Practicing yoga at home can have one of the greatest impacts on your practice overall. It will teach you self-discipline and the art of "tuning in". Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to practice MORE. Honestly, who couldn't use MORE yoga?!? Exactly. It's not always possible or practical to make it to the studio, I get that, but it shouldn't stop you from practicing altogether. They say practice 3 days a week to change your body, practice 6 days a week to change your life. I don't know who "they" is, but I totally agree!
I avoided practicing yoga at a home for a long time, but once I started, it was an immediate game changer. It took some trial and error to figure out how to create a space in my home that was comparable to a yoga studio, but I think I've gotten the key elements down pact.
My Top 5 Tips for Practicing Yoga at Home
Creating a conducive environment is crucial. This doesn't mean you have to go overboard and invest in fancy decor or expensive yoga swag. It is important, however, that you designate a space that is clutter free, quiet, and away from distractions. Don't forget to factor in the type of flooring. You want an area where your mat will stay put.
For me, that space is my living room. I have hard, laminate flooring and there is tons of natural light. When I'm ready to practice I turn off the tv, move the coffee table out of the way and roll out my mat. If you really want to get in the mood you could keep candles or incense in this area of your home and light them on demand.
Yoga props are essential for enhancing your yoga practice. Blocks and straps are the two most important/most commonly used in vinyasa yoga. These items are fairly inexpensive too, but if you aren't ready to make the investment just yet, you can use a sturdy water bottle in place of a block and substitute a towel for a strap.
Keep these items handy in your designated practice area. I keep my mat, block and strap right next to the entertainment center in my living room in plain view so I'm always reminded how accessible my next yoga practice is!
Before I was a yoga teacher myself, I had no idea how to string together poses myself! I would try to practice at home, but I didn't know what to do!! Insert: the internet! When you can't make it to a class, downloading or live streaming one online is the next best thing. My classes, for example, are available for free download on iTunes. I upload three new classes a week, they never expire, and you can access them right from your phone!
I'm not the only one doing this though - there are tons of options to choose from! I recommend exploring and finding a couple of teachers/channels that resonate with you.
Creating a self-led practice is so rewarding and super meditative. It takes more discipline and a better understanding of yoga sequencing, but it's definitely attainable. For me, I set a "non-negotiable" when it comes to my self-led practice. I start with childs pose and move into 3 Sun A's and 5 Sun B's. That's my non-negotiable. More likely than not, by the time I've completed that routine, I want more!
Even if you have no background in the sequencing of yoga, you could set a non-negotiable as well and see where it takes you. I recommend learning Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B and going from there. Stretch, move and explore while staying mindful of your edge and see where you end up. Its really the best learning experience there is.
Look, there will be days when you will have more excuses NOT to practice than motivation TO practice. That's totally normal. Don't let that keep you from getting on your mat. I recommend setting a schedule and sticking to it. Get on your mat at the scheduled time and designated place and just move around. You'll almost never regret it!