How To Sustain A Home Yoga Practice Table of Contents
How To Sustain A Home Yoga Practice is a series consisting of 3 parts.
There’s good reason that yoga has been a practice of growing popularity in recent decades. Its benefits reach beyond improvements of strength and flexibility. Yoga is a moving meditation, using the body and the breath to guide individuals to a closer connection to themselves and the world around them.
Dr. Joshua Berka has described yoga as “a wonderful addition to any exercise/meditation practice.” He also emphasizes how a regular yoga practice contributes to living a balanced life. “It promotes flexibility of mind and body through signature body positions, breath, and focus of intention,” he says.
Why Start A Home Practice?
Even as we are aware of all their benefits, yoga classes can be expensive, and sometimes it can be a challenge to get to a yoga studio on a regular basis.
Even if you do try to take classes consistently, it’s not always easy to get to the classes on time and in a fully-present state. Also, if you’re traveling around or moving to a new place—times when you may need some extra grounding—don’t you want to be able to count on yourself to guide your personal practice?
Starting a home yoga practice seems simple enough—slide on your yoga pants, roll out a mat and, well, do some yoga. If you are a committed practitioner, however, you know that the focus and discipline that can be harnessed within studio walls cannot always be found on your living room floor.
Yoga is not about the incense-laced dressing rooms or sky-high mirrors that can be found in your city’s most contemporary new studios. Although nice, these additions are not actually the aspects that make you move, breathe and connect. The progress you make at home, and in the studio, can all be a part of your commitment to developing a sustainable personal practice.
Every time you step onto your mat is an opportunity to meet yourself in that moment; to examine, but not judge, how you are feeling before, during and after your practice.
Your yoga practice is all your own, and that is one of the things that makes it fulfilling—and equally challenging.
Make Some Time For Your Mat
Your home practice can begin today. You don’t even need to commit a full hour. Start with 20 minutes. Set a timer if that will help you take your eyes off the clock.
Find a place that offers some space to move and the least amount of distraction. Change into clothes that make you feel comfortable, and turn off external stimulations, including TV programs, cell phones, computers and music (we will talk about incorporating audio and visual aids later on, but for now just focus on your space, your mat and yourself).
Your first few times on your mat, just try some simple breathing and meditation techniques. Focus on your inhales and your exhales. Observe how you are feeling, but do not form attachment to any analysis or judgment based on your physical and emotional state—just allow yourself to be with your own presence.
As you take this step in starting an at-home yoga practice, take note of a few materials that will help you to start and sustain a consistent practice:
- Yoga mat
- Block and strap
- Full-length mirror
- Audio or visual aids
Small steps will help you to eventually make large leaps in your personal yoga practice.
Work on your presence and breathing on the mat, and continue to follow our guide to develop a sustainable home and travel yoga practice.