How to Start (and Maintain) a Yoga Practice at Home

5 min read

I am a firm believer in developing a consistent home-based yoga practice to improve overall health. The beauty of practicing at home is that anyone can do it, and very few supplies are required. Although this is appealing, it can also be quite overwhelming.

This guide will help you design a practice at home that you enjoy.

Set the Room

You should first create a dedicated space at home for your yoga practice. It could be a whole room or a small area in your bedroom to lay out your mat and props. Make sure that you have plenty of breathing room and space to move around. Keep the area neat.

This space should make one feel calm and happy. This will be your safe space to escape the daily grind, express yourself, and have fun. Make sure you choose wisely, and make the space feel like your home. Be creative!

Grab Some Gear

Don’t spend too much money on mats or props if you are just getting started with yoga. My first yoga mat was only $7, and it did the job perfectly!

If you plan to use the mat for a long time, it’s a good investment. I prefer a slightly thicker mat to protect my joints and be non-slip. This is especially true if I tend to sweat.

Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. Just wear clothing that will enable you to move and bend. It is also a good idea to invest in props such as blocks, straps, and bolsters, although they are not necessary. They are optional but can make difficult poses easier to achieve.

Set realistic goals

Decide how and when you will practice. Start with small and manageable goals to avoid self-sabotage or feelings of shame. For the first few days, I suggest that you try practicing at different times of the day for various durations. You’ll soon discover what works best for you.

Do not force yourself to do something you think you should. Listen to your body and let it happen naturally. You will always encounter resistance. You may not feel like practicing and instead prefer to watch TV or drink a glass of wine.

It has been very effective for me to do the same thing when I am in this kind of mood. When I feel like skipping my yoga session in favor of another non-productive activity, I change into my yoga clothes and sit on my mat for at least two minutes. I do nothing but breathe.

I’m compelled to move or meditate nine times out of 10 just by being on my mat. In no time, I’m back to my regular practice. If it didn’t work, I skipped yoga on that particular day. Be compassionate with yourself and exercise loving discipline.

Find Your Truth

This is the first step. You need to dig deep to understand why you are starting a yoga practice at home.

Sankalpa is the term used in yoga to describe resolve. Sankalpas differ from resolutions in that they are more positive than negative. Resolutions and intentions usually begin with “I’ll.”

There is nothing wrong with making these lifestyle changes, but the problem arises when there’s a sense of shame or guilt attached. You may feel that your current state isn’t good enough if you make a resolution such as “I will lose 10 pounds.” This reinforces the false idea that happiness, peace, and love are external to ourselves.

You are more likely to quit if you feel guilty, bad, or uncomfortable when you think about a goal you have set for yourself. Sankalpa is a goal you set for yourself based on your belief that you already possess all the resources you need to achieve that goal.

“I will stop smoking” is now “I honor myself and put my health first.”

“I will lose 10 pounds” becomes “I am proud of my body and I demonstrate this by living an active lifestyle.”

“I will call my parents more often,” becomes “I love them freely and abundantly.”

When setting your Sankalpa, speak at the moment as if the change that you desire is already within you and focus on the core values. You’re on track if thinking about your intention makes you happy. Keep digging if it makes you uncomfortable. It can be a long process, but the result is worth it.

Get Inspired

Reaching out to your community for inspiration is one of the best things you can do to inspire yourself in your yoga practice. You will find a lot of yoga classes available online. Try different teachers and styles!

Don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t work. Attend a live class now and again to learn how to fine-tune your practice.

These five steps will hopefully help you to develop and maintain a rewarding yoga practice at home! Be kind to yourself, and don’t get caught up in a structure that makes you feel suffocated or constrained. Compassion and fluidity are the key! Happy practicing.

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