So you’ve been going to a yoga class for a while and would now like to start developing a home practice too … what might you want to think about?
1. Where to practice
Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a room you can dedicate to your practice. But for most people it will be finding somewhere in the house (or perhaps the garden on a nice day) where you can practice undisturbed. So long as you have space for your yoga mat and enough space around you to move safely you’ll be fine.
2. Creating the right environment
To make your space special, maybe you’d like to have a candle (safely positioned) or some flowers, an ornament …. whatever you fancy really that just marks the space out as special to you. I’d suggest shutting out the cat and dog …. they always seem to want to join at the most inconvenient moments! Make sure you’ll be warm – perhaps have a blanket nearby to wrap yourself in for your final relaxation. And don’t forget to turn the phone to silent.
3. Getting started
Settle yourself first – slow, deep breathing – standing, sitting or laying as you prefer. Then do some warm up movements – gentle stretched. Then work through some postures that you are familiar with – trying to incorporate a range of movements – forward bend, backward bend,side bend, twist and inversion. And finally some breath work and relaxation. Avoid anything that is contraindicated for any health issues you may have. Don’t overthink what you plan to do … go with the flow … otherwise there’ll always be an excuse not to get started! It really doesn’t matter whether you spend 10 minutes, half an hour or more ….. just do it!
4. Keeping up the momentum
We tend to start something new full of enthusiasm … and then life starts to get in the way … I’m too busy, too tired, there’s something on TV (or whatever your pet excuse is!). It’s useful to note how good you feel after a practice, and any changes you notice in how you act and feel later.
5. Sources of inspiration
Your yoga teacher may provide home practice routines – I do for my students – see http://www.yogabeing.co.uk/resources. Yoga journal is a reputable site http://www.yogajournal.com The British Wheel of Yoga also has some poses http://www.bwy.org.uk/yoga-postures
Do be careful with what you pick up on the internet … anyone can put anything up and there is an awful lot of rubbish there!
6. Enjoy it
Really the most important thing ….. pick times of the day that suit you – it doesn’t have to be the same time everyday, or the same length of time … or even every day. …. just enjoy!