Practicing yoga at your home has a lot of perks. You can practice yoga at whatever time you would like, there is no travel time, you can wear whatever you choose, little equipment is needed, and it’s inexpensive (especially if you do a self-led practice).
Yoga provides you a way to tend to your physical, mental and emotional stressors. With a home practice, you are more likely to focus on what your body needs on any given day and you learn to practice in a way that supports your needs.
Here are some tips to help get you started!
01 No Pressure Practice
Your practice will be fully integrated into your home life. Things will come up. The dog needs let out, your laundry needs switched out, your son got bumped off his zoom call, etc. Whatever it is, don’t let those distractions keep you from your practice. One of the byproducts of yoga is learning to be content and calm with external circumstances. I used to think my home practice had to be uninterrupted in order for it to be effective. I was so wrong. The more relaxed I became about my practice, the better I felt while practicing. Now I don’t mind when my kids come in and out, I switch out my laundry when it needs changed, I answer the phone when my daughter’s teacher calls and whatever else may come up.
02 Do Your Favorite Poses
Pick your favorite yoga poses and focus on those. Set yourself up to enjoy your time on your mat. Think of it like cooking at home. If you cook a meal at home you don’t like, it’s extremely unlikely you will cook that meal again because you didn’t enjoy it. Do the poses that make you feel good and that you enjoy doing. You have a lifetime to practice yoga, so start with the postures you love.
03 Create Your Space
Be flexible about where you practice and give your self space to stretch, open and lengthen. An empty wall is nice to have available to help with balance or use for restorative postures. Your space doesn’t have to be sacred or separate from your home life (it’s great if you can create a separate space, but it’s not a requirement). Allow the integration so that your practice becomes part of your lifestyle. If you can leave your yoga mat rolled out or at least rolled up and in the room you practice, your more inclined to do it regularly. Lastly, try to keep the space around you free of clutter. It's a total buzz-kill to get off your mat feeling clear and refreshed and to immediately feel the stressors that clutter can trigger.
04 Decrease Duration and Intensity
Shorten the amount of time you practice so it’s more realistic. If you think you have to practice for 60 minutes because that’s what you do in the studio, you are less likely to even start. If 10 minutes is all you have, do yoga for 10 minutes.
Intensity does not need to match that of a public class. Practicing yoga at home does not need to be a replication of a studio practice. When you are in a public class you are with a group of people holding you accountable to some degree. It’s a group experience and for the most part you are staying within the general guidelines of class. Without that social accountability and presence of a teacher, your home practice is going to have a different feel.
Bottom line, show up on your mat and be open, receiving, curious and accepting. Remove all internal pressure to create the perfect home yoga practice. It doesn’t exist!