This original Hatha yoga series is suitable for a 60-minute beginner class at a community center, rather than a health club. It was constructed to accommodate beginners who may have a limited range of motion and/or might not exercise regularly.


Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend

The goals of this 60-minute Hatha yoga class for beginners are:

  • to relax
  • gently stretch
  • set new yoga students up for success so they want to come to class again

All the poses for this 60-minute sequence for a beginner Hatha Yoga class come from the books Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown.

The descriptions following the poses in this list are critical to performing the postures properly and not a detailed description of how to perform them. I recommend acquiring the above books, which are excellent texts, or searching the Yoga Journal Pose Finder for that information.

1. Guided Meditation

2. Neck Stretching / Greeva Sanchalana – 3 to 5 times

a. If students can’t sit in a cross-legged position

— Knees up and ankles crossed, elbow crease around the knee with interlocked fingers

b. Forward and back

c. Side to side, relaxing the ear to the shoulder

d. Neck circles, left and right

3. Shoulder Socket Rotation / Skandha Chakra – 3 to 5 times, FB

a. Elbows touch in front

b. To reduce the crunchies, engage the scapulae

4. Cat – Cow / Marjari-Asana – 3 to 5 times in Table Top position 

a. Hands beneath shoulders and knees beneath hips

b. Roll inner arms outward

c. Start in a neutral position looking at the floor

d. Cat: drishti point is up

e. Cow: chin towards chest

f. Hold pose and breath for 3 seconds

5. Sit back into Child’s Pose / Balasana – 4 to 6 breaths

a. Roll up to sitting and bring chin up last to avoid dizziness

6. Step to the top of the mat for 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar

a. The easiest version

7. Shavasana – 1 to 2 minutes

8. Step to the top of the mat for Standing Forward Bend – Padahastasana

a. Roll up to standing with knees slightly bent and bring chin up last to avoid dizziness

9. Side Stretch LR

10. Step right foot back for Triangle Pose / Trikonasana LR

a. Drishti point is the raised hand or the floor

b. Easier: Bend front leg, optionally place arm on thigh

11. Reverse Triangle Prep LR

12. Palm Tree Pose / Tadasana – 3 times

a. When heels are on the floor place hands on head

b. When heels are off the floor raise hands into the air

c. Drishti point – look forward or up

13. Tree Pose / Vrikshasana LR – 4 to 6 breaths

a. Hands in Pranamasana or above the head

14. Sit in a comfortable cross-leg position for Psychic Union Pose / Yoga Mudrasana LR – 4 breaths

15. Butterfly Pose / Badhakonasana – 4 to 6 breaths

a. First, flap your butterfly wings

b. Then, relax and bring your forehead to the floor

16. One-Legged Forward Bend / Janu Sirshasana LR – 4 to 6 breaths

17. Seated Forward Bend / Paschimottanasana – 4 to 6 breaths

a. Relax the back

18. Tabletop Pose LR

a. Lift opposite arm and leg

19. Easy Cobra Pose / Saral Bhujangasana – 2 times

a. Forehead on the floor

b. Hands next to head, fingertips in line with crown

c. Legs together and relaxed

20. Half-Locust / Ardha Shalabasana – 3 times, 3 seconds, LR 

21. Push back into Child’s Pose / Balasana

22. Seated Spinal Twist / Ardha Metsyendrasana LR

a. Easier Alternative

— Revolved Easy Pose / Parivrtta Sukhasana, cross-legs

— Part 1 of Spinal Twist Prostration Pose / Bhu Namanasana

23. Single Leg Lifts / Padotthanasana – 5 LR 

a. Inhale – raise / Exhale – lower

b. Retain breath and hold for 3 to 5 seconds

24. Knee-to-Chest Pose / Supta Pawanmuktasana – 3 times, LR 

a. Exhale, raise nose to knee

25. Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose / Supta Udarakarshanasana – 3 times, LR

a. Hold 3 seconds

27. Modified back bend

28. Shavasana