My preference whether I’m taking a yoga class or getting in a workout has always been to go to the studio or gym. There is a shift that happens in my mind when I step out of my home to be able to better show up in my workout and on my mat. But part of my yoga teacher training required me to build an at-home yoga practice and I’m truly grateful for that. While my preference is still showing up to a class and allowing another instructor to just guide my practice without my having to think about it, I do enjoy showing up on my mat at home now more than ever before.
As we all know, there are situations in our lives that can come up (whether by choice or circumstance) that make it harder (or impossible) to get to the studio so I thought I would come to you today to share my top tips for setting up your at-home practice. These are things that have worked for me to be more consistent and present when doing yoga in the comfort of my own home, and I hope you’ll also find them useful.
How to set up your at-home yoga practice
Find a space
One of the exciting things about moving into my current apartment is that I have a second bedroom which I was able to convert into an at-home office and yoga studio. This space for me is calming and inspiring, but one of the biggest perks is that it allows me to keep my mat rolled out constantly. If you have a space in your home where you’re able to keep your mat out all the time, I find this helpful to stay consistent but if that’s not feasible, at least know where your space is. If possible, I would suggest a space where you can shut the door if you have others in your home who may try to distract or impede your practice.
A mat or blanket
One of the many beautiful things about yoga is that it doesn’t usually require you to have anything except a place to practice. I always giggle when students complain about only having a foot or two around their yoga mat when classes get busier, but truth is that you only need the space of your mat. If you don’t have a yoga mat, a blanket laid out on the floor is a great alternative.
Make an appointment with yourself
Committing to a date/time to practice at home is essential for me! I will often even put it right into my calendar like I would any other appointment so I stay committed to my practice and the time I’m dedicating to myself. Know that it doesn’t matter if you’re giving 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour to practice. Whatever time you have for yourself that day, build it into your schedule and commit to your well-being.
Find a teacher to guide you virtually
Whether this is via a podcast, YouTube channel, live stream, or one-on-one, having a teacher who can guide you through your practice at home is another great way to stick with this at-home practice. Even as an instructor myself, I always find other teachers to guide my practice because it allows me to let go and have someone else guide my practice that day. Sure, I will have some days that I just move with my body and go totally undirected, but most of the time, I like to not worry about thinking about all the things and let someone else be my teacher. If you’re looking for someone to guide your practice, might I suggest my own YouTube channel? (Shameless plug!)
Of course, if you have any yoga props, those can be great to have nearby but I’m not going to encourage you to go out and buy a whole bunch of things. So often, we can grab blankets, towels, pillows, books, or other random items we have floating around our homes to replace any suggested props during a class. I mean, we did a whole restorative class using a couch cushion, after all!
Do you enjoy practicing yoga at home? What has been most helpful for you in staying consistent in your at-home yoga practice? What kinds of yoga classes would you like to see more of on my YouTube channel to help your practice at home? Let me know in the comments below!