We often get the request for information for tips on starting a home yoga practice. This is such a great question and one that has many layers. Today, we’ll start with four specific things that will help you develop a mindset about yoga that will make you feel confident rolling out your mat and leading yourself in a practice. It is really a mindset shift as the confidence to do this comes from understanding yoga on a deeper level, not just understanding a pose on a deeper level. Let’s take a look at how you can get started today.
- Learning to recognize that there is not a right or wrong way to do a pose, just optimal alignment.
It can be very tempting to think that there is a right or wrong way to do a pose when really you want to build a mindset around what is accessible to your body. A pose will not always look like what you see in pictures and videos for your body. That is alright! Just try to honor optimal alignment for your body and what is has experienced. If you offer grace to your body, you are seeking one of the goals of yoga – to connect with yourself. Making this realization helps you eliminate the fear that you’ll do it wrong. Your body knows what it needs, and you can trust that.
- Create a distraction free environment as much as possible.
One of the values of attending a yoga class at a studio is the ability to leave your house and all its distractions. Dogs, dishes, to do lists, etc. Leaving that environment leaves those tasks behind. But you can do that at home by creating your own yoga space that you continually return to for your practice. Much like creating a habit, your body and mind will come to know that is a relaxation place and begin to focus on your practice. In this way, you are honoring another goal of meditation which is to withdraw and bring your focus within.
- Plan a flow beforehand if you want a self-led practice at home.
Using prior class experiences, online practice videos or internet searches, plan a flow for yourself. Keep it short at first, no longer than 15 to 30 minutes to start. Begin with a couple of seated postures, add a few standing postures depending on your ability level, and add a few balancing postures. Then bring it to a close with a couple of seated postures. End with a final resting pose of your choice. Starting small is great because if you experience success with shorter practices on your own, you are likely to return to your mat again in your home practice. It is all about building confidence on your mat at first. It is ok to pull back in your practice to hone this part of your practice; consistency. We tend to think our practice has to be long or not at all and that is not true. You always get benefits no matter how long you practice.
- Find a trusted source to guide you if you want an instructor-led practice at home.
Clearly, I am biased and love Holy Yoga TV®. Just make sure you like the teacher and their style for the goal you have in mind. The time and practice level need to be something that will support your goal for confidence and consistency. So, if you are a beginner, I would not jump to an advanced power flow. Ultimately, in Holy Yoga®, our goal is for you to connect with the living God on your mat and when you do, it transforms you. If you approach the practice with that in mind, the overwhelm may begin to decrease.
I know it can be overwhelming to begin to work through the discipline of developing a practice at home on your own. But the journey starts with just one step. Give the above tips a shot and tag us on social media with pictures of you on your mat at home!
Post by: Jonnie Goodmanson is a Senior Trainer for Holy Yoga Global®, LLC. Jonnie leads HYG’s core programs including their 200-hour Teacher Training, Master’s Program, Touch Training, and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Certification with an emphasis on injury modification and anatomy and physiology. Jonnie is a continuing education provider for Yoga Alliance and ACE Fitness. She teaches yoga at Lifetime Fitness and Mainstreet Church in Mound, MN. You can read more about Jonnie’s role at www.holyyoga.net.