Updated: Mar 31, 2018
Are you inspired to start a home yoga practice? Not sure were to begin? Fear not Ohmies I got you!
Firstly, I want to stress that a home practice should complement, not replace, going to a teacher led session. By going to class even just one a month you can be seen by an experienced yogi / yogini, have your alignment adjusted if necessary, learn a new sequence and also perhaps have access to props you don’t have at home. It should relight your yoga fire, your passion, and motivate you to continue at home. It is important that you get used to foundation poses, key alignment and learn how to practice safely before going alone.
Secondly, your home practice does not need to be a set length, a set sequence or a set anything, the beauty of practicing at home is that it is your yoga time. You can totally just breathe for 10 minutes, curl up in child’s pose or stretch out into corpse pose, practice inversions or just hang out in pigeon pose! Your home practice is a place to explore more into postures, breathe and yourself, perhaps more than you get the chance to do in class.
Ok, stressing over. Now on to the fun bit . . . choosing your space and essential items! So obviously everybody would love their home to have a large, open, white walled, wooden floored room filled with bolsters, blocks, straps, candles and incense! I mean maybe you do . . . can I come play at your house? But most of us don’t, and this is why we go to studios. But you can still create a lovely calm, comfortable ‘zen-den’ of your own. If you are able to dedicate a space for your yoga, even if you need to pack things away in between, returning to a familiar space will help you tune out of the day and into yourself.
All you need is:
A mat sized space (2m x 1m or 6ft x 3ft)
Maybe a block or two (or books)
A blanket and perhaps a cushion
Planning your yoga, or keeping a yoga journal can help you keep track of progress, notice any monthly, seasonal changes as well as give you a sequence to choose from if your short of time.
Optional extras include:
A yoga wheel
Nice imagery that helps you be calm
A wall/door that you can put your feet and legs on
An essential oil diffuser add a nice aroma to the air, a funky notepad to scribble in and tea, always tea!
Lastly . . . the yoga!
There are endless videos and tutorials on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the wonderful worldwide web. Why so many? Coz’ everybody has a personal preference. How do I choose? Try some out. A great thing about home yoga is you can pick a teacher whose voice you like, or has good music, or a nice studio, or they just gives you good feels. Do remember though, they can't see you! To save craning your neck, perhaps watch the video through first, or break it into stages, so you can really concentrate on how you feel as you move.
Teachers put time and effort into planning classes. The online teacher you follow should be doing the same. But once you get comfortable you can start making your own plans following the basic outline below:
Warm up either seated or lying, connect to your breath, maybe some gentle twists. Open the spine, the wrists, shoulders and hips, use the sun salutations to build heat and energy, maybe adding in twists and standing postures, perhaps work your way up to a peak asana, and then work your way back down all the way to savasana. Do not skip savasana!
When writing a sequence remember to build in counter poses so if you stand up, comedown as well, forward folds and backbends should never be done without the other, always try to give the same time and patience to both sides.
So go make a space, roll out your mat, pick a video, or put on your favourite feel good tunes, turn off your phone and give yourself some time out to tune in!
Practice safely and kindly, with no expectations Ohmies. Where you are right now, is exactly where you are meant to be!
By Lizzie Higgins
Do you want a super simple home practice? Head over to my YouTube channel for a nice easy 15 minute practice to ease you in or out of your day and if you like it, subscribe.
You can also keep up with me on Instagram @yogawithlizziehiggins