Starting any new habit can be difficult. One of my favorite ways to start anything new is to give myself a little challenge. Sometimes these are longer like 40 days when I do an elimination diet, and other times I start smaller like with this 10 days of yoga challenge poses.
I think it is easier to start something when you have a plan, and anyone can commit to ten minutes a day for ten days. Starting a yoga practice can seem overwhelming.
When you see the crazy poses or extreme flexibility that people post on social media, it is easy to get discouraged and think – it is too hard. But, that stuff is not really what yoga is all about.
Yoga is about learning about your body, getting stronger, feeling open and more comfortable in your body, and finding a sense of peace. This challenge is a great way to get your feet wet and jump in!
What Is a Yoga Challenge? How Does It Work?
A yoga challenge is simply just committing to doing yoga every day for a certain amount of days. Many yogis like to create yoga challenge poses as a way to keep their commitment.
Many of us like to start new “workouts” or “diets” often, but we don’t have a plan. By deciding to take a challenge you give yourself some clear goals.
Knowing that you will do something for ten days can be encouraging and feel like the goal is attainable. A yoga challenge works by committing to doing the poses in yoga videos every day for the length of the challenge.
You can get FREE access to my ten minute yoga exercises by filling in the form below. I created this free challenge to help you learn yoga in just a few minutes a day.
What Makes a Yoga Challenge Easy & Appropriate for Beginner Yogis?
A yoga challenge is appropriate for beginners for a few reasons. First, completing a yoga challenge on your own gives you the power to set goals for yourself to learn how to practice yoga.
Second, a yoga challenge allows you to practice at home on your own time. So many times I hear my yoga students say they are nervous to come to a class because they are beginners and feel self-conscious. Completing yoga challenge poses on your own gives you the chance to learn without feeling the pressure in a “serious” yoga class.
Third, a yoga challenge helps you commit. I tell all my new students that you have to take a few classes to really get the hang of it. I think that is true when you do anything new.
So many times people show up once and then don’t try again because they felt “bad at it”. That is false! There is no such thing. It just can be hard at the beginning to learn the language of the postures and how the classes flow.
The thing is when you start anything new it can be hard. You have to commit to learning it in order to be successful at it.
That is why taking a challenge can be so rewarding. You commit to the ten-day challenge and ask yourself to keep going even if it is difficult. You will feel so excited and reap the rewards of learning yoga, building strength, and becoming more flexible all in just ten days.
Plus, anyone can do something for just ten days!
Why Should I Do a Yoga Challenge for 1?
You should do a yoga challenge for 1 because it is about YOU.
In our lives we are constantly trying to “keep up” and give, give, give! Plus, I find that many times in yoga classes or any fitness classes our goal may not be for ourselves.
When I started yoga, I remember my teacher often called out students who were performing at a high level. This became part of my own goal each class – to be recognized by my teacher.
Being recognized is awesome, but I felt I started to try to “perform” for him instead of just learning and growing for myself. This happens a lot not just in yoga classes, but also at work, church groups, in our hobbies, etc.
It starts as something fun or something to better ourselves, however it can become another part of our life where we are trying to “achieve”, “be something”, or “look a certain way”.
What I love about yoga more than anything is that it is about learning to connect to the real you, and getting to know that person better. It is a practice of being authentically YOU on your own with no outside approval needed.
Completing the yoga challenge poses over ten days will give you the confidence to start a daily habit of being in-tune with this part of yourself.
Easy Yoga Challenge Poses for 1
It is important to look at these yoga challenge poses as just that – a challenge! Decide to commit to this for ten days and I will take your through the workouts by signing up for my FREE yoga challenge videos.
Let’s review the poses that are part of the 10 day yoga challenge. Also if you need a yoga mat, I recommend this one.
Pose #1 – Child’s Pose
I love to start every yoga practice with child’s pose. It is a resting pose and I I like to use it as a way to center myself.
Because your head is down, I believe this asks you to take a moment to pause everything that is going on in the outside world and to prepare to be with yourself for a few minutes. I like to practice this pose to rest when doing a full hour long class.
I love this pose as way to unwind as well. You can take this pose right before bed as a way to calm yourself before trying to fall asleep.
Pose #2 – Cat/Cow
Cat/cow pose is actually two poses in one that you complete together to help warm-up and stretch the spine. I take a few cat/cow’s at the start of each of my yoga classes when I practice alone or when I am teaching a class.
This is a great beginner’s set of poses to work on linking breath and movement. When you inhale you take cow pose and when you exhale you contract and take cat pose.
One of the best parts of yoga is learning to link movement and breath. This is what will calm the nervous system and help you feel more relaxed and focused.
This is also one of the pieces of yoga that I take off the mat in my life. I have learned to use breathing as a tool for stress, anxiety, mindfulness, and to help with falling asleep.
Use this as a warm up for any workout. You can also take a few of these when watching TV to help just stretch and reset the spine or even take a few before going to bed.
Pose #3 – Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog is one of the most basic poses of a yoga practice. For many people when they first try downward facing dog it can feel a bit awkward or even difficult. I like to tell my new students a few reasons for why that is.
First, in downward dog you are placing weight on your hands and hanging your head upside down. We are not used to being in this position, so many people find it difficult in the arms, and some people report finding it hard because their head hangs.
You may feel a bit of pressure or headache the first time you practice it. This is all normal.
After you begin doing the pose more regularly it gets much easier to be in that position. Plus, you will feel how much stronger your arms get quickly without having to lift a single weight.
Downward facing dog is also great for the hamstrings. You may feel super tight in the back of the legs and need to bend your knees a lot at first – that is totally okay. As you open up the hamstrings and lower your back more, you will find that your flexibility will increase and it will get a lot easier.
