each foot and rest your hands on those, or place your hands in the small of your back.

 

Extended TriangleExtended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Stand on your yoga mat with your feet about 4 foot apart with your heels in line. Place your arms by your sides.
  2. Turn your right foot 90 degrees and pivot your left to about 45 degrees.
  3. Lift you arms until they are parallel to the floor with your palms facing down.
  4. Bend at the waist so that the fingers of your right hand touch the floor just inside your right foot.
  5. Your left hand points directly up towards the ceiling.
  6. Turn your head and look up towards your left hand.
  7. Repeat on the opposite side.

Modifications:

If you are unable to touch the floor, use a yoga block or just reach to your shin or knee until your flexibility improves.

pigeon pose 01Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

(The first 4 steps are the same as for Low Crescent Lunge)

  1. Stand on your yoga mat with feet about hip width apart. Hands by your sides.
  2. Take a big step back with the right leg. You can either curl your toes under, or place the top of your foot flat on the floor.
  3. Your left leg should be bent 90 degrees at the knee with the lower leg perpendicular to the floor. Make sure you can look down and see your toes. If not, you are leaning too far forwards.
  4. Place both hands on your left knee.
  5. Support yourself with your hands and move your left leg under into a kneeling position. You may find it easier if you slightly move the left foot to the right.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Modifications:

As your flexibility increases, try to create a 90 degree angle with your leg so that your lower leg is perpendicular to your thigh.

If you are looking for more beginner poses to transform your body with yoga, then look no further than our

Beginners Guide to Fat Loss Yoga

It has everything you need to get started, including comprehensive instructions on how to perform all the poses correctly, a six week workout schedule, diet advice, plus core strength, flexibility, balance and posture guides!

2K Shares