Yoga for beginners at home: a guide to get you started

From the equipment you need to its benefits and beginner poses.

woman yoga

by Ellen Kinsey |

Keen to try yoga but don’t feel ready to attend a class? Then you need to take a read of our guide for yoga for beginners at home.

Not only is yoga brilliant for us physically, but it’s great for us mentally too and even better, you don’t need a lot of equipment to get started.

“The main purpose of yoga, no matter which style you choose, is to calm the mayhem of the mind,” says Chatty Dobson, Yoga Teacher & Owner of FLEX Chelsea.

“It teaches us patience, endurance, how to find peace in discomfort, and most famously – flexibility, strength and muscle toning.”

Here's everything you need to get you started on your journey to becoming a yogi.

Yoga for beginners at home: What you’ll need to get started

Well the good news is Chatty says you don’t need anything at all.

“It definitely helps to have a decent yoga mat (cheap ones tend to have bad grip which will lead to shoulder pain and possibly injury), but until you’ve decided yoga’s definitely for you, save the cash and just use the floor!”.

If you’re someone who’s very flexible, Chatty says it may be worth investing in two yoga blocks and a strap, but these aren’t essential. “Alternatively, you can use some thick books and a belt or scarf,” she says. “When people are new to the practice they tend to view blocks & straps negatively, like they’re not good enough for yoga – don’t! Think of them as just an extension of your legs and arms and your practice will become much more comfortable.”

You'll also want to be wearing comfortable clothes. You do not need to invest in expensive sports leggings or tops. Anything that is comfortable and will not restrain you is perfect.

We’ve rounded up some yoga beginner essentials at the end of this article.

Yoga poses for beginners

As you’re a beginner you won’t want any moves that are too difficult. Here’s three that Chatty recommends for the yogi beginner:

Rag Doll – stand with your feet shoulder width apart, take a nice deep bend in the knees, catch hold of opposite elbows and gently sway side to side. Relax the neck, the jaw and the forehead. This will slowly stretch out the hamstrings, lower back and neck. Make sure the knees are bent though, as you’ll get much more benefit.

Tree – Standing on your left leg, bring the sole of the right foot to your inner left ankle, calf or thigh. Push the foot into the leg, the leg into the foot and feel a solid connection. You can have your hands in prayer at your chest, or reach the hands high to the sky. Hold it for 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Warrior 2 – this is often a beginner yogi’s favourite posture. Stand with your feet one leg apart. Front foot faces forwards, back foot slightly turned in. The front arm actively reaches forward, and the back arm actively back. Make sure your shoulders are above your hips, not forwards of them (you’re not surfing). Engage your feet, your legs, your core, your shoulder blades, reach long with your fingertips, and relax your face.The more points we have to focus on our bodies, the less we have to focus on our minds.

Related: The best yoga apps for beginners

How often should you do yoga?

Unlike the gym where rest days are important, you can do yoga as often as you like!

“With so many different styles, from slow, restorative yoga to power flow, to absolute stillness, you can pick different things for different days and different times,” says Chatty.

The benefits of yoga

• It will keep your mind active, healthy and strong

• Boost your immune system

• Improve flexibility, strength, stamina, mobility, range of motion, and balance

• Prevent conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and auto-immune disorders

• It can help you to get a better night’s sleep

• Help heal and help common aches like neck or back pain

• Increase happiness and wellbeing and reduce depression

• Lose weight and change your body shape

• Improve and maintain the health of muscles, joints, and organs

Yoga essentials for beginners

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The best DVDs for beginners Yoga

Maybe a DVD is something you are more likely to use. If so, here are three choices of DVDs to get you started on your yoga journey.

Best for Beginners: Body Wisdom Yoga For Beginners

There are 8 routines that range from 10 to 60 minutes in length to help you to build strength and increase flexibility. This DVD is the perfect way to be introduced to Yoga.

Best for Breaking a Sweat: Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels, a winning trainer on The Biggest Loser, combines yoga power poses with her dynamic training techniques. If weight loss is what you are after then Yoga Meltdown includes two complete 30-minute workouts that will help you burn fat.

Best overall: Yoga Stretch for Beginners and Beyond with Jessica Smith

This DVD is hosted by Jessica Smith, who has 20 years of experience, is a certified yoga teacher and has a subscriber base of half a million on YouTube known as JESSICASMITHTV.

This DVD is for those who do not have a lot of time and are reluctant to try new forms of exercise due to nerves. The tutorials require no previous experience, have different styles of yoga and use no complex terminology, so you’ll never be lost or confused.

Read more: The best fitness DVDs to keep you exercising at home

home yoga

Why not get inspired and join the fun on the Fit Mind 50 challenge?

Join our challenge of trying 50 new things by signing up for the Yours Fit Mind 50 challenge. It’s designed so anyone can do it, anywhere, and it’s free.

You can also join our Facebook group here! The FitMind50 group is friendly space where anyone who has signed up for the FitMind50 Challenge can share success and inspiration, congratulate and support one another.

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us