“Let your practice flow like a small stream, day to day, rather than like a big waterfall, which flows occasionally.”
Do you want to start developing a home yoga practice, but you’re not sure how?
The beauty of yoga is that it does not require any special equipment – contrary to what the industry surrounding it would like us to think. All you need is some time, enough space to stretch on the floor, and presence of mind. A home practice will enable you to follow your own rhythm and to attune in a deeper way to the needs of your body. You’ll become your own teacher that way.
5 steps to start a home yoga practice:
1. Define your practice spot
If you live in a small or crowded place, it might take some creative solutions to move furniture around and clear enough space to stretch out on the floor.
2. Set up the atmosphere
Keep the room where you practice well aired and, if possible, free from the smell of food, which overstimulates the senses.
Decorate your practice space with a couple of objects that are meaningful to you – an inspiring image, a flower, something you’ve found in nature. It will put you in the mood to practice and inspire you to keep coming back to the mat.
Keep in mind that less is usually more!
3. Make sure you do not get disturbed
Switch off your phone, computer, TV…
Yes, switch it off 🙂 Your practice deserves your undivided time and attention.
Ask your housemates not to disturb you. Don’t feel guilty about it – it also benefits them, when you’re grounded, calm and happy! Once people who are close to you see the positive outcomes of your practice, they’ll understand it and support you.
4. Make time to practice
Make an appointment with yourself on the mat. Do not leave it to inspiration.
It’s realistic to start with half-hour sessions, three to four times a week. If you don’t have that much time, make it 15–20 minutes a couple of times a week. In the long run, it’s more important how often you practice than for how long.
Mornings are said to be an ideal time to do yoga – on an empty stomach and an empty mind. But if you’re not a morning type, do it in the evening – as long as the heightened energy level does not disturb your sleep.
If you feel inspired to practice in between your scheduled sessions, that’s great too!
When you feel you don’t have time to practice, that’s when you need it most. Reconsider the time you spend on the computer or in front of the TV, reading the newspaper or having long phone calls with friends. During especially busy periods, find little gaps where you can just relax and breathe, or do an asana or two, and you will notice a huge difference.
5. Let go of expectations
Let go of expectations about what your practice should look or feel like and let it unfold inside of you moment to moment. This way you will gain a valuable insight into the state of your body and mind as it is, instead of feeling frustrated that you haven’t met your expectations.
The attention you bring to each breath and movement is what matters. It deepens the sensitivity of all the processes going on inside you. Cultivating awareness that way, your yoga postures will express an inner elegance, which is much deeper then the ‘perfect’ outer form.
And last but not least – enjoy it!