How to Set Up Your Home Practice
"At home, you learn to listen to what your body needs that day, move at your own pace, and develop intuition about what sequences or kinds of yoga poses you want and need to do most on any given day." - Rodney Yee
Whether you are practicing on your own or through a virtual practice, there is something to benefit from both. There are various reason why some choose to practice yoga at home such as possible conflicts in our schedules, the need to save money, the pandemic, or simply just the desire to practice within the sanctuary of our own home. This post was created for tips to make your home practice a more enjoyable experience.
Some benefits to practicing yoga virtually include:
- You get to avoid traffic and stress of getting there
- If you're late to a class at a yoga studio, you still have the option to take a yoga online, keeping your practice consistent
- You can choose the time length of your practice, varying between 5 minutes - 60 minutes
- Save time, energy and money
"Nothing replaces the home practice. Listening is the practice of yoga; it's so important to go into your own body and ask it to be your teacher. It is a time when you can find your own rhythm. It is where the genuine knowledge arises." - Rodney Yee
What You Need
Yoga Mat + Yoga Props
You really do not need much equipment for a yoga practice, but some props can make the poses more comfortable such as blocks, straps, bolsters, or a pad for the knees. These props can easily be substituted for common household items such as a dog leash or belt, pillows, or folded towels/blankets.
If using a phone, tablet or computer - streaming videos can create lagging or difficulties playing the video, but being connected to Wifi can help with this issue and make the experience go smoother. You can set up yoga classes on your phone, tablet, computer, TV and place these items in an area where it can be viewable to you. It's also good to have a high enough volume for you to hear the instructor's cueing while in a pose to hear your next instructions.
Quiet Open Space
If possible, find a quiet open space in your house or room for your practice. This will help create a peaceful atmosphere and the ability to stretch out without bumping into tables or shelves. This can also help reflect our minds - decluttering our space helps to declutter the mind.
Things to Keep in Mind
Aim to Release Tension, Not Create It
Avoid pain or pinching, we want to honor our body and the boundaries it's telling us that it's needing through discomfort or pain. Yoga is a very intuituive practice, if something does not feel right then we may need to change something. If it's pain, we may need to stop and gently come out of the pose. If it's discomfort, then using yoga props can soften or assist you in the poses to create more comfort.
Set Realistic Goals
We all have different schedules and needs. Sometimes your body and mind may only be needing 5-10 minutes of yoga including stretching, deeper breathing, or simply stillness to check back in with yourself. Other days you may need 40-60 minutes of a physical practice that gets you moving! Both choices are effective and show progress in your journey. Choose a class that your intuition guides you to. The important part of the matter is that this is self care, and part of practicing self care is listening to and honoring what you are needing. Don't give up on you.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
We understand practicing at home can be challenging or frustrating. The key to keep in mind here is that showing up to your yoga mat can sometimes be the hardest part - try to have an open mind and accept whatever state you are in, mentally or physically. Our home practice may change with each class we take and with more ideas of how you want your space to look. Each practice is teaching us something new about what we need, either within ourselves or within our environment. Go easy on you.
Create an Altar
This may not be for everyone, but can be for those looking to deepen the spiritual side of their practice. In the space you created for your yoga practice you can include an altar that is set up for a specific theme, intention, manifestation, chakra, and more. If you want to unblock a specific chakra, you can place items on the altar that correlates with the energy of this chakra. If you're wanting to attract more positivity into your world, you can place items such as crystals, uplifting quotes, pictures, colors, etc. onto your altar.
Music speaks to many souls and playing in the background of your practice can help enhance the vibe you are trying to bring. There are several free apps out there that allow you to listen to music for free (Spotify, Pandora) where you can build playlists to listen to during your practice or follow users that have already built a yoga playlist for you. If you would like to listen to ours, find us on Spotify and search for: @gatestoyoga
Happy Practicing! 🕉