Health and Fitness

7 Day Yoga Challenge for Beginners’ Flexibility

low lunge cactus arms

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As a non-bendy person, I was very pleased to welcome yoga teacher Patricia with her 7-day yoga challenge for beginners’ flexibility. 

There are loads of brilliant reasons to practice yoga, so I’m definitely giving this a go and will keep you posted as to how I get on!  I’d love it if you join me.  Over to you Patricia.


7 day yoga challenge for beginners' flexibility



We’re still hampered by lockdowns and by now we are starting to feel all that physical and mental tension that results from us being cooped up at home.

Anyone relate to this?

I’ve heard so many of my friends trying different workouts to keep their body (and mind) moving, and one of the most popular activities is yoga.

Maybe you are one of the many that have been interested in starting a yoga practice but you (like most) aren’t sure if you are flexible enough to do yoga.

I work mostly with beginners and the most common phrase I hear during our intro call is, “But I’m not flexible.”


Well, I have great news for you: No one starts out being flexible but everyone can be.


I think social media definitely does its job in attaching yogis with flexibility. But let me tell you a secret, it takes time – in fact, A LOT of time – and practice, for our muscles and tissues to be “flexible.” And even so, there’s always another level of flexibility.

Whether or not you’ve been interested in yoga or stretching, moving our muscles and stretching them regularly helps us to feel less sluggish.

Many of my students also describe their body being “lighter” and hence, easier for them to do their daily tasks when they incorporate stretches into their routine!

This is why I’ve provided you with a 7 Days of Flexibility With Yoga Challenge that’s not only beginner-friendly but also thoughtfully sequenced to optimize your flexibility journey.

Now, before embarking on this 7 days journey, the only thing I ask from you is to be patient with yourself and to remember that everyone’s journey is unique. I also want to emphasize focusing on the process rather than the result.

There is a saying that goes:

“It’s not about touching your toes, it’s what you learn on the way down.”

I started yoga when I was 16, and I had no background in dancing or anything that has to do with stretching my muscles.

I actually wouldn’t even consider myself as “sporty.”

And sure, after more than 5 years of practising consistently, I’ve gained so many physical benefits from it – I’m able to access a wider range of motion, I can kiss my knee and have gained strength as well. But the most valuable result for me is having my mind stretched as I stretch my body.

Let me say it again, the process matters. With every practice, you learn a little bit more about yourself and I invite you to reflect or journal your journey too.


You may also enjoy:  Mindfulness Meditation – An Awesome Way To Calm Your Mind


Now, to the more science-y part!


We’ve probably heard the idea that stretching might weaken our muscles or that stretching and strengthening are two opposite actions – but is that really true?

Well, science says otherwise – stretching and strengthening actually compliments each other.

You can read more about it on Jenni Rawling’s blog HERE (PS: she’s a very knowledgeable science and bio-mechanics based yoga teacher whom I follow for non-traditional yoga drills).

I won’t go too deep into the science here, but if you’re interested to know why you feel discomfort during stretching, you can read it on Jenni’s blog as well!


Without further ado, let’s start our yoga challenge!


If you can, I recommend stretching for 10 seconds in each pose before switching sides and moving on. But most importantly, find what feels good for you – everyone has different bodies with different needs!


Yoga Challenge Day 1 – Moving Your Body


Your Day 1 stretches will focus on just inviting movement to your body – this will definitely help gain more flexibility for beginners.  I also recommend you to start your challenges for the following days with these 5 stretches from Day 1.


1. Cat Cow


Start by coming up to all fours.

Check that your wrists are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips.

Then slowly as you inhale drop your belly and bring your tailbone up as you gaze forward or up.

Stretch your upper chest by pulling your shoulder blades down and back for cow pose.

As you exhale, point your tailbone up and curl your spine so it’s in a dome shape (imagine someone punching your abdomen from below).  Gaze down towards the floor for cat pose.

Repeat this cat cow flow for 5 rounds (or as much as you need, really!).

Cat cow is a great way to warm up your spine and the muscles around it before starting your practice!


yoga challenge cat cow 1


cat cow 2


2. Seated Side Stretches


Start by sitting cross-legged, and then bring your left hand by your left hip and bend your left arm as you lift your right arm overhead.

