9 Moves 20-Minute For Upper Body Yoga For Beginners

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Your upper body will be strengthened and shaped during this 20-minute yoga flow, giving your body and mind a sense of calm. As you progress through this exercise, keep your breath in mind as you transition between each pose. Complete four to five rounds of each pose by holding it for five to ten breaths.

1. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Ascension).

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Get on a mat on your hands and knees, and place your knees directly under your hips and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders.
Spread the palms and keep the index fingers parallel or slightly turned outward. Pull the toes downward.
Exhale and lift the knees off the floor while lifting the hips toward the ceiling and pushing the shoulders away from the ears.
As you exhale, push your thighs back and press your heels to the floor.

2 High Plank.

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20 minute yoga for beginners

20-minute yoga / upper body yoga workout

Shift your weight forward from the downward facing dog until your shoulders are directly above your wrists. Keep your arms straight.
Press your hands firmly into the mat and keep your eyes on the floor between your hands.
Try not to sink your tailbone into the floor by pulling your shoulders into your back and pushing away from your ears.
Stand on the balls of your feet.
You will be in proper alignment as you move back and forth between the plank and downward-facing dog, so you don’t have to move your arms or legs. Get down on your knees as a modification.

3. low plank (Chaturanga Davidson)

Slowly lower your body halfway from the high plank so that you are hovering a few inches above the floor.
Press your hands into the mat, keeping your elbows firmly at your sides, and gaze slightly forward.
Transition to the next pose with an exhalation (or sink onto the mat for a short breather, if needed).

4. Upward Facing Dog (Archive Mukha Svanasana).

Twist from the deep plank onto the tops of your feet.
Press your arms straight up, stacking your shoulders over your wrists with the folds of your elbows facing the front of the mat.
Let your thighs hover a few inches above the mat.
With your next exhalation, bend your toes down and return to the high plank.


5. side plank (vasisthasana)

Shift your weight from the high seat to the outside edge of the left foot and place the right foot on top of the left.
Place your right hand on your upper hip or raise your hand to the ceiling.
Turn your upper body to the right, press your left hand firmly to the floor, and direct your gaze to your right fingertips.
Align your entire body so that you form a long diagonal line from your heels to the crown of your head.
After remaining in this position for 5 to 10 breaths, switch back to high plank and repeat on the other side before returning to downward facing dog.
Modify this pose by placing the left knee on the mat with the left foot coming out directly behind the body and facing the right edge of the foot.

6. dolphin pose

Come out of the high plank onto the floor on your hands and knees.
Place your knees directly under your hips and your forearms on the floor.
Press your forearms firmly into the floor as you push your sit bones up toward the ceiling.
Draw your shoulder blades across your back toward your tailbone.
Let your head hover a few inches above the floor between your arms.
For an added challenge, you can switch from a downward facing dog to dolphin pose by keeping your tailbone lifted as you lower your forearms to the mat.

7. dolphin recline

In dolphin pose, bend your knees and walk your feet back until your shoulders are directly over your elbows and your hips are parallel to the floor.
Place your shoulders over your elbows and press your inner forearms and elbows firmly against the floor.
Draw your shoulder blades across your back to your tailbone.
Let your gaze rest between your hands.
To intensify this sequence, slowly alternate between Dolphin Pose and Dolphin Plank Pose 3 to 5 times per round before moving on to the next pose in this sequence.

8. Handstand Variation (Adho Mukha Vrksasana).

Find an open space against a wall, free of pictures, frames, mirrors, or anything else that could cause harm.
Bend forward with your back to the wall and bring your hands away from the wall into a downward facing dog.
With your feet at the base of the wall, trudge up the wall while bringing your hands back toward the wall.
Place your shoulders over your wrists.
Direct your gaze to the wall.
This pose can be quite intense, so come out of the pose and back into it as needed.

9. child pose

Get down on your mat on your hands and knees.
Focus your breath and turn your attention inward.
Spread your knees wide, touching your big toes.
Lower your sitting bones toward your heels.
Stretch your arms out in front of you and let your forehead rest on the mat. Stay in this posture for at least 3 to 5 minutes.
Keep your knees and thighs closer together if you are more comfortable.

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