This beginner yoga for flexibility and strength routine is a 15-min full body stretch
This is a beginner yoga for flexibility and strength routine.
The best yoga for flexibility for beginners is basic yoga. This is so you can go into a deep stretch without fear of injury.
This daily yoga for flexibility routine is a full body stretch. It goes for 10-15 minutes, but you can make it longer if you want.
Each pose described also has safety information which you should follow. Also listed are the ailments each post can help with in relation to curing yoga.
Correct breathing is a big part of yoga.
Life force is a non-physical essential energy. It is present throughout the universe, and the universe provides it in abundance for all. Although science rejects the concept of life force, the notion of it is present in most cultures.
You may know the concept of life force as Chi, Élan vital, Gi, Khi, Ki, Manitou, Prana, Ruah, Qi, Vitalism, etc.
In relation to living creatures, this essential energy flows through the body. If it gets blocked, the symptoms of the blockage manifest as illness and/or pain. In other words, it is the blockage of energy which causes any sickness you have. That sickness may be physical, mental, emotional, etc.
You can prevent and reduce sickness by releasing the blockage. The simplest way to encourage and maintain the flow of this energy through the body is the breath.
Every breath circulates life force through the body, but taking full breaths is best. Unfortunately, most people do not take full breaths. Take the time to concentrate on proper breathing. Doing so will promote better breathing even when you are not concentrating on it.
If you only want to do one thing a day to maintain your health, do conscious breathing.
This is the breath to do when practicing yoga, but when first learning it, do it from a sitting or lying position.
Breathe in long and deep through your nose. Feel it enter your lower belly, then your lower chest/rib cage, and finally into your lower throat/top of the sternum. Feel the clear, positive energies of happiness and love come up from your toes to your head.
When you are ready, exhale fully through your nose. Feel it leave in the opposite order it came in, i.e., first from your sternum, then your chest, and finally your belly. Release all negative energy and tension out of your body from your head to your toes.
Continue to breathe in and out like this, smooth and continuous.
When you first start to practice this type of breathing it may help to put your hands on each of the three areas as you do it. Belly, chest, and sternum. You can also try breathing into each area on its own.
Alternate nostril breathing is in some of the curing yoga sequences. It is a quick and easy way to calm your nervous system and raise your happiness. It also helps clear congestion.
This part of the article will explain how to do each pose in the routine. They are in the order you do them.
To do this basic yoga routine in 10-15 minutes, hold each pose for 10 seconds. It is about 2 deep breaths.
Once you are familiar with the poses, it will be easiest to use the free Yoga Routine Quick Sheet. You can get it by joining the newsletter. Click here to get it.
Avoid doing mountain pose if you have a shoulder injury.
Stand with your feet parallel and either together or hip width apart.
Spread your toes wide and balance your weight evenly and centered over each foot.
Pull up your kneecaps and tense your thighs. Keep your legs straight but do not lock your knees.
Ensure your hips are directly over your ankles.
As you inhale, lengthen your spine so that the crown of your head goes straight up towards the sky.
When you exhale drop your shoulders and lengthen your finger-tips towards the ground. Keep extending your head upwards.
At the same time gently direct your chest straight ahead.
While continuing to lengthen, inhale and bring your arms up above your head. Reach for the sky, palms facing each other.
As you exhale relax your shoulders but continue to lengthen your crown and fingers to the sky.
You could also interlace your fingers with your index fingers pointing up.
Interlace your fingers with your index fingers pointing up
When you are ready, exhale and bring your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position.
Take a breath and on the exhale allow your hands to drop to your sides.
Resting in mountain position
Avoid doing standing back bends if you have a back, hip, and/or neck injury.
As you breathe in place the palms of your hands on your lower back (sacrum) with your fingers pointing to the ground.
Squeeze your buttocks and thighs tight, pull up your kneecaps, and press into your feet.
Exhale and press your hips forward as you arch your back.
You can either look straight ahead or allow your head to drop all the way back.
Increase the stretch by walking your hands down the back of your legs.
When you are ready, slowly come back to a standing position with your hands by your sides.
Avoid doing crescent moon pose if you have a back, hip, and/or shoulder injury.
While inhaling adopt mountain pose. Interlace your fingers and point your index fingers to the sky.
As you exhale press your left hip out to the side and arch to your right.
Keep your body strong and lengthened.
Inhale as you return to the position with your fingers interlaced and pointing to the sky. Repeat it on your other side.
Crescent Moon Pose
Return to mountain pose.
In curing yoga, crescent moon pose can help with:
Avoid doing standing forward folds if you have a back, hip, leg, and/or shoulder injury.
Exhale and bring your head to your knees with your palms flat on the floor.
Stretch your spine by pulling your head down while pushing your hips up.
Bend your knees if you need to but aim to be able to do it with straight legs.
