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Juggling work, school, relationships, a social life, errands, and your yoga practice can be tough— sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything! We get that you love staying active and having a consistent yoga practice, but sometimes it can be difficult to fit in 2 hours to travel to the studio, take class, and head back home. So why not skip the studio and have an invigorating 20 minute, sweaty yoga workout in your living room?
Building your own home yoga practice can be rewarding, challenging, and inspiring. Yoga teaches us to listen to our own body and become our own teacher— what better way to that than to create your own home yoga practice? From restorative yin poses to sweaty yoga workouts, you can practice the yoga that resonates with you in the comfort of your own home.
Practicing at home by yourself can be daunting at first. Without the guidance of a teacher or your fellow yogis around you, it can feel challenging to begin to move on your own. You might think, “Am I doing this correctly?” or “What if this isn’t the way I’m supposed to practice this pose?” All of these thoughts are totally valid and if you are feeling a little unsure as to what to practice, it is always great to seek guidance by practicing a set sequence created by someone else. If you are looking for an energizing 20 minute sequence to get your heart pumping and your whole body working, follow along with us!
20 Minute Full Body Yoga Workout
If you aren’t able to dedicate a full hour to your practice every day, it is always better to practice a shorter yoga sequence consistently, than a longer practice sporadically. This 20 minute yoga sequence is designed to work all the muscles in your body, build strength, and leave you feeling strong, sweaty, and invigorated.
You can do this sequence anywhere: your living room, outside, your hotel room, you name it! This is the perfect routine to go to when you’re short on time and want to fit in a quick, heated practice.
To build strength, sweat, and power, this will be a vinyasa yoga workout. In vinyasa yoga, the practice is linked with breath. Aside from the warm up and cool down poses, each movement/posture is an inhale or an exhale. This fast paced, but mindful movement, will build heat in the body and fire up your muscles. As always, listen to your body and modify and use props to support your practice if needed.
To prepare you, here is a layout of the entire routine:
1. Warm Up
2. Sequence Part I
3. Sequence Part II
4. Sequence Part III
6. Cool Down
Warm Up (5 mins)
It’s so important to warm up before yoga to heat up the body and wake up the muscles that may have not been activated for awhile.
- Bring your knees apart mat-width distance and your big toes to touch.
- Walk your hands forward and rest your forehead on the mat.
- Allow your elbows to bend slightly and your hips sink down to your heels.
- Feel your shoulders rest away from your ears and relax your entire body.
- Take 5 full deep breaths here and begin to establish your Ujjayi.
- Lift yourself up onto hands and knees and establish a strong and steady foundation.
- Spread your fingers wide on the mat and check that your hands are underneath your shoulders and your hips are stacked on top of your knees.
- On your inhale, arch your back, lift your chin away from your chest, and gently look up.
- On your exhale, round your spine, tuck your chin in towards your chest and draw your belly in. Take 5 rounds of breath.
Downward Facing Dog
- After you have completed your 5 rounds of breath in cat/cow, come back to a neutral spine.
- Walk your hands a few inches forward to the top of your mat, spread your fingers wide, lift your knees and hips up, and make your way into downward facing dog.
- Bend your knees a few times and warm your body up in this pose. Stay for 5 breaths.
- From your downward facing dog, begin to walk your feet forward to the top of your mat.
- Once your feet are close to your hands, bend your knees and step your feet apart hips-width distance. (You can measure two fists between your feet if you aren’t sure what hips-width distance is).
- Soften your knees, allow your stomach to rest on your thighs, grab onto opposite elbows. Relax your head, shoulders, neck, and jaw and keep your knees bending. Stay for 5 breaths.
- At the end of your 5 breaths, keep your knees soft, draw your belly in, and slowly begin to round your body up to standing. Once you are up, stand tall in mountain pose.
Part I: Sun Salutations (8 mins)
The first part of the sequence consists of a few rounds of Sun Salutation A to warm up the body and increase your heart rate. We list the steps below, but if you’d like a more in depth tutorial, check out of Sun Salutation A Beginner Tutorial.
How to do Sun Salutation A:
- Standing tall in Mountain Pose, inhale and lift your arms up overhead.
- Exhale to swan dive forward in a Forward Fold. Feel free to bend your knees on the way down, but keep your belly button drawing in to protect your spine and engage your core.
- On your inhale take a half way lift. Exhale and place your fingertips on your shins or the ground, look forward, lengthen your spine, and lift your chin away from your chest.
- Inhale and step your right foot back to come into Low Lunge, extending through your back heel.
- As you exhale, plant your palms and step back to a Plank Pose. In Plank Pose, keep your body long, hands underneath your shoulders, belly drawing in, shoulder blades lightly squeezing together, and legs long and strong.
- Inhale in Plank and exhale to lower down in one piece to the ground, or halfway for Chaturanga. Make sure to keep your elbows hugging in close to the sides of your body.
- Inhale into your Upward Facing Dog or Cobra Pose. Keep your shoulders away from the ears, your elbows slightly bent, and your heart open.
- Exhale into Downward Facing Dog.
- Inhale to lift up onto your tiptoes and look forward to step your right foot forward into Low Lunge.
- Inhale to half-lift. Exhale to fold over your legs.
- Inhale rise all the way up to stand. Exhale to bring your hands to heart center.
- Repeat this 3 times and on your third round, stay in Downward Dog instead of going back into Low Lunge.
Sequence Part II
Downward Dog to Knee to Nose x 3
- From downward facing dog, lift your right leg up in a down dog split (or Three Legged Dog)
- Keep your hips square, leg long, and flex your toes.
