Yoga is a fantastic exercise for those who like to work the muscles without profuse sweating. Back in college I use to laugh at the people with their yoga mats stretched out on the quad but little did I know I’d be writing about it today!
After a long day of traffic, working and running errands, I love to stretch everything out before going to bed. It helps clears my head out of the day, and allows me to sleep peacefully and soundly. If you’re like me, starting with yoga can seem a bit intimidating and scary. Seeing all the great fitness posts on Facebook and Instagram makes it seem like it’s so easy to do, but like any workout, there is a beginner level!
Not only are the moves below great for beginners, it’s also a great way to warm up and cool down from a workout. I usually complete this routine after an intense kickboxing workout, but feel free to complete whenever. If you’re looking for more great tips for beginners check out my post on the best fitness tips for beginners!
Bend forward until you reach your toes, or reach as far down as possible. Lift your head, look outwards and hold for 20 seconds.
Place both hands palm down in front of you to create an A shape with your body. You should feel the stretch in the back of your legs, and the tension releasing from your spine. Hold for 20 seconds.
Lay flat on your stomach with your palms on the mat and elbows to the side. Push upwards on your palms until you feel the stretch in your abdominal area. This is also a great pose to work on arm strength! Hold for 20 seconds.
Upward Facing dog
Once your muscles are stretched out a tad, move into this position if possible. Spread legs slightly and extend arms fully in front of you while looking upward. Hold for 20 seconds.
Hold a forearm plank. You should feel this in your forearms and abs, be careful not to drop your knees! If you feel yourself starting to droop, engage your core muscles and hold for 20 seconds.
Stretch legs out in a ‘V’ positions and clasp your hands together in a straight position above your head. Hold for 20 seconds.
Continue to stretch your legs out, like warrior I, but hold arms in a horizontal position. Hold for 20 seconds.
Hold the same leg position as warrior I and II but this time feel free to stretch your arms out in a vertical position. Look upwards to feel the stretch fully and hold for 20 seconds.
Sit on all fours,hands and knees, and hold the pose for 20 seconds. Feel free to arch your back like a cat a few times to feel the stretch in your spine. This pose is great beginner pose for opening up the chest and back. Hold for 20 seconds.
Sit back on your heels with your arms stretched out in front of you. Spread your knees apart slightly until you feel the stretch in your hip flexors. For an added challenge, try and push your bum as close to your heels to really feel the stretch. Stretching out the hip flexors is great for those who sit for long hours in a chair or any limited mobility job. Hold for 20 seconds and feel free to spread your knees further apart to feel an even deeper stretch.
That’s it! Complete 3 times a week for the best results. Once these moves have been master, feel free to move on to more advanced moves such as a headstand or inversions. Stay tuned for more fitness tips from a fellow beginner and comment your favorite pose below!