A home yoga practice is a powerful transformative tool and Even though it may seem daunting, it is well worth the work for anyone who wants to improve their health or commit to a yogic lifestyle .
Tips for a successful practice:
1. Have a special place in your house where you always practice.
Having a dedicated space to practice will help create a calming atmosphere from the moment you step on the mat. You can make your space special by placing a favorite plant nearby, some crystals, or anything else which helps you feel calm and happy.
You can truly practice yoga anywhere, however some spaces are easier to practice in than others. A floor with hard wood is best as it is hard enough to provide support but not too hard on your joints. Ideally your yoga space will allow you to move freely without feeling confined (you want about a foot in any direction from your mat).
2. Practice every day.
Routine is a powerful force for transformation because it takes the element of decision away. If your home yoga practice becomes a habit it will be easy to sustain even through the most challenging of times. To create a habit your practice doesn’t have to be long. Even five minutes of dedicated time can be enough to maintain a daily routine.
3. Play Music
Nothing creates a dynamic atmosphere quite like music. You can put on a melancholy playlist when you are feeling down or an upbeat pop playlist when you need to wake up for a morning practice. Whatever mood you are trying to create, music can help. Personally, yoga is one of my favorite times to listen to music because I always find new depth to lyrics and the music creates helps my mind to relax.
Check out my post for creating a killer yoga playlist, blast some old favorites or find a yoga playlist online (a simple Google search will result in millions of hits)
4. Practice Savasana
Quite simply, Savasana is the most beneficial yoga pose and also the most important. Savasana allows your body and mind to relax and reach a sense of balance. Even if you only have a five minute practice be sure to practice Savasana for one minute.
5. Put On a Guided Video
Through independent practice we can develop a keen understanding of our mind and body. As we continue our practice we learn to sense of what our body needs from our practice each day. If you rely on videos too often it will be harder to cultivate your awareness so you shouldn’t use them every time. That being said; if you feel lost or unsure of where to begin a video is great way to start to build confidence.
Fear of not knowing where to begin causes many people to give up before they even start. Fear is unfounded and if you have any anxiety about starting a home practice there is no need. Read below to find out why.
Fear: I don’t know enough about proper alignment:
Begin with easy and comfortable poses that have a low likelihood of injury. Such as; child’s pose, cat and cow, reclined pigeon, forward fold (keep your knees bent), and mountain pose. Stick to what you know in the beginning and continue to attend in-person classes. As you build a familiarity with other poses add them to your home practice.
Fear: I don’t know how to move fluidly.
Truth: You don’t need to know how to flow to have a home practice. A home practice is a great time to explore how one pose can fluidly transition to another. Eventually you will and your own flow style.
Fear: I don’t know how long to spend in any given pose or how many poses to do.
Truth: It doesn’t really matter. Through your practice you will gain an intuitive understanding of what your body needs. This includes how long your body needs to be in any given pose and how many poses you need to practice to reach a sense of balance in your body. A good guide is staying in each pose for 3-10 breathes. And practicing between 4-15 poses in a 15 minutes time period.
Fear: I’m worried I’ll make a mistake:
Truth: For goodness sake, make a mistake! No one is watching, go for it. But in order to prevent injury please stick to your knowledge level and know your body’s limitations. Slipped disks aren’t the kind of mistakes we are aiming for.
Fear: I’m worried I will create bad alignment habits.
Truth: First of all, you already have them, we all do. Secondly, it is important to continue going to in person classes and educating yourself about proper alignment and best practices. A consistent practice with a trusted teacher will let your teacher catch any pesky alignment habits and advise you on the best way to correct them.
Developing a home yoga practice is one of the best decisions I have ever made for my wellbeing. I credit my happiness, health, and motivation to my daily practice. It is my time to be with myself and my body. My practice is an act of devotion and of love. I hope this post inspires you to have such a practice for yourself. If you have any tips that help make your home practice extra special please share them in comments below and please feel free to ask me any questions.