Press your belly into your thighs when inhaling.
For a deeper stretch hold the back of your calves and pull your head closer to your legs.
Standing Forward Fold
You can make it easier by spreading your legs apart a little.
Stand back in mountain pose when you are ready.
In curing yoga, standing forward fold can help with:
Avoid doing table pose if you have a knee and/or wrist injury.
As you inhale, place your hands and knees on the floor with your palms underneath your shoulders. Your fingers face forwards.
Ensure your knees are shoulder width apart and your feet are behind them. The tops of your feet and your toes are on the floor.
Look at the ground between your hands and press down into your palms.
Have your back flat and exhale while lengthening your spine. Lengthen your spine by pressing the crown of your head forward and your tailbone back.
In curing yoga, table pose can help with:
Avoid doing threading the needle pose if you have a knee, neck, and/or shoulder injury.
As you exhale slide your right hand between your left knee and left hand. Do it until your right shoulder and the side of your head are resting on the floor.
Inhale and reach towards the sky with your left hand.
Find where you get the deepest stretch and stay there, reaching out through your fingers.
Threading the Needle
When ready exhale as you bring your hand back to the floor and then inhale to readopt table pose.
Repeat the pose on your left side.
In curing yoga, threading the needle pose can help with:
Avoid doing low warrior pose if you have an ankle, arm, hip, and/or shoulder injury.
Step your right foot forward placing it in-between your hands. Your knee is over your ankle.
Ensure your left knee, and your left and right feet are firm with the ground and then place your hands on your right knee.
Straighten your arms and bring your torso back. Do not lock your elbows.
Relax your shoulders. Stick your chest out by bringing your shoulder blades towards each other.
As you inhale, raise your arms over your head with your palms facing each other and arch your back as you look up to the sky.
If this is difficult then you can keep your hands on your bent knee.
When ready exhale as you bring your palms back to the floor on either side of your right foot.
In curing yoga, low warrior pose can help with:
Avoid doing half prayer twist if you have a back, hip, knee, and/or shoulder injury.
As you inhale bring your torso up and place your hands together in a prayer position.
Place your right elbow to the outside of your left knee and use your arms to press your right shoulder up and back. Feel it twist your upper back.
Ensure your palms remain in the center of your chest. Point your fingers towards your throat.
You can either look straight ahead or up towards the sky.
Half Prayer Twist
When ready exhale as you bring your palms back to the floor, one on each side of your right foot.
In curing yoga, half prayer twist can help with:
Avoid doing half pyramid pose if you have a knee, and/or leg injury.
While exhaling, straighten your right leg as you press your hips back towards your left heel.
Round your spine and lift your toes to the sky as you push your forehead to your right knee.
Walk your hands back towards you to support your torso.
Relax your elbows, face, neck, and shoulders.
When ready inhale and bend your right knee back over your ankle. Then exhale and bring your right knee back into table pose.
In curing yoga, half pyramid pose can help with foot cramping, hot flashes, and shin splints.
*Do low Warrior, half prayer twist, and half pyramid on your other side*
Avoid doing extended dog pose if you have an arm, back, knee, and/or shoulder injury.
As you inhale push your tailbone towards the sky. Exhale and lower your forehead to the floor by sliding your hands forward. Ensure you keep your hips lifted over your knees.
Arch the middle of your back by allowing your chest to sink.
To deepen the stretch, straighten your arms, lift your elbows off the floor, and bring your hips back. Try not to let your hands slide while you do this.
Place your chin on the ground to stretch your neck.
Extended Dog Pose
When ready, inhale and return to the table pose.
In curing yoga, extended dog pose can help with relaxation, weight loss, and more.
Avoid doing hero pose if you have a knee injury.
Kneel on the ground with your knees together and your feet hip-width apart. Sit with your bum on the ground and your heels on the outside of your hips.
If this is too difficult you can sit on your heels.
Place your hands on your knees. Your palms can face up or down.
Lengthen your torso by reaching the crown of your head to the sky.
Push your lower legs into the ground, drop your shoulders, and press your chest forward.
Relax your belly, face, jaw, and tongue.
In curing yoga, hero pose can help with:
Hero pose is also an excellent pose to rest and/or for meditation.
Avoid doing lion pose if you have a face, knee, neck, and/or tongue injury.
From hero pose, bring your feet together and spread your knees as wide as you can without straining. Sit on your heels.
Inhale and lengthen your spine by reaching the crown of your head to the sky.
Bring your palms to the floor between your knees with your fingers facing your body.
Arch your spine, stick your tongue out and exhale via your mouth. Be ferocious like a lion!
Repeat this a few times and then return to hero pose.
In curing yoga, lion pose can help with complexion, self-esteem, and flexibility.
Avoid doing downward facing frog if you have a knee, hip, and/or leg injury.
