Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Warm up with 3 to 5 Sun Salutations, and then try the following sequence from Noah Mazé
3 Beginner tips
- Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Anything that comes up while you practice isn’t wrong—it’s information.
- Aim for progress, not perfection. Simply being willing to try helps you become more embodied.
- Build body awareness incrementally. The ultimate goal of yoga asana is to develop a deeper, more mindful and attuned relationship with yourself—which takes time and practice.
—Rocky Heron, Mazé Method Teacher Trainer and curriculum and program development collaborator
1. Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
From Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward–Facing Dog Pose), step your right foot forward, outside of your right hand. Keep your torso and both arms inside of your front leg. Bend your elbows and bring your forearms to the floor. Scoop your tailbone toward your ribs, lengthen your spine, and lift your abdomen. Press your left heel back. To decrease the left hip flexor stretch, release your back knee to the floor. Hold for 5–8 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
2. Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch)
From Downward–Facing Dog Pose, step your right foot between your hands. Bring your left foot slightly forward with your heel toward the center of the mat. Place your fingertips or palms on your mat or blocks, lift your chest, and straighten your front knee. Take 1–2 breaths with your chest lifted and spine elongated, then fold over your front leg, drawing your belly away from your thigh. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
3. Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), facing the long edge of your mat. Inhale, and step or jump to a wide stance. Turn your left foot in slightly and your right foot and leg out 90 degrees. Line up your right heel with the arch of your left foot. Inhale, reach and stretch your arms out at shoulder height, and straighten both legs. Exhale, and lean over your right leg, bringing your right hand to the floor or a block. Roll your right buttock down, lift your lower abdomen, and turn your chest up. Hold for 5–8 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
4. Virabhadrasana III, Variation (Warrior Pose III)
From Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), lift your torso and extend your spine parallel to the floor. Shift your weight onto your right leg and lift your left leg to hip height, keeping the front of your pelvis and torso square to the ground. Bend your elbows to create a Chaturanga shape with your upper body. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
5. Chaturanga Dandasana, Variation (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
From Tabletop, put two blocks at their tallest settings in front of your hands to serve as height markers for your shoulders. Find Plank Pose. Push the floor away from you, keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Exhale, bend your elbows, and shift forward slightly to lower into Chaturanga. Bring your shoulders close to the blocks without touching them. Hold for 5 breaths. Return to Tabletop.
Option: Put a towel or slider under your feet in Plank. (Fold your mat so the slider is on the floor.) Lower to Chaturanga. Shift your body forward, sliding your feet forward an inch, then shift back 2 inches. Repeat 3–5 times.
6. Tabletop, Variation
From Tabletop, lift one leg off the floor and bend your knee to engage your hamstrings and buttocks. Straighten your leg. Repeat this hamstring curl 3–5 times, maintaining a neutral pelvis and spine. Repeat on the other side. To progress this exercise, bend your elbows and lower to Chaturanga with either a bent or straight knee on the elevated leg. Hold for 5 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
7. Adho Mukha Svanasana, Variation (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, inhale and lift your right leg up and back, keeping your torso and pelvis square to the floor. Exhale, bend your right knee, and, shifting your shoulders over your wrists like in Plank Pose, bring your right knee to the outside of your right upper arm. Inhaling, return to Down Dog. Repeat 3–5 times. Repeat on the other side.
Option: When you shift forward into Plank, bend your elbows and lower to Chaturanga. Hold for a breath, then press back up to Plank.
8. Plank Pose, Variation
From Plank Pose, push the floor away to broaden your shoulder blades and move them away from your ears. Exhaling, lift your right foot off the floor to hip height. Hold for 3 breaths, then hold a hamstring curl for 3 breaths. Straighten your knee and return to Plank. Repeat on the other side. To give your wrists a break, work from Forearm Plank.