You will feel your right side body lengthened and stretched.

Now, make sure that while you’re reaching towards the left, your right sit bones are still pressed firmly on your mat.

Avoid going further if you feel your sit bones start to lift off.

Spin your heart and gaze towards the right and stretch here for 10 seconds before switching the other side. Then, switch the cross of your legs and repeat.


seated side stretch



3. Downdog


I like to start in either all fours or plank and then send your hips up and back.

Downdog might be considered as a resting pose in yoga classes, but if this is your first time doing it, you might feel some discomfort on your wrist and that is totally normal. Take breaks as needed!

Tip: instead of pressing only into the heels of your palms, press evenly through your finger pads and your metacarpal. This way, you are helping to alleviate the pressure on your wrist.

As you settle in your downdog, pedal your legs and then slowly come to a stillness.

Your heels don’t have to touch the ground – instead, create that active action of bringing your heels down to the ground.

Create length and space in your spine as you actively use your hand to push your hips up and back.




4. Cobra/Updog


From plank, slowly lower your body all the way down so you are lying on your belly.

Bring your legs hip-width apart or together, and your wrist slightly in front of your shoulders.

On your inhale, press your palms on the ground as you straighten your arm to lift your upper body up.

Open your upper chest by pulling your shoulders down and away from your ears as you either gaze up or forward.

Another option if you want more challenge: Lift your thighs and legs off the ground for updog while keeping the same action in your upper body.


yoga challenge cobra



5. Child’s Pose


Start on all fours and spread your knees as wide or almost as wide as your mat.

Bring your big toes to touch and send your hips down and back towards your heels.

Again, it’s no biggie if your glutes don’t touch your heels. What matters is constantly creating that action to bring your glutes towards your heels as you also stretch your arms forward – notice the two opposite actions.

As you inhale, see if you can stretch your arms further forward to lengthen your spine, and every exhale try to bring your glutes closer to your heels.


child's pose



Yoga Challenge Day 2 – Standing Stretches


1. Standing Side Stretch


Start in standing (tadasana) with your feet grounded firmly on the ground.

With your inhale, lift both arms up. Then grab your right wrist with your left hand and exhale, stretch it up and over to the left.

You might feel that your right foot wants to lift up, keep on pressing it firmly towards the ground.

Spin your heart towards the right as you stretch your right side body. Slowly, release and switch sides.


yoga challenge standing side stretch


2. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)


Begin in Tadasana (standing).

Inhale to lift both your arms up and then exhale fold from your hips and bring your palms to the mat or block.

Bend your knees as much as you need to and rest your torso on top of your thighs.

Point your sit bones up and let the crown of your head reach down.

Feel free to modify your arms and do what’s most comfortable for you. You can bring your palms so they rest on the ground, or you can also grab opposite elbows like I’m doing here.


forward fold


3. Halfway Lift with flat back (Ardha Uttanasana)


From Uttanasana (Forward Fold), straighten your legs and bring your palms against your thighs or shins, or bring your hands to the ground.

As you lengthen your spine forward, creating a flat back, gaze either down or forward.

Remember to also engage your core by not letting your ribcage flare out too much.


halfway lift


4. Wide-legged fold (option to twist)


Face the long edge of your mat and spread your hands out sideways.

Bring your legs out so your ankles are under your wrists.

Now, bring your hands by your hips and slowly hinge forward from your hips to bring your torso closer to the ground.

Press firmly through your feet and bring your hands to the ground or block as you point the crown of your head down towards the ground.

Breathe here for 5 rounds of breath before slowly bringing your gaze forward.

Slightly bend your knees and bring your hands by your hips again. Press through the 4 corners of your feet to lift your torso back up.

Option to twist during your wide-legged fold: Bring your right hand on the ground and spin your chest to the left as you reach your left arms up, and then switch sides.


wide legged fold


5. Trikonasana


Start in a wide-legged stance again.

Bring your right toes to point towards the right and turn your left toes slightly inwards towards the right.

Stretch both arms outwards and bring your right hand in front of your right leg and your left arm up.

Gaze either to your left arm or forward.

You’ll feel the stretch on your left side body and your spine lengthen.

