I often hear people say they would love to begin a home yoga practice, but when they roll out their mat at home they get distracted. Practicing at home can bring a whole new appreciation for yoga. At home you have time to explore your body without the pressure of following a class. Which is great, especially if you want to work on going deeper into asanas, or postures. It also means if you feel like just sitting in Savanasa, you can!
Here are my five tips for cultivating a home practice:
This needs to be somewhere quiet and calm; a place where no one will bother you. For me, this was a separate summer house, at the bottom of the garden. When I would head out there it was almost like going to a yoga class. I knew this was my time to practice.
Don't feel like you have to jump straight in at the deep end with your home practice. When you are starting you don’t need to be doing a 90-minute headstand practice. If your goals are too big, it’s easy to break them. Do five or 10 minutes of Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Gradually build up the time as you get more comfortable being in your space.
That’s right: Leave your cellphone in a different room. You won’t be able to hear it if someone calls, just like when you are in class. If you are conscious of the time, take a clock or a watch with you. Remember this is your time out—enjoy it.
If you are struggling for ideas of what to do, try out an online class. There are so many resources available now, use them. Tailor your practice by identifying go-to sessions that you like based on style, time, and even by body part (hip-openers, anyone?).
You are your own best teacher. You know your body and mind. If you don’t feel like practicing yoga today, that’s OK. Acknowledge that thought and accept it. There is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes what the body needs most is rest. Perhaps try spending five minutes meditating instead (Headspace is a great meditation app).
Enjoy your home yoga practice!