It takes something truly special for me to commit. After 2 or so years, practicing Yoga at home has become more than that to me. Here are a few thoughts + tips on choosing to create a home practice.
All tools are linked to the ones I have used so far. I chose to get an awesome yoga mat with the $ I save subscribing to an online service.
What You Need To Start:
Where to practice:
A private space is of course a huge blessing, but the only true requirement is a space big enough for your mat!
When to Practice:
If your practice needs to take place in a common area of your home, you may choose to practice around others’ schedules, to experience the benefit of aloneness.
If you’re blessed with a corner of your own to practice, play around with what time works for you. I tried to force a morning practice and kept missing it*—I’ve discovered that I prefer an evening practice.
*Remember that developing a practice is a process. Allow yourself to experiment; to be figuring it out—imperfectly. Being too hard on yourself and subsequently giving up might be your greatest hindrance!
I have, if anything, found it easier to show up for my home yoga classes than go to a studio. After all, if the discipline is a concern, are you more apt to drive somewhere, or begin where you are?
There are days I skip, periods of time I’ve missed–but in reality walking by my yoga space at home has always gotten me back on my mat sooner rather than later.
I like looking at the lack of outer accountability to practice as an opportunity to develop greater self-accountability. A skill very useful off the mat.
That being said, even if you don’t find yourself a yoga fan after a few weeks, its not expensive to…
Do a Trial Run—
Ekhart Yoga is only ~12.50/month…and subscription can be done monthly.. In my opinion this price is insane and an absolute gift.
The site offers many Yoga teachers and Yoga Programs—series of classes with a common intention or theme.These are excellent for having a focused direction and being led through multiple classes.
Choose to try a program for say, 3 weeks (what have you got to lose), several times a week. See if you feel a difference in your attitude, stress and of course—body. Try a variety of classes—active and relaxing—there are many to choose from: Yin, Flow, Hatha, Restorative—the site also offers meditations and Yoga Nidra (“yogic sleep”)
As you experience grater value from practicing, it will be easier to set foot on the mat, again and again.
-Ditching your phone, and other distractions
Just like a class, decide that this is your time. While you’re losing your phone, tell anyone else who’s home that you’ll be in class for a bit.
-Using a Full-Length Mirror
To self-check alignment as much as possible. Esther on Ekhart yoga is excellent at describing how postures should feel and align, a mirror can help you check what you can’t already see! And, lets face it: mirrors can also help you encourage your awesome self. You can get one for less than $15 at Target, or find yourself a unique one at your local thrift store.
-Keeping a Notebook at Hand
I have some of my most insightful and creative realizations on the mat. I’ve learned not to assume these will stay with me through practice—and I’ll often stop to jot them down and use them later.