9. Supta Padangusthasana, Variation (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)
Lie on your back with outstretched legs. Exhale, and hug your right knee toward your chest. Grasp your right thigh or big toe and straighten and elongate your leg. Engaging your abdominal muscles, exhale to lift your head and chest off the floor. Release the hold on your right leg, and shift it a few inches to the right, away from your midline. Float it there without holding it. Bring your arms into a Chaturanga shape and press your outer right arm and inner right leg firmly together. (Here, you are mimicking the shape of our peak pose while in a supine position, which prepares you to create the shape when you stand.) Hold for 5 breaths. Return to center. Repeat on the other side.
10. Lunge Pose, Variation
From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, step your right leg forward into a lunge. Bring your torso and right shoulder to the inside of your right leg. Lower your torso to bring your right shoulder under the back of your right knee. Place your right hand to the right slightly behind your right heel. Bend your elbows toward a Chaturanga shape and hold for 5 breaths. Lengthen your spine, gaze ahead, and imagine lifting your legs and feet off the floor. Return to Down Dog. Repeat on the other side.
11. Eka Pada Koundinyasana II (One-Footed Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II) Buildups
- From Lunge, crawl your right foot forward and to the right until you can lift your foot off the floor. Press your inner right thigh against the back of your upper right arm. Bend your left knee and contract the hamstring to lift your left foot. Bend your elbows into Chaturanga position and let your inner right thigh rest on the “shelf” of your back upper arm. Move your left elbow slightly out to the left so that you don’t rest the left side of your torso or pelvis on your left arm (the Mazé Method calls this the “kickstand elbow technique”). Hold this shape for up to 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
- Shift your chest forward like you did in the Chaturanga sliding drill, lifting your left knee off of the mat. Hold for 3–5 breaths. Firm your shoulder blades on your back. Press away from the floor as if you still had blocks under your shoulders in Chaturanga.
- Keep your front knee bent and straighten your back leg any amount. Hold this shape for 3–5 breaths.
- Keep your back knee bent and elongate your front leg. You can keep your right foot grounded or try lifting it. Hold this shape for 3–5 breaths.
12. Hanumanasana, Variation (Monkey God Pose)
From Lunge, stretch your left leg long on the floor behind you, with your knee and top of your foot touching the floor. Then, reach your right leg forward and to the right on a slight diagonal. Exhaling, lower your forearms to the floor or blocks, elbows beneath your shoulders, and press your right arm into your right leg. To progress the pose, press your forearms down and lift your back knee up. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
13. Forearm Plank Sliders
Find Forearm Plank on blocks and place your right foot on a towel or slider. Exhaling, sweep your right foot out to the right and forward as if you were drawing a semicircle. Inhale, and reverse the arc. Complete 3–5 reps. Repeat on the other side.
14. Eka Pada Koundinyasana II (One-Footed Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II)
From Lunge, walk your right foot forward and contract your quadriceps to kick your foot off the floor as you bend your elbows to a Chaturanga shape. Aim to bring your upper arms and right leg parallel to the floor while straightening your right knee. Then, press your fingers into the floor and pull your hands back to shift your pose forward an inch or two. Exhaling, lightly push off with your back toes and lift your back foot off the floor. Balance on the fulcrum of your forearms as you stretch your spine and right leg forward and reach your left leg back. Hold for 3–5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
15. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your feet on the mat hip-width apart and parallel. Squeeze a block between your thighs. Press your feet into the floor and inhale to lift your hips off the floor. Clasp your hands behind your back and open the front of your chest and shoulders. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat 1–2 times.
16. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Lie on your back and consciously relax. Let your breath become easy. Stay here for 5–10 minutes.
Noah Mazé is known for his clear, precise, and methodical teaching style and his ability to transmit yoga with openness, curiosity, and wit. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Tracy, their two children, and four rescue dogs. He collaborates with curriculum developers such as Rocky Heron to host teacher trainings and classes globally and online. Learn more at themazemethod.com.