It’s no secret that yoga is one of the best ways to relieve stress and help with a number of health problems. But it can be intimidating for beginners who don’t know where to start.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of 20 yoga stretches for beginners that will help you get started on your yoga journey so make sure to read until the end before starting your first sessions.
The Benefits of Yoga Stretches
The many benefits of yoga include improved flexibility, strength, and balance. Yoga can also help to put your mind at ease and improve your breathing, and overall energy. Apart from that, yoga stretches can also help with certain conditions like sciatica.
According to Mayo Clinic, the top 3 health reasons why people practice yoga are managing chronic conditions, feeling more flexible and generally fitter, and reducing stress.
Is it Enough to Do Yoga 20 Minutes Per Day?
20 minutes of yoga a day is enough to improve your flexibility. That being said, such short yoga sessions will not be enough for losing weight or improving endurance. In that case, we recommend practicing at least 30 minutes per day.
20 Best Yoga Stretches for Beginners
The beauty of yoga is that everyone can do it, including beginners. More and more people are interested in yoga, so much that the number of participants grew from 20.4 million to over 55 million in the United States only, according to a report from Statista.
You don’t have to be flexible or have an athletic background to get started. All you need is a comfortable place to sit or lie down, and 20 minutes for these 20 best yoga stretches for beginners.
Downward Dog is a popular yoga pose that offers a variety of benefits for both the body and the mind. The pose helps to lengthen and stretch the spine, as well as the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and hamstrings.
It also helps relieve tension in the upper back and improve posture. In addition, Downward Dog helps to increase circulation and improve digestion. For many people, it is also a helpful pose for calming the mind and reducing stress.
To enter the pose, start in a tabletop position. Then, curl your toes under and press your hips up and back, coming into an inverted “V” shape.
Make sure to keep your core engaged and your arms and legs straight. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for at least five breaths before releasing back into the tabletop.
This is one of the most commonly used yoga stretches for beginners, and with good reason. Sukhasana, or the Easy Pose, is another of the easy yoga stretches for back.
To do the Easy Pose, sit on the floor with your legs crossed. In case your hips are tight, we recommend using a blanket under your sit bones to help them open up. Once you’re on the pose, take some deep breaths and relax.
This pose is an excellent method to stretch your back, shoulders, and hips. It also helps to be more peaceful.
Start on your hands and knees with your feet together and your big toes touching. Sit back on your heels. As you exhale, bow forward from the hip joints, bringing your forehead to rest on the mat in front of you.
Keep your arms alongside your body. You can also place your elbows on the mat with your forearms parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor.
High Lunge and Warrior I
These two powerful standing poses to open up the hips, strengthen the legs, and improve balance, and they are very similar to yoga stretches.
From High Lunge (Anjaneyasana), step your back foot forward up until your knee is positioned at a 90-degree angle and your leg is straight. Reach your arms overhead, bringing your biceps next to your ears. On an inhale, sweep your arms out to the side and up, then back to overhead. exhale as you lunge deeper into the front leg.
From Warrior, I (Virabhadrasana I), lift your hips and bring your front foot back until both legs are straight. Reach your arms overhead, keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears.
This pose is great for strengthening the legs and abs, and opening up the hips. It also helps to improve balance.
Start in a standing position keeping your feet apart. Step your right foot out to the side and turn your left toes in slightly. Bend your right knee so that it’s directly over your right ankle.
Reach your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground. Your palms must be facing down. Gaze over your right hand. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths then repeat on the other side.
Mountain pose is one of the basic stretches for beginners, but it’s also one of the most important. It’s a great way to center yourself at the beginning of a yoga practice or class, and it can also be used as a resting pose between more challenging poses.
To do mountain pose, stand with your feet next to each other and your arms alongside your body. Lift your chin slightly and look straight ahead. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, lengthen your spine and imagine yourself growing taller.
Head to Knee Pose
This classic pose is a great way to stretch your hamstrings, which can become tight from sitting too much. It’s also a good opportunity to focus on your breath and learn how to lengthen it.
Begin with the Mountain Pose keeping your feet apart. Exhale and fold forward from your hips, keeping your spine straight. Bring your hands to the ground or a yoga block. If you can’t reach the ground, keep your knees bent. Hold for five to ten breaths.
Half Forward Bend
The Half Forward Bend is a great way to start your yoga session as it stretches the hamstrings, back, and shoulders.
To do this stretch, start standing with your feet hip-width apart, and your hands on your hips. After that, bend forward at the hips, and bring your chest toward your thighs.
