Free from competitive yogis, mediocre teachers, and crappy meditation music, I lay my mat out in my tiny living room, preparing for my home yoga practice. Sometimes I practice in complete silence; other times I listen to Lady Gaga or even Led Zeppelin, but mostly it’s a nice mix of TV on the Radio or Phantogram. This is my practice at home, and I cherish every second of it.
Depending on how I’m feeling, my yoga sessions at home are one of these three things: a creative flow made up on the spot as I listen to what my body wants, a strict dedication to the primary series of Ashtanga, or a practice that follows an online video if I feel like being mindless. Sometimes my mat time lasts only 15 minutes and other times it will last an hour or more.
No matter what I choose to do, it’s at home and free of judgement. I do enjoy going to classes however. But my ego sometimes takes control, and I end up trying to be the best yogi in the class instead of just being my best. If you are looking to create your own yoga practice, I hope my tips help. However do keep in mind that I am not a yoga teacher. I am strictly a student and have been practicing on and off for eight years. Also although most of my yoga sessions are at home, I do attend classes at various studios at least once or twice a month. I think taking instruction is an important aspect of learning.
Without further blabber, here is how to start your own home yoga practice.
1. Know How to Do Yoga
You should never start a home yoga practice if you are a beginner. I went to yoga classes nearly every day for two years before I even ventured into home practice territory. This is for your safety and for alignment purposes. Wouldn’t you hate to learn something from a video or without proper instruction and end up practicing it over and over again and injuring yourself? Relearning is even more difficult than learning the first time. First learn the basics from a knowledgeable teacher before attempting an at-home practice.
2. Don’t Hide Your Yoga Mat
Give your mat a place in your home. It doesn’t have to be laid out all of the time, but at least give it a space while its rolled up. If you leave it in your car or even in a closet, it won’t always be sticking out to remind you that it’s not being used.
3. Make It a Habit
What really amped up my home yoga practice was consistency. I try to practice at least once a day and always at the same time. Since I work from home and always have a great burst of energy for work in the mornings, I work in the morning and then do yoga in the afternoon. The evenings are saved for my husband and dinner and relaxing. However if he happens to be away, I also enjoy having a late night yoga sesh. However afternoon yoga seems to be the best time for me to schedule in mat time.
4. Get Relaxed
One of the reasons why I love going to classes is because the atmosphere is so relaxing. Therefore, I like to make my home just as relaxing as a studio. I like to burn some incense and dim the lights. With cold winters here in Colorado, I find warmth in going to heated yoga classes. So at home, I crank up the heat just a bit so I am able to start a nice sweat and stay warm during savasana.
No matter how you choose to approach a home yoga practice, make it yours. It doesn’t matter if you do 20 sun salutations or just do some nice yin or restorative poses. The point is that you got on your mat.
Do you have a home yoga practice? Tell me why you love to practice yoga at home in the comments below!