Tips for Starting a Home Yoga Practice
People ask me all the time about how to start a home yoga practice. And I'll admit, prior to taking my yoga teacher training, I never practiced at home, because I wasn't sure how to get started. But it doesn't have to be complicated! So, I thought I'd give you some simple tips to help.
- Let go of what you think your yoga practice should look like. You probably won't do a 90 minute hard core vinyasa flow class at home. So, don't expect it. I find my energy level is very different when I am by myself versus when I am in a room full of people, so my practice at home is usually gentler than my practice in a studio.
- Start slow. If you aren't used to practicing at home, maybe you just start with 15 minutes to see if you can stay focused for that long. Then, as you feel more comfortable, you can practice for longer. Depending on how often you practice at the studio, and depending on your goals, you can determine what works best for you for your home practice. And it may change over time, so give yourself permission to re-evaluate how you want to practice.
- Find a space where you can move. In my last house, I would practice in my entry way, between my dining room table and couch in the living room. It wasn't a ton of space, but it was enough room for me to put my mat. And even though I felt a little confined when I started, shortly into practice, I forgot the space was a little cramped.
- Embrace distractions. I used to hate when my dogs walked on my mat. But I soon realized that I loved their cute little faces looking at me in down dog or their sweet little licks on my feet. So, if you find you are distracted by pets or kids or anything else, see how you can incorporate your distractions into your practice instead of trying to fight them! I promise it makes a huge difference.
- See what format works for you. There are so many online classes available, from free You Tube videos to paid subscription services, such as Yogaglo. Take different classes and find a format that works for you. Also, take classes from different teachers, because good teachers will make you feel like they are in the room with you, which can help you stay motivated.
Or, you can create your own sequence. If you feel comfortable with this, I recommend scanning your body from head to toe and just seeing how you can move. For instance, starting at your head, you could gently move your neck around. Then, moving to your shoulders, you could take some shoulder rolls. After moving your shoulders you could move your torso by taking some seated twists or side bends. You get the idea. There is no right or wrong, but this gives you a framework if you're stumped on where to start.
- Play. If you are practicing challenging poses in the studio, such as arm balances or inversions, your home practice is a great way to dedicate more time to practicing these poses. I would have never gotten my handstand just by practicing in the studio. I dedicated about 5 minutes a day for 3 or 4 times a week to practicing. It wasn't a huge amount of time each week, but it was enough to get me comfortable with the nuances of kicking up and being upside down.
Feel free to reach out and let me know if you have questions! And if you are interested in me posting some short sequences for you to follow at home, let me know!