Whether you can’t make it to yoga class because of bad weather, a tight budget, no time, or other priorities, getting your practice in at home (or anywhere, really) is always better than not doing it at all. Even if it’s short and sweet, it still benefits your mind and body, and it helps keep you consistent with your practice.
Yogis who are used to getting on their mats in the company of others with a real, live teacher guiding a class may have trouble getting motivated or figuring out how to start doing yoga at home. But by tweaking just a few things here and there, you can definitely make doing yoga at home just as effective and enjoyable as a real yoga class.
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set a strict start and end time for your practice. In other words, treat it like a real class. Set reminders on your phone if you have to, and tell yourself well ahead of time that you are going to get your practice in during this exact time slot, even if it only involves stepping into the next room to roll out your mat!
Sure, practicing in the wide open space of your living room might make a lot of sense, but if you’ve got the dog running circles around you, your family or roommates chatting away about who knows what somewhere nearby, a stack of last week’s mail in clear view that you need to still open, and all sorts of other things taking your focus away from your practice, then that’s a big problem. Pick a time and place where nobody and nothing can interrupt you.
Plan Your Practice
So you scheduled your practice for a time and place with no interruptions, but do you know what you’re going to do after standing there in mountain pose or any other starting pose for a few seconds? Whether you plan on creating your own practice or follow along with video workouts online or with DVDs, make sure you have a plan. As a suggestion, Do Yoga With Me is great source for free yoga classes that you can follow along with (as long as you have internet access).
Get the Right Tools
Many yogis often bring their own mats to class, but extra equipment like blocks, blankets, straps, and bolsters are usually provided by the studio or teacher. If you know you’re going to need extra tools like these for your practice, either invest a bit of money to get your own ahead of time, or get creative with substitutes. You can use stacks of books for blocks, a belt for a strap, throws or towels for a blanket, and pillows for a bolster.
Don’t Skip Savasana!
When you’re practicing yoga by yourself at home and are strapped for time, it sure can be tempting to finish that last pose and then roll up your mat so you can get on with your day. But seriously, don’t! Whether you made up your own practice or you’re following along with a yoga video that cuts it short and encourages you to do savasana on your own, make sure you do it — even if it’s just a minute or two of relaxing surrender. This will complete your practice and leave you feeling refreshed enough to get up do what you need to do next.
Mixing up your yoga environments can be a great way to avoid getting stuck in a rut and continue improving. Try doing yoga at home, outdoors, on the road in your hotel room, or anywhere else where there’s enough space and uninterrupted time to do it!