If you’ve been around these parts for any length of time, you know that I think of yoga as the ultimate means for staying physically healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that every other form of exercise out there is great; I’m just biased towards yoga. A statement/question I get regularly when talking to people about practicing yoga is this – Where do I start? or I just don’t know where to start. Today, we’re going through 5 Easy Steps to Start Practicing Yoga at Home. And as a bonus, there’s a workbook to guide you through these 5 steps.
Yoga is such a versatile way of staying physically healthy. You can get a hardcore, sweaty, muscle trembling workout from your practice. You can also a get a slow, relaxing, ‘melt into your mat once you’re done’ workout from it. It also helps that yoga helps with strengthening you not just physically but also mentally and spiritually.
I think these are just some of the reasons why so many people are drawn to it. However, the roadblock starts when you know the benefits of practicing yoga, but when it’s time to start you just get stuck. Don’t worry friend, after this post you’ll be all set to start practicing yoga at home.
Before I jump into these 5 steps to start practicing yoga at home, you might be thinking why “at home” and not just in general? What I’ve found is that a lot of people prefer to practice yoga at home for different reasons.
Sometimes the yoga studios closest to you do not feel open and welcoming. Or maybe the amount of time it’ll take to get to and from a studio is just an inconvenience. Being able to just walk onto your mat at any point in the day, on the other hand, is super convenient.
I am also a big advocate for practicing yoga at home because it helps you learn better. You are forced to do research and pay attention to your body when you practice yoga at home. Developing a personal home yoga practice allows you to learn more about how your body moves and forces you to be active in the learning process, as opposed to just receiving the cues and information from someone else.
So, let’s get into it, don’t forget to download your workbook!
5 Simple Steps to Start Practicing Yoga at Home.
1. Determine your “Why?”
Some people believe that unless you’re practicing both spiritual and physical aspects of yoga, you’re not truly practicing yoga. I don’t fall into that category, I believe that your yoga practice is what you want it to be.
However, if you’re just practicing yoga without knowing your goals, it’ll be easy to get swayed. If you’re not confident in what you want your yoga to be, you might find yourself questioning the practice.
So, before you begin a yoga practice, it is important to ask yourself “What part of yoga would be most beneficial to me right now?” Once I knew exactly what aspects of yoga would be beneficial to me, I could learn about what other yogis were doing without feeling like I had to try their style.
You must determine what your “why” is. Why are you practicing yoga? What do you hope to gain from your yoga practice? Physical strength? Spiritual strength? Or both?
It’s totally up to you, and this answer will change and grow as you change and grow too.
2. Find your resources.
A lot of people say the best way to start yoga is to just start and while I subscribe to that school of thought a little bit, I’m not 100% on board with that.
Yoga when done wrong can be dangerous. If you attempt to get into a pose without the right amount of research, and opening of body parts that need to be open, you could seriously hurt yourself. So, I say, the best way to start? Do your research. The internet is your friend; there are a lot of resources out there that can help you begin your practice.
YouTube is a great resource for yoga videos. The yoga app is one that I always used when I first began my practice and I recommend it to everyone who practices yoga.
And because I know YouTube is pretty overwhelming when it comes to finding yoga resources, the Establishing Your Home Practice workbook helps you think through specific search terms and how to audit different yoga resources.
3. Create a space
Having a dedicated space where you practice can set the tone for your practice. A clean, quiet area that’s well-lit can energize your practice. If you can find a space with a large window, glass door or even outside that is usually ideal.
Using the same space regularly is also important. Having a space where you can have your mat laid out takes some of the stress out of getting on your mat regularly. One of the biggest struggles to practicing yoga regularly is the process of starting.
When you have a space that you always go to without having to think about it, practicing yoga gets easier.
4. Acquire your tools
Some of the basic tools you will need to begin your yoga practice are a yoga mat, a yoga strap and yoga blocks. Having the right tools can help you feel more comfortable and confident in your practice.
My first yoga mat was a pretty cheap one. It served its function well but it wasn’t thick enough to make my knees feel comfortable. Because of this, I often stayed away from poses like camel that had me on my knees.
It wasn’t until I switched to my much thicker Manduka Pro mat that I became more confident in trying new poses because I was so comfortable.
You don’t need anything too fancy when picking a yoga mat. Like cars, yoga mats range from Toyota to Lexus. There’s no need to start out with a luxury brand, you just need something to serve as your support and cushion. If you need help finding the right yoga mat for you, here’s a good review on yoga mats that might help you.
Yoga straps are especially important, especially for beginners. If you don’t want to shell out any money for a strap, you can substitute with a scarf or a belt.
A strap provides you with extra room in certain poses where you can’t reach. It helps to increase your flexibility and helps you go deeper into certain poses without pushing your body past its limits.
Yoga blocks aren’t necessary, but they are helpful in certain poses. They can aid your balance and bring the floor closer to you in poses where you need to reach the floor.
5. Build a regimen
Just like having a dedicated space, having a regimen helps take some of the stress out of practicing yoga regularly. To build your regimen, decide on what areas of your body you need to focus on opening or strengthening and go from there.
Do you want to open your hips or shoulders to support your training as an athlete, or develop the core strength for arm balances?
Remember that your practice is yours, a regimen is just a guide and you can change it from week to week or month to month. The Establishing a Home Yoga Practice workbook will walk you through an audit of your calendar, how to pick times for your yoga practice and what a sample yoga regiment looks like.
I hope these 5 steps to start practicing yoga at home have demystified the process of starting your own yoga practice. Go ahead and download the workbook, go through it and start reaping the benefits of a consistent yoga practice!