Hold and then repeat on the other side.


yoga challenge trikonasana


Yoga Challenge Day 3 – Upper Body


1. Thread the needle


This pose is to open up your shoulder and stretch your spine.

It can be a bit funky at first, but I promise you, you’ll enjoy it!

Start on all fours.

Lift your right arm up to the right and then bring it under your left arm, you might need to bend your left elbow forward.

Keep on reaching your right arm towards the left until your shoulder rests on the ground.

Do it on both sides!


thread the needle


2. Puppy Pose


Start on all fours and slowly come to your forearms.

Slowly, bring your legs further back so you can stretch your arms as if you’re in child’s pose.

In puppy pose, however, our hips are still stacked above our knees.

See if you can melt your chest lower towards the ground.

This is a great shoulder and chest opener!


puppy pose


3. 90 90 side stretch


I love this combo of working your hips while also stretching your side body.

Start in seated and bring your right leg to the side and bend your right knee.

Now bend your left leg so your left soles meet your right knee. Make sure you are firmly pressing both sits bones on your mat.

Then bring your right arm in front of your torso and stretch your left arm up and over towards the right.

Avoid lifting your left knee up – if you feel it starting to lift up bring your left arm more towards the left.

As always, do this with your other side too!


90 90 side stretch


4. Low lunge cactus arms


This is my go-to pose because not only it is accessible to most beginners, it provides a great chest opening stretch that we all can benefit from!

Start from downdog. Lift your right leg up and bring it between your palms. Plant your back knee down and lift your arms up for low lunge.

Make sure you are rooting through the 4 corners of your foot firmly.

As you inhale, lift your spine up and grow taller.

On your exhale, bend your arms and lift your chest up and forward, inviting a micro backbend as you gaze up.

Remember to activate and engage your core (imagine bringing your ribs towards the center).


low lunge cactus arms


Yoga Challenge Day 4 – Hips


1. Figure 4


This is one of the stretches I do before bed and is easily one of my favorites.

Start by lying on your back and then bending both knees so they are close to your torso.

Next, bend your right knee outwards so your right ankle presses against the top of your left knee.

Wrap your fingers behind your left hamstring and pull your left leg closer to your torso depending on how intense you want the stretch to be.



2. Yogi Squat (Malasana)


Malasana or the yogi squat is one of my favorite poses because it really helps loosen up our tight hips.

Let’s start in standing (tadasana), with your feet a bit wider than your hips and then slowly bend your knees and lower all the way down to your low squat.

As always – it is okay if your heels are lifted, just keep on creating that action of bringing your heels down to the ground.

Now bring your palms together in front of your heart.

Use your elbows to push your inner knee out as you also use your inner knee to push your elbows in, creating that opposing action. This helps keep our bodies engaged and our muscles activated.

Ensure that your spine is lengthened up towards the sky instead of hunching your back. Feel free to also sway your hips side to side!


yogi squat


3. Baddha Konasana


Start in seated with your sit bones pressed on your mat.

Bring the soles of your feet to touch in front of your pubic bone and clasp your fingers around them.

On your inhale, lengthen your spine up and as you exhale, fold forward from your hips.

Keep a flat back (think: chin to feet) as you keep on folding until you’ve reached your limit. Then, you can bow your head and gaze towards your feet.




4. Lizard


For lizard, start in low lunge and then bring your right hand inside of your right leg – you may need to shimmy your right leg towards the right too.

You can stay here, but if you want a more intense stretch on your hips or if your hips are flexible enough, you can lower down to your forearm.

Gaze forward as you stretch and then switch sides.




5. Frog


The frog pose might feel a little awkward at first, but I promise you, this is another GREAT stretch for your hips and groin muscles.

Start by lying on your belly, with your forearms on the ground.

Then, open your legs wide apart and bend your knees so your knees and thighs are behind your elbows.

Flex your toes and adjust the intensity. For a deeper stretch bring your upper body back (closer to your legs) and for a less intense stretch, you can move your upper body a bit forward.




Yoga Challenge Day 5 – Legs


1. Reclining Hand to Big Toe (Supta Padangusthasana)


Lie on your back with both legs straight on the ground and toes flexed. Next, with your right leg still on the ground, bring your left leg up towards your torso.

