A dedicated home yoga practice can be sacred and fulfilling. From the beginner to the seasoned yogi, the benefits of a home yoga practice allows the practitioner to experience an intentional mind-body connection dedicated to exactly what she needs in that moment. Additionally, an at-home yoga practice provides the flexibility (pun intended) and convenience to practice at your own pace and at a time that works with your busy schedule.
Follow the tips below to start your journey to a strong at-home yoga practice and let the path slowly unfold to a more sacred and fulfilling experience on and off of your mat.
The area in which you do your practice matters. It should:
Be Clean and Spacious:
A space free of clutter that provides ample room to move in will aid in clearing your mind. It will also give you more opportunities to explore and move. Home practice inspiration: Legs up the wall for 5 minutes at the end of an asana practice increases circulation, kickstarts the lymphatic system, and calms the nervous system.
Be Free of Technology and Distractions:
This is a toughie. Whether the TV is on, the kids are playing next to you, or you’re waiting for that important phone call, sometimes it can be challenging to disconnect. It is in these moments when the true yoga practice of acceptance and stillness opens the door to a deeper practice. However, if you’re just starting out, it can be beneficial to practice in a space with little to no technology or distractions. A conscious effort to keep the space distraction-free will help you to practice with more presence.
Have an Altar:
Creating an altar that directs your energy is at the heart of your yoga practice. It represents what you value, what you want to create, and what inspires you to commit to the practice. This could be a picture, a saying, some candles, or a memento that reflects your inspiration.
Whether you’re moving, meditating, or just working on being present, how you practice needs to be at the forefront of your at-home regimen. Before you being, practice these three things:
With the busyness of our schedules, practicing with consistency can be challenging. However, starting small and working your way up to the same time of day or number of times per week will solidify a routine. Home practice tip: Start with 3-5 minutes twice each week. Work up to an accessible time period everyday at around the same time each day.
Mantra or Intention
Setting an intention or mantra for your practice can bring depth to your life, on and off of the mat. A mantra is a saying that can help set the framework for your practice. Some examples are: “I fully accept this moment,” or, “I am present.” An intention can simply be a word or a feeling that you would like to bring into your day. For example, “grateful.” Before, during, and after your meditation or asana (movement) practice, repeat your mantra or intention.
One of the benefits of a home practice is having the freedom to move, breathe, and/or meditate in a way that caters to your body, mind, and spirit. However, as you are starting out, a general template is nice to follow. If you follow the traditional 8 limbs of yoga, it is beneficial to practice in this order: 1. Asana (movement), 2. Breathing, and 3. Meditation. The asana practice and breathing helps the body prepare for a more centered meditation practice.
As much as repetition is important to a home yoga practice, it can make your yoga feel stale. So, it’s beneficial to keep progressing and growing from your foundation. Below are a few resources to help guide you in your at-home journey:
YogaGlo.com: A website featuring some of the world’s most renowned yoga teachers. ($18/month subscription)
Cody App: An app dedicated to highlighting various practices such as meditation, vinyasa flow, strength, and deep stretches. (price varies based on training class package)
Insight Timer App: A free meditation app that connects you with people around the world who strive to cultivate a regular meditation practice. (free)
N+B Life App: This free app includes follow-along meditation and yoga videos to inspire your practice and center your mind. (free)
As your at-home yoga practice path unfolds, listen to your body, mind, breath, and spirit to authentically connect to what you need in each moment. The depth of a home practice can lead to a type of sacred fulfillment. You’ll feel more at peace, connected to yourself, and present in each movement. Move, stretch, breathe, meditate, and have fun as you take this next step on your yoga journey.