Thinking about trying yoga for the first time, but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. Many feel that starting yoga as a complete beginner is too intimidating– because who wants to walk into a packed class full of people doing headstands if you can’t even touch your toes? (Been there!) And while these feelings of intimidation definitely ring true for a lot of people, the reality is that everyone can do yoga.
Whether you are young or old, overweight or fit, yoga has the power to calm the mind and strengthen the body. Don’t be intimidated by yoga terminology, fancy yoga studios, and complicated poses. Yoga is for everyone.
Imported to the United States from India over a century ago, yoga has long been praised for its physical and spiritual benefits. Research shows yoga can help manage stress, relieve feelings of depression and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance the quality of sleep. In addition, yoga has been shown to increase flexibility, improve balance and coordination, reduce pain, and increase strength. The beauty of yoga is that you don’t have to be a yogi to reap the benefits — by starting slow and committing to the breathing exercises throughout the poses, you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life each time you try it.
The great thing about yoga is that it can be done anytime, anywhere, with very few accessories. All you need is to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. A non-slip yoga mat is also recommended, but you can also use a large towel or do it on a flat rug. More than anything, though, yoga beginners need patience and an open mind. With a little determination, you’ll feel the results in no time.
With most of us still cooped up at home, now is a better time than ever to start yoga, especially if you’re a total beginner. From the comfort of your own living room, you can learn the poses, breathing exercises, and increase your strength and flexibility, without having to worry about an Insta-famous yogi being next to you in class.
Scroll on for the 5 best videos we found online to start your yoga journey at home. Remember that as with anything new, it will take some time to get comfortable with the sequences and the postures. Stick to it, breathe, and know that you’re doing one of the best things you can do for your mind and body. We promise you won’t regret it!
This 20-minute sequence is perfect for complete and total beginners to start with. Adriene (who has over 8 million followers on YouTube) walks you through breathing exercises to start and get grounded, and then slowly begins to take you through an easy stretching sequence that’s rooted in the foundations of vinyasa yoga. Her cues make it easy to follow without having to keep looking back to the video, so you can really try to find body and mind awareness throughout the sequence (nothing worse than trying to do a workout video that you can’t follow!) She packs the video with beginner tips and gives you several opportunities to practice each pose, so that you can begin to breathe through each pose confidently and finish the video feeling grounded and calm.
This “fun and feel-good” 10-minute yoga routine is a great way for beginners to start their day. This energizing vinyasa yoga class moves with the breath and flows between the basic poses of down dog and low lunge. Starting your day with this video will make you feel energized and ready to conquer your tp-do list with ease.
Shona is an ex-gymnast, dancer, personal trainer, yoga teacher, and author. This upbeat and easy to follow 15-minute yoga video covers just six poses that will help you build the foundation of a vinyasa yoga practice. Shona explains these basic beginner poses with clear details, great tips and also includes instruction on perfecting your yogic breathing.
This 20-minute flow yoga sequence was created to stretch and relax your entire body and to build strength in the legs and core. Filmed on the beach in Thailand (ahhh), this class might move through the poses a bit quickly for newbies, so this would be a great option to work up to once you’ve practiced with some of the slower-paced videos above.
While this 30-Minute yoga class is geared towards those new to yoga, the pace and amount of instruction might be a bit challenging for total newbies. This sequence moves through various sun salutations and other fundamental poses that you will encounter in a Vinyasa style of yoga. If you feel comfortable with the other 4 videos above and are up for a little challenge, this video is great for practicing the transitional movements between poses and increasing your strength in each pose.