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Get Yourself Ready for Yoga

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There are many benefits to doing yoga at home rather than at a studio or health club/gym. Here are some steps to help you create a home practice that will help you grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Steps

Identify what your goals are in your yoga practice. There are numerous styles of yoga, and people do yoga for many reasons. Yoga can be a method of physical exercise, a way to reduce and manage stress, a means of healing an illness or injury, and even a complete lifestyle. You will also want to think about which components of wellness you want to work on, such as strength, flexibility, stamina, anxiety, depression, etc. If you are doing yoga because you want to have a stronger body and a quiet mind and you want to be able to practice whenever you want without the cost of a gym membership or classes at a studio, then creating a home practice may be right for you.

Create a tranquil atmosphere. Make sure you have enough floor space to move forward, backward, left, and right without running into or hitting anything. If you don’t already have this space, you may need to clear out some clutter. If you want, you can add to your atmosphere by lighting candles or incense.

You will also need to purchase a yoga mat, which can be found on the internet or local stores. Depending on where you live, you might be able to drive somewhere and buy one.

Try buying some beginner yoga CDs. If you are a complete novice or an experienced practitioner who wants to be guided through their practice, purchase one or more yoga DVDs or VHS tapes. Again, this would depend on what your goals are. Some videos will give you a fast-paced, heat-building, fat-burning, full-body workout, while others are very relaxing, gentle, meditative, and therapeutic. Still, others will offer a middle ground between these two. If you do not need guidance, you can create your own routine and just follow it, accompanied by the music of your choice.

If you’re following your own routine, you should start your practice with a short meditation and breathing exercise to calm your mind and center your thoughts. The move into a warm-up, standing poses, backbends, twists, forward bends, reclining poses, and finally, final relaxation pose.

Choose a time in which you will not be disturbed. Make sure all phones are turned off or unplugged, no one is coming over, and everyone in your household is either not home or occupied. You will need to have at least an hour to yourself so that you can take care of yourself.

Decide how often you want to practice. Ideally, you should practice every single day, but you can practice anywhere from once a week to seven days a week. You will obtain the most benefits if you practice 5-7 days a week.

Deepen your practice. Once you have gotten started, find some ways to add variety and to take your practice to the next level. One way you can do this is by doing different types of poses on different days of the week. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you can do a physical workout practice. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday can be your relaxing, meditative, therapeutic, gentle practices. You can either skip Sunday altogether or just do a gentle practice. You can also focus on a specific area of your body on different days. There are loads of ideas.

Keep a yoga practice journal. Write down all of your experiences and what’s happening to your body/mind. Keep a record of what is working and what isn’t, as well as how your practice is deepening, evolving, and helping you grow into a better person and learn more about yourself.

Be patient and stick with it. The benefits of yoga are too many to list here, but with regular practice, you will reap them all. Keep in mind that yoga is not about whether or not you can do a particular pose exactly like the person on a video or in a picture. It’s about the journey towards the pose, enlightenment, or whatever your goal is. Keep an open mind and heart at all times.

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