When I first started practicing yoga, I relied on the studio setting.
In fact, it wasn’t until the last few months that I really developed a home practice. As a new yoga teacher and freelance marketer, I found it increasingly difficult to attend studio classes on the days that I taught. I couldn’t take more than an hour or two away from my desk, so I had to choose: teach or practice.
Anyone else feel the same struggle?
The inconsistency of my yoga practice was weighing down on me – last year I spent a majority of my free time flowing! I had to make a shift because my muscles and mind were screaming at me for escape via asana and pranayama.
So, I made it my goal to step on my mat every day for at least 30 minutes.
At the beginning, boy, was this difficult.
I like to think that, while we try to leave the ego outside the four corners of our mats as often as possible, the accountability of a studio setting – having a teacher leading you, and other students around you – can make fulfilling your yoga goals much easier.
I found that the first few weeks of practicing at home, I’d sit down for 5-10 minutes then get distracted by something else. Whether it was my mind racing back towards my to-do list or my muscles asking for an extension on the break, I learned that I needed to add more structure in order to truly fulfill my yoga cravings.
Over time, I’ve developed a foolproof system to practicing at home – these tips and tricks have sculpted my home practice and have allowed me the freedom to drop into down dog whenever I please:
Step One: Set The Mood
The mood of your home space is SO important. Just like being in a studio, you want to make sure that your designed yoga space is clean and aesthetically pleasing to you.
Start by dedicating a space in your home strictly to practicing yoga or meditating. I’ve decorated it with plants, crystals, and candles to really set the vibe high and I love showing up here every day. Music also elevates my practice, I love to flow to the beat!
Pro tip: Make a 30-min or hour long playlist to flow to on Spotify with your favorite jams. If you have a favorite studio teacher with bangin’ music, see if you can find them on Spotify and use their playlist as inspiration.
Step Two: Bring The Teacher To You
If you’re new to yoga, chances are you aren’t going to have Sun A and Sun B memorized. This is where having someone to lead you comes into play and can totally transform your home practice.
I’ve followed Youtube videos before, but they just don’t cut it for me. Instead, I use the Yogaia app on my phone or laptop and choose from their library of classes – and they have EVERYTHING.
The biggest thing for me developing a home practice was still having a sense of direction and their variety of flows are so accessible for any stage of yoga. From 10 min classes to 45 min, there is something for everyone and it’s the perfect way to ease into a home practice.
Pro tip: Yogaia has LIVE CLASSES. Download the app and jump in on one of their live yoga classes so you can practice in real time with one of their instructors – this feature rocked my toe-less socks off!
Step Three: Schedule It Out
Just like going to the gym or making it to a class at the studio, schedule out your practice time at home! Even if you’re sitting down for 5 minutes to meditate and 10 minutes to stretch, you’re getting yourself into the habit of practicing and that alone will make all the difference in the world.
I’m a firm believer in the power of blocking out time and dedicating chunks of your day to one specific task. This not only increases productivity but allows you to truly dive into whatever you’re doing in that period of time. I always set an alarm for when it’s time to flow – usually in between major tasks in the middle of the day – and it is like the school bell every time. So grateful when it comes and I get to check out!
Pro tip: If you don’t want to set a time limit, set a pose limit! Pick a few postures you want to work on and flow through them until you feel satisfied.
Step Four: Invest In A Great Mat
Do you rent mats in the studio? If you’re developing a home practice, having a good mat is important. When you’ve got a good mat, you literally want to lay on it everywhere (I do!).
You want something that is compact, comfortable and durable for you to bring wherever you practice takes you. I’ve always loved Manduka mats -my studio sells them! – they are high quality and last forever – truly a yogi’s best friend!
Pro tip: Make a mat spray at home for when you get sweaty! I love mixing filtered water with tea tree essential oil, eucalyptus and lavender for a soothing smell that also freshens the mat!
There you have it! These are the tips that have revolutionized my home yoga practice. Now, I want to hear from you: What’s your favorite way to get on your mat at home? What has worked for you best?
After you leave a comment or try these for yourself, check out Yogaia on your computer or smartphone. You won’t regret it, home-flow friends!