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12 Poses to Help You Warm Up for Yoga | Sequence for Beginners

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If you've ever gone into a yoga session before it's started, there's a chance you'll see other classmates already doing poses. These are yoga warmup poses. 

Believe it or not, you can warmup for yoga by doing different yoga poses. These stretches can help stimulate your muscles and improve mobility during your session. 

If you're looking for different yoga warmup poses that you can do, then you're at the right place. 

Today, we'll be showing you the best poses you can do to warm up before yoga. Are you ready? Let's get started! 

Why is Warming Up Before Yoga Important?

woman doing pelvic tilts

Warming up before yoga is critical. It raises your bodily temperature, which is great for your muscles. They become more limber and more susceptible to the benefits of yoga.

Aside from that, stretches before a workout feel great. You get in the zone, so you’re ready for anything your regimen has in store for you.

Benefits of Warming Up Before Yoga

woman doing child's pose for warmup

Numerous benefits come with a good warm-up. For starters, you drastically reduce your chances of injury. Getting right into some of the more advanced yoga stretches could cause you to pull something, which would prevent you from working out for a while. 

Additionally, a good warm-up stretches you out. You may even find yourself more flexible once you get into your routine.

Before getting into an advanced position, like the horse pose, here are some warm-ups you should seriously consider learning. 

1. Pelvic Tilts

pelvic tilts

Pelvic tilts are a great warmup pose before you do yoga. This exercise helps build your abdominal muscles, which are important for protecting your lower back.

How to Do Pelvic Tilts

Start by lying on your back. Have your legs bent upwards and your toes facing forward. You'll need a flat surface for this, so we recommend using one of our yoga mats for this exercise.

Next, exhale and push your pelvis in and upwards towards the ceiling. While you do this, you'll feel your lower back press into the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then inhale while returning to your neutral position.

Do this for 5-10 reps.

2. Planks

woman doing planks

You're probably most familiar with this exercise. Planks are great at strengthening your core; and since your core muscles are vital when doing yoga, planks are a great warmup exercise. 

How to Do Planks

Lie on the floor with just your toes and elbows propping you up. Hold that position for 20 seconds. As you gradually become more comfortable with the workout, you can lengthen the amount of time you stay in the plank.

3. Leg Stretches

leg stretches

Your legs are used in almost every type of yoga pose you can think of. It's important to keep your legs warm in order to avoid any risk of injury. Leg stretches are a great pose to do while warming up for yoga. 

How to Do Leg Stretches

You begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your left leg and put both of your hands on the ground, roughly shoulder-width apart. Lower your hips until you feel tension in your hip and leg. Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Easy Twist

seated easy twist

Easy twist is a great stretch for warming up your mobile muscles. This pose warms up your ankles, knees, and hips. On top of this, the easy twist also increase flexibility in your spine and shoulders.

Through this stretch, you can become more mobile and this will allow you to do a wider range of yoga poses. 

How to do the Easy Twist Pose

Sit down with your legs crossed. From there, you gently twist your torso so that you face one way. You should begin to feel a burn in your hips, knees, and ankles.

5. Cat Cow Stretch

woman doing cat cow stretch

The cat cow stretch is one of our personal favorites, because it opens your chest, back, and neck. This helps stimulate slower and deeper breathing, a crucial component to doing yoga properly.c

How to do the Cat Cow Stretch

Start by having your hands and knees on the ground in cow pose. Next, inhale and lift your head upwards. As you inhale, drop your stomach towards the floor.

Once you've done this, move to cat pose by drawing your belly towards your spine. While you do this, curve your back towards the ceiling. For reference, while you're doing this part of the pose, it should like a cat arching its back.

Finally, release your head towards the floor so that the top of your is facing downwards. Don't forget to bring your head to your chest while you do this.

Repeat this stretch 5-20 times.

6. Goddess Pose

goddess pose

Goddess pose is an essential yoga warmup pose, because it works on your lower body and your core. More specifically, whenever you do goddess pose, your calves, quadriceps, and glutes are all active as well as your abs.

How to do the Goddess Pose

Start by standing upright in mountain pose. Your feet should be parallel with a few inches of separation. Palms should also face outwards.

