Whether you’re an experienced yogi or a fresh beginner, we all face challenges making it to yoga class from time to time. If you don't live near a studio, or you're often on-the-go and struggle to make time for a regular class, doing yoga at home can help you fit the practice easily into your life. Even better, you don't have to wait for a specific class time, commute to the studio or commit to a full hour class.
My at home yoga practice has not only brought me freedom and flexibility, but it has also helped me better deal with stress. There’s nothing worse than rushing from work to your Vinyasa class and arriving on your mat full of stress, or frustrated that you didn’t make it on time. By doing yoga at home, I can adjust my practice to a 20 or 30 minute flow to fit my schedule without any worries or rush.
Creating a daily yoga practice at home can make your busy life just a little bit easier. But, where do you begin?
Tools you need to start your at home yoga routine
All you really need to start your at home yoga routine is your body! If you have any props or equipment that make you feel more comfortable, then having them at home can create the space and atmosphere for a positive practice. A few props you may like to acquire over time:
- A yoga mat
- A pair of yoga blocks
- A belt or yoga strap
- A cushion or bolster for restorative yoga and meditation
- A blanket for padding when kneeling or for relaxation in savasana
While a yoga mat is more of a necessity for a comfortable practice, the rest of the props are solely for personal preference. Don’t feel like you need all of these props to establish an at home yoga routine. Simply, show up to your mat and practice by listening to your body. Over time, if one of these props call to you, then give it a try!
Setting up your at home yoga space
The space you choose to create in your home is important for a successful practice. You don’t need much room, but you do need enough space for your mat and any external rotation of your arms and legs. Creating a comfortable environment for your practice can set a positive intention, so be sure to set your mat up in a room where you can focus on your body and breath without any distraction. I like to light candles, play soft music and set my salt lamp on the table near me, but that’s just a personal preference!
When choosing a space to practice, don’t feel confined to the walls of your home. Creating an outdoor yoga space can bring an entirely different element to your practice, too!
How to start doing yoga at home for beginners
It’s important to understand that practicing yoga at home begins with listening to your body. Personally, my at home yoga routine changes from day-to-day depending on what my body needs. Even my morning and night yoga sequences are entirely different!
As you flow through your own sequence, be sure to be kind to your body, avoid overstretching (which can cause common yoga injuries), and breathe through your movements. The breath is the most important part of yoga. As you move between inhalation and exhalation, you will feel an inner peace and calmness that is unique to practicing yoga.
As a beginner, I highly recommend starting with an instructed video. There are so many different options when it comes to practicing with a guided video, giving you a variety of instructors and styles to fit your preference. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Crystal Gray: Crystal’s classes range in level, offering full sequences as well as step-by-step instructions for particular poses. If you love her YouTube channel, then you may even want to enroll in her online yoga teacher training!
- Yoga with Kassandra: Kassandra’s channel offers instructed videos for all types of yoga, like Hatha, Vinyasa and Power. You can even choose between 10, 30, 60 or 90 minute classes, which gives you the flexibility to fit a class within your schedule.
- Yoga Journal: Yoga Journal is known to be the “go-to resource for all things yoga” for the past 35 years. Their YouTube channel includes a wide range of videos including inversions, gentle flow classes, guided meditations and even the right pronunciation of “namaste.”
If you’re not a fan of flowing to yoga videos, then attend a few classes at your local yoga studio to learn the foundational yoga poses. Pay attention and incorporate what you learn in class into your at home yoga routine.
When you’re ready to start exploring with an at home personal flow, remember most importantly to stay safe. There’s quite a few technicalities that go into yoga between warming up, stacking your shoulders, paying attention to your breath, being mindful of alignment, tucking the tailbone and maintaining a strong core to avoid back pain. Sound like a long list? Don’t worry, it all comes naturally as you gain more experience.
All in all, developing an at home yoga routine is all about listening to your body and working with its needs. If you ever feel overwhelmed or are unsure of where to start, then pop in for a few yoga classes at your local studio to learn the basics from a certified yoga instructor.
About the Author
Lisa Solomon’s love and devotion with yoga began over 18 years ago, and she has continued to grow in her practice ever since. She found her true passion when she began instructing yogis and knew this was what she was born to do.