Not Feeling the Yoga Studio? Follow These Tips to Start A Home Yoga Practice

A home yoga practice, or self-practice, is a yogi’s greatest treasure. These are the intimate moments that allow us to learn about who we are, what we need, and what yoga really means to us. However, it’s takes some time and effort to get to that sweet spot of being able to guide ourselves through our practice.
In a class setting, someone else is guiding the asana, the intention, and carrying the energy of the space. We can depend on them to energize us and to calm us down – to pick the right music, and to time the meditation. When we are alone, we must do these things for ourselves, and in the beginning, it can feel quite daunting.
In all honesty, I hated self-practice for years. I approached it as hard work and an undesirable chore. And now, I have finally found the sanctuary that is home practice. So, from me to you, these are the simplest and most straightforward tips that helped me love my solo yoga sessions.

When you’re ready to begin a home yoga practice, follow these 7 simple tips to get started:


Set a Time

At first, scheduling your home practice might be necessary. Setting a specific time and day for your practice helps you commit to yourself. You know that once this time and day arrives, you will have the time and space to get on your mat because you’ve set the time aside already.
This is also when you can decide how long your practice will be – remember, you can practice for as much or as little time as you like. Set an easy goal to begin with. Five sun salutations is a great place to start. Now if you’re like me . . . you might still put it off. Which leads us to the next point . . .

Stop Procrastinating

It’s a funny habit we humans have, but we tend to think up all sorts of things that need to be done right before we start our practice – or anything really. Because the practice can be intimidating at first, we avoid doing it.

So put down your device, or whatever you use to procrastinate – and then take a deep breath

I used to scroll through social media and answer emails for the same amount of time it would have taken me to practice, finding any excuse to be “too busy” to practice. The first step is the hardest but once you get on your mat and get moving, you’ll be instantly rewarded. Now get moving.

Roll Out Your Mat

I know, this seems really obvious. But rolling out the mat is what really starts the practice. It’s amazing how this little act can shift any desire to procrastinate or do something else. If it’s there, inviting you to practice, how can you say no? It’s waiting for you to sit or stand and breathe. That’s all. It’s not asking you to bust out two hours of Primary Series, unless you want to. So go ahead, roll it out, and see how you feel. You find yourself unable to resist the call.

Get Dressed – or Don’t

So here’s a wonderful thing about self-practice at home – you can wear whatever you like. But it has to be comfortable for you. Sometimes this means getting into the usual leggings and sports bra, but sometimes it doesn’t. If you want to practice in your pajamas, by all means do so.
You can practice in your underwear, heck you can even practice naked! Choose something that makes you feel awesome in your body and free to move. Ultimately you have to be comfortable in your skin, and what you wear (or don’t wear) in your practice contributes to that feeling of comfort, freedom and self-love.

Declutter Your Space

The body and the mind love it when there is space to move and breathe. If there is clutter where you are planning to practice, you might feel distracted or constricted. Take some time before your practice to create a sacred space, or just clear some of the visual clutter out of your field of vision.
Cleansing your space helps you clear your head before you even start your practice. It also gets you moving (literally) from your usual pattern into your new one. Think of it as a little ceremony in itself. Burning incense, lighting candles, and making a small an altar are all beautiful ways of creating an intentional practice space.


Get Inspired

Sometimes we need a little extra inspiration go get going and music is a great way to do this. If you have a favorite album, or your favorite teacher has their playlist on Spotify, play it. There are no rules as to what music is “right” for a yoga practice – you make the rules. I know folks who practice to hardcore metal – it’s all about whatever gets you in the mood!
For a healthy dose of music inspiration, check out the new free one-hour yoga playlist by YouAligned resident DJ Amberdehn.
Putting on an instructional yoga video is another great source of inspiration. Find one that is the right amount of time for you, and that is focusing on what you want to work on. Give the video a little preview to make sure you vibe with it. There are several instructional videos on YouAligned to choose from to get you started!

Let it Flow!

The beautiful thing about self-practice is that there is no wrong way to do it. So let all those big yawns and sighs out. Take the extra stretch, or hang out in Child’s Pose for a little longer. Move in ways that your body is asking. Roll around on the floor, or take a twirl. Do what feels good. You are the complete master of your yoga practice. The more you drop into this, and let go of your preconceptions of what you are supposed to be doing, the more joyful (and frequent) your home yoga practice will be.
Starting a home practice can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your yoga practice. It allows you to dive deeper into your personal experience, and you’ll gain so much along the way. Follow these steps and enjoy the journey! Namaste, yogis!

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Shay Grant

Shay became a yoga instructor after moving to London UK from Vancouver, Canada. After a break-up with competitive dance, she needed nourishing movement fell in love with yoga. She is trained in several disciplines as she believes each school of yoga has something valuable to offer.

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