Spread your knees as wide as you can without hurting yourself. Align your feet so that they are behind your knees, i.e. right foot behind right knee and left foot behind left knee.
Turn your feet outwards so your toes are facing away from your body.
Place your elbows, forearms, and palms flat on the floor.
Exhale as you push your hips back.
Downward Facing Frog
When ready, return to hero pose.
Move into a seated position with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
Place your hands beside your hips with your fingers pointed forward.
Lengthen your spine by pressing your hip bones down whilst pushing the crown of your head up.
Use your arms for support as you push your chest forward and lower your shoulders.
Pull your toes towards your head as you push your heels away from you.
In curing yoga, staff pose can help with:
Avoid doing a seated forward bend if you have an ankle, arm, hip, and/or shoulder injury.
From staff pose, inhale and raise your arms up to the sky with your palms facing each other. Lengthen your torso through your fingers and the crown of your head.
As you exhale bend at the hips, lowering your upper body to your legs. Grab your ankles, feet, or toes.
Push out through your heels as you pull your toes back towards you.
You can use your arms to pull yourself closer to your legs. For those with more flexibility reach your hands in front of your feet.
If you are having difficulties bend your knees enough so you can reach your feet and place your head on your knees.
Seated Forward Bend
When you are ready slowly roll up your spine back into staff pose.
In curing yoga, seated forward bend can help with:
Avoid doing bound angle pose if you have a hip and/or knee injury.
Bend your legs to bring the bottoms of your feet together. Your knees bend facing out.
Hold onto your toes by interlacing your fingers around them.
As you inhale stretch the crown of your head up towards the sky while pushing your hips down.
Push your chest forward and relax your shoulders down.
Close your eyes and look to your third eye (behind the middle of your forehead).
As you exhale push your knees to the ground and gently pull your torso forward. Ensure to keep your chest open and back flat.
For a deeper stretch, pull your forehead or chest towards your feet.
When you’re ready, return to staff pose.
In curing yoga, bound angle pose can help with:
Avoid doing seated angle pose if you have an arm, hip, knee, and/or shoulder injury.
As you inhale spread your legs out as wide as comfortable. Ensure your knees and toes are pointing up and reach through your fingers up to the sky.
Exhale as you lower your palms to the floor. Deepen the stretch by walking your hands forward. Stay focused on keeping your spine long.
You could also hold your big toes and use them to help pull your torso down.
When ready, inhale and slowly walk your hands in as your roll back your spine. Finish with a straight back.
In curing yoga, seated angle pose can help with:
Avoid doing side seated angle pose if you have a hip, leg, and/or lower back injury.
Turn to face your right foot by twisting at your waist.
Walk your hands towards your right foot as you exhale. Try to reach your forehead to your knee and hold your right ankle or foot if you are able.
Relax your shoulders and neck. Increase the stretch by pressing your heel out while pulling your toes back.
Side Seated Angle
When ready, return to the center with your back straight and then do the same thing on your left side.
Go back to seated angle, then to staff pose, and lie flat on your back.
Avoid doing joyful baby pose if you have a leg, neck, and/or shoulder injury.
As you inhale bring your knees to your chest.
Weave your arms through the inside of your knees. Hold onto the pinkie toe side edges of your feet with your hands.
Keep your head on the ground and tuck your chin to your chest.
Push your heels up to the sky as you pull back with your arms. At the same time press the back of your neck, shoulders, sacrum, and tailbone to the floor.
Open your legs wider for a deeper hip stretch.
Joyful Baby Pose
When you’re ready, exhale and slowly roll your spine back to the ground until you are lying flat again.
In curing yoga, joyful baby pose can help with:
Avoid doing wind relieving pose if have a hernia and/or have had recent abdominal surgery.
As you inhale bring both knees up to your chest. Hug your knees and hold onto your opposite elbows, forearms, fingers, or wrists.
Keep your head on the floor whilst tucking your chin to your chest.
Pull your knees to your chest as you press the back of your neck, shoulders, sacrum, and tailbone to the floor.
Relax your feet, hips, and legs.
Inhale deep into your belly and press it against your thighs as you do so.
Wind Relieving Pose
When ready exhale and relax all your limbs to the ground so you are lying flat again.
In curing yoga, wind relieving pose can help with:
Avoid doing supine bound angle pose if you have a hip and/or shoulder injury.
Bend your legs to bring the bottoms of your feet together. Your knees bend facing out like with bound angle pose but lying down.
Allow your knees to drop to the ground. You can rest your hands on your thighs to “encourage” them but do not push down.
As you inhale slide your arms on the ground over your head until your palms are together. Cross your thumbs.
Supine Bound Angle
When ready exhale as you return to a lying position.
In curing yoga, supine bound angle pose can help with:
In the last few poses you are lying flat on your back. This is corpse pose. Now you will do it properly.
