Credit To Freepik For The Above Photo
Having a home yoga routine can speed up your progress and lead to a stronger, more flexible body. Here are some tips for making a habit that sticks.
Regular home practice can speed up your progress, so it’s an important step on your yoga journey. It can be daunting when you’ve only practised in groups though. It can also be hard to make yoga into a habit that sticks.
To help you get started, here are some tips for practising yoga at home.
1. Buy a High-Quality Mat
Yoga is a low-cost hobby, but a high-quality mat is an essential purchase. Look for a mat with a non-slip surface, durable design and soft padding.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a designer mat. But if you’re serious about your yoga, it’s worth paying extra for a mat that lasts.
Some people may also want to buy a bolster or block. These are easier to replace with other household items though, so they aren’t essential.
Aside from your mat, it’s also important to find a quiet place for your practise. Most people don’t have a room they can dedicate to yoga, but you should try to create a relaxing space where you don’t feel cramped during your sessions.
2. Create Your Routine
Choosing a sequence of poses can be one of the most daunting aspects of home yoga practice – but it doesn’t need to be stressful.
Start by assessing what you want out of the session. Do want an athletic routine that raises your heart rate? Or are you tired and in the mood for restorative practice?
Once you know the direction you want to take, it’s much easier to design a set of sequences that meet this goal. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you can direct your practice to whatever your body needs.
If you find creating your own sequence confusing, don’t worry – there are some amazing free resources. YouTube channels such as Yoga with Adrienne and Sarah Beth provide a huge range of routines for almost any purpose. Here’s an example of a “Foundations of Flow” routine:
There are also paid programs if you want more guidance. One example is Yoga Burn, which is designed to help people lose weight, but there are plenty of others (read our full Yoga Burn review here).
On a side note, don’t feel you need to always be practising the hardest poses at home. It’s better to practice the poses you love – especially when you’re developing a habit.
3. Be Cautious to Avoid Injuries
The danger of home yoga practice is that there’s no-one to tell you when you’re pushing too far or using the wrong form. This is why I recommend everyone takes yoga classes with a professional along with their home practice.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of injury:
- Warm-up before you try advanced or difficult poses.
- Don’t “switch off” when transitioning between poses, as injuries often happen when you lose concentration.
- Never force your body into a position it’s not ready to handle. If you feel pain or discomfort, slowly come out of the pose.
- Only practice poses that you have been taught by a professional instructor.
- Be particularly careful of the vulnerable areas of the body, including the back, neck and knees.
Most importantly, if you’re not sure about a pose, sensation or sequence, don’t try it on your own. Ask a professional to show you what you’re doing right and wrong.
It’s also a good idea to take brief notes after instructor-led classes. Pay attention to tips on form, which poses you enjoy, and which challenge you.
4. Schedule Regular Sessions
There are near-endless benefits to yoga (see here for some examples) – but they don’t happen overnight. You must perform regular practice over a period of time to experience the true benefits.
That doesn’t mean you need to spend 90 minutes on the mat every day. This just isn’t realistic for most people. But you should practice at consistent times – even if that’s just once or twice per week.
The best way to do this is to schedule a time when you know you’re going to practice yoga. This time should be blocked off your calendar in advance and treated like any other important appointment. If you’re often interrupted, you may want to warn friends and family in advance that you won’t be contactable during these times.
When is the best time to practice though?
I’m a big fan of practicing in the morning, as yoga is a great way to start the day. Your practice can be any time you can fit it into your schedule though.
5. Enjoy Yourself
It’s easy to be overly ambitious when starting a new self-improvement habit. The problem is this can often make you dread your next workout, which can make it difficult to stick with.
So, while the idea of practicing for an hour everyday on your hardest poses might sound great, the reality is that this is almost impossible to keep up.
Instead, focus on enjoying your practice. If that means sticking with easier poses and only practicing twice a week, that’s fine! You can always increase the difficulty and frequency later once you’ve established a habit.
Also, don’t be afraid to vary your routine. The great thing about home practice is that you are in complete control, so make the most of it.
Practising yoga at home is a great way to improve your flexibility, build strength and gain the many benefits of yoga.
It’s not enough to buy a top-quality mat and meticulously plan your routines though. You actually have to get on the mat and practice if you want to make progress.
This is why I constantly talk about making habits. When you first start your yoga practice, it’s easy to skip a session by accident or when you’re tired. The more consistent you are with your practice, however, the easier it becomes to make yoga into a regular hobby.
Do you have any questions about practising yoga at home? Or do you have another tip you would like to share? Let me know in the comments section.
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