As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Every beginning is hard. And if you are off on the road of trying to practice yoga at home, you started on a path of spiritual development, but also a physical challenge. The most difficult part about trying something new is not knowing where to start. This article aims to give you some direction before you embark on the journey of practicing yoga at home. We hope to help cover your basics so that you can form the positive habit of doing yoga – a practice that can benefit all facets of your life.
Choose the Best Time
To get started, select a small timeslot in your daily routine. It is important that you can devote at least 15-20 minutes to the practice and pay full attention to your body and mind. Regularity is more important than duration. To advance in yoga, it is much more effective to practice for a short period several times a week, rather than once a week for 2 hours.
Traditionally, it is considered best to practice in the morning (around the time of sunrise), however, this could prove difficult when you need to juggle a full daily schedule with a practice at home. Do not create additional obstacles for yourself – practice when your schedule allows you to. Doing yoga in the evening helps relieve the stress of the working day, while yoga in the morning could prepare you for a productive and positive day.
In any case, yoga should be done on an empty stomach. If you do yoga in the morning, it is best to complete your practice before breakfast. If you can only find time during the day or in the evening, practice 2-3 hours after eating.
Setup and Equipment
To really enjoy yoga and form a positive habit, you should try and create a calm and comfortable environment to make the most of your practice. Start by allowing fresh air into the room. A clean and heated space will make your time doing yoga more enjoyable.
This should be time for you. Try to find a space where you would be alone (without your partner, children, friends or pets around). This might sound selfish, but your loved ones will appreciate your good mood and calm disposition after the practice. Do not forget to disconnect all devices that could distract you: phone, TV or radio. To facilitate concentration, practice in silence or choose soothing instrumental music for yoga, a recording of natural sound or the chanting of mantras.
In terms of clothing, choose any sportswear that does not constrain you, and that would allow your skin to breathe during the practice. Take off any jewelry or accessories that might interfere with you or may hurt you while doing the postures. If you have long hair, you may find it easier to keep it in a bun during practice.
As far as equipment goes, you should start with a mat, to provide you insulation from the floor. A couple of yoga blocks and a belt will help you transition to more complex asanas (postures) as you progress. Check out our suggestions for starter kits.
In its ancient origins, yoga was based upon the relationship between a teacher (guru) and a student. Nowadays knowledge about yoga is accessible to all, so if you want to start practicing at home, you have various ways to approach this goal
Read about the practice, applying all directions regarding the postures and breathing techniques. There are many articles online you can use to start off, but also, a great amount of literature with in-depth information about each posture and technique, as well as about the philosophy of yoga
Recorded yoga practices give you the opportunity to perform yoga complexes, competently designed by professional teachers, at any time convenient to you. There is a variety of free and paid options online, including on different levels and in different styles.
Online Yoga Classes – Another option for starting a practice at home is to work with teachers in real-time online. Such classes will allow you to do yoga with an experienced teacher from the comfort of your living space. Online yoga classes differ from recorded classes in that you have the opportunity to ask a qualified teacher any questions about your practice and even meet new friends with common interests.
Proceed with Caution and Know Your Limits
Any yoga class, at home or in a yoga studio, for beginners or for advanced practitioners, should start with warming up. This is necessary to prepare your joints and muscles for work and to prevent possible injuries.
You should not feel pain during practice. While you can feel a stretch or muscle tension during challenging postures, you should also learn to pay attention and listen to your body. No matter how strong the desire to achieve a quick result, try to practice at your own pace, without excessive effort. Through regular practice, taking small steps every day, you will gradually achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
Women are advised not to do inverted postures (a shoulder posture, a plow pose) during the first days of menstruation. During pregnancy, general yoga classes should be replaced with special prenatal yoga sets. Additionally, if you believe you may have any prior injuries or medical conditions that could make yoga dangerous for you, consult a medical professional before you start practicing.
Mindfulness and Breathing
Our last point is a reminder that yoga goes beyond the physical postures. Start your practice by closing your eyes and making the decision to devote your attention to your development. Become aware of your breathing and begin to control it. Regardless of your immediate goal in doing yoga, learning how to control your psyche and body through breathing is a skill you can use in your everyday life. At the end of your home practice, make sure to thank yourself for the time you took to pay attention to your body and mind.
Practicing yoga leads to a variety of changes in your body, mind, and spirit. They occur due to the effort you make, the confidence you build, the time you spend in mindful communication with your own self. You can achieve all of this by taking the time to follow an ancient practice from the comfort of your home. Try it out and see for yourself.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.