Lie flat on your back on the floor. You can place a pillow under your head if you want.
Keep your head straight, i.e., don’t let it fall to the side.
Draw your shoulder blades down and open your chest towards your chin.
Have your arms at a comfortable distance from your body with your palms facing up. Completely relax your arms and fingers.
Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
Lift and extend your buttocks to your heels so that your whole sacrum rests on the floor.
Keep your abdomen soft and relaxed.
Slowly stretch your legs out straight one at the time. Allow them to roll out to the side from the hips to the feet. Check that your body is in a straight line and you are resting evenly on the left and right sides.
Once you are comfortable stay still and quiet. Be aware of your body relaxing deeper into the floor.
Allow your eyes to rest completely so they sink deeper towards the back of the skull. Relax your whole face and body.
Be aware of your breath, quiet and soft.
Now is the perfect time to do yoga nidra or some other meditation.
Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation which has many health benefits. Yoga Nidra is my favorite form of meditation because it is easy to do, especially for beginners. For those of you that use other forms of mediation that you enjoy then feel free to stick to them. The main thing is the meditation.
You can guide yourself through yoga nidra but the easiest way to do it is to listen to a yoga nidra practice. You only need to do what the instructor says.
It is good to do AT LEAST 10 minutes of yoga nidra immediately following the yoga stretch routine.
Find a place where your body can be comfortable and you can practice undisturbed. Not too hot or cold. Put on some soothing background music if you want.
It is best not to do yoga nidra in bed because you will be more likely to fall asleep. A yoga mat on the floor is ideal.
Yoga nidra is a conscious practice.
Corpse pose is at the end of almost every yoga practice. Going straight from your yoga practice to yoga nidra is ideal.
You can also do yoga nidra from a seated position if lying down is inappropriate.
Close your eyes.
Notice your breathing. Feel your lungs filling with air, your stomach expanding, and then deflating.
Imagine a light around your body expanding and contracting as you breathe in and out.
Feel the energy coursing through your body.
Notice each of your senses, one by one.
What sounds do you hear? Near, far, inside, outside.
What smells can you smell? Take small sniffs, like a dog does.
Taste the air.
Feel your body supported on the floor. Which parts of your body are touching?
What can you see with your eyes closed? Does the light make shapes in your eyelids?
Your mantra is a short sentence stating your intentions. It’s kind of like an affirmation. It may be a broad statement such as overall health or relaxation. It could also be a visualization of something you want to achieve.
Whatever it is, repeat it mentally three times. Try to feel how it feels as if it was true.
One I use often is “My entire being is completely relaxed and at one with the universe.”
This is where you consciously relax each part of your body.
Mentally go through your body. Bring your attention to and relax each part. You can be very detailed about this or only do large areas. It depends on how long you want to spend.
I start from the top of my head and work my way down. Sometimes I even do internal organs.
After you have relaxed smaller body parts relax them as a whole. For example, shoulder, upper arm, bicep, elbow, forearm, hand, fingers, relax the whole arm.
At the end relax the whole body as one.
The last step is to deepen your breath and start to move your fingers and toes, then your hands and feet.
In your own time stretch your body out in whatever way feels right. Open your eyes when you are ready.
When you finish stretching, gently hug your knees. It is wind relieving pose. Fall to your right side and then gently sit up.
Take a moment to reflect on the practice and then go about your day.
Here's a playlist of the three ten minute videos which I use to do my daily yoga nidra.
Note: 10 minutes is very short for Yoga Nidra. None of these ten-minute yoga nidra practices go through all the steps above. If you can spare the extra time, download some very good yoga nidra practices for free at YogaNidraNetwork.org/downloads. There are also some shorter ones which I use in the mornings.
A 15-minute yoga routine is quite short. The longer you do this simple yoga routine the better.
You can make it longer by extending the time you stay in each pose. The longer you stay in each pose, the more your flexibility will improve.
Don't forget to use correct breathing techniques while doing the poses. Also, do yoga nidra or some other type of meditation at the end.
If you want to learn more about how yoga can help cure different ailments, check out Curing Yoga by Aventuras De Viaje.
Did you find this beginner yoga flexibility and strength routine useful? If so, please share it with your friends.
Sam Fury is the creator and owner of the Survival Fitness Plan.
He has had a passion for martial arts and outdoor pursuits since he was a young boy growing up in Australia.
As a young adult he joined the military and studied outdoor leadership in college. After that, to further his skills, Sam started traveling to learn from the best in the world in various fields related to the Survival Fitness Plan including various martial arts in China, SE Asia and Brazil, Parkour in Singapore, Surf Life Saving in Australia, and others.
These days, he still enjoys learning new things, traveling and sharing what he has learned via the Survival Fitness Plan.
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