Tips for creating a home yoga practice

Find a space
It doesn’t have to be a large space complete with calming water feature and widows that look out over the ocean. A corner in your bedroom, the kitchen or lounge will work just as well. Make sure you have enough space to move around it safely and that you don’t have any distractions within arm’s length.

Props
I absolutely love using props, but it doesn’t mean you need fancy or expensive ones. If you don’t have yoga blocks at home, you can always use thick, sturdy books or even a chair for standing poses. For a bolster, use a rolled up blanket or some pillows to give you support. You also don’t need a yoga mat. In India, many people practice on cotton mats, so if it’s comfortable for you, you can practice on the carpet, a wooden floor, on a towel. Just make sure you’re not slipping and sliding around and that you have a firm base of support. You also don’t need an fancy yoga strap. An old tie, a scarf or towel works just as well.

Be realistic
We’d all love to set aside an hour or longer to practice yoga, but the reality of practicing at home means lots of distractions. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes initially and move through poses you’re familiar with. I always recommend Sun Salutes as it’s a set sequence and you can practice any of the variations safely at home.

Noise
Having family members in another room or loud neighbours can sometimes be distracting. Don’t let that dissuade you. Sometimes it’s good practice to try and practice with life happening all around us. If you find it’s too much of a distraction, you can always opt for some calm background music to try and drown out the noise. If you don’t feel like searching for a playlist, you can easily find mine on Spotify.

Be consistent
The only way to have a regular home practice is to commit to practicing regularly. Schedule in some time each week when you know you’ll have a spare moment for your practice. It can be once a week or if you’re lucky, even more. On the days you might not feel like doing a physical practice, try one of the other limbs of yoga such as Meditation or Pranayama.

Yoga at your fingertips
If you’re struggling to practice at home, you can always try online yoga. There are plenty of yoga teachers and studios offering classes online. We are now able to practice with teachers we only dreamt of before. It’s also a great option if you find it easier to follow someone leading a practice compared to following your own sequence.

Pets
If your pets are anything like my cats, as soon as you settle on the mat they’ll want to join in. Usually I don’t mind as they tend to stay close to the mat while I’m practicing a more flowing practice, and then want to cuddle up during a more restorative practice or Savasana. If you find it distracting or dangerous (beware the pets that love to weave in between your feet), it might be best to close the door for the duration of the practice and keep them out of the space.

Have fun
One of the highlights of my home practice for me is that I can sometimes just have fun and experiment a little. There’s no one to see you lose your balance. Have a giggle, try a variation of a pose and take your time. There’s no rush here, so you can really settle into a pose and listen to the feedback your body is giving you.

So as you can see, you don’t need much to set up a home yoga practice. All that’s needed is for you to show up.

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