Spread your feet out so that there's approximately three feet of separation. Then, rotate your feet outwards so that there's 45 degrees of separation. Afterwards, bend your knees until they create a 90 degree angle. 

Extend your hands upwards straight overhead and have the palms face each other. Then, keeping your core engaged, bring your lower ribs into your body and takes five deep breaths. By doing so, you'll stretch your ribs and strengthen your core. 

Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, but you can hold it longer than that if you want a stronger burn. 

7. Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog


You're probably most familiar with this exercise. This is one of the most popular warmup poses for yoga, and it's also great to do before any physical activity. Downward facing dog is perfect for stretching your entire backside.

However, the stretch is also great for developing strength in your wrists and muscles. One important area downward facing dog stretches is the ankles, which allows for more foot mobility when stretching. 

How to Do Downward Facing Dog

Start on your hands and knees. Your knees should be below the hips and your hands should be underneath the shoulders. From here, curl your toes under and use your hands to push your hips up and straighten your legs. 

Next, spread your fingers out evenly and press firmly into the hand. As you do this, stretch your body into the shape of an "A". Meanwhile, sink your heels into the floor.

To release yourself from that position, exhale and bend your knees to come back to your hands and knees. 

8. Eagle Pose

woman doing eagle pose

Eagle pose is great for improving balance and posture. This stretch helps open your hips and promotes deeper breathing overall. One area that eagle pose also opens is the shoulders.

How to Do Eagle Pose

To do eagle pose, start in mountain pose. Next, place your hands on your hips and press your pelvis down to the ground. Bend both of your knees. Follow this by lifting your right leg and wrapping your right thigh over your left one.

Then, bring both arms in front of you and wrap your left arm over your right. For reference, your left elbow should be over your right upper arm. Bring your hands to your face, cross the forearms together, and press the palms in place.

Your elbows should be shoulder height by now. Take five deep breaths in this position and make sure to feel the stretch in your upper back. 

9. Child Pose

woman doing child pose in gym

You're probably also familiar with child pose. It's a common yoga pose that is used for both warming up and relaxing the muscles in between workouts. The main reason this is such a great yoga warmup pose is that it increases blood circulation and relieves stress.

On top of this, the child's pose is great for stimulating blood flow to the pelvic organs and stretching your back. This will allow for a wider range of movements while also providing things like tailbone pain relief. 

How to Do the Child Pose

There are only two steps to the child pose. You get on your knees and place your palms on your thighs. You then lower your torso and extend your arms past your torso. Not only is it a great warmup pose, but it’s also good in case you need a break between other, more rigorous poses.

10. Eagle Arms

You already do eagle arms when doing eagle pose. However, if you want to focus on stimulating the circulation in your arms and shoulders, you only need to do eagle arms. 

 How to Do Eagle Arms

With eagle arms, start by sitting on your matt cross-legged. Bring both arms in front and wrap your left arm over your right. As you would do in eagle pose, bring both hands to the face, cross your forearms, and place your palms together.

11. Eye of the Needle Pose

eye of the needle pose

Credit: SparkPeople

We recommend using the eye of the needle pose for warming up both your upper and lower body. This stretch is also great for increasing mobility since most of the muscles eye of the needle works on can tighten up during workouts.

How to Do Eye of the Needle Pose

Start by lying on your back and bending both knees. Next, cross your leg leg over your right leg. Clasp both hands around your right thigh and pull so that it bring your right thigh towards your chest. 

Hold the eye of the needle pose for 30 seconds. Then, switch legs and repeat. 

12. Mountain Pose

Begin by standing tall and pressing all four corners of your feet to the floor. Lengthen your arms along your side with your shoulders drawn backward. You should feel a newfound strength within your thighs as they engage your belly. 

And if you need any assistance with these poses, get a partner involved. It’l help you achieve new heights in your stretching goals.

Practice Yoga Warmup Poses Today

We've shown you twelve of our favorite yoga warmup poses. Each pose is great for warming up certain parts of your body. However, there's one thing in common that all twelve poses have: increasing mobility.

These warmup poses will help your muscles move more fluidly. Therefore, you'll be less prone to injury. Next time you go to the studio, we recommend practicing some of these poses. 

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