Although yoga has risen in popularity and yoga is offered at thousands of studios, gyms, and health clubs across the globe, paying for classes can get expensive and sometimes, due to time constraints, making it to a class is impossible. Fortunately, for both novices and veterans’ yoga can easily be practiced at home. With these six tips you can have a successful home practice:
1. Carve Out a Space
It is important to find a space in your home, where you can safely do your yoga. An area that is spacious enough for your yoga mat and that is big enough for unrestricted movement of your arms and legs. You may also want to set up a space, where you can look at the computer or smart TV and take advantage some of the virtual instruction and classes that are out there. Also important is that the space is calming for you and without distractions. Putting your yoga space in the middle of the living room, may not be good because depending on your living situation, access to that space may be limited, if family or roommates use that space for entertainment.
2. Begin with Stillness
When starting your in home yoga, it is important to sit still for a moment, before starting any exercise. This way you can calm your mind and body to prepare for your practice. The stillness also allows you to do a body check and take the time to bring attention to your current physical state, how you are feeling at that moment, which may alter how you proceed. If you notice that you have stiffness in your lower back and buttocks, you may decide to perform postures to address those areas or you may decide to hold certain stretches longer.
3. Start with A Few Favorite Poses
Yoga at home is awesome, because you can pick your own poses. For both beginner and experienced persons starting home practice, a few favorite poses will give you motivation to adhere to your practice. If you tried to force yourself to do poses that you don’t prefer, then you are more likely to fall off and not be pushed to practice consistently, since you’re doing something, you don’t like. Choosing a few favorite poses to start, which also allows you to set a foundation from which your practice can grow and develop.
4. Focus in Class
In order to be able to choose your favorite poses, you need to know some yoga. There are resources online that have pictures and video instructions, on how to do certain yoga poses; however, it is always a great idea to do a class in order to receive guidance and correction from a yoga professional. Paying attention in class is also important for your home practice, so that you may know what things you may need to correct. Having the instructor tell you, what you are doing incorrectly and providing hands on assistance to fix errors, will help you to focus on specific alignment cues during your home practice. Also, while in class, you will learn what you are doing correctly, which will be helpful to apply to your home practice.
5. Keep Workout Balanced
You want to make sure you are doing a balanced workout. Moving in all directions and stretching muscles evenly. Balancing moves from right to left and front to back is important. For example, if you do a pose, where you twist to the right, you must twist to the left also. If you stretch the front part of the thigh, you must do a posture that stretches the back of the thigh. If you focus too much on one part of the body, or on one type of exercises, then you will not gain the full effectiveness of your workout and you may also increase your risk for injury.
6. Choose A Realistic Duration and Commit to Practice
Don’t set unrealistic expectations for your practice. Be real with yourself and set a goal to practice for an amount of time that is actually doable. If you have lots of responsibilities and barely any time, you may need to focus on a shorter workout. You can always change how long you practice. The important part is committing to something doable, that you can do consistently whether it’s for 15 minutes daily or an hour daily. Also be realistic about, when you will practice. If you are not a morning person, don’t plan on getting up at the crack of dawn to do a long workout. Maybe you simply need to give yourself an extra 15 minutes in the morning or before bed.