Pose #4 – Forward Fold
Forward fold seems like a fairly simple pose, but you would be surprised how many adults cannot bend down and touch their toes. Try it right now and see if you can touch your toes with ease and flexibility!?!
This matters because it is functional health. You need to be able to bend down to pick something up or to tie your shoes without pulling a muscle. This is basic agility to move through your life with comfort and ease.
We also sit hunched over a lot and our backs are weak. This exercise helps to lengthen the spine and will bring a lot of pain relief in the shoulders, head, neck, and lower back.
Pose #5 – Plank Pose
Plank pose is a transitional pose in yoga, and it is also one of the poses that helps you get strong and fit. By doing just a few plank poses a day, you will notice that your arms get more toned, your abs are turned on, your spine will lengthen, and your thighs will be worked out.
I use plank pose as a way to get my heart pumping quickly, and to warm up fast so I can begin stretching more deeply. This is a great pose to add to your daily life to help build muscle quickly but without weights.
Pose #6 – Chaturanga Pose
This is a transitional pose in a vinyasa yoga class. To do this posture correctly can be difficult, especially for a beginner yogi, but it is one of the best poses for gaining strength in the arms.
If you challenge yourself to a few of these a day, you will notice a difference in your arms very quickly. This pose also works the whole body.
Essentially you move from plank position and lower down to the floor like a push-up, but instead of your elbows flaring out like a traditional push-up, your elbows stay into the ribs and move towards your hips. It creates a different feeling in the arms and also works the abs at the same time.
The problem with this posture is that usually people cannot do it when they are first starting out and they do not modify. Modifying the posture would be just lowering your knees down.
It makes the posture much more accessible and you can still get a lot of the benefit. I often modify when I am tired as well.
If people don’t modify then they typically take very bad form by collapsing towards the floor too fast, the elbows flare out or the bottom and top half of the body comes out of alignment. I always choose to modify if I don’t feel strong enough that day to do chaturanga properly.
Pose #7 – Cobra Pose
Cobra pose is another basic pose of vinyasa yoga, and it is one of my favorites! It feels great and is wonderful for the back muscles.
I also feel this is one of those poses that will help you get a toned back, and gain strength in ways that you just won’t do by lifting weights. Strength and flexibility go hand-in-hand.
What I love about yoga is that we are toning and strengthening our muscles, while still stretching and opening up the muscles. This is how you create long, lean lines of the body, and become able to function more fluidly and with greater agility.
The back is so important to our health. If your back has ever hurt you, then you know that when we are weak in our backs it can take away from our quality of life. Having a strong back means having a strong and healthy body.
Pose #8 – Low Lunge Pose
I love low lunge pose. It seems like an easy pose, but it is more challenging than it looks.
Besides toning the legs, you will open up the hip flexors, turn on the back muscles, and even tone the arms as you lift them over the head. Low lunge also is a great posture to build upon because you can take many options with it like taking twists or moving into another pose from low lunge.
Low lunge is a perfect pose for beginners to start finding balance. I always start my practice with some low lunges to warm up.
Pose #9 – Warrior II
I love Warrior II pose as a wonderful power pose of yoga. Practicing this pose is so much fun and it is a pose that you can use to build into many other poses.
Again, this posture can be deceptive because it doesn’t look very difficult. But, if you do it correctly then it is not easy at all!
I think that is part of the fun of yoga, the postures require mindfulness and attention and the more you do it, the more you notice the little details of the posture. These small details are really what make the difference in body awareness and even flexibility.
Pose #10 – Boat Pose
When doing yoga challenge poses, I always love to do an abdominal toning posture. What I love about boat pose is that technically you use your abdominals in all postures, but many times you can really tell how you have gained strength by doing this pose.
I try to challenge myself and my students to beat their breaths in this pose. Each time you practice, try to hold the pose for one extra breath. This is a great way to challenge yourself to keep improving and getting stronger.
Should I Do a Yoga Pose Challenge to Lose Weight?
You most certainly can lose weight doing yoga challenge poses! Yoga is a great way to get in shape. Yoga promotes not only movement where you sweat and burn calories, but it is also strength building.
Unlike lifting weights though, yoga asks you to use your own body as the resistance. You will definitely tone your muscles practicing yoga.
Yoga will also help you find more functional flexibility, and therefore, you will find that you move with more agility and ease in all other workouts. I can move and run better because of the coordination and body awareness I have developed through yoga.
A yoga challenge will also help you lose weight because of consistency. In order to change your physical fitness levels, you must be consistent at any exercise program that you commit to.
The best thing that you can do for your body, is to commit to sticking with a practice. The more consistently you do it, the bigger the results you will see.
In just ten minutes a day for ten days, you will see your yoga practice improve!
How Do I Join a Yoga Pose Challenge for Beginners?
Are you ready to get started? Join my yoga pose challenge now and get FREE access to 10 days of videos. Get stronger and more flexible in just 10 minutes a day for 10 days straight! All you have to do is fill in the form below.
Discovering how to do yoga challenge poses is half the battle to successfully completing a yoga challenge, especially for beginners. But, don’t let that discourage you, try my easy yoga challenge for 1 person today to jump start a healthy lifestyle for yourself.
I think the key to learning anything new is first and foremost deciding to try and second it is to give yourself some clear goals that are attainable and realistic for your life. I love starting with just ten-minutes a day for ten days, because I think anyone can find time to make that commitment.
A yoga pose challenge is a perfect way to start learning more about yoga, to lose weight, and to gain strength and flexibility. Before I sign off, if you are looking at going a bit deeper I have a five-day course as a great yoga challenge that you can do in 30 minutes a day over five days. You will be so surprised by how much you learn and how much stronger you will get very quickly.
That’s all I’ve got regarding my 10 day yoga challenge and poses – good luck – you’ve got this!