• Sam Walker

Home Yoga Practice Tips

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

It's no secret that all our lives have been turned upside down in some way or another and when it comes to our wellness routine - it's probably upside down, inside out and maybe even backwards. For some, that could mean you've lost your place to work out, your place to sweat, your place to meet friends or a place to hold you accountable for your wellness routine. For others, your routine might have been lacking and this time has given you a new outlook on your health and wellness. While change is hard, it can also provide us with the opportunity to grow into a new space, take on new challenges, and evolve into a better version of ourselves.

Yoga helps people to grow into change, work on their physical health, their mental health, and breath through what might seem uncomfortable or scary. As far as physical benefits, studies have shown that yoga can increase flexibility, muscle strength and tone, improved respiration, energy and vitality, maintain a balanced metabolism, assist in weight loss, cardio and circulatory health, all while improving athletic performance and protection from injury. When it comes to mental benefit - the sky is the limit. Yoga helps provide mental clarity and calmness, increase overall body awareness, relieve stress patterns, helps relax the mind through meditation, centers attention, and sharpens overall concentration. With the blend of both mental and physical benefits, it's no secret that yoga should be incorporated into everyone's every day life whether it's a five minute meditation, an hour long power yoga class, or a quick 20 minute stretch.

While most people are used to doing yoga in a studio, practicing yoga at home can provide even more benefits! With the little amount of equipment needed to practice, you are able to move freely to any spot you wish, any time you wish, wearing anything you wish, and for however long you wish!

To me, the most wonderful benefits of a home practice are the ability to learn your body and what it needs, as well as forces us to learn more about ourselves inside and out.

While there are many benefits to a home practice, there are also some hurdles you might need to get through in order to make the practice all about you. It never fails during a home yoga class: your phone will go off, your kids will need something, the dog will need to go outside, someone has a question, you forgot to turn off your hair straightener, you can't seem to turn your mind off...etc.

But don't let the hurdles scare you or stop you from practicing! Allow yourself the time to create your space and create the time - then everything will come together!

Here are just a few tips that I have to creating a home practice:

1. Find a quiet space! I say this before every practice - find a quiet space to shut the rest of the work off! Dedicate a space in your home, or wherever you are, to where you want to practice - and then keep going back to that same space. Create space in your guest room, bedroom, living room, bathroom - wherever you can easily move stuff out of the way and there's space for your mat and you are able to shut the world off while you practice. Make it a habit to go to that place every time you want to do a yoga practice, stretch or meditate and slowly but surely that space will take on the new home of your "yoga space."

For my home practice, I create a little space in our guest bedroom and actually keep my mat rolled out so that I don't have an excuse not to practice!

2. Commit to a time! This is key to a home practice. It's important to dedicate a specific time every day or create a weekly schedule for when you want to practice at home. Write it into your planner, make an alarm on your phone calendar, and do not let anything else take over that time slot. Try not to schedule meetings, try not to push it back to go meet with friends or watch an episode of a show on Netflix - keep that time designated for your practice and only your practice. Making that promise to yourself is HUGE and you don't want to break that promise. I also find that saying it out loud to someone else - "I'm going to do yoga at 6am tomorrow morning!" really helps to hold yourself accountable. So tell your friends, tell your coworkers, your hubby, your wife, your kids - even your dog - that you have a date with yourself and you can't break that promise. Fill your cup up first, then let it flow into others! You can't pour from an empty cup...

3. Play with caution! In every yoga class, or anything you do in life really, have fun with it! Play and feel free to experiment and try new things. However, play with caution. Being aware of your body, how you move and what your body is telling you are keys to having a safe at home yoga practice. Be smart - while having the privacy of your home practice is great to try things you might not want to try in a studio setting, you must be careful and cautious so you don't harm yourself. If attempting to do inversions or anything on your head, try putting a pillow or blankets down as a "landing pad" incase you take a tumble. If something pinches or your breath becomes rapid, take a moment and back track to a variation of the pose where you felt comfortable. Yoga is about learning to deal with the uncomfortable, but never dealing with pain. As always, if this is your first time doing yoga and you're unsure on whether or not you should try it, consult a doctor.

4. Don't be too hard on yourself! We all know that things come up, we have off days, and sometimes yoga just isn't in the plans. If you ever have a day like that - don't beat yourself up! Listen to how you are feeling and give yourself permission to start over tomorrow!

5. Be as present as possible! With any practice, home or in studio, be a present as possible. Even if you have to take a break for a second to answer a phone call or help your kids, when you rejoin yourself on the mat - be present. Give yourself permission to let your mind go blank, focus on your breath, and move. Tell yourself that it's okay to not worry about anything else while you are practicing!

Yoga will change your life if you are open to it! All you need is a mat, a safe place to practice, and an open mind.

If you're in the beginning stages of a yoga practice, I recommend this Gaiam yoga mat, this set of yoga blocks and these AMAZING yoga leggings:

Hope these tips help! Over 40 classes are up and ready for you to start your yoga practice! If yoga isn't the only home workout you are looking for - check out the "At Home Workout Programs" for even MORE fun stuff!!

Namaste friends!

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