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Last Updated on December 15, 2020

12 Yoga Exercises for Beginners to Try at Home

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

More by this author

Deep Shikha

A passionate health blogger and founder of Healthifying World

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

Covid-19 has certainly made getting to the gym more difficult, but if we’re honest, it was difficult before, as well. Between tiring days at work, helping the kids with their homework, and maintaining a social life, where do you find time to squeeze in an hour or two at the gym? Sometimes, the only solution to maintaining your health and fitness rests on the best at home workout.

The good news is that it’s possible to train from home without any equipment and get fantastic results. As long as you’re pushing the body hard enough, you’re going to be fine. The bad news is that you may not know where to start.

There are a plethora of different training regimens out there, and it’s difficult to know which one is best for you, especially if you’re used to live classes or in-person workout programs.

This article will cover the 12 best at-home workouts that you can use for strength, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and mobility. There will be an exact breakdown of all the exercises, sets, reps, rest periods, and instructions required to stay fit, healthy, and happy while on lockdown.

The following sessions are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts to accommodate any experience level. They are all bodyweight exercises that can be combined into a full body workout to build strength while working out at home.

A thorough warm-up is also included to ensure that you don’t get injured. Please check each workout before you perform it to make sure that the exercises and movements don’t cause you any pain from previous or pre-existing injuries.

If you need help getting into the habit of working out at home, you can try Lifehack’s free 30-Day Resistance Band Workout Challenge.

Read on to find the 12 best at-home workouts you can use to upgrade your strength, burn some calories, and improve your flexibility while training at home.

Warm-Up

Complete the warm-ups below for 5-6 minutes before each of the best at home workouts you’ll find below. Complete each exercise for a total of 15 seconds at a slow to moderate pace, and your body will be ready to jump into more intense exercises.

Repeat for 3-4 rounds, as this will help lubricate your joints, slowly elevate your heart rate, and get your body ready for exercise[1].

  • Exercise 1: Squats

    • Exercise 2: Lunge

      • Exercise 3: Leg Swings

        • Exercise 4: Star Jumps

          • Exercise 5: Push-ups

            • Exercise 6: Squat Thrusts

              Dynamic Stretches

              Complete the relevant dynamic stretches after your warm-up. For strength workouts, complete the stretches relevant to the session you’re about to partake in (e.g. upper body stretches before an upper-body workout).

              For HIIT workouts, complete both the lower body and upper body dynamic stretches. For mobility workouts, you don’t need to do these.

              Aim to do 15-20 reps on each side for 1 round.

              Upper Body Dynamic Stretches:

              • Exercise 1: Arm Swings

                • Exercise 2: Arm Circles

                  • Exercise 3: External Shoulder Rotations

                    • Exercise 4: Torso Twists

                      Lower Body Dynamic Stretches:

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                      • Exercise 1: Step Throughs

                        • Exercise 2: Lying Side Leg Swings

                          • Exercise 3: Quadruped Kickbacks/Hip Circles

                            • Exercise 4: Leg Swings (Front & Side)

                              Strength Workouts

                              1. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Beginner)

                              This is one of the best at home workouts if you’re a beginner looking to build upper-body strength. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

                              For exercises 2-6, use two water bottles to mimic weights. For exercise 7, you can use the couch or a chair to support yourself.

                              • Exercise 1: Push-Ups — 2 sets, 5-10 reps

                                • Exercise 2: Bent-Over Row — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                  • Exercise 3: Shoulder Press — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                    • Exercise 4: Floor Chest Press — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                      • Exercise 5: Lateral Raises — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                        • Exercise 6: Bicep Curls — 2 sets, 12-15 reps

                                          • Exercise 7: Triceps Dips — 2 sets, 12-15 reps

                                            2. Abs Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                            This bodyweight workout is great for building muscle tone in your abs. Complete all exercises with 30 seconds rest between sets, and use a yoga mat if you have one.

                                            • Exercise 1: Air Bike — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                              • Exercise 2: Crunches — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                • Exercise 3: Russian Twists — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                  • Exercise 4: Bridges — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                    • Exercise 5: Plank Shoulder Taps — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                      • Exercise 6: Flutter Kicks — 2 sets, 8-10 reps (each leg)

                                                        3. Leg Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                                        If you’re looking to add some strength to your legs, this is the best at home workout for that purpose. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. For exercises 3-4, you can use the sofa or a chair to support yourself.

                                                        • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                          • Exercise 2: Forward Standing Lunges — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                            • Exercise 3: Bulgarian Split Squat — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                              • Exercise 4: Hip Thrusts — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

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                                                                • Exercise 5: Romanian Deadlift (Use two water bottles) — 2 sets, 8-10 reps

                                                                  • Exercise 6: Standing Calf Raises — 2 sets, 12-15 reps

                                                                    4. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                    For exercises 6-7, use two heavy water bottles if you don’t have weights available.

