If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I would even be capable of practicing yoga anywhere other than a supervised yoga studio, I would have told you no way! Something about letting loose and finding my own flow scared me. I just assumed I wasn’t “good enough” or that I would do it wrong. I’d lay my mat out and just stand there, over-thinking it, not sure where to start.
Before I let myself do this, I had to get past that idea that yoga was a “serious” + technical practice; That I had to do everything exactly like my yoga instructors. Once I let go, I was addicted. Here’s how you, too, can start your at-home yoga practice.
Find a quiet place that’s all your own. I have a little space in between my living room and kitchen that is the perfect spot for a yoga mat. (It’s also really the ONLY space in my little apartment to practice. If you’re like me and have limited space, all you really need is enough floor space for your mat + a little wiggle room.
Do whatever it is you need to do to get your mind + body into a relaxed state with no distractions. You can start by turning off your phone. I practice early in the morning, when the world is still quiet and my mind hasn’t had the chance to stress about a single thing. If the sun is already up, I’ll shut my blinds enough to create a dim lighting and I always have my diffuser on with peppermint and lavender essential oils.
I don’t know about you, but music is an absolute necessary part of my yoga practice, whether I’m on my own, or in a studio. Trust me, I’ve been to a few classes where there was no music… and quickly realized how much I crave music to keep me going and give me a direction. I just love that it melds two of my biggest passions together – music + yoga.
If you’re a music person too, I recommend either finding a Spotify playlist with songs you won’t want to “skip” or creating your own yoga playlist. Depending on the day, I’ll play some acoustic singer-songwriter music or my personal favorite, contemporary christian. Listening to a contemporary christian music first thing in the morning allows me to get my practice in and spend some time with God all in one. Yoga has actually depend my relationship with God over the past two years. I find that the more I open my heart and make myself vulnerable on the mat, the more I’m open to hearing Him and relying on him to tell me where to go. It’s given me a greater appreciation for the body + life God has blessed me with.
So you’ve got everything set up + ready to go! Now for the scary part… Actually practicing yoga. First, I want you to know you don’t have to consider yourself a “yogi” to do your own thing. Even if you are a beginner, you can find your own flow and do what feels good.
If you are just getting started, I would recommend looking up some online yoga classes. This will get you comfortable in your own skin and allow you to practice with some direction.
Eventually, you’ll find you don’t want to follow the instructor on your computer anymore. You’ll want to do what feels right to your body and find ways to move to the music + stretch your body where it needs it most.
My biggest piece of advice is, listen to your body. If you are new to an at-home practice, go slowly, and don’t push yourself too far. It’s better to go a little lighter than you are used to in class, than to injure yourself in the process of trying to get a better workout in. Soon, you’ll start to feel comfortable with your own routine and you’ll find new ways to push your body in a safe way. If you are going to do any inversions (head or hand stands), do them up against a wall. You’ll be glad you did if you accidentally loose your balance.