Good afternoon friends! Hope this finds you all enjoying the week. Welcome to Wellness Wednesdays! Recently I have been asked to write more healthy living posts sharing practical, tested tips for wellness. Each Wednesday I will feature tips to support your overall health and happiness.
As you all know I love yoga. Practicing over the years has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I love it so much I now teach at a studio in my neighborhood and privately as well. Sharing my practice and the benefits of yoga has been healing and rewarding beyond measure – and I am just at the beginning of my teaching journey which is super exciting. I love stepping into each class and trying new things.
Often clients and friends ask me about practicing at home. FYI, practicing at home in some ways is much harder than in a studio or with a teacher. After all it’s just YOU and your mat. In a class you have the support of the teacher and other students to motivate you and hold the energy. When you’re all alone on your yoga mat who is going to stop you from getting up to check your phone, who is going to remind you to breathe, who is going to guide you through the poses – you are! Yeah so it’s easy to see why it is challenging.
Having said that, it is of course possible to have an at home yoga practice and I strongly encourage it. Even if it’s 1-2 days a week, start there and see how it goes, you can always add more days if you find it’s really working for you. Since the possibilities are endless with at home practice I have outlined a guide to get you started.
Five Tips For Staring An At Home Yoga Practice
1. Put in in your calendar. I realize this sounds basic but it’s super important. Schedule out the time to practice and stick to it just like you would any other appointment that means something to you.
2. Create a space to practice. Some of us (myself included) that live in small apartments cannot have a dedicated yoga room and have to get creative with carving out a space to practice. I have my living room set up in such a way that all I have to do is roll up the rug in front of the couch and voila, I have my own private yoga studio. Rearrange whatever you need to so that you can have room to move around and not feel closed in. If possible set your furniture up in such at way that you can easily shift things around when it’s time to practice.
3. Begin with what you love. Each time you sit on your mat gently close your eyes and check in with yourself. Are you feeling tired? Anxious? Stiff? Sick? Whatever you are feeling notice it and start your practice with movements and poses that feel the most nourishing for you at the time. I typically start with cat/cows and other warm-ups before moving in to my Sun Salutations. After my Sun Salutations I check in again with my body and decide what poses I want to do that day. It doesn’t have to be the most intense session ever – if you move mindfully and with your breath you will receive major benefits from regular practice.
4. Check out yoga resources. If you are feeling stuck or unsure where to start there are lots of great resources you can check out. One of my favorites online is Yoga Glo. They offer all levels of classes in a variety of styles and it’s very affordable. Try one of their classes and learn some poses that you can do on your own. You can also purchase books, DVDs, or take a class or two in your area to help you get started.
5. Begin now. Again, I know it sounds basic but how many times do we say we are going to start something and never get around to starting? We might have the best of intentions but if we don’t actually roll out our mats and get on them guess what, we don’t have a home practice! You don’t have to wait for x-y-z to happen to start, all you have to do is begin. Now.
Whatever you decide to do, always start your practice with a few minutes of seated breathing to check in with your body. End each practice with a few minutes of savasana (corpse pose) so that your body can assimilate what you did. I hope you find these tips helpful. Let me know how things go if you decide to start an at home practice or revamp your current routine.
photo credit : Anaïs & Dax