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20 Minute Yoga Workout Routine for Beginners

20 minute yoga workout routine for beginners

This 20 Minute Yoga Workout Routine for Beginners is aimed at the complete beginner. 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. The routine has been designed so that it can easily be carried out in your own home.  All you need is a Yoga Mat, maybe some Yoga Blocks and Straps, and a little bit of space.

INSTRUCTIONS

The routine consists of the following yoga moves, all of which are held for 30 seconds each. There will be some that need to repeated on both sides, and these will be clearly indicated. Simply complete all the yoga moves listed, and then repeat two more times. Once you have completed the routine 3 times, you’re done. The whole program should take around 20 minutes. You can have a small rest between each full circuit of the routine if required.

20-Minute Yoga Workout Routine for Beginners

Warrior 1

Warrior 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.

warrior II 01Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  1. Stand on a yoga mat. Step backwards with the left leg approximately 3 or 4 feet.
  2. Bend the right knee until your upper thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend your arms out at shoulder height, parallel to the floor, with your palms facing downwards.
  4. Hold this for 30 seconds.
  5. Return to a standing position.
  6. Repeat stepping back with the right leg.

 

Warrior 3

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

How to perform the pose correctly:

(The first 6 steps are the same as Warrior I)

  1. Stand upright on your yoga mat, with your arms at your sides. Your feet need to be about hip 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. Slowly lean forward and shift your weight forward onto your right leg, whilst at the same time lifting the left leg off the floor for balance.
  8. Continue to bend forward until your chest is parallel to the ground, whilst raising your left leg higher.
  9. Your arms should be straight out in front of you, and your left leg should end up parallel to the ground.
  10. You should hold your head in line with your body, and be looking at the ground a few feet in front of you.
  11. Repeat on the opposite side.

Modifications:

This can be a difficult pose in the early stages. You may find it is easier to align your body parallel to the floor, and then lift the rear leg for balance. Finally straighten your arms.

Reverse Warrior

Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

(The first 3 steps are the same as Warrior II)

  1. Stand on a yoga mat. Step backwards with the left leg approximately 3 or 4 feet.
  2. Bend the right knee until your upper thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend your arms out at shoulder height, parallel to the floor, with your palms facing downwards.
  4. Reach your left arm back towards your left knee.
  5. Lift your right arm up so that your fingertips point towards the ceiling.
  6. Tilt your head slightly so that you are looking up towards your fingertips of the right hand.
  7. Repeat on the opposite side.

Modifications:

You may find it difficult to reach the knee of your back leg initially. If so, you can leave your hand resting on your upper thigh until your flexibility improves.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward 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.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds.

Modifications:

This pose can take time to develop. 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.

chair pose 01

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

  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. Raise your hands overhead, palms facing inwards. Keep your hands roughly shoulder width apart.

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, keep your arms straight and press your palms together overhead in a prayer position.

Chair Revolved

Revolved 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:

As before, 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 02

Standing 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!standing forward bend 01

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.

four limbed staff poseFour-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

How to perform the pose correctly:

(The first 3 steps are the same as for the Plank)

  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. Tighten your core muscles and pull your stomach towards your spine.
  3. Step backwards one foot at a time. It is important to ensure you create a nice straight line from head to toe. Do not let your bottom stick up, or your chest drop. Keep your feet together.
  4. Bend at the elbows and lower your whole body down towards the floor as if you were doing the down part of a press-up. Hold your body straight about two inches off the floor for 30 seconds.

Modifications:

As for the plank, if your core is not strong enough to hold this position, allow your knees to rest on the floor first, then lower your torso until it is a couple of inches off the floor. Still keep everything tight and straight.

PlankPlank Pose (Phalakasana)

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. Tighten your core muscles and pull your stomach towards your spine.
  3. Step backwards one foot at a time. It is important to ensure you create a nice straight line from head to toe. Do not let your bottom stick up, or your chest drop. Keep your feet together.
  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Modifications:

If your core is not strong enough to hold this position, allow your knees to sink to the floor. In this case ensure you keep a straight line from your head to your knees.

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!

This 20 Minute Yoga Workout Routine for Beginners is aimed at the complete beginner. 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.
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