Tips to Ramp Up Your Yoga Practice at Home
by Sheila Johnson
You’ve been attending yoga classes regularly for the last year, and occasionally you roll out a mat at home. But with the inability to visit a studio right now because of the pandemic, perhaps you’re feeling less than motivated about your practice. If the will is there but you’re not sure how to start a home practice, it can feel a bit overwhelming.
Truly, it doesn’t take much to maintain your practice at home. With a few tweaks and a little help from a few tools and technology, not only can you return to your practice, but you could even take it to the next level.
Making the Space
Fortunately, a home yoga practice is both convenient and inexpensive, and it doesn’t take much to set one up. While it’s possible to do yoga anywhere your mat will fit, a clean, quiet space gets you in the mindset for yoga so you’re not distracted by other household responsibilities. In addition to a well-chosen yoga mat, Yoga Outlet recommends outfitting your practice space with yoga props, a meditation cushion, and an altar with objects to inspire your practice.
If it’s hard to stick to a flow without real-time instruction, look to see if any local studios are offering live-streaming classes. This can be a great way to stick to your power vinyasa goals and even feel a sense of community.
If studio streaming doesn’t work, you can always use a streaming device to broadcast videos to your TV so you’re not craning your neck to view a small laptop screen or your phone. Simple streaming devices start around $30, but since device compatibility varies, you’ll want to compare streaming devices to find one that works for your TV.
Consider Practicing Outdoors
Practicing outdoors has a lot of perks. Not only do you reap the many wellness benefits of the outdoors, but natural sounds are an ideal backdrop to yoga and meditation. Depending on how small or busy your home is, outdoors may be the only space you have to practice.
While less comfortable than watching on TV, your phone is a useful tool for practicing yoga outdoors. Rather than relying on one or two memorized flows, you can use yoga apps and videos to keep your practice interesting. Since it’s challenging to follow a fast-paced flow on a small screen, choose yoga sessions that focus on just a few poses. By taking a deep dive into challenging poses, you can push yourself to learn something new.
A word of caution here: Without a teacher to monitor your poses for safety, it’s important not to try anything that could cause injury. At home, you are responsible for yourself, and this means sticking to a safe practice.
Supplement Your Practice
If yoga was your singular go-to prior to the pandemic, it can still be a priority, but it’s also wise to supplement this activity with different styles of yoga and even other types of activities like walking, bodyweight exercises, qigong or meditation. Adding in different ways to move your body will significantly enhance your yoga practice and help you maintain calm.
While it can be difficult to adapt your practice to your home, the overall benefits are well worth the effort. No, it’s not the same as feeling connected with others face to fact, but it still provides a way for you to decompress and tend to your mental and physical health. So be patient and kind with yourself as you navigate this different way of practicing yoga.
Again, this is a practice as well as a mindset, so give yourself time to get in the flow with these adaptations. There will be some hiccups at first, and you may have to adjust your expectations a bit. But now, more than ever, having this practice to come to every day or every other day can be the tonic you need in these times of uncertainty.
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