Beginner Yoga Classes: How to Start Practicing Yoga at Home

by Suzanne Hiscock
When it comes to losing weight, yoga can be the solution you’re looking for if the thought of exercises like running and weight training make you run for the hills.  (Well, not literally run. Because then you’d be, well, running.)

But the thought of doing a beginner yoga class can be a bit intimidating, at first.  The teacher is usually fit and quite “bendy” --  and full of calm energy.  

But with any kind of exercise -- including yoga -- we all have to start somewhere, right?

There’s no way for you to be a master of any yoga poses by your very first class. Not even your 100th class.  Not even your 1000th.

And mastering the poses shouldn’t be your goal. 
  • Your goal should be to reconnect your mind and body.
  • Your goal should be to get in touch with your breathing.
  • Your goal should be to get newly-oxygenated blood flowing to different parts of your body, stretch your body out and gain strength.

See:  How to Effectively Listen to Your Body’s Needs.

How You’ll Feel as a Beginner Yogi

As a beginner yogi, you won’t know where to place your hands, your feet, your head -- basically, any body part. You’ll probably stumble along, curse a bit, and think, “Yeah,no. There’s no way my body can move like that.”

Don’t worry about it.  This is all normal when you’re starting out with yoga. 

Don’t let it stop you.

You will learn the pose.

You will become more flexible.

You will gain strength.

You’ll also hear all these strange words thrown at you. Words like asana, pranayama, vinyasa  and namaste.  These are Sanskrit, an ancient language of India.

Your teacher will also use English equivalent of poses, too.  You’ll hear names like Mountain Pose, Eagle Pose and Happy Baby Pose.  With time,  you’ll learn the names of your favorite yoga poses.

To start doing yoga at home, I strongly suggest  you use videos instead of looking at images. A good teacher will also give you specific instructions and suggest modifications to make the poses even easier.

As with anything, always listen to your body to avoid injuring yourself.

Equipment You’ll Need for a Beginner Class

You can make do without any equipment, but at the very least have some blankets or towels handy.  You can use these to prop up your buttocks/hips, knees and ankles.

If you want to be full prepared, you’ll need:
  • Yoga mat
  • Yoga blocks
  • Towels and/or blankets
  • Yoga strap 
  • Pillow

Find a quiet place where you’ll have enough room to move within a 6 feet by 3 feet wide rectangle -- which is just slightly bigger than a yoga mat.  Make sure there’s enough room overhead to stand with your arms straight up.

Ready?  Let’s explore beginner classes you can do at home.

Free Online Yoga Classes for Beginners

1) Do Yoga With Me

If you are a true beginner, you need to watch Do Yoga With Me’s video Yoga for Absolute Beginners.  David Procyshyn shows you how to sit comfortably in yoga, how to use blankets and props to make yourself comfortable, and explains the basics.

He starts you off with how to sit cross-legged comfortably and then takes you through simple poses like side stretches, seated side twists, staff pose and more.

Understanding these basic poses sets you up with a solid foundation for more difficult poses.

You can find a full list of  yoga basics from Do Yoga With Me here:  Yoga for Beginners

Once you feel comfortable with the basics, you can search for beginner yoga classes on Do Yoga With Me.

2) Yoga with Adrienne - Day 1 

This video by Adrienne Mishler of Yoga with Adrienne is Day 1 of a 30 Day Challenge she produced.  Day 1 gets you through the basics.  If you’re up for the challenge keep going with Day 2.  But as a beginner, you can keep doing Day 1 over and over until you feel more comfortable.

She also has a 20 minute true beginner yoga routine here:  Complete Beginner Yoga.

Paid Online Yoga Classes for Beginners

Another way to go is with paid online classes. Paid classes usually offer ad-free, more professional-looking videos that you stream and/or download. They also offer more variety of videos to choose from, plus they have complete yoga “programs” (a series of classes to help you reach a specific goal).

 1) Grokker

Founded in 2012 by yogini Lorna Borenstein ( who also launched eBay Canada -- how cool is that?), Grokker offers not only yoga video programs but fitness, mind and, yes, even cooking programs. They’re all about total, overall wellness of body and mind.  They have a vast library of over 1,000 videos.

Check out a  few of the beginner programs that Grokker offers:
They offer a free 14-day trial to check everything out.  You can cancel at any time -- even before the free trial ends.


2)  Gaima Yoga Studio

Gaiaim (pronounced guy-um) is the gold standard when it comes to yoga, having been around for over 25 years.  I use the paid Android version of Yoga Studio on my tablet.  Not only does it offer over 65 ready-made yoga classes, you can also customize the classes to suit your needs. 
Gaiam.Yoga Banner

They offer all levels of classes to work on flexibility, relaxation and strength.  The difficulty levels are clearly marked, so you can focus on just the beginner classes to start with.

Gaiam Yoga Studio (iOS)  

Gaiam Yoga Studio (Android)

Doing yoga at home, as a beginner, gives you the freedom to explore yoga on your own at a time that’s convenient for you.  It can give you a great starting off point to get back into exercise and relieve muscle tightness.  If you find you like doing yoga, you can find yoga classes near you to expand your yoga practice. 

Must Read
3 Ways To Motivate Yourself to Work Out at Home
Yoga for Your Mind and Body
7 Solid Tips for Starting a New Exercise Routine
Benefits of Exercising Daily -- And How to Get Started

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About the Author

Suzanne Hiscock is a PN L2 Certified Master Coach, ACE-certified Health Coach, as well as an ACE-certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. For over 20 years, she's been helping people lose weight and get fit through her website,

And she’s really TRULY SORRY ABOUT THAT. You see, she didn’t realize she was contributing to diet culture; she just wanted to help people feel better. But losing weight isn’t the way to do it. She’s on a mission to change all that with an anti-diet approach. So, pardon the dust on the floor as the website gets revamped.