The popularity of at-home yoga practice may have increased dramatically over the past year, but practicing yoga at home has always been an option for yogis too busy to attend a studio.
For those new to the practice, however, it can be difficult to know where to begin with starting yoga at home.
Beginner yogis may feel unsure about whether they are performing the sequences correctly without the guidance of a teacher, or may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of having to formulate their own routines.
Amazingly though, practicing yoga at home is often recommended by yoga teachers. The home environment nurtures the practice of listening to our bodies as we move throughout the yoga poses at our own pace. It allows us a beat of extra time in Childs Pose, for example, or it allows us to really feel the difference when we engage our abdominal muscles as we move through a Virabhadrasana (Warrior) sequence.
So whether you’re just beginning with yoga, or you’ve plenty of studio experience and you just need some guidance on home practice, we’ve compiled this quick guide that will help you get comfortable with starting yoga at home.
What You’ll Need to Get Started with Yoga at Home Practice
A quiet, comfortable space in your home for your practice. Your space doesn’t need to be huge, it just needs to be uncluttered, peaceful and with enough room to allow you to practice without bumping into things.
Your necessary yoga props. That includes your mat, blanket and any blocks.
Your favourite yoga wear, or comfy clothes. The best thing about at home yoga is that it’s just you practicing, so you can wear whatever suits you.
Realistic pockets of time. Just like if you were attending studio sessions and couldn’t commit to an hour’s session, don’t set unrealistic time expectations. Work with the time you have. You don’t need to create a strict schedule either (unless you want to!). You can choose a pocket of time at whatever point works for you in your day.
The will to want to keep trying. Whether you’re just starting regular yoga practice, or you normally attend studio sessions, practicing without the studio environment could be quite daunting - but don’t quit! Start slowly with small 10-15 minute sessions, and then expand your practice to include more movements for longer periods of time as your practice progresses.
If the pose looks different for you, that’s ok! Read why you don’t have to look like the yoga teacher in every pose, here.
How to Curate Your Home Yoga Practice
Once you have all the things you need to get your at home yoga practice underway, it might help to design a structure that will keep you committed to, and focused on, your practice.
In the home environment - if we’re not careful to control them - we have a multitude of distractions: Our phones pinging, the dog barking, the children shouting, the television blaring… All of these elements can come together to sway your concentration and commitment.
The below tips can help you to individually mentally prepare for your practice, and keep you on track.
Start with serenity
Part of yoga is the will to want to show up for ourselves, not just for the physical health benefits, but for the mind and body connection too. A moment of peace before we begin can therefore put us in our designated yoga zone, and allow us a chance to see how we feel - both physically and mentally - so that we can then dictate our practice based on how we are really feeling.
Set your pace
Your yoga at home practice can be dictated entirely by how you feel. If you feel tired don’t push through an energetic or intense session, try a Yin Yoga session instead. Whereas if you feel energetic and active, choose a practice that has more movement than stillness, like a Vinyasa Flow practice.
Set your intention
Most yoga practitioners will have an intention in mind when they run an in-person, or guided, session and so having one at home is no different. An intention is important as it gives us a goal, something that we want to achieve in our time on the mat - especially if we are short on time.
Choose poses that resonate with you
Whether you’re following along with a class on an online yoga practice, or you’re practicing at home completely individually, to build a consistent home practice it’s best to choose poses that you’re comfortable with.
It can discourage us if a class performs a pose we’re not yet familiar with, and it can be all too easy to leave the mat. Instead replace the posture with one you do enjoy, and then join in with the next group pose you’re able to. Likewise, if you’re following an online yoga class and the class is vigorous but you’re feeling tired, see if there is another class you can do instead, or choose a slower, less intense version of some of the poses.
Whilst yoga at home practice can be a great opportunity for us to practice poses that challenge us in a more comfortable environment, it doesn’t mean that’s what your entire practice needs to be about. Lead with how you feel.
Incorporate your favourite yoga poses
One of the great benefits of practicing yoga at home is the ability to get creative and explore. If a posture is challenging, you can use this time to practice the movement in a way that feels right for you.
Alternatively, it’s a great time to use the creative freedom to explore your favourite yoga poses. The more we do them, the more they change and evolve. You may be surprised at how different one of your favourite yoga poses feels the more you continue to practice it.
Check out the five yoga poses you should be doing everyday, here!
The freedom of structuring our own yoga practices means that it can be very tempting to pass up on a practice if life has got in the way, or if we feel a little lazy.
Whilst you shouldn’t push your body in the instance of not feeling up to a practice, there are other ways that you can maintain a consistent yoga practice.
A five minute Downward Dog before bedtime still counts as practice, as does tucking your pelvis and enacting a mountain pose whilst you clean the dishes. Yoga can seep into our everyday lives, making it much easier to show up time and again to our home mats.
Practice Yoga Online
Practicing yoga from the comfort of your own home can be a fantastic way to learn postures and become more experienced in your practice at your own pace. We hope this guide gives you a great place to get started, and that you enjoy your time on your mat.
At FireFly Yoga, we hold online yoga classes especially for yogis that prefer their home environment to a studio. Our classes are on-demand, which means that you can access them whenever, from wherever, and we have over 50 different videos spanning a variety of practices.
To find out more, click here and use code FIRST3 to get your first 3 months for only £20 per month.