Picture the scene: you’re all set to go—best active-luxe on, mat under your arm—and your car doesn’t start. Your kid starts screaming. Your boiler explodes. Work calls (the worst). Life just, well, happens.

Maybe you’ve been to a couple of classes and you just didn’t have the best time; you had nothing in common with the instructor or the other students, it was a freezing cold building, it was hard to get there…

I hear you.

But you don’t have to go to class to get the benefits of a yoga practice. I’m here to tell you that a home yoga practice can be the best thing ever. You often don’t have to pay or you can access at-home yoga classes amazingly affordably. And a massive bonus: no one looks at you funny if you fall over / fart / rest the entire class / sing along out of tune…

I’ve been practicing yoga for around 12 years and in that time I’ve probably been to less than 50 in-person classes. Home practice is my main-stay, and something I’d never be without. And, let’s face it, you can literally take it wherever you go. So, here’s my top 7 ways to help you make a home practice a thing:

1. Find a decent mat

This couldn’t be more important, especially if you’re planning to make this a regular thing. I’ve had budget yoga mats and there’s often zero support or grip (and you could end up finding tiny bits of yoga mat all over your house). Check out this post on how to find your perfect mat (hint: it doesn’t have to break the bank). But having a good mat means you’re more likely to be excited about rolling it out, and it’ll not frustrate you when you’re flowing.

Make sure you don’t store it in a greenhouse, outside, in the boot of your car, or even in high-traffic areas where it’ll either fade or get crispy or need cleaning before you use it. Put it next to your practice space (see no. 3), clean and rolled up ready to go. This can mean half the inspiration battle is already won.

Bonus tip: If you travel a lot and want to take your practice with you on the road, then get a travel mat as well, or even just a yoga towel. I’ve got this one from Yogitoes.

If you’re a TYR member, check out the amazing companies in your perks section where you can get teacher-recommended mats with an exclusive discount.

2. Commit

Too many teachers or blog posts on this topic would have you falsely believe you need to practice daily to be a yogi, and it’s simply not true; it’s plain unreasonable, and setting a post that high just means we’ll get frustrated when we inevitably fail at an everyday practice and we’ll give up. So work out what’s reasonable for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. Maybe just aim for once a week if that works… it’s all good. Once you’ve got your aim in sights, get in the habit mindset and stick to it.

3. Find your yoga space

Most of my home practice has taken place in tiny bedrooms over the years; you really don’t need much space. And it doesn’t need to be a shrine / altar / sacred space, either. If you have the space to dedicate to yoga, and want to add particular elements to this space that help you get in the mood (like pictures, candles, or ornaments), then go for it. Otherwise, don’t feel you need this kind of space in order to practice yoga at home. A corner of your living room, squeezed in between your bed and a radiator, in a corridor… it doesn’t matter where you practice, but that you practice.

Even the tidiness of the space can be a barrier. Pants all over the floor? Wet towels hanging up? Mess? Weird as it sounds, it can actually add to the experience. Don’t tidy it. I dare you. Digging deep for acceptance is one of the biggest benefits of our yoga practice.

4. Learn a sequence to practice regularly

Maybe you’ve got one in mind you know back-to-front from your time in classes. Or maybe you’re creative enough to come up with your own. If you do have something in mind, just keep practicing this sequence and see how it changes (or you change) each time you turn to it. I recommend this easy-going sun salutation practice from our library if you’re feeling stuck.

5. Find an online teacher or studio

If you’re looking to really learn yoga in a more holistic, sustainable, and supported way, then a teacher is your best friend. Find a teacher who resonates with you and your lifestyle, and classes and series that support your learning. I (obviously) recommend The Yoga Revolution. Not only is it like having a personal yoga teacher in your home, but it’s a place for the joyful yoga journey—both live and on-demand—that you didn’t know you needed.

6. Don’t skip savasana

One of my pet peeves is a yoga class that skips savasana. A huge part of this yoga experience is the unwinding, the disconnecting, the calming practice right at the end. All too often, online yoga classes, in a bid to cut down the filming time, will advise you do this closing practice but won’t actually guide you through it (which so many of us need).

So make sure you find a teacher who includes savasana in their online classes (like ours do), and make sure to stick around for it. We rarely take a minute to relax and breathe but it’s important for every process in your body. If you do happen to find a class without a savasana, learn how to do a body-scan meditation and make time for this slowing down.

Speaking of relaxing and breathing…

7. Carve out a mini moment for a little meditation

Even if it’s 30 seconds after your savasana, just sit comfortably and breathe. Maybe count your breaths, and just notice, REALLY notice, how you’re feeling. This is a moment for you to take a second before the chaos of normal living resumes. You could even set an intention for the rest of your day, give yourself a moment of kindness or self-love (because we all need that), or reflect on your yoga practice. The benefits are incredible. I promise.

The takeaway

Starting a home yoga practice can be amazing; you’ve suddenly got world-class yoga at your fingertips for less money wherever you are. Just don’t take it too seriously, have fun, and work on building this habit.

To help kickstart your journey, come join The Yoga Revolution’s inner circle for free classes, resources, and inspiration.

Chloe - TYR Founder & Joyful Living Coach

POSTED: 16/04/2020

Chloe is a yoga teacher, mindfulness guide, and joyful living coach, and she thinks the meaning of life is probably to be as happy as possible.

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