- On your inhale lift your leg and on your exhale, bend your knee, draw your belly in, round your spine and take your knee to your nose. Repeat this 3 times.
High Lunge to Power Lunge x 3
- On your third knee to nose, instead of taking your leg back to a down dog split, step your foot forward in between your hands. Keep your back leg long and knee off the floor.
- Inhale and rise up into a high lunge. In your high lunge, reach your arms up overhead, relax your shoulders, stack your shoulders over your hips, draw your belly in, keep your back leg strong, and front thigh parallel to the floor.
On your exhale, keep your lower body as is but take our arms out like airplane wings and your upper body down slightly. This is power lunge—your body should be in a diagonal shape, with the chest lifted, back leg strong, arms out, and palms facing down.
- Moving with breath, go from high lunge to power lunge 3 times.
Vinyasa Flow #1
After your third round of high lunge to power lunge, take it back to a high lunge on your inhale and plant your hands down to the floor and frame your right foot on your exhale. Step back and flow through a vinyasa (high plank to chaturanga to upward dog to downward dog).
Repeat this first sequence on the left side.
Sequence Part III
This is the second part of the main sequence. Repeat your first sequence again on the right side but stay in high lunge.
- Once you come back to your high lunge, open up into Warrior 2 on your exhale.
- In Warrior 2, spin the back heel down, look over your right fingertips, keep your chest open, and your back leg strong.
From Warrior 2, take Peaceful Warrior on your inhale by reaching your right arm forward, back and up, and stretching your right side body.
Low Lunge Twist
- On your exhale, lower your hands down to frame your right foot.
- Square your hips forward and keep your back knee off the floor.
- As you inhale, lift your right arm straight up to the sky for a low lunge twist. Look up at your fingertips.
- In your low lunge twist, plant your left palm flat on the floor.
- Spin the left outer edge of your foot off the floor and shift your weight to the left hand and foot.
- Begin to lift the right foot off the floor and stack your right foot on top of your left for side plank pose.
- You can modify this posture by taking the left knee down on the mat.
- Inhale in side plank, and then exhale to release down to a plank.
Vinyasa Flow #2: Take your vinyasa and repeat on your left side.
Core (2 mins)
Before we cool down, there’s just two more poses we have left to do. These are great yoga poses to strengthen your core and challenge your body one final time before we allow it to rest.
- From downward dog, come forward to a plank pose.
- Stay in plank for 5 deep breaths, paying close attention to your form and building strength in your upper body and core.
- Come to sit down on your mat with your feet flat on the floor and your knees up to the ceiling.
- Bring your heels in closer to your butt, reach your arms forward and begin to lean back slightly, feeling the weight come onto your sit bones, and your heels and toes lift up off the mat.
- Lift your legs up so that your shins are parallel to the floor.
- Reach your arms forward and keep your chest lifted. Stay for 5 deep breaths.
Cool Down (5 mins)
This final portion is all about restoration and relaxing your body. Take notice of your breath and the changes that come when you allow yourself to slow down.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
- Lie down on your back and bring the soles of your feet to touch and your knees out to the sides of the room.
- If you need extra support, place one block underneath each knee.
- Relax your arms alongside your body and stay for 5 breaths.
- From Reclining Bound Angle pose, take your knees together and lift your feet off the floor.
- Relax your knees over the right, take your left arm out to the side, and turn your head to face the left fingertips.
Stay for 5 breaths and repeat on the left side.
- Stay on your back and release your legs out in front of you and your arms alongside your body with you palms facing up.
- Close your eyes and let your entire body relax. Stay in Savasana for at least 2 minutes, or a little longer if you have the time.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga at Home
Besides the fact that practicing yoga at home is more convenient, there are so many other reasons developing a home yoga practice can be incredibly beneficial for you and your practice:
- Move at your own pace: You don’t need to feel rushed in a posture or in your practice. Stay for a few more breaths and really allow yourself to feel your body in each pose.
- Build discipline: A home practice takes lots of discipline. You may surprise yourself with your inner strength and determination once it becomes a daily habit.
- Become your own teacher: When we practice yoga, we become more in tune with our inner being. Realize that you can look inward and give yourself what you need through your own personal practice.
- Save money: Practicing at home is free! Say goodbye to monthly memberships and hello to a more intimate and cozy practice at home.
- Reduce stress: Feel like you don’t have time to go to and from the studio? Or maybe a crowded yoga room just isn’t your jam. When you practice at home, you are able to breath and get completely comfortable without stress.
How do I modify my vinyasa? Vinyasa sequences are typically linked with a flow of Plank to Chaturanga to Upward Facing Dog to Downward Facing Dog. When flowing through your yoga sequence, you can always skip your vinyasa, or modify by lowering the knees down to the floor in Chaturanga and coming up into a Cobra pose instead of Upward Dog.
What do I need to practice yoga at home? You don’t need much space— just enough to set up your yoga mat. You will need a yoga mat and if you like using props, add some blocks, a yoga blanket, or a yoga wheel to your yoga practice. To learn more about what you might need to start a yoga practice, check out our recommended tools page.
Ally is the co-founder of GroundedPanda.com with her fiance Victor. She began practicing yoga at the beginning of her career as a Registered Nurse to cope with the physical and mental stress it put on her, and fell in love with it. Her goal is to help beginners develop a fulfilling practice without the intimidation. Besides managing this website, she loves hiking with her loving fiance and cuddling with her two silly cats.