How to Start a Home Yoga Practice? Tips to Get You on the Mat
Jake is a yoga and meditation teacher. He loves stream-of-consciousness…
While I am all for going to yoga studios which can give you some much-needed inspiration, it’s really when you start your own home routine that you start to see big shifts in your practice.
It can be difficult to start as going to a yoga shala, having a teacher guide you, plus all the other yogis sweating together really does help to get you into the flow.
However, having your gaze externally focused on all the other people, whether it’s checking out other yogis or even listening to the cues of the teacher, makes it much harder to bring your gaze inward.
Starting a home practice is really where your understanding of yoga can deepen.
At home you will find it much easier to bring that gaze inward. There are no distractions, it’s just you and the mat.
With that being said, the very reason it’s hard to start a home practice is because it is just you and the mat. Our mind is always looking for a distraction and without all the bubbly vibes of a yoga studio, it can be a challenge to get the inspiration needed to step onto your mat at home.
Fear not there are some things you can do that may help.
How to Start a Home Yoga Practice? 9 Ways to Get You Inspired
Here are some tips to help you get going, to get you inspired to start your own personal home practice.
1. Find a special space in your home
Finding a nice space in your home that is peaceful, has enough room to move around, and gives you good vibes will definitely help to get you motivated. While it might be tricky to have a separate personal yoga space, as most of us will be doing this in our bedrooms or living rooms, what you can do is adjust the lighting.
Some natural lighting really helps to make the space warm. Try and avoid dark and cold spaces (if you can) as they only serve to keep the body stiff and do not really help in getting the blood moving.
2. Get yourself some comfortable yoga gear
You don’t need anything fancy, just something that you feel comfortable moving and stretching in. A yoga mat, some props (if needed) such as blocks, straps and blankets can be helpful. If you don’t have any props, you can use household items like towels or pillows.
It did take me several years to invest in a fancy mat (I use a manduka now and I love it I won’t lie) and some straps, but you really don’t need anything special.
3. Choose a time of day
Finding a regular time of day that you can consistently dedicate to your practice helps to develop the routine. It’s nice to be consistent with your practice as that will help build momentum going forward. However, everyone struggles with this at some point, so don’t let it get to you, if you only have random times throughout the day. Yoga is always better than no yoga, no matter what time of day, or night it is.
One of the great things about practicing at home is that you can choose any time that works for you! However, the key to starting (and maintaining) a home yoga practice is consistency.
Morning yoga practices are great because they wake you up and help start your day off on the right foot. Whether you practice for 10 minutes or an hour, try to do it at the same time each day (and don’t worry if you don’t or can’t).
4. Amp up the scents
One of the things that I like to do to get me in the right mood is to get my senses activated. The sense of smell is a powerful one that can help you connect. You can use incense, candles, diffusers, or even just spraying some essential oils around the room. Some great scents that I like are lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, and my favorite frankincense.
You can really just use whatever scent you have in your home. The point is to make your space nice and inviting so you can really connect with the space – and yourself.
5. Get some music going
I always find that using music in my home yoga practice really helps to set the tone and gets me inspired to move. If I am doing a slow sequence I often like slow meditative music, other times, I like a good beat to get me in the mood (I am guilty of loving EDM when I practice on those super hyped days).
If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of yoga playlists on Spotify or Youtube, or you can create your own. Just make sure that you choose music that you enjoy and that won’t distract you too much from your practice.
6. Find some online yoga classes
If you’re looking to start a home yoga practice, online yoga videos are a great way to get started. There a loads out there, with pretty much every length, style, and level you can think of so you should be able to find something that would work for you. You can also find niche classes specific to your needs if you are looking for something like prenatal yoga, yoga for absolute beginners, or for people with a disability.
If you’re not sure where to start, try taking a few classes from different teachers to see what you like best. Once you find a style and teacher you love, it is easier to commit to a regular practice. Remember, the most important thing is to just show up on your mat and do your best. Everything else will fall into place.
7. Start small with 5-10 minutes per day and work your way up
If you’re just starting out, it’s best to start small. Try 5-10 minutes per day and work your way up. This will help your body get used to the poses and the routine. As you get more comfortable, you can add on more time.
Remember to listen to your own body and go at your own pace. What is nice about doing yoga at home is that you are not in competition with anyone. It’s just you and your mat.
8. Don’t forget about meditation
When finished with your practice, take a few minutes to come back to center. Laying down in shavasana or sitting for a short meditation at the end can help you get the most out of it. This can help you to integrate the benefits of your practice by further calming your mind. You get to see how powerful yoga in getting the mind quiet.
If you are new to meditation and want to do more than just a few minutes there are many online resources available to help you get started.
9. Think about doing a Yoga Teacher Training
Even if you have no intention of becoming a teacher, I have found that a yoga teacher training (YTTC) can be a powerful way to reinspire. You get to be exposed to a wealth of new inspiration, people, and poses that make a great way for new beginnings. Here are some pros and cons I have found in doing an online yoga teacher training.
A yoga teacher training isn’t only for people who want to become a teacher. I see it more as a space where I can dig deeper into some of the subtleties of yoga. But not all yoga trainings are created equal. Here is what you should look for if you decide on a yoga teacher training.
Home yoga practice tips
Here are some basic yoga practice tips to remember when you begin your home routine.
- Make sure you are well-hydrated before beginning your practice, though make sure not to drink too much water 30 mins before you start.
- Start with a few basic poses as a warm-up, especially some sun salutations, which will really help to start to get the blood moving. This is especially important if you want to work up to more advanced poses.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a yoga teacher at a studio if you need it. You can often find teachers who you can speak with online, especially if you have a subscription to an online site. If it’s a youtube yoga class then you might have to find a yoga studio where you can go into in order to speak with someone who can help you with any issue you might be having.
- Remember to keep your breath going and try not to hold it. The flow of breath is central to yoga and will help prevent injury.
- Yoga is not about perfection, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do certain poses or if you fail trying.
- Be patient and let your body adjust to new poses over time. Just because you can not get the pose this time doesn’t mean you won’t get it the next!
- Listen to your body and back off if something feels wrong, you will often know when that is, your body will tell you if you tune in.
- Have fun and experiment with different poses and styles of yoga.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, this is supposed to be fun, remember 😉
Jake is a yoga and meditation teacher. He loves stream-of-consciousness writing, good coffee, and a quiet mind. Not necessarily in that order. You can find him pursuing that wherever he goes.