How to Practice Yoga at Home
Practicing yoga at home has lots of benefits and can compliment your existing class routine as well as be a handy go to in the holidays when you’re all out of sync and it can be hard to get to the studio!
One of the best things about yoga, apart from all the obvious health benefits, is that you can practise yoga anywhere – you can practice yoga at home, on holiday, or even in a spare meeting room on your lunchtime at work if you really wanted! Plus it’s also FREE if you do a self-guided practice!
However, if you are new to yoga or just lack confidence it can be hard to get started. Below we will guide you on how to get started, along with a few tips and things to try!
Tips for practicing yoga at home or away
Purchase a mat
If you haven’t got one already, yoga mats are fairly in expensive to buy. They come in a variety of size, thicknesses and of course beautiful colours. Think about the style of practice you might be doing and where you might be doing it, then pick a mat based on that. For example, if you are looking to practice yoga whilst away on holiday, you might want to consider purchasing a lighter travel mat. Whereas if you are looking to just practice at home and in your local studio you could go for a much more robust style mat like the Yogi Bare one that I use – it’s perfect for those doing more of a flow style or who find their feet slip around a lot when using a regular mat! or alternatively, if you are practising more of a yin style yoga then you might prefer a mat that is more cushioned. There’s no right or wrong answer – it’s purely down to personal preference.
Along with your yoga mat you might also want to purchase some props – like blocks and straps. I also have a yoga wheel and a bolster cushion for when I do my yin sessions at home.
Make a spot for yoga at home where you will practice
Yoga can help calm the mind as well as release tension from the body and keep you fit and healthy inside and out – however finding calm in a cluttered room could be hard work. You dont’ need much space to practice yoga at home, but try and find a space where you can find tranquility and stay focused whilst doing it – away from any distractions, clutter or worries!
Bedrooms and lounges often work well as they are naturally areas of the home where you might relax. We found a lovely sunny spot in our garden room (actually used as our dining area) where we can practice with a beautiful view of our garden rain or shine!
Stick to a regular routine
Yoga can be a great way to start or finish the day! For those short on time – all you need is 10-15 mins and you will definitely notice a difference in your general wellbeing. You can where what you want – especially if your practicing yoga at home! As long as you can move freely, so first thing in the morning in your PJ’s is absolutely fine if thats what it takes to make sure you do – saves getting dressed twice!
How and what to practice
As with all physical activities you will need to make sure you warm up first – maybe start off with a few neck and shoulders rolls, plus some gentle stretches and twists are perfect, gradually moving down the body awakening the joints and getting that synovial fluid moving.
You could then start (and end if you’re short on time) your practice with a few Sun/Moon Salutations – these are a series of movements linked together in a flowing routine that should be repeated 6-8 times (balance each side), we often use these as our warmups in class as they are simple and easy for most to follow. Below are a few diagrams to help you with these if you are unsure.
Once you are fully warm, if you have time you can play with a few other hatha yoga postures, holding each for 3-5 breaths. Then finally finish in Savasana where you might opt to lie still for a few moments and confirm your practice, or you might wish to practice a yogic breathing technique.
Listen to your body
As with any yoga session at home or in the studio it is important that you listen to what your body is telling you. if you feel any pain, pinching or pushing then stop, take it back a notch. When practicing yoga it’s always good to try and push your limits, getting deeper in to stretches or postures, but you should never feel any pain. You will also find your body varies from day to day – some days may feel easier or better than others, where as occasionally you might have a day where you can’t even balance on one leg without falling over! And thats totally fine – even yoga teachers get those days! LISTEN to your body, that way you will always have the best session.
Keep it fun
Don’t make your practise time a chore. When starting out find a sequence that you enjoy as it will give you incentive to keep it up. You might want to play music or use incense sticks to create a peaceful setting. Or practice with friends – sometimes having a buddy to keep you on tack helps to ensure you stick at it as you don’t want to let the other one down.
Don’t worry about seeking the ‘perfect’ practice – go with the flow, see what you feel like doing from day today, somedays you might do well, others can be a real struggle. The most important thing is to commit, once you have started see it though, don’t stop mid-flow. You will find the art of yoga teaches you a lot about the mind and body – the biggest lessons are learnt from the biggest challenges, both physically and mentally. Just don’t give up!
However, there will be days, or even periods, where you simply dont have the time to stick to your routine, so equally cut yourself some slack. Your practice should not feel pressured or stressful. If it doesn’t work for you to practice yoga today, then don’t stress! Just make sure that when you do get back to the mat you give your self the time to be present and commit to those sessions so that you get the most from it all!
Yoga at Home – Private Sessions
If you are still unsure how to practice yoga at home or would like guidance on a routine you can practice – why not book a private yoga sessions with us? We can design a routine specifically for your individual needs and goals, show you how to do it, ensuring correct alignment, and build up your confidence to practice on your own. Email Harriet now to arrange your private session.