Whatever stage you are at in your practice is the perfect time to start a home practice. I personally have done most of my yoga, aside from when I was in yoga teacher training, from home. I find that I am considerably more comfortable when I can practice in my own space in my own time. When I first started to practice yoga regularly I was using it purely as a workout and nothing more. If that is all you want out of your mat time there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Not to mention that fact that I was the heaviest I had ever been and was extremely embarrassed about my body. It is true that “everybody is yoga body” but at the time I felt that couldn’t be farther from the truth! So I practiced at home.
Here are some things you may want to do to prepare for your at home practice.
1: Have Good Yoga Mat
No I am not talking about those high end ones. If you can afford them and already have an established practice and are wanting an upgrade than by all means get yourself one. If you are just starting out get yourself one from Winner’s or Amazon to start. You want it to be at least 69″ long and 24″ wide and non-slip. Below is a link for a yoga mat very similar to the one I personally own and have been using for the past 2.5 years. I am 5’9″ tall and will be getting a slightly longer mat when this one wears out. If you are the same height as me or taller I recommend going with a 72″ long mat. A good mat makes all the difference. I prefer a thicker mat 6mm thick the average is around 3mm. I like my mat a bit thicker because I have a bad knee from a motorcycle accident and have just generally been rough on my body. Between growing up on an acreage and being into extreme sports my poor knees have been through enough and earned a thick mat. If you have similar issues I recommend going with a 6mm thick mat. I wouldn’t recommend going any thicker than 6mm as the thicker the mat the more difficult it is to find balance.
2: Create Your Yoga Space
Having a designated space where you do yoga will help you focus more on your practice. This space can be for yoga and yoga alone, a shared workout space, or a shared space in general. I have my designated yoga space in my bedroom for now. Because the floor is carpeted it will be too unstable when I start doing standing poses again. I have enough room around my mat to do all the ground work I need to do. It’s nice and quiet when I need it to be. There is lots of natural light. There is a sound system for me to use. I have plants and photos arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way. I keep my yoga space clean and organized.
- Enough space to do poses
- Natural light
- Sound system
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Clean and organized
These aren’t things that you need to have these are just things that help me feel ready for my yoga practice. Once you pick a space and do yoga there a few times if if feels off try moving things around. If that doesn’t help try moving to another space or if that isn’t an option try moving the position of your mat and your body within the space. Say you had your back to the window before try facing the window and see how it feels. Try laying your mat length wise instead of width wise and vise versa. Maybe you aren’t a bright space person like me and want your practice to feel more intimate. You can close the curtains, light a few candles, turn on a essential oil diffuser, do whatever you gotta go to get you feeling zen and comfy in yoga space.
3: Find a Yoga Routine
This was the most intimidating part for me. I had no real idea what I was doing, which was a big part of why I wanted to do yoga in the privacy of my own home. Youtube! Honestly there are so many good Youtube yoga tutorials out there. You just have to take the time and look for one that you are interested in trying. I recommend that you watch it first or at least a bit of it so you have an idea of what you are getting yourself into. If you are a beginner be sure that you look for a tutorial that is geared towards beginners. Things get crazy fast so even an intermediate video will be too much for a beginner. Once you find a video that you like stick to it for a bit, I’d recommend staying with a video until you have it pretty well memorized. Then for fun you can try doing it on your own! For you more experienced yoga people play around with the videos and see what you like. You may even end up finding a Youtube yogi you enjoy and can choose for follow them and try new videos regularly. There are also a lot of really great apps in your app store. Just type in “free yoga” and give them a try, who knows you might like them better than the Youtube videos. After a while you will have enough yoga poses under your belt and confidence to start putting together your own sequences.
4: Find the Time
The hardest part of any lifestyle change is finding the time and the right time to do things. For me I used to work a rotating shift and would do yoga in the afternoons on my four days off. I would work four days of 12 hour shifts and cook dinner for me and partner I had no time for yoga on my work days. Figure out a time that you are home and could be doing yoga. Maybe that means you have to give up watching TV after dinner or you might have to make a commitment to wake up early to do yoga before you start your day. Try it and see. If the time you chose doesn’t work for you try shifting your schedule around and try again. Before we moved I would come home straight from work cook supper then leave it on the stove cooling and do yoga before my boyfriend got home. Because when I would do yoga first I would be to tired and zenned out to even want to think about standing in front of a hot stove, so I would cook first. It ment that my food would need a quick reheat but it was far better that the alternative.
5: Have Fun With It
For whatever reason you are choosing to try doing yoga from home. Be it to get more in touch with yourself, to find more zen, to lose weight, to get fit, or what have you be sure to have fun. This isn’t a contest. This isn’t about touching your toes on the first day. This isn’t about how good you are it’s about how good you are going to feel. At the end of the day you are doing this for yourself and that is beautiful. Regardless of how flexible you are or the number on the scale you are beautiful being with the perfect yoga body. Find your happy space get on the mat practice when you can and don’t be hard on yourself for missed days. Just keep getting back on the mat. Listen to the kind of music you like to listen to don’t feel like you are limited to listen to typical “yoga” or “spa” type music. Blast your favorite tunes and yes it is more than ok to take a dance break when you jam comes on.