Reach your hands toward the ground, and let your head hang heavy. Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds. To release the stretch, bring your hands back to your hips, and slowly lift your torso back.
Seated Forward Bend
This is a great stretch for the back and hamstrings. Sit with your legs in the front and your spine straight. Reach your arms overhead and then fold forward, keeping your back as straight as possible. Hold for at least 1 minute and up to 3 minutes.
One of the best yoga stretches for beginners is the Cobbler’s Pose, which helps to stretch the hips, knees, thighs, and ankles. To do this pose, sit with your legs crossed in the front and your hands on your knees.
Then, slowly lean forward, keeping your back straight. You should feel a stretch in your hips and knees. Hold this position for around 20 to 30 seconds.
Begin in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat. Put your weight on your left foot and place your right ankle on top of your left thigh. Keep your hips squared to the front and press down firmly through both feet.
Inhale as you raise your arms above your head, and exhale as you bring your palms together in a prayer position. Hold for 5-8 breaths if you’re a novice, or up to 10 breaths if you’re more experienced.
The low lunge, or Anjaneyasana, is another yoga stretch for hips, and quads, and even helps mental focus. Step your left foot forward, coming into a low lunge position with your left knee bent and your right leg extended behind you. Place your hands on either side of your left leg, fingers pointing forward.
Pressing down into your feet, straighten your left leg and lift your right leg up off the ground. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then lower your right leg back down and step it back to meet your left leg. Repeat on the other side.
Plank pose is a great way to begin strengthening your core muscles and is, according to Decathlon, one of the best poses to lose weight. It also helps prepare your body for more advanced yoga poses.
Start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Engage your abs and slowly lower your hips toward the floor, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 10 to 45 seconds, then return to the starting position.
Knees, Chest, and Chin
The knees, chest, and chin, also known as “The Camel Pose,” are a great stretch for the entire backside of the body. It helps to lengthen the spine and open up the chest.
To do this stretch, start on your hands and knees with your palms on the ground and your fingers pointing forward. Bring your right hand to the back of your head and your left hand to the small of your back.
Gently press your chin to your chest and arch your back, looking up. Hold for a few deep breaths, up to 10, and then release.
This pose is also known as Dandasana, and it is perfect for lengthening the spine and strengthening the back muscles. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you.
Place your palms on the floor beside you, and sit up tall. Engage your core muscles and slowly start to lean back, until your back is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Hold this position for five deep breaths before returning to the starting position.
Start with your hands and knees in the tabletop legs position and ensure your knees are under your hips. Also, your wrists must be under your shoulders.
As you inhale, place your belly toward the ground and look up, letting your back round. On the exhale, arch your back and look down at your navel. Hold it for a minimum of 15 to 30 seconds, moving slowly and with deep breaths.
This pose is great for strengthening the legs and opening up the hips, while also improving balance.
To get into this pose, stand up with your feet apart. From there, reach your right hand down to the ground near your right foot, while keeping your left hand extended up toward the sky.
Once you’re in this position, simply turn your gaze up toward your left hand, and hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute.
Garland Pose is a great hip opener that can help to release tension in the lower back and outer hips. It’s also a nice way to warm up the muscles of the groin and thighs before moving into deeper stretches or more challenging yoga poses.
To get into Garland Pose, stand up and end your knees and lower your hips down towards the floor, bringing your buttocks towards your heels. If you can’t quite lower all the way down, place a yoga block or cushion under your buttocks for support.
Once you’re in position, place your hands in front of your chest in a prayer position. Alternatively, place your hands on the floor in front of you if that’s more comfortable. Press your palms together and take a few deep breaths.
One of the best yoga stretches for beginners is the Cobra Pose. This pose helps to open up the chest and stretch your muscles.
To do the Cobra Pose, lie on your stomach and place your hands placed next to your shoulders. Slowly lift your head and chest off the ground, keeping your navel pulled in toward your spine.
Hold this position for a few deep breaths before slowly coming back.
Seated Wide Angle Straddle
This is a great stretch for the hips and inner thighs. Sit on the ground with your legs as wide apart as possible.
If your hamstrings are tight, you may need to scoot your butt forward a bit so that you can lean forward and touch the ground in front of you.
Once you’re in position, take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lean forward from your hips and reach your hands to the ground in front of you. If you can’t touch the ground, that’s OK – just go as far forward as you can. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
If you’re just starting out, these were the best beginner-friendly yoga stretches for you. These 20 yoga stretch poses will help loosen your muscles and prepare your body for more advanced asanas down the road. We recommend practicing these yoga stretches at least once a day to see results.
Thanks for sticking until the end and comment here below if you have any questions.