I was asked the other day how I went about setting up and settling into practicing yoga at *home.
Setting up in the very beginning was pretty simple. I already had a mat and as the boys of the household were on an extended visit to the UK, I moved the dining room table and lit some candles to make my very own yoga space. Then when the boys returned home (and wanted to eat) I nabbed what was our office at the time and turned it into a tiny “yoga studio”.
Settling in took longer; for the first month I followed the 30 day yoga challenge clips on the Do You Yoga You Tube channel. None of their online yoga sessions are any longer than 20 minutes so it wasn’t a huge sacrifice time wise over the 30 days yet it definitely allowed me to ingrain daily yoga into my life.
Two months after completing the 30 day yoga challenge I often find myself revisiting my favorite 30 day challenge classes. Day 24 (no sweat morning yoga) is one I often select when I just want some time on my mat and don’t necessarily want a “work out”. Even now I still practice yoga on a daily basis only the time spent and the intensity of the practice changes day to day depending on what my body, mind and soul require in that present moment.
The good stuff;
The biggest advantage of a home practice is that YOU decide what YOU need right in that present moment.
When I go to an “studio with a real live teacher” the class has been planned out and although I can make changes to some extent to make their practice suit my needs that day, I’m still following the path that they lay out. When I practice alone I get to choose the direction.
I don’t have to work around a timetable.
Practicing alone allows you to truly fit yoga into YOUR schedule. I prefer to practice before the sun rises, I love the solitude and the stillness and it sets me up for a great day. Once upon a time I would frequent a yoga studio on a Saturday or Sunday morning but I’ve lost count of times I’ve planned on going to a class only to get caught up at doing stuff with the kids, next thing I know I look at my watch and I should be on my mat in the city and instead I’m watching the kids cycle around in circles. Practicing at home means that my mat will always be there in my little yoga “studio” waiting for me, the kids however won’t always excitedly squeel “Mum! Mum! Did you see that one?”
I’m able to “teach” my kids.
What kids see, day in and day out becomes their norm. That’s why you often hear the phrase “break the cycle” in relation to domestic violence or welfare dependency. Monkey see, monkey do … My little monkeys are so used to yoga being a part of our household that they often come and ask me to put on an online kids yoga class and then happily pick a mat each and get their yoga on.
What you need;
Honestly? The only essential item is an uncluttered space big enough for you to lie down. That’s it!
I use a mat because the surface is sticky and it makes it somewhat easier to hold yoga poses because you don’t slide (although it makes doing the splits a tad “interesting” in fact I always attempt splits sans mat). I do have other yoga props such as a bolster and blocks which I acquired when I attended pregnancy yoga classes and they come in handy when doing restorative yoga sessions but these are more luxury items than necessities you can make a bolster by rolling up some blankets – everyone owns some blankets. 😉
The only thing I’d strongly suggest is that unless you have a pretty solid yoga background you attend some classes at a yoga studio where a teacher can check your form and make hands on adjustments. That way you understand what each pose should feel like. I attend at least one class per week and the teacher often makes slight adjustments which I then can then apply during my home practice. Win/Win!
If you do decide that practicing at home is something that you would like to try let me know how it goes.
Till next time
*at the park, in the central city or corner of the box