In case you’re interested – here is my personal yoga workout. You can read more about how I came to build this workout and why I love yoga, here.
Once again – I am not certified as a yoga instructor. I have much to learn about yoga practice – and am working on learning more each and every day. I put this workout together because I was having a hard time finding something that worked for me, personally, so I created something of my own.
If you have never tried yoga before – I highly suggest taking a few classes (even if you don’t like the type of yoga, and it may take a few tries to find one that you do like) just to familiarize yourself with the main poses and technique. After that – practice at your own risk (or, hopefully, benefit). If you can’t take classes, at least do some research to minimize the likelihood of injury.
Don’t ever push yourself too hard, always listen to your body, and be thankful for what it is doing for you. If you stick with it and practice at your body’s preferred pace, you will see incredible growth, both physically and mentally. I believe that yoga is about pushing your limits – but not in the “let’s see how many muscles we can pull today” kind of way. I never push my body over the edge of what it is capable of when I practice – but I am still always sore the next day.
Below, I list out the yoga poses that I prefer and how long I hold them (or try to hold them) – timed in yoga breaths. If you don’t know what a pose is supposed to look like – you can always google it (it’s what I do), and if a pose is too difficult or too easy for you, you can also search variations of that pose, or try holding it for shorter or longer periods of time.
My Hatha Kriya instructor always told me that yoga breathing is vital to a good yoga session. He said that yoga breathing is very deep – mouth closed, your breath coming in through the nose and throat, completely filling and emptying the belly (you can very easily hear me when I yoga-breathe, and if I do it too quickly or too harshly, it sounds like I’m snoring, for reference. Some people say it sounds like the ocean, others say it sounds like Darth Vader). Breathing is meant to be slow (one full yoga breath takes me about 10-12 seconds), even if you are tired or your heart rate is high.
*Side Note: sometimes, if I can’t sleep – I’ll lay on my back with my hands on my belly and yoga breathe. It’s a sure-fire way to calm my mind down and help me fall asleep quickly.
My personal yoga workout is composed of 27 poses (29 if you include Child’s Pose and Savasana) broken down into three sections, and takes about 45 minutes. Sometimes, if it’s easy or part of a standard flow sequence (like sun salutation), I’ll transition from one pose right into the next. Other times I will completely come out of one pose, and then just position myself for another with no transition. My poses have no real rhyme or reason to their sequence, and the number of breaths to hold the pose is more of a guideline – so feel free to skip or swap out other poses, or change it up as you’d like. Do whatever feels right for you.
Some of these poses help with digestion (and believe me, they really do), which is why I added them into the workout. Most of them are fairly simple and have a low risk of injury, so hopefully, some of them can help you if you’re having tummy troubles or are going through a diet transition.
1. Mountain Pose / Hands in Prayer Position, hold for 10 breaths
2. Standing Yoga Mudra, hold for 5 breaths
3. Standing Forward Bend, do this twice, 5-8 breaths each time
4. Downward Facing Dog, hold for 5-8 breaths
5. Plank Pose, hold for 5 breaths
6. Chaturanga, hold for 2 breaths
7. Upward Facing Dog, do this twice, 2 breaths each time
8. Camel Pose, hold for 3-5 breaths
9. Cat Pose / Cow Pose, alternate these two poses three to four times
Child’s Pose, hold for 5 breaths
10. High Lunge, do this once on each side, hold for 5-8 breaths each time
11. One-Legged King Pigeon Pose, do this once on each side, hold for 5-8 breaths each time
12. Extended Triangle Pose, do this once on each side, hold for 5 breaths each time
13. Wide-Legged Forward Bend, hold for 10 breaths
14. Warrior II, do this once on each side, hold for 5 breaths each time
15. Warrior III, do this once on each side, hold for 5 breaths each time
16. Crane Pose or Crow Pose, hold for 5 breaths
17. Headstand, Handstand, or Forearm Stand, hold for 5-10 breaths
Child’s Pose, hold for 7 breaths
18. Tree Pose, do this once on each side, hold for 5 breaths each time
19. Garland Pose, hold for 5-8 breaths
20. Chair Pose, hold for 5-8 breaths
21. Side Plank Pose, do this once on each side, hold for 5 breaths each time
22. Bridge Pose, hold for 8-10 breaths
23. Shoulder Stand, hold for 5 breaths
24. Plow Pose, hold for 5-10 breaths
25. Knees to Chest Pose, hold 5-10 breaths
26. Seated Forward Bend, hold for 5 breaths
27. Half King of the Fishes Pose, do this once on each side, hold for 5-8 breaths each time
Child’s Pose, hold for 10 breaths
Corpse’s Pose (also known as Savasana, calms the brain and relieves stress and depression, relaxes the body), relax for as long as necessary, usually 15-30 breaths, but try not to count. Yoga Journal says to stay in this pose 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of practice. For this routine, I would say that’s about 7 minutes of just straight chillin’. The end!
I love Savasana. It’s my favorite part of yoga, because it helps me truly relax, de-stress and clear my mind. I usually lay with my back flat on the floor and have my knees bent up and resting against each other (I have low back problems, so laying completely flat is uncomfortable for me). I place my hands wide on my belly and let them rise and fall with my breathing. I usually have the “Yoga Workout” Pandora station playing, so I make sure I have a good, calm song going in the background during this pose. Generally, I try to clear all thoughts from my head, and if I have a hard time doing so, I try to keep my eyes still, looking at the backs of my eyelids, and focus on relaxing every part of my body – from my forehead to my toes.
*Side Note: Savasana is something anybody can do to relax. No crazy poses required – just get in neutral position and yoga breathe ’till you feel awesome. 🙂
If you decide to give this set of poses a try – have fun with it. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t do all of these poses – because I can’t either! I do modified versions of A LOT of them, and am working on the proper technique for all of them, every time. Heck, today I was working on Crow Pose and fell flat on my face. I may have even given myself rug burn. I just laughed about it, and tried again.
I still feel weird about the OM chant if my husband is around – but think I’m going to try incorporating it into my practice. It really is a beautiful sound, and the perfect way to end a great session.
Anyway – if you’re like me and want to create your own yoga workout, or, if you’re just curious and want to learn more about yoga in general, here are some of the sources I use often – and the one’s that I used in this article.
1. Yoga Journal – by far my favorite source. They have explanations for basically every yoga pose, and at the bottom of each pose page they have benefits, tips for beginners, variations of the pose, and a ton of other helpful stuff.
2. Men’s Health Yoga Center
3. Yoga Vibes