The idea of starting yoga practice at home can be a great idea for you if you are unable to find any studios nearby to your home, are not really fond of socializing at yoga studios or trying to save money for your next holiday trip.
Writing this article from my own experience of being a self taught yogi for 3 and a half years, I am very confident to tell you that it is possible and what you earn it by yourself, you will truly value it.
So how to start yoga practice at home?
- A yoga mat.
- Internet connection.
- Laptop or a smartphone to watch.
1. Choose a fix timing to practice.
It is important to reserve your busy schedule with yoga practice once you are determined and committed to yoga. If you are used to waking up at 7am everyday, try to wake up 45 minutes earlier, be present on the mat and start practice.
2. Choose a place where it is well-ventilated, quiet and can accommodate a yoga mat.
It can be your bed room or living room or along the corridor. Rearrange your living space if you need to, put a signage if you do not want anyone to enter.
3. Choose a yoga practice video that is suitable to your physical body and your condition.
At first, it may be tempting to start off with something with the tag “intensive”, “strong and intense” in the yoga video title, but you will end up feeling frustrated, disappointed and injure yourself.
The key is to know your body physical level, read the description of the yoga practice (whether it is for beginner or intermediate), the length of the video (you do not want to practice one and a half hour when you only have 45 minutes to practice). Sometimes a video that is for beginner but can be challenging at the same time. Thus, during the practice, listen and observe how your body responds to different movements. By doing this, you will be able to modify poses to make it less or more intense.
4. Listen, watch, practice, repeat.
For beginners, chances are you will not be able to complete a yoga video within 45 minutes even if your physical level is up to that video requirement. Yoga is not only about performing the poses like those of the teacher in the video but to listen to their guide to go into the pose, watch how their poses are performed, at the same time, follow the breath counts. If you need to pause and work on certain pose, do it. If you think you did not get the instruction clear enough, rewind the video. It may ends up longer than 45 minutes but you are giving yourself total control of what you are doing with your body.
5. Master one, practice a few.
The idea is to choose one video that is the core to your yoga practice. It must be a complete yoga sequence from warming up – Sun Salutation A, B, to finishing poses. And a few videos of theme practices such as backbend, core, etc to strengthen, allow you to work more on certain area of your body needing attention.
Once you have been able to practice your core video without struggling how to get into the pose, choose a stronger core video and work your way up.
6. Once awhile, attend workshops.
Attending workshops can be extremely helpful if you are uncertain about certain poses or you need inspiration to your yoga practice or just simply, to broaden your knowledge about other aspects of yoga. Teachers who lead workshops are experienced, inspiring and dedicated people who have spent years to practice and teach yoga; sometimes a pose you have been struggling for a year when practicing from yoga video on Youtube, you can learn it in a workshop for 2 days.
7. Safety first.
This one last bit is the most important thing when practice yoga at home. At yoga studio, teacher will always have an eyes on you. But if you are at home, you only have the eyes on yourself. When practicing certain poses such as inversions or arm balance, make sure you practice with a wall first or have your partner watch you in case of falling. Do not try if you are uncertain, but ask someone who practices yoga or do proper research on how to enter into poses. Once you are well-prepared and know what you will be doing, you are ready to go.
Good luck and have a wonderful home yoga practice everyone!
Kelin Vu Bich Chau, Doan – 200hr YTT Weekend