Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter,
I receive a lot of suggestions for topics for these monthly Joyinmovement letters. I know many of you have Yoga practices and attend Yoga classes. However, I also field many questions about setting up a home-based Yoga practice. So let’s dig in and talk more about that!
It’s true that learning Yoga in a class from a skilled teacher is essential. Often though, classes can be full or just not the right class for you. That’s when a self-led, home-based Yoga practice is great to have in your self-care toolbox. An at-home Yoga practice allows for a different sense of body awareness than when practicing Yoga in a studio setting. Coupling a home practice with learning from a skilled teacher is a perfect combo.
Set The Space
At home there are often many distractions competing for attention. Set the space where you’ll practice. Remove distractions and make the space conducive to practicing Yoga. This can also mean asking family members to respect the space so as to create a setting without verbal or behavioral interruptions.
Create A Schedule
A routine is important. Maybe practicing when you first get home from work is better than first thing in the morning. Maybe midday works best. Maybe you need to try a variety of practice times and see what works best. Experiment with timing and the best choice will emerge.
Let Go Of Expectations
This is hard, I know. It’s a challenge not to have pre-existing expectations of what your Yoga practice should look like. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to figure out how many poses to include, how challenging should the poses be, how long should the practice session last……..all these questions can be draining, and you haven’t even started your practice yet!
Here are my words of wisdom: “Do whatever feels right!” How’s that for keeping it simple?
If you don’t keep it simple, you won’t keep up with your home-based Yoga sessions. Go with whatever your energy level is telling you. Feeling like restorative poses one day and then a more vigorous practice the next day is totally fine. Let your home-based practice ebb and flow based on your energy levels. That’s the advantage of being at home and enjoying a self-directed session!
Here are a few more tips:
1. Practice on a mat. This helps you avoid slipping. It also defines your space as a Yoga space, which keeps you in the Yoga mood.
2. Practice on a hard, even surface and avoid practicing on carpet. Practicing on carpet affects balance in both standing poses and poses such as downward dog.
3. Think about having some Yoga props handy. A Yoga strap, blocks, and a thick blanket can all be used to help with poses.
4. Start by practicing favorite poses first. Over time you can add in more challenging different poses. You can gain ideas for poses from Yoga books or videos.
As an aside, if you have a meditation practice, what I’ve written about setting the space, creating a schedule, and letting go of expectations also applies.
So there you have it. Yoga done at home rather than in a studio or with a group is a really different experience. It’s yours and yours alone during which you can create a routine of any length and with any poses that speak to you. It’s an exploration to savor and enjoy!
Until next month, let August unfold in ways that help you find Joyinmovement!