A Guide To Practicing Yoga At Home
Practicing yoga at home isn’t as simple as it may seem. The TV, phone and computer are nearby. Moving from pose to pose is more of a puzzle than a thoughtful flow. A messy room lacks the same serenity of a studio. Ending the practice short and skipping savasana always seems to happen without a teacher keeping us there. Practicing yoga at-home adds a whole new set of challenges that you didn’t have when practicing in the studio.
But we have to remember that even an at-home yoga class has a lesson for us. For me, my at-home practice has never been about creating a sequence that was as challenging or as lengthy as my teacher’s. An at-home yoga session is really a practice for my mind more than my body. Committing to a period of time on my mat with myself requires me to look at my thoughts—the ones that are saying I’m bored, let’s watch TV instead, or we did 15 minutes—that’s enough, right? — and reprogram my mind to be still within the moment.
The hardest part about practicing yoga at home is not the poses, but rather our minds that have a way of convincing us to act from habit, rather than intent. Its through this home practice that we start training the mind. We don’t need to accept every thought that comes up, and we can actually reprogram our thoughts to support our intentions rather than hinder them.
In order to defeat those persistent thoughts, we have to prepare for the challenges of practicing yoga at home. These things have been extremely helpful to me when practicing yoga at home, and I hope you can find they make the transition from studio to living room a little easier for you as well.
Create A Sacred Space
Dedicate a spot in your home or apartment to your yoga and meditation practice. Ideally, it would be somewhere with limited distractions, so try to avoid a room with a TV, work or food. Roll out a mat, gather your yoga props, set up an essential oil diffuser and invest in a small clock so you can keep track of time without your phone. Think of this space as your mini-studio that you feel calm and centered in as you practice.
Make Your At-Home Yoga Practice A Routine
Set a time each day dedicated to your practice. Whether its in the morning or evening or for 10 minutes or an hour, having a set time when you are able to practice will help you get yourself to the mat each day.
Have A Yoga Flow In Mind
One of the easiest ways to convince yourself not to practice, is not having a plan of what yoga poses you’d like to do. Somehow, especially when you’re first starting, all of the yoga poses you know seem to disappear when you start your practice. Write down a few poses you’d like to work on, that way you won’t draw a blank when you’re on the mat. I’ve made a easy-to-follow at-home yoga sequence planner to help you create your own practice.
Vary Your Yoga Sequence
One day you may feel so inspired to practice for an hour and work on that challenging pose you learned in class last week, while another day just thinking about doing yoga is exhausting enough. Don’t expect that your practice will look the same each day. Simply know what your body and mind needs and give yourself that time on the mat to nourish yourself with movement.