How do I start doing yoga on my own?
Of course, being in a studio with an amazing teacher for adjustments and alignment help is invaluable, but having a place in your home to let go and breathe is very sacred.
With that in mind, we would love to share a few things that can make a difference in making time for yourself on the mat. It's so important not to beat yourself up for missing a day (or several). Just make sure you make it back to the mat and begin again.
Keep reading to learn how to set yourself up for a great at-home practice.
Set up a Dedicated Space for Your Mat
Have a designated corner of your home with a place for your mat, a foam roller, and blocks, if you have them. You could also have candles on a table with a plant. Basically, this corner lives as an instant yoga studio for when you roll out your mat. Holding a space within your home that gives off good, inviting energy will make you yearn to be sitting in that very corner on your mat.
Pick Some Tunes
Sometimes, sitting in silence for a few minutes or more (depending on the amount of time allotted for practice) and then turning on music can really inspire you to move. Music has the ability to help you release deeper into the moment, and your breath becomes part of the music. Choose songs that speak to you and are slow and relaxing. Try typing in Dreamy Vibes to your favorite music source.
Begin With Sun Salutations
Try beginning each practice with five rounds of Sun Salutation. Why? First, it builds internal heat, and sometimes this sequence alone is enough if you have a busy day. Starting your practice like this is an excellent way to warm up and feel out your body. Feel the tightness, the cracks, and go as slow as you like—after all, this is your practice. Monitoring where you feel tightness can help guide how you will practice that day. If you aren’t familiar with the Sun Salutations, you can always use YouTube and follow along. After a while, it will be second nature to you!
Just Move and Breathe
It’s important to let go of the expectations of what your practice is supposed to look like. If you know a few poses, start with those. Remember a pose you loved in a class? Incorporate that into your time on the mat. Some days, you'll feel that a restorative practice is needed, while others you may feel you want to do a more physical practice. If anything hurts, make sure to pull back and acknowledge the fact that you need to do less that day.
When you draw a blank on the next pose you want to do, come back to Downward Dog and breathe. Then, begin to move into any posture that feels good to you at the moment. Keep your breath in sync with your movement and make sure to keep symmetry in mind— try to mirror both sides of your practice for the left and right sides of the body.
Lie Down In Stillness
The best part of the practice is Savasana (your final rest), so try not to miss this crucial step at home. You (hopefully) wouldn't walk out of yoga class before this final stretch, so don't cheat yourself out of the reason you did all the work in the first place! It can last for three minutes to three hours—it doesn't matter, as long as you give yourself time for your breath to come back to steady, and the pose settles into your being.