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How to develop a home yoga practice

8.4.2022

 

A home yoga practice is something very close to my heart.  I discovered yoga when I was 16.  My mum bought me a yoga book as a present.  I’d asked for an aerobics book and leg warmers (it was the 1980’s after all) but she thought the yoga book looked more interesting.  I read though the book and fell in love with yoga. 

 

There were no local yoga classes where I grew up, so the book was my teacher.  A regular home practice has now been part of my life for almost 40 years.  My practice has changed over time, depending on what else is going on in my life, but part of the beauty of it is that yoga can fit in to the time and space you have available. 

 

A home practice is adaptable. A 15-minute session is great and if you are really pushed for time even 5 minutes at your desk gives you time to pause, notice your breathing and clear your head.  You don’t need special equipment; you just need a surface you aren’t going to slip on and some clothes you can move comfortably in - even pyjamas!

 

You can buy many different yoga props but at home you can also be creative.  You can use books in place of yoga blocks, a dressing gown belt as a yoga belt, and cushions, blankets, and furniture as props.

 

I enjoy going to classes for inspiration.  There are so many interesting styles of yoga to try and amazing teachers from whom to learn.  It’s not that you should do one or the other, but a home practice is a lovely way to explore yoga independently.  It can feel odd to begin with if you are used to being led in a class, but it is well worth having a go and you will soon develop a skill that can travel with you.

 

A few suggestions that might help you develop a home practice:

  1. If you like routine, schedule a regular time and place for your yoga practice.  It does not have to be long: 15 minutes is perfect to start with.
     
  2. Planning what you are going to do can be helpful but do tune in to how you are feeling on the day. If you are tired, use the time to enjoy some relaxation and breath awareness.  A good place to start your practice are the warm-ups you might do at the beginning of a class.  Some days starting with your favourite pose may inspire you to try a few more and before you know it you’ve had a practice.
     
  3. Minimise distractions. Switch off your phone and let anyone in the house know not to disturb you. 
     
  4. A journal can help you keep track of your progress – you might even start drawing stick men in yoga poses to record what you’ve done.
     
  5. Your home practice can be as active or as gentle as you want it to be.  You can be standing, lying on the floor, or sitting on a chair.
     
  6.  If you miss a session, don’t worry.  It’s happened to me many times.  You may be busy, tired, just not feel like it. Life happens.  The thing to remember is you can return whenever you are ready.  Yoga is always there for you.
     
  7. Make your space inviting.  I love lighting a scented candle and having some music in the background.  If you have a nice view or a garden, practise where you can enjoy it. 
     
  8. You can practise anywhere.  I used to do yoga in the corner of my local park after I had been out for a jog.  Park benches are excellent yoga props!

If you feel stuck and don’t have any ideas for your home practice, please feel free to get in touch.  I’d love to help you come up with a few mini sequences you can do at home. 

 

I’m planning a future blog with some home practice sequence suggestions.