How to start a Home Yoga Practice
Here is an easy process that will get you started with your home yoga practice and experience the great benefits that yoga brings.
Set your yoga goal
Avoid setting too optimistic goals which might backfire and eventually cause you to quit. Try to set realistic goals and start small and allow yourself to expand over time. Begin with shorter sessions, 10-15 minutes and extend gradually. A recommendation is also to start with basic yoga poses and sequences and expand when you develop your skills.
Create your yoga space
Choose a space in your home for your yoga practice. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, you’ll have to fit it into a corner or part of a room where also other activities need space.
Try to find a quiet, peaceful and uncluttered spot where you can have as much space as possible around you. If you need to change the space back after you’re done with your yoga, use a basket or box to store the items during the session.
If you like you can create an altar in the space and fill it with items that promote spirituality and a sense of calmness such as candles, incense sticks, photos, a Buddha sculpture etc. The altar will be the center of your space and could, for example, a table, a bookshelf or the corner of the room.
The most important is however that your yoga space is right for you. Use your own creativity and imagination and create a space that will help you to start your yoga practice.
Get your equipment
The yoga mat is, in fact, the only tool you need, choose a non-slip mat if you can. When you start looking for a yoga mat you’ll find that there’s a lot to choose between and that the market is huge. Do spend some time on research to make sure that you find a mat that suits your needs. It can be worth paying a bit more for a mat of good quality, you’ll save money in the long run as it will last much longer.
If you want you can also invest in yoga blocks, straps, and bolsters. It is not necessary however, you can choose to use books, pillows blankets or other things that you already have in your home.
The most vital “tool” though is your willingness to start the yoga practice and your dedication to the process. Make the commitment to yourself to do the yoga no matter what and the results will come!
Honor your boundaries
Always stay present and mindful during your practice and be aware of what’s happening in your body and mind. Be sure to honor your boundaries and be mindful of what your body is telling you. Pay special attention to exposed body parts such as your spine, neck, knees, and hips and allow yourself to leave a position if you feel any pain. There is often a difference between what your mind is telling you to do and what your body needs.
Make sure to warm up your body before trying more advanced poses. You can, for example, do different stretches before moving on to other poses. Also, be mindful when you shift from one pose to another and move out of the poses slowly to avoid injuries. This is especially important if you’ve been holding the pose for a longer time.
Choose your yoga routine
Many yoga styles follow a set sequence of poses, it is, however, easier for you to apply a more flexible yoga routine for your home practice. The most important thing is to listen to your body and what it needs right now. By doing so you are more likely to roll out your mat and do the yoga!
If you are full of energy you might choose something that makes the juices flow or if you are tired you maybe want something softer and soothing. Maybe you’ll choose a revitalizing yoga routine in the morning and a restful practice in the evening.
An effective yoga routine that involves different parts of the body is the Sun Salutations followed by standing poses, forward bends, and twists. A good routine is to always end your yoga session with Savasana, where you rest on your back and consciously relax your body. It helps to integrate the benefits gained during the practice.
Make your yoga practice a habit
To fully benefit from all the positive effects of yoga, you need to make your practice a habit. You don’t necessarily have to do it every day. Doing it a few times or even once per week is still beneficial. It’s better to set a realistic goal and be able to follow through than to set a too optimistic goal which you can’t live up to and in the end quit.
Having a dedicated area as mentioned above is another tool that can help you to be consistent. It’s also important to have dedicated time for the sessions. You can make it part of your morning or evening ritual, plan it into your calendar, and cut out other activities to make room for it. And you can practice with someone else, a family member or friend. Being held accountable by others helps you to stay motivated and keep your commitment to yourself.