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Last Updated on December 15, 2020

12 Yoga Exercises for Beginners to Try at Home

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12 Yoga Exercises for Beginners to Try at Home

You’ve heard of the many benefits of yoga but don’t know how to start?

If you’re new to yoga, you might have this misconception in your head that yoga poses are hard to attain. You might also worry about coordinating the beautiful art of inhaling and exhaling while you’re practicing certain poses.

Well, it’s not yoga that’s difficult. It’s just your obsessing mind. And, therefore, take a deep breath, clear your mind of any resistance and expectations and start off reading this article with a free mind.

Yoga is comprised of 300 poses and it’s definitely not easy to be able to master all of them. If you’re randomly picking up a complex one while leaving the simplest one behind, it might seem impossible. Thus, start by choosing the simplest ones, keep yourself regular with the practice, and let your body adapt to the increasing difficulty levels of yoga poses with the steady flow.

Give yourself enough time to master the basics and challenge yourself with the difficult once slowly. That’s all!

So, if you worry about what are the best yoga poses you can start with and easily practice without a yoga teacher, I’m here to help. Here are 12 best yoga poses that you can do at home:

1. Easy Pose

This is a perfect pose to begun any yoga routine. It is one of the simplest yoga pose and the name literally means pleasure pose.

It is done by crossing the legs while sitting so that feet are below knees with back straight and hands rested on the knees with palm up or palm down.

This asana relaxes the body and tones back which becomes stronger and steadier.

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2. Mountain Pose

This is a perfect beginner’s pose for practicing at home. This helps in defining the body posture for next level and complicated poses.

This yoga pose begins with standing firm, keeping back and head straight, firming thigh muscles by lifting knee caps, keeping hands parallel to body and lifting bodyweight on toes and maintaining the position for 7-10 seconds before releasing.

The biggest benefit of mastering this posture is that it is the starting point for standing asanas and can be practiced easily at home as a part of morning or evening routine.

It helps in improvement of body postures, regular practice keeps thighs & ankles stronger, makes spine more agile and regulates digestive, respiratory, nervous systems.

3. Downward Facing Dog

This yoga pose looks similar to the posture of a dog bent forwards, hence the name meaning down-face-dog-posture. This is a very easy to learn pose and beginners can practice it daily with zero side effects.

Start with standing on all four limbs and then lifting your hip to straighten the arms and legs. Shoulders should align with hands and feet should be in line with hips, keeping them straight. Finally, turn your gaze to your navel and hold the posture for few seconds before releasing ad coming to initial position on all four limbs.

This asana strengthens abdominal muscles, improves circulation and digestion, tones hands & feet and decreases anxiety.

4. Cobra Pose

This is a highly recommended pose for the beginners as it helps in building up stamina for higher level postures and tones the upper body.

It starts with laying on the stomach and placing the palms of hands beside shoulders. Then raising the upper body gazing the sky. Once a comfortable height is achieved, press thighs, hips and toes against each other and hold the posture for few seconds before releasing and coming back to same posture of laying on the stomach.

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This asana strengthens spine and tones organs in lower abdomen. It stimulates digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. It opens up lungs and heart and helps in stress release.

5. Warrior Pose

This yoga pose is one of the most graceful asanas in yoga and adds beauty to practice. It has direct benefits to arms, legs and lower back.

It starts with placing right foot 3 feet in front of left and turning your right foot 90 degrees while keeping center of heels aligned. Then, lift the fully stretched arms sideways until they are parallel to the ground. Now, move the arms further up joining the palms at top of the head. Release and repeat the pose with left leg in front.

This asana boosts self confidence, improves walking posture and eases stressed shoulders.

6. Bound Angle Pose

The name of this yoga pose means reclining bound angle. It is beneficial in deep relaxation.

The pose starts with laying flat on the ground on back and bringing feet close to groin. Then opening up knees until they touch the ground and pressing palms downwards stretched towards feet. Before releasing, hug the knees and roll from side to side.

It stimulates kidneys, bladder and heart and blood circulation. It also stretches inner thigh and groin muscles.

7. Chair Pose

Chair pose starts with doing a chair pose, then slowly raising the arms parallel to the ground and bending the knees to mimic a chair until thighs comes almost parallel to the ground. Hold this pose for as long as possible and then release back to chair pose before relaxing the body.

This pose has more physical benefits than spiritual. It strengthens ankles, calves, thighs and spine, reduces flat feet and stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart.

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8. Skull Shining Breath

This is a beginner’s yoga breathing exercise. It can be done sitting or standing.

It begins with placing right palm on stomach, inhaling passively and exhaling aggressively. Repeat the process for 25 to 30 times. Then increase the number as many as one is comfortable in.

This exercise reduces back and neck pain, opens up chest & lungs and rejuvenates blood circulation.

9. Bellows Breath

This is a yoga breathing exercise for the beginners.

Sit with back supported by a wall or chair, keeping the back straight. Breathe in with nose and breathe out with mouth making a ‘AH’ sound. Once comfortable, breathe out with mouth closed. Practice 3 to 4 sets of 10 breaths.

This exercise increases oxygen content in blood, opens up congested nose & chest, improves appetite and is good for abdominal muscles.

10. Alternate Nostril Breathing

This is one of the deep breathing yoga exercises which stimulates and strengthens the entire respiratory system. This helps to calm your sleep, relax and rejuvenate your mind.

It is performed by sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine. Close the right nostril with right thumb, right ring finger close to left nostril rest of the fingers pointed to the sky. Inhale and exhale with left nostril then with right nostril by closing left one with ring finger and releasing the thumb. Repeat the process back and forth for 15 to 20 times.

11. Plank Pose

To begin, lie on the ground with stomach down, place palms beside shoulders, rising up the shoulders while keeping the entire body straight. Hold this pose for 15 to 20 seconds.

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This pose helps in stamina and strength building. You can learn more about this pose benefits here: 7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

12. Corpse Pose

This yoga pose is highly recommended for mind and body relaxation.

It is one of the simplest asana which is done by laying flat on the ground, facing upwards and relaxing the body. Hold this pose for 3 to 5 minutes.

This pose is easy to do, reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.

Yoga doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. It’s simply meant to make you feel free, powerful, and capable in all aspects of life. It is something you should be able to do without pushing yourself too hard.

Start trying these 12 yoga exercises at home and become healthier mentally and physically.

Featured photo credit: Form via unsplash.com

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Deep Shikha

A passionate health blogger and founder of Healthifying World

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Last Updated on October 4, 2021

5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

  • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
  • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
  • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
  • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
  • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
  • Total: 20 to 22 hours

Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

  • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
  • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
  • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

No equipment? No problem.

So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

  • Quadruped Rocks
  • Frog Stretch
  • Hip Prying
  • Scapula Push-ups
  • Hindu push-ups

Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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2. Yoga

Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

3. Calisthenics

Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

4. Aerobic Exercise

Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

Chipper 60

Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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“Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

Stress

We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

Stimulants

Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
[2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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