Lift your upper chest and shoulders off the mat and bring your nose towards your knee. Grab your left calf or ankle or toe.

If this feels too intense, feel free to use a strap (or a small towel or necktie) and wrap it around the soles of your feet.

You can then grab the hanging sides of the strap to pull your leg closer to your torso. This way, you are still able to train flexibility in your legs without having to crunch your neck and upper body.

Repeat on the other side.


reclining hand to big toe


2. Low lunge / Low pyramid


Start in a low lunge position. Plant your hands on the ground or on top of blocks placed next to your front leg. Bring your hips back and straighten your front leg, flexing the toes.

Inhale to lift your arms up and fold over your front leg on your exhale.

On your inhale lengthen your spine further forward and try to fold further on your exhale.

Don’t forget to switch sides!

Tip: If you don’t have blocks available, you can also use a stack of books


low lunge


3. Seated Wide-legged fold


For your seated wide-legged fold, start in seated, but this time with your legs stretched out wide to the side (as wide as you can). Remember to flex your toes to protect your knee.

Inhale, lift your arms up and lengthen your spine.

Exhale, fold forward as much as you can and bring your palms to the ground.

Every inhale, lift your gaze up, flatten your back and lengthen your spine more. Every exhale, see if you can fold even deeper.


seated wide legged fold


4. Seated Fold (Paschimottanasana)


Start in seated, with your legs straight forward.

Make sure that your sit bones are firmly pressed to your mat by lifting the fleshy parts around your sit bones up.  Flex your toes so they point towards your face.

Once you’re settled, with your inhale, lift your arms up and lengthen your spine up.

Exhale, drape your torso on top of your thighs.

Similar to when you were in uttanasana (standing forward fold) feel free to bend your knees as much as you need to.

Every inhale, gaze up and lengthen your spine more as you flatten your back (similar action as in ardha uttanasana) and exhale, see if you can fold even deeper.


seated fold


5. Challenge: split


Want to spice it up a notch for fun?

Don’t worry if you’re not there on the full splits yet, it took me A LOT of practice and time to get there!

If you want to try it, start in a low lunge, then slowly bring your front leg more forward until you reach your limit.

It’s helpful to have blocks or any kind of support by your side to prop your spine up.

Hold there for 7-10 seconds before coming back.

To exit from the pose, simply lean to your left side if your left leg is in front (and vice versa if your right leg is the front leg) and then bring your back leg to meet your front leg.

Switch sides.

Splits are also a great tool to see how much you’ve progressed throughout your flexibility journey – and don’t be surprised if it feels like one leg is more flexible than the other!




Yoga Challenge Day 6 – Twists


1. Easy seated twist

Twisting helps stretch the muscles that support our spine, this is why I always incorporate twists in my classes.

Let’s start with sitting cross-legged.

Reach both arms up to lengthen your spine on your inhale, and then exhale, bring the back of your left hand outside of your right knee.

Use your right fingers to lift your spine up – you’re not leaning back and resting on your right hand, instead, cup your fingers behind your back as you twist.

Every inhale, see if you can lengthen your spine upwards and every exhale, try to twist even more.


easy seated twist


2. Low lunge twist


This is similar to the low lunge pose we did on day 3, but we’re just adding a twist (pun intended 😉 )!

Start in your low lunge with your right leg forward.

Plant your left palm on the ground as you reach your right arm up.

Another option is to do this in a high lunge where your knees are off the ground. Instead of your left palm on the ground, you would stretch both arms outwards as you twist to the right.


low lunge twist


3. Supine Twist

One of my go-to poses to end my practice!

This pose might seem very simple, but it actually has plenty of benefits for your low back and of course, it helps with enhancing the flexibility and mobility around your spine.

Start by lying on your back, then shimmy your hips to the left without moving your upper body. Bring your legs towards your chest and then slowly, drop them towards your right side.

You can stretch your arms outwards in a T position or you can bring your right arm on top of your left knee and stretch your left arm out.

To switch sides, shimmy your hips to the right this time and gently drop your legs to the left.


supine twist


Yoga Challenge Day 7 – Relaxation


1. Pigeon Prep


You’ve probably seen photos of the fancy full King Pigeon pose.

