From my own personal experience I have found that practicing yoga at home and in a class are two very different experiences. In a class I often feel more motivated because of the others around me and I learn new poses. Whereas at home I play around more and have time to really get deep into my practice and listen to my body. Both are great experiences and I think we need to have a balance of both home and studio practice in our lives.
I think starting a home practice is often daunting. I had no idea where to start when I began my home practice. But once I got into my home practice I have taken my yoga to a new level and I am completely in love.
To help and inspire others I have put together a list of my TOP TIPS for starting your very own home yoga practice.
TIP 1: FIND A GOOD SPACE TO PRACTICE.
Having a nice space in your house or garden makes a big difference to your practice. It is very hard to do yoga in a cluttered, untidy room because your thoughts will reflect this room. I recommend finding a tidy space in your house with lots of light. Make sure there is enough room for you to practice yoga since you don’t want to be hitting anything in your flow! If it is possible maybe dedicate a certain area just to your yoga practice. Make it a sacred space that you want to practice yoga in. This will motivate you to roll out your mat everyday.
TIP 2: PRACTICE THE SAME TIME EVERYDAY.
Getting into the routine of practicing yoga at home everyday is a lot easier if you practice at the same time everyday. Decide when you want to practice and then dedicate this time to yoga everyday. Make sure you are strict on making this time ‘yoga time’ and nothing else. Mark it as busy in your calendar so you aren’t tempted to do anything else in that time. You will thank yourself later for setting aside time everyday to yourself and your practice.
TIP 3: PUT SOME GOOD MUSIC ON
I find when I am practicing at home I am more motivated when I have some good music on to practice too. Some people may prefer silence and this is great, but having music is useful when you are just starting your practice. When there is silence it is very easy to let thoughts take over and then stop your practice (I do anyways). But when you have some music on you forget about any thoughts of resistance and you flow a lot easier.
TIP 4: CHANGE YOUR FLOW EVERYDAY
Doing the same combination of movements everyday, day in day out, may get boring. In order to stay motivated and interested in your home practice then it is a good idea to do a different flow everyday. This means changing the sequence of poses you are doing. Mix it up! This is also very important in order for you to stay safe when practicing at home. If you base your flow on how your body is feeling and continue to listen to your body throughout your practice then it is very unlikely that you will get injured. However if you force yourself through a predetermined set of poses then 1. you are practicing from your ego which is not good and 2. you are unlikely to listen if your body is saying no so that way you will get injured. Remember we are our own best teachers so stay present and listen to your body and that way you will succeed.
TIP 5: ENJOY!
Seriously this is the most important one. Yoga is not about being strict or forcing your body into unnatural positions. It is about having FUN! If you make sure you enjoy your practice and are doing what you love then you will stay motivated to practice everyday. You will never have a problem rolling out your mat because you are doing what you love. Play around and see what you like doing best. Experiment with different flows and poses and just have fun! That is what it’s all about. Also remember to smile when you are practicing, this will make a big difference.
I hope these where helpful! Please do try your own home practice and just see what it is like to take your yoga to that next level. Moving from instinct is very freeing and it is such a great thing to do everyday. So go have fun and play around!