Starting a home yoga practice for myself is one of the best decisions of my life. It’s helped me cultivate so much more joy, empowerment, and self-confidence over time and the mindset I’ve come to have surrounding my home yoga practice has been the key to the positive effect it’s had on my wellbeing and my life overall.
My own experience
I started my own regular home yoga practice back in January 2017. I loved taking classes and doing workshops (and still do!) but something in my yoga practice was missing before I decided to start a self-practice at home.
I wanted to soak up all that is yoga. I was going to heaps of different types of yoga classes with different yoga teachers. It was super inspiring and I loved every minute of it! But I was lacking consistency in my practice. I wanted to have my own time to practice what I’d learned in the classes I went to. My own time to apply the things that really resonated with me about the yoga practice.
I wanted time to revisit new poses and transitions I had been introduced to so I didn’t feel like I was just starting over with new things every class I went to. I wanted to practice difficult poses such as inversions and arm balances in my own time so I could really geek out on them. To explore new things through trial and error!
Starting my own home yoga practice came from a wish to deepen and find consistency in my physical yoga practice. To track my progress and practice the hard poses and transitions.
My physical practice has definitely evolved since starting out my home yoga practice. But my home yoga practice has done so much more for me than that!
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What my home yoga practice has taught me
My yoga self-practice has taught me so much about myself. It’s made me notice the way I react to different things – our behaviour and emotions on the mat often reflect the way we act and react out in the real world too.
It’s taught me how to listen to my body’s needs in any given moment, become aware of my emotional and mental state and how they affect my thoughts and my behaviour.
My home yoga practice has taught me how to slow down and tune in. It’s made my relationship with my own body so much more healthy & sustainable because I’ve learned to look beyond the aesthetics and be truly thankful for what my body is capable of each and every day.
Sounds like something you’d like to experience for yourself too?
In this post I’ll try to break down all the things that have helped me build a consistent and sustainable yoga self-practice at home. Hopefully it will provide help and inspiration for you to start your own yoga self-practice too!
What is a home yoga practice?
A home practice is simply taking your yoga practice into your home so you can practice in your own time and on your own terms.
Benefits of having a regular home yoga practice
There are so many benefits of having a home yoga practice. Both for the body and mind, but also on the more practical aspects of practicing in your own home rather than taking yoga classes in studios.
Benefits for Body & Mind
- Builds strength & stability
- Increases flexibility
- Improves balance
- Improves cardio and circulatory health
- Self-knowledge and self-reflection
- Helps you de-stress and recenter yourself
- Regulates hormones and makes you happier
- Helps you focus & think clearer
- Improves body awareness & control
- Improves digestion
- Helps fight depression & anxiety
- Promotes sleep quality
- Overall longevity
- You save money from not having to pay for yoga classes in a studio.
- You save time by being able to practice at home.
- You don’t have to do a full 60-90 minute practice every time you do yoga because it’s all up to you.
- You can choose the focus of your practice each day to match your needs and energy level.
- You have time to geek out on the poses or transitions you want to learn.
- You don’t have to worry about other people watching you when you are struggling or fall out of a pose.
How to start a home yoga practice
Things you need to get started with your home yoga practice:
Space for movement
Dedicate a space somewhere in your home for your practice so you have enough space to roll out a mat and practice without hitting any objects or furniture around you. Having a permanent space for your practice will help make it easier to motivate yourself to actually practice when you no longer have the excuse of not wanting to move furniture or stuff aside every time you want to practice. Eventually having a yoga space in your home will help make practicing yoga a habit.
A yoga mat
Get yourself a yoga mat. Even just find some kind of grippy surface to practice on will do if you don’t have a mat yet so you don’t slide all over the place in your downdogs 🙂
Pillows, blocks, straps, bolsters, yoga wheels. There are a plethora of yoga props out there and you definitely don’t need all of them to experience a succesful yoga practice in your own home. In my opinion, blocks can be quite nice to have just so you can adjust the difficulty of some postures but even a hardcover book or some other box shaped object might do. Decide which props you need and forget the rest.
Commit to a practice time and put it in your schedule. This helps you to get a practice in consistently – whether a consistent practice means once a week to you, once a day, or anything in between. See if you can pick a time that makes your yoga practice become a natural part of your daily or weekly routines so you don’t have to think too much about doing it to make it happen.
Be good to yourself. Reward yourself every time you do manage to step on the mat and forgive yourself for every time you didn’t. If your yoga practice becomes something you feel guilt around because your expectation are too high it can end up having a negative impact on your life instead of a positive one! So be kind and forgiving to yourself! Celebrate the times you do spend on your mat and just get back into the swing of your consistent practice every time you loose it.
How to find inspiration for your practice
Okay, so you’ve carved out a space in your home for your yoga practice and you’ve set aside time to practice.
In the beginning it can be hard to just listen to your body and do a full yoga practice on your own when there’s no yoga teacher around to guide you through a sequence. Especially if you haven’t done yoga in the past and aren’t familiar with sun salutations or other basic sequences of poses.
When I first started my home yoga practice my mind would go completely blank as soon as I stepped on my mat! It was as though I had forgotten every single pose I knew in a second.
If that happens to you too, try not to worry about it! With practice you will be able to practice yoga on your own without needing any guidance or any source of inspiration with you there on the mat. But until then, this is where the wonder of modern day technology can become a huge help!
Places to find inspiration for your practice
- Free guided yoga classes on youtube
- Yoga books & blogs
- In person yoga classes & workshops
- Paid online yoga video platforms (one0eight, yogaglo, omstars, alomoves, aso.)
- Instagram videos + picture tutorials
- Practice set sequences such as the sun salutations or the primary series of ashtanga. Just google either and you should be able to find a scheme showing all of the postures. Print it out if you want to bring it along and have it in front of you when you practice.
If you feel like you struggle with coming up with things to practice once you step on your mat, sooner or later you will learn how to flow on your own! Trust me, I’ve been there too.
As always, I’d love to hear from you! Comment down below or send me an email if you have questions or comments 🙂