Now, this is a variation of it that helps us open our hips and give it more mobility without demanding too much on our shoulders – perfect for beginners!

Start from downdog and lift your right leg up.

Then, bring your right ankle down behind your left wrist and lower your left leg so it’s down on your mat, toes pointing back.

Notice how you want to lean to one side (your right side if your right leg is in front), even out the lift in both sides (you can put a block/blanket under your right hip too to prevent collapsing on that side).

Place your hands on the mat next to your hips to lift your spine up.

Stay here if you are happy with the intensity of the stretch.

For my friends who want to challenge their flexibility further, go ahead and go down to your forearm, or rest your forehead on the ground. To come back up, use your hands to press yourself up and then bring your right leg back to downdog.

Don’t forget to switch sides!


yoga challenge pigeon prep


2. Happy baby

Not only this is a simple pose to end your practice, but it also stretches your hips and the muscles around your tailbone.

Start by lying on your back. Bend your knees and bring them to your chest, then grab the soles of your feet with your hands.

Spread your knees out and bring your thighs as close as possible to the ground without lifting your tailbone. I also like rocking side to side here!

You’ll definitely feel more comfortable in this pose as you gain more flexibility by practicing it consistently.


happy baby


3. Savasana


Ah… The final resting pose we’ve all been waiting for.

No fancy cues over here, just lie down and relax all parts of your body for however long you want.

Let your body sink into the Earth and invite stillness in your mind as well.


yoga challenge savasana


And that’s a wrap on our 7-day journey to flexibility!

I hope you’ve stretched both your mind and body throughout this yoga challenge.

Comment down below, what’s your favorite yoga pose? (Mine is supine twist)!

See you in our next practice together! 😉


Author Bio


Hi friends!

So happy to be able to connect with you here 🙂 I’m Patricia and I am a 200hr Certified Yoga Teacher and also a Kids Yoga Teacher!

I’m also a wellness blogger, sharing practical and accessible wellness tips for the busy bees.

I created my blog because as someone who works 8-5, I know the struggle of creating that ideal “work-life” balance.

I believe in creating small, sustainable changes and working on new habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle and a more fulfilled life.

In my free time, I enjoy reading (anything really, from fiction to self-help books) and trying out new recipes I can share on my blog! I’m also a plant mom who loves watching my plant babies thrive in my pot collection!

Find me at:

YouTube: Patriciadtjan

Pinterest: Wellness by Patricia

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  1. Joanna

    That’s an amazing step by step seven day yoga challenge. You make it seem really doable even for the most important flexible amongst us. I’m a yoga novice but I’ll give to my never-yet yoga husband to get him on the journey to yoga. Thank you!

    1. Alison

      Thanks, Joanna, I’m pretty inexperienced with yoga too and I’m finding the challenge really good. 3 days in and child pose is already a lot easier, it hurt at first! Hope your husband enjoys 🙂

  2. Chloe Chats

    What a great challenge! I haven’t really done Yoga before, but it does look like it would be really relaxing for the mind and the benefit of getting more flexible as you go along is a plus too! I’ve been trying to keep myself active whilst I’ve been working from home, can’t believe that I’ve been working from home now since March!! I’ve been loving doing some HIIT workouts, and I also got into doing some Pilate’s too which definitely hurt but felt good xx

    1. Alison

      I can definitely feel it working, even after only a few days! I did a pilates class a few times a few years ago. You’re right, it did hurt!

  3. Patricia

    Aw thank you Joanna! I always love giving options to make it accessible for different and unique bodies – hope you and your husband enjoy this as much as I did creating it 🙂

  4. Patricia

    Love the variety of your workouts Chloe! I like to switch things up between Yoga and running too (although I have a love and hate relationship with running haha) Hopefully you find some peace and calmness in this challenge as we work on our flexibility together 😉

  5. Therese

    This is so helpful. I need to do this and am going to pin this to come back to later. I workout and walk and I’ve been wanting to learn yoga as well. Not to mention, I tweaked my back and really need to be doing some of these moves to better stretch my muscles. Great post!

    1. Alison

      Thanks Therese, I’m finding the exercises are really loosening my muscles. Hope you will too 🙂

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