How To Begin A Home Yoga Practice

Even as an experienced yoga practitioner, the idea of beginning a personal practice can seem daunting. Follow the steps below and you’ll be well on your way towards building the foundation for a successful home yoga practice. Also, explore a special playlist with beautiful music for your yoga flow.
Insight Timer is the top free meditation app on iOS and Android.
practicing yoga at home
Insight Timer is the top free meditation app on iOS and Android.

Practicing in person with a yoga teacher is ideal, especially for beginners. A yoga teacher is able to watch you as you practice, will guide you into proper alignment and offer modifications that suit your body. Practicing yoga at home, however, is a nice complement to your studio classes and ideal for times when it’s just not possible to practice with others.

How To Start Yoga At Home

1. Creating A Home Yoga Space

Similar to a home meditation space, your at-home yoga space should be in an area that’s relatively quiet and free from distractions.

Of course, you’ll need more space than the simple corner that holds your meditation cushion. While a dedicated yoga space is ideal, it can be easy enough to move coffee tables aside, push furniture to the edge of the room, and clear out a temporary practice zone. Consider more than just the area of your yoga mat. At minimum, you should have 4 feet of extra space at the front, back and sides of your mat.

Outdoor yoga or porch yoga is lovely if you’re blessed with nice weather, but remember that wind, bugs and outdoor noise can become distractions even on beautiful days. If it’s warm out, your black yoga mat will retain heat very quickly, and if the weather isn’t ideal, your practice can suffer as your attention goes elsewhere.

Consider the floor, too. While a plush carpet under your mat could be nice for yoga nidra or a restorative yoga practice, it can be very destabilizing for a power yoga practice or any standing or balancing postures. Let your mat be the support you need, with a flat, stable surface below.

Read more: Explore the many benefits of yin yoga for body, mind and soul.

Investing in a home yoga mat, yoga blocks, straps or other props enhances your practice. If you don’t have props specific to yoga, you can always use a belt in place of a strap, a large book in place of a block, or pillows in lieu of bolsters.

Finally, where will the teacher be coming from? If you’re planning to follow along with an online video or audio program, consider internet and power connectivity, where a screen would go if you needed one, and sound.

Once your practical set up is complete, have fun with adding elements that will inspire you to practice. You might want to create a home altar in your yoga space with candles, scents, or photographs of loved ones. Decorate with inspirational images or quotes.

Read more: You don’t just find inner calm and strengthen your mental health in a remote beachside villa. You can intentionally create a safe place anywhere. Explore how to do a retreat at home for your wellbeing.

2. Finding A Home Yoga Teacher

Your home yoga teacher might be the very same one who teaches your studio classes, via an online platform. Or you decide to start practicing at home using Insight Yoga which gives people access to free, daily live yoga classes from world-renowned instructors. Insight Yoga classes will stream on the app’s live platform.

Start practicing at home with Insight Yoga.

Free, daily yoga classes. Find your new favorite in Insight Yoga’s class schedule.

When selecting an online yoga teacher, a good rule of thumb is to choose an instructor with a body or personality like yours. While most instructors will do their best to teach to all levels, each of us ultimately moves in a way that feels good to us. The type of class that feels best in your body will most likely align with a teacher who’s body is similar to yours.

On the other hand, a little aspiration never hurts. Don’t shy away from leaving your comfort zone. This is a major benefit of practicing yoga at home. You can freely fall from standing balances without bruising your ego, and you can use the pillows from your bed to support your attempts at crow pose. By embracing your newfound freedom to explore and have fun in the privacy of your own home, your practice will expand.

If you understand enough about how to structure a class, you may become your own home yoga teacher. In one sense, you’re always your own home yoga teacher. Nobody will be correcting you or giving you hands-on adjustments, so it’s up to you to be mindful and aware. Practice listening to your body and intuition. Just as you would in the studio, never force yourself into a pose that feels unsafe.

Read more: Explore 4 simple ways to amp up your yoga practice.

3. Set Intention

A home yoga class will be prone to distraction in new and different ways. If you’re streaming a class from your computer or phone, turn off notifications. All beeps and buzzes aside, there’s still the distraction of your kitchen, your bed, your family, or your pets.

If you live with others, begin by announcing a public intention if you need to. Let your family or roommates know that you’ll be doing yoga for the next hour, and unavailable. Inwardly, begin each session with your own personal intention.

A well-formed intention gives your mind an anchor on which to return to when you become distracted, and helps guide your practice by giving it some discipline. Keep your intention reasonable and achievable. It can help to state your attention in the present, as if it’s already happening. 

Your intention could be verbalizing your desire to remain on your mat through the end of the class. Intention can be as simple as a promise to pay attention to your breath or to remain present and aware.

Read more: Yoga is tool of several inner and outer practices. Learn how to come to your senses and bring more awareness to your asana practice.

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4. Dedicate Your Efforts

Just as you take care to warm the body before any advanced asana, spend time allowing yourself to slow down at the end of your practice. Resist jumping up off your mat to grab a snack in the kitchen, return to your desk or get back to your family. Stay for the savasana!

Read more: Learn about the deeper meaning of savasana in asana practice.

At home is the best place to linger for a luxuriously long cool-down stretch, some supine twists, and a marathon savasana. Prop yourself up with pillows and get cozy with blankets. Close with a guided yoga nidra practice or a relaxing meditation.

When you rise, spend some time with a brief gratitude meditation. Give thanks for the luxury of a mobile practice that you can take with you out of the studio and into your home or anywhere. 

Close by dedicating the benefits you’ve received to the benefit of everyone, everywhere. The more you take care of your own health and wellbeing, the better you’re able to help others.

Now you are all set to create your space and mindset for your own home yoga practice. Let this playlist of a few selected music tracks guide you through your flow or find the perfect tune in our large free meditation and yoga music library:

  1. Sun Salutation Flow With Vata Energy Yuval Ron 10:58
  2. Om For Yoga - Meditation Flow Praful 34:22
  3. Full Circle Ben Leinbach 6:56
  4. Toning Cheryl Chafee 7:36
  5. Ganga Ma Jai Uttal and Ben Leinbach 18:43
  6. Mindful Piano Chris Collins 10:00
  7. Ong Namo Carrie Grossman 7:11
  8. O Todo Divino Entre Nos Ben Leinbach 12:31

Read more: We enjoy feeling like we have control. Explore what it means to surrender in yoga and meditation practice.

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