                                                                    • Exercise 1: Vertical Wall Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                      • Exercise 2: Pike Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                        • Exercise 3: Towel Row — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                          • Exercise 4: Plyometric Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                            • Exercise 5: Triceps Extensions (from plank position) — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                              • Exercise 6: Bicep Hammer Curls — 3-4 sets, until limit

                                                                                • Exercise 7: Triceps Kickbacks — 3-4 sets, until limit

                                                                                  5. Abs Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                  If you need more core support and strength, this is the best at home workout for those who are already comfortable working out. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

                                                                                  With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                                  • Exercise 1: Jack Knife Sit Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                    • Exercise 2: Lying Leg Raises — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                      • Exercise 3: Plank Hand-to-Toe Touches — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                        • Exercise 4: Cocoon Crunches — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                          • Exercise 5: Plank Elbow-to-Knee — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                            • Exercise 6: Side Plank Reach Through — 3-4 sets, until limit

                                                                                              6. Leg Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                              Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                                              For exercises 4-6, use heavy water bottles if you don’t have weights available.

                                                                                              • Exercise 1: Pistol Squat — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                                • Exercise 2: Bulgarian Jump Squat (use sofa) — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                                  • Exercise 3: Jumping Lunges — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                                    • Exercise 4: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

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                                                                                                      • Exercise 5: Single-Leg Hip Thrusts — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit

                                                                                                        • Exercise 6: Single-Leg Calf Raises — 3-4 sets, until limit

                                                                                                          7. HIIT Workout (Beginner)

                                                                                                          This is the best at home workout for those who are new to HIIT training. Complete all exercises for 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest. Complete 4 rounds.

                                                                                                          • Exercise 1: Squat

                                                                                                            • Exercise 2: Toe Touches

                                                                                                              • Exercise 3: Walk-Outs

                                                                                                                • Exercise 4: Heel Flicks

                                                                                                                  • Exercise 5: Plank

                                                                                                                    • Exercise 6: Jumping Jacks

                                                                                                                      • Exercise 7: Mountain Climbers

                                                                                                                        8. HIIT Workout (Intermediate)

                                                                                                                        Complete all exercises for 35 seconds of work with 25 seconds of rest. Complete 5-6 rounds.

                                                                                                                        • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks

                                                                                                                          • Exercise 2: Burpees

                                                                                                                            • Exercise 3: Push-Ups

                                                                                                                              • Exercise 4: High Knees

                                                                                                                                • Exercise 5: Plank Ups

                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 6: Star-Jumps

                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 7: Cross-Body Mountain Climbers

                                                                                                                                      9. HIIT Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                                                                      If you’ve already been doing HIIT training for a while, this is one of the best at home workouts to keep you going. Complete all exercises for 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest. Complete 7-8 rounds.

                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 1: Jump Squats

                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 2: Hand Release Burpees

                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 3: Lateral Shoot Throughs

                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 4: Tuck Jumps

                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 5: Plank Toe Touches

                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 6: Spiderman Push-Ups

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                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 7: Sprawls

                                                                                                                                                    Mobility Workouts

                                                                                                                                                    10. Upper Body Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                    Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total, and do 2-3 sets. Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

                                                                                                                                                    This workout will help improve flexibility in your upper body.

                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 1: Cat-Cow

                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 2: Upward Dog

                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 3: Chest Release

                                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 4: Child’s Pose

                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 5: Reach Through (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                              11. Lower Body Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                              If you need more flexibility in your hips and legs, this is the best at home workout for you. Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total, and do 2-3 sets. Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

                                                                                                                                                              This workout will help improve flexibility in your lower body.

                                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 1: Scorpion Kicks (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 2: Seated Glute Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 3: Lying Quad Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 4: Lumbar Twist (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 5: Standing Hamstring Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 6: Seated Hip Flexor Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)

                                                                                                                                                                          12. Spinal Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                                          Complete each exercise for 10 reps total, and do 2-3 sets. This workout will help improve your posture, alleviate lower back pain, and increase your flexibility.

                                                                                                                                                                          It’s highly recommended if you’re an office worker that spends most of the day sitting.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 1: Prone Back Extension

                                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 2: Tail Wag

                                                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 3: Quadruped Side Bend

                                                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 4: Seated Forward Fold

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 5: A-Frame to Squat

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 6: Side-Lying Rotations

                                                                                                                                                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                      These are the 12 best at home workouts that you can use to level up your body, torch some calories, and enhance your flexibility while at home. Give these a go, and you’ll be well on your way feeling fitter, healthier, and more productive after lockdown is over!

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

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