Your Guide To Home Yoga Practice (Learn Yoga At Home)
In this post we will be educating you on how you can practice yoga at your own place. We will answers all of your questions and will also teach you how to get started.
How To Set Up Your Home Yoga Practice
Whenever students approach me who want to learn how to do yoga at home on their own my first question is always, “Where are you going to practice?” After the initial, “I just told you ‘home’”, awkwardness is sidestepped, I clarify that I mean where in their home are they going to practice.
Create Good Habits
Although having a designated “yoga” spot isn’t the be all end all of being successful or reaping the benefits of a home practice, there is a definite correlation between people who consistently do and enjoy yoga and those who have set up a small corner of their home for this purpose.
Knowing exactly where you are going to practice, especially in the mornings when you are tired and may have a difficult time even getting out of bed, helps your mind shift into autopilot. Just like how you can get in your car and drive home from work with very little thought or effort (you know the way because you have been there hundreds of times), having a practice area makes it easier for you and your mind to arrive on your mat. Over time you will build the healthy habit of wanting to practice yoga every time you see your designated spot.
Having a small yoga spot helps you to be consistent, which is the only way to really start benefiting from doing yoga. Even though you will feel great just after one practice, the results start to compound with time and in just a matter of weeks your old definition of “great” will be tossed from the window because you will be feeling exceptionally fantastic!
Build A Positive Environment
Another important aspect of having a reserved spot at home for yoga is that over time that spot becomes a special place that you associate with positive feelings, health, wellness, and happy thoughts. This tiny little area (it really doesn’t have to be much bigger than a yoga mat) can become somewhere sacred that you can go, even if you are not practicing yoga and just need a break from a crazy day (or crazy kids!)
My recommendation is to find a spot in your home that is removed from main gathering areas (so that you will reduce your risk of being distracted while you are there) and preferably somewhere that allows you to see (or be) outside. If you have a little more space and time on your hands, I always encourage my students to fill their at home-yoga spot with things that they love, find beautiful, or are inspired by, such as pictures, flowers, candles, or even the sound of running water from a small indoor fountain.
Just Do It! No Excuses
The great thing about yoga, however, is that none of this is really necessary. With just a mat you can get everything you need from your yoga practice – and you can do it anywhere, at home, work, the airport, a hotel, the park, and the list goes on and on. Whether you have a whole room to dedicate or just a small corner you create after moving a piece of furniture, there is no excuse for why you shouldn’t or can’t practice yoga at home. Overcome your Debby-Downer mindset and just do it! Over time you will not be able to not do yoga – it’s a fact.
But I will definitely say that creating a space for yourself at your home makes practicing yoga that much more enjoyable and it will help you to stay consistent. Even just the simple act of placing your mat in the same place every day can go a long way in having a successful home yoga practice.
Let’s Get Into Some Practical Yoga Exercises Now That You Can Perform At Home
Now we will be sharing some practical yoga exercises and poses with you so that you can get started right after reading this article.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Begin by standing at the top of your mat with hands in prayer position at heart center. Feel free to shut your eyes as you center your body, evenly distributing your weight between all four corners of your feet. As you still your mind, focus on your breath and feel the energy you receive as you begin to deepen your inhalations.
Ardha Chandrasana Pada Hastasana (Half Moon With Hands To Feet Pose)
From Tadasana, raise your arms over your head, interlacing the fingers and releasing the index fingers. Squeeze the palms of the hands together and try to keep the biceps close to the ears. Gently push your hips forward as you begin to bend from the hips to the right. Reach the arms back as you continue to press the thighs forward. Keep your chin lifted and the chest open. Hold the pose for five breaths then come back to center before repeating on the other side.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Fold forward from the hips, keeping the kneecaps lifted and the thighs engaged. Allow your head to hang freely to help lengthen your spine.
Ardha Uttanasana (Standing Half Forward Bend) Bring
Bring your hands to the shins and look forward. Open your heart and chest by squeezing the shoulder blades together.
From Ardha Uttanasana, bend your knees slightly and place your hands flat on the mat. Hop or step back into Plank, aligning your hands so that they are directly under your shoulders and making sure that your body is parallel with the floor. Engage the core.
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
Look forward from Plank and shift your weight forward. Begin to lower down towards the mat by bending your elbows, squeezing them in against your side body. As you lower down, do not allow your elbows to get higher than your shoulders. Place your knees on the ground if necessary until you build the strength needed to perform this pose.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), variation
Lower all the way down to the mat from Chaturanga Dandasana. Bring your hands next the body so that your thumbs are in line with the center of your chest. Press the tops of your feet into the mat and raise your torso off the mat, keeping the hips in contact with the ground and the elbows bent.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Press back into Down Dog. Your hands should be shoulder width apart and your feet hip width apart. Engage the legs by lifting the quadriceps muscles and rolling the inner thighs back. Pull your navel back in towards your spine. Spread the fingers wide on the mat.
From Down Dog lift one leg up into the air and bend the knee. Slightly bend the knee of the grounded foot as you begin to lower the lifted foot down to the mat so that you flip over. Press your hips up and reach your lifted hand towards the top of your mat. Stay for 2 to 3 breaths before stepping back into Down Dog.
From Down Dog, step your foot forward in between your hands while keeping the back leg straight with the ball of the foot on the mat. Your front knee should be bent so that it forms a ninety-degree angle with your hip and the mat. Don’t let your knee go beyond your ankle. Lengthen the spine and focus your gaze forward, keeping your neck long and relaxed.
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose), variation
From High Lunge, place the outside of your back foot down on the mat and twist open. Open your chest by rolling the top ribs back and pushing the bottom ribs forward. Keep the arms strong and in one line.
Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)
Step your front foot forward back and stack on top of back foot. Flex the feet and press your hips up towards the sky. Keep the chest open. Breathe deep into the lungs and enjoy the energy received.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
End the sequence in this relaxing yet energizing pose. Kneel on the mat and fold over your thighs, bringing your forehead down to the ground. You can gently extend your arms forward with the palms down or keep them at your sides with the palms up. Rest here until you feel grounded and ready to take on your day.
That is it. I hope you have learned how to set up yoga practices at home and you have also learned a sequence of yoga poses that you can start to practice right after you are done reading this post.
Knowledge is even better when shared, if you have friends or relatives that are interested in Yoga, i urge you to share what you have learned with them or just share this article with them so that they can also start learning yoga and reap the benefits.