Quick Yoga Routines for Beginners

Building Blocks and Short Yoga Workouts

Yoga in living room
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One of the most challenging things about doing yoga at home is figuring out how to sequence poses. After you take a lot of classes, you may start to notice that there are certain patterns that teachers follow repeatedly, but beginners often need a little help.

These 10 short sequences are all appropriate for new yoga students. You can do them independently or run them together for a longer routine.

Use them as building blocks and, with a little trial and error, you'll soon be set up with lots of options for your home practice routine.

Warmup Yoga Pose Routines

1. Warmup SequenceA quick warm-up series touches on the major tension-holding areas of the body. You can do a few of these poses if you get to class early or do the whole sequence when you're practicing at home.

  • Focus: Hips, shoulders, spine
  • 10 pose sequence: Pelvic tilts, leg stretch, eye of the needle pose, easy pose, eagle arms, easy twist, cat-cow stretch, downward facing dog, child's pose, and goddess pose

2. 10 Simple Yoga ExercisesYoga poses don't have to look like a crazy, twisted pretzel to be effective. The 10 poses in this series are likely positions that are familiar to you. Do them regularly, and you will definitely feel a difference in your body.

  • Focus: Hamstrings and hips
  • 10 pose sequence: Mountain pose, raised arms pose, standing forward bend, garland pose, lunge pose, plank pose, staff pose, seated forward bend, head to knees pose, and happy baby pose

    3. Daily Stretch Routine: This is a go-to sequence for a short practice you can do every day. It's also a good place to start a longer practice. On the days when you have more time, add on one or more of the sequences below.

    • Focus: Hamstrings, hips, spine
    • 10 pose sequence: pelvic tilts, cat-cow stretches, downward facing dog, lunge, straight leg lunge, mountain pose-raised arm pose, standing forward bend, pigeon pose, happy baby, and corpse pose

      Expand Your Yoga Pose Routines

      4. Sun SalutationThe sun salutation is a basic series of poses that move you from the front of your mat to the back, warming up the whole body as you go. For this reason, it's often done at the beginning of vinyasa yoga classes and is an excellent way to start a home practice too.

      • Focus: Whole body
      • 8 pose sequence: Mountain pose (tadasana), forward bend (uttanasana) to flat back, plank, knees-chest-chin (chaturanga dandasana), cobra (or upward facing dog), downward facing dog, step or jump to forward bend, mountain pose

      5. Classic Standing PosesThis is a flowing sequence of eight classic standing poses. It's a sequence that yoga teachers often use in beginners' classes.

      • Focus: Legs, particularly hips and hamstrings
      • 8 pose sequence: Downward facing dog, lunge, warrior I, warrior II, reverse warrior, extended side angle pose, triangle, half-moon, and downward facing dog

      6. Warrior SequenceThis is a shorter sequence than the previous one, but a little more challenging since it includes some balancing postures that focus more intensely on core strength.

      • Focus: Legs, core
      • 5 pose sequence: Mountain pose, warrior I, humble warrior, warrior II, reverse warrior, warrior III

        7. Strength Yoga for BeginnersIn order to move into intermediate poses like inversions and arm balances, you need to build up your strength, especially in the core. This sequence is designed to get you there.

        • Focus: Core, arms, and legs
        • 9 pose sequence: Downward facing dog, plank, chaturanga dandasana, dolphin, dolphin pushups, downward dog split, awkward chair, standing split, tree pose

        8. Improve Your FlexibilityWith regular practice, you will be surprised how much you can change your level of flexibility. This series is broken down into three areas of focus, and all the poses are accessible to most new beginners.

        It's a good idea to do these poses near the end of your practice when you are already warm.

        • Focus: Hamstrings, hips, and shoulders
        • 10 pose sequence: Reclined big toe pose, standing forward bend, triangle pose, seated wide-legged straddle, eye of the needle, cobbler's pose, pigeon, eagle, bridge, cow face pose

        Cool Down

        9. Seated Hip StretchesTake advantage of the heat you have built to get a little deeper into your hips and hamstrings with a series of seated poses, including forward bends.

        • Focus: Hips and hamstrings
        • 5 pose sequence: Cobbler's pose, knee to ankle pose, cow face pose, head to knee pose, seated wide-legged straddle

        10. Relaxation SequenceCool down with these eight relaxing poses. Look for a few restorative postures and savasana. This sequence can also stand alone on days when you just need a few minutes of relaxation.

        • Focus: General relaxation
        • 8 pose sequence: Pigeon pose, supported bridge, reclined goddess, supine spinal twist, happy baby, legs up the wall, corpse pose, easy pose