Many of us prefer to practice yoga at home, solo, rather than in a studio surrounded by other people. This often allows for a quieter, more meditative state to take over when you’re going through your poses. But practicing yoga at home can also have you lacking a sense of routine and motivation, leaving plenty of room for improvement. Perhaps it’s time to make a routine and improve your home practice overall? Below are five key tips for doing just that.
1. Make it a routine
Doing yoga can be as easy and simple for you as brushing your teeth, or it can be an obstacle only finding time and space for squeezing it in to your daily schedule. Step one is here. Find a time and a setting that suits your lifestyle, and try to make it a routine. Make it a routine to always step onto your mat the first thing you do in the morning, when you come home from work or before you go to bed in the night. In the beginning, it don’t have to be more than just doing a couple of sun saluts, when you start benefit from your practice (if this routine suits you) you will soon start to crave for more. Remember, yoga should give energy, not take it – so whatever you do, make sure your practice raise your energy level. If not, try a new routine, or let go of the demands you put on your self. A little every day is often better than a vigorous practice once every now and then. Be true to yourself.
2. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just step on to your mat
Let go of every “have to” or “should”. Yoga is not about that, yoga is never anything you “have to” do or “should” do. A good way to start or keep up with a daily yoga routine is to let go of every demand, and start doing your practice as an honor to your body and your being. Your practice doesn’t have to be glorious or perfect, just make it a nice time for you.
A little practice is better than no practice. Just simply make it a routine to step on to your mat, sit down, take a few breaths and tune in to your body and its needs. Some days your practice may stop there. Some days you feel like doing more, continuing with sun saluts, flows, challenging poses or a spontaneous dance! Everything you do is enough. Some days your practice will last only a couple of minutes, some days it will be longer. Whatever, it is perfect just the way it is. Remember, your daily yoga practice contains a lot more than the minutes you spend on your mat!
3. Keep your practice safe!
Remember, you do your practice for your own sake. You do your practice for your body and for your mind, and above any other reason, this should be considered while you do your practice. You don’t need to set any goals or work towards any peak postures, just learn to listen to your body and follow your body’s needs – your body will be the best teacher you can ever have. Your practice don’t need to be perfect, but make sure your practice keeps being safe for your body, and watch out your technique. Don’t do any advanced postures without guidance. A youtube tutorial is never the same as teaching by a teacher. It’s a good idea to keep up with practicing with a teacher every now and then for ideas and techniques guidance. Consulting a teacher for private session is maybe a good idea if you want to deepen your practice and have some personal feedback and help.
Safety first! Always listen to your body, and stay away from postures or sequences you feel unsecure about.
4. Make a nice setting
You don’t need much do yoga at home, just make sure you have a little space where you can relax and surrender to your practice. A good idea is to make a little space at home that you can connect with yoga. Make sure you turn of your television or radio, turn of your phone, and maybe lock the door. If youre not alone, let your friends or family know you do yoga and may not want to be disturbed. Spend a little time to create a nice setting if this is something you think you benefit from. Maybe light a candle or incense. Some people like making a little altar with a symbol, picture or statue that make them feel in a good mood, relaxed and happy. It don’t have to be a Buddha or an Indian God, just chose something you like – flowers, a picture of your beloved or something else that has a personal value for you.
5. Have fun, and remember the cause why you do your yoga.
Last, do not forget why you do your yoga and what personal benefits you receive from your practice. Reflect about your practice and why you do it, maybe write down some of the reasons you do yoga and keep them at your altar. Always remember you do your yoga for your own sake. Keep having fun every time you step on to your mat, and don’t make it to serious. When you don’t like doing your practice – don’t do it. Do some reflection instead and ask yourself what you need to change to enjoy it. Maybe you need a challenge, or you need to take a step back and make your practice softer.
Let your yoga be your you-time. Have fun. Enjoy your body. And always end your practice with a smile and a Namaste to honor yourself.