So, you’re interested in practicing yoga from your home. This is awesome!
Developing an at-home yoga practice not only makes your practice more sustainable because you are no longer constrained to making it to the yoga studio, it also gifts the opportunity of deepening your practice as you take the time to explore things on your own.
Having the option to practice at home, whether with a teacher who comes and visits you there, with a video on YouTube, or totally on your own, adds depth and a freshness to your practice.
This article is part one in a series on developing and sustaining a home yoga practice. As a yoga teacher and yoga therapist of close to10 years, I have days where I seek out my own home practice even when I am teaching in the studio all day. There is something about practicing in your own space, one you set up for yourself, that is calming, beautifully personal and overall, just really peaceful.
Within my business, The Yoga Wellness Space, I actually focus on working with our yoga clients one-on-one from their homes. The first step in this process is setting up your home-yoga space.
Here are my tips for setting up your home practice space:
Make Do With What you Have
• For example, I live in New York City, as do all of my home-based yoga clients. Some of them have a massive amount of space, and like most New Yorker’s, many do not.
• If you have enough room to roll out a yoga mat, that’s a start. Now of course you want to feel free to stretch your limbs, but you may not need as much space as you think. Try out what you’ve got. Learning how to adapt is a part of the yogic path.
Set Up in the Same Spot Each Time (maybe varying from time to time)
• Let your home-yoga practice inspire a ritual. Once you find a spot that feels comfortable to practice in, let that be the spot you typically practice in. Maybe it will vary from time to time, (e.g. I have some students with beautiful outdoor spaces that when it is cold or rainy will come indoors), but just as any yoga studio has a practice room, have a space that you regularly devote to your practice.
• If it interests you, decorate this space with an altar, flowers, or anything that inspires the state of mind you wish to find when getting on your yoga mat.
The Two Types of Home-Practice Spaces
1.The Transitory Space: Typically, if you have less room — maybe you’re a college student, practicing from your dorm — you might not have the space to set up an altar and keep set aside just for yoga. This is okay. Rearranging furniture pre- and post-practice is not out of the question. Let this be a part of the ritual and enjoy it.
2.The Set Space: This is a space that you keep open and especially set aside for yoga- this could be a separate room or just a space within a room that is devoted to this practice.
Again, don’t worry if you do not have a set space. Most of us cannot devote an entire room/space just to our in-home yoga studio. This has nothing to do with your level of commitment, just practicality. Whether using a transient or set space, a space is all you need.
Routine — Set a Time, Set a Day
• To be honest, I am not a total stickler on this one. It really depends on you. I have some days where I plan to practice at home, but it is not always the same day each week given that my weeks always look slightly different. Also, I believe in intuitive practicing, so I may spontaneously practice one evening and really be feeling a home-based morning practice the next day.
• The key is to know what works for you (or play around and figure this out if you’re unsure). If you are someone who wants/likes the routine, then by all means, have a set time and day to practice and this becomes a part of your ritual. If you like to be a little more free-flowing, then be that. Yoga is about honoring your true nature, your uniqueness, your beauty. When we learn to stop combatting that, we find peace.
Stay tuned for more articles around the home-based yoga practice coming out over the next several weeks. Until then, happy practicing!