Doing yoga at home sounds like a great idea, but it often doesn't work out like we plan. We either end up running out of time, we think there's not enough space, maybe our apartment is too messy... whatever the excuse is, we always seem to find one that stops us from practicing.
Being an online yoga teacher and at home yoga student over the past couple of years has taught me a lot of things about how to maintain a yoga practice at home that I actually want to do regularly. Of course, there are always days where I'm far too busy and things happen that prohibit me from actually doing yoga at home, but the yoga practice happens far more often with the following tips/suggestions than without.
So, here are 5 tips and suggestions on how you can create an at home yoga practice that you'll actually want to do regularly.
1. Create a safe & happy space.
If you designate a safe, comfortable, and pleasant space where you're going to roll out your mat every time, then you're more likely to want to return to your practice. Even if you're apartment is small, you can still say, "Okay, I am most happy by this window because there's a lot of light coming in and these photos here make me smile." There's always a way to fit your yoga mat nearby a space in your home that you love (you'll find a way, trust me). If you have lots of space, then try designing a specific area that is only for your yoga practice. There's a beautiful book a friend of mine gave me called Yoga At Home that has so many inspiring photos and stories of the spaces that people have created for their at home yoga practices. If you're intersted and serious about starting a practice of your own, definitely check that one out.
2. Have a routine to follow.
Whether you decide to go at it alone or follow along with a yoga video (I provide over 100 free yoga videos on my YouTube channel), it is helpful to have a set routine to follow. This way you can just begin and follow along rather than getting stumped on what to do next. This can be discouraging, which will ultimately diminish your desire to continue. There are tons of online yoga videos that you can follow, including my channel, ChriskaYoga where I have over 100 online yoga classes already on there and post new videos every Monday and Wednesday that you can follow along with (shameless self-promo).
3. Make sure there will be minimal to no interruptions.
There is nothing worse than having your phone ring in the middle of a sun salutation, or bettet yet, savasana. This may be impossible for some (stay at home parents and/or pet owners), but if at all possible, set aside a time for yoga where you know you won't be interrupted. Turn your phone on silent and just be alone with your yoga practice. Even if you just practice for 10 minutes, this one thing alone can do wonders for your mental heatlh.
4. Find what props (if any) work for you.
You'll definitely want to get a good yoga mat (probably in a color that you like so you'll actually enjoy looking at it). Yoga mats prevent you from slipping if your hands and feet get sweaty, they provide guidelines for alignment and instruction, and they also provide some cushion for your joints when you place them on the ground. In addition to a mat, you can also get yoga blocks, a yoga strap, a yoga blanket, and a yoga bolster. These are not just fancy things you see in bulk at a yoga studio. They're things that you can have and use at home to help you advance your practice in a healthy and safe way. I did a whole video explaininghow and why to use yoga props if you're interested.
5. Schedule eating for after yoga.
Doing yoga on a full stomach is not recommended. If you are one of those people who has to eat as soon as you wake up, then try waiting about an hour or so before praticing yoga. Forward bends, twists or even backbends and inversions are super uncomfortable with a stomach full of undigested food. You have been warned.
Are you confused by what yoga accessories you should get? There's so much out there, that sometimes it's hard to know what would be helpful, what we'd actually use, and what would end up collecting dust. As an RYT 500 level yoga teacher, I've been around the "yoga block" a few times (get it? get it? huh?). I know what I like in terms of yoga "stuff," and what I don't use. I also know why I like it and use it.
In this post (and video), I'll show you some of the things that I use and love on a regular basis, and I'll tell you why they're helpful. This way you can make an informed decision on whether or not they're right for you and your practice.
I also posted a video on my YouTube channel, ChriskaYoga, where I describe each thing and why I like it. You can watch the video below!
The 10 for 10 Yoga Challenge is a 10 day challenge to help you kick start your yoga practice! For the challenge, you'll get one 10 minute yoga lesson each day for 10 straight days. The lessons are short and sweet, and they are great to do if you're looking to practice yoga on a regular basis, but you're short on time and don't know where to start. The best part is that all the videos are FREE to access, and you can do the challenge as many times as you'd like. Also, if you like a particular lesson and want to do it again another time, you can feel free to repeat the lessons whenever you want.
Here are all of the videos for the challenge plus the introduction: http://bit.ly/10for10yogachallenge
I hope you enjoy the 10 for 10 Yoga Challenge, and don't forget to subscribe to my ChriskaYoga YouTube channel for even more free online yoga classes. I post a new one every week!
10 for 10 Yoga Challenge
For those who have never meditated before, it may seem like something that is absolutely impossible. We are expected to sit or lie down with our eyes close and focus on nothing. Really? You’ve got to be kidding me.
Now you’re probably expecting me to tell you all the benefits of meditation and why it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Well, technically it’s been around far longer than sliced bread, so I’m not going to tell you that. I’m also not going to tell you all the benefits. It has been researched and written about over and over and over again for years now, and we all already know the benefits of meditation. If by some off chance you have no idea, here’s a few links to fill you in:
What I am going to tell you is how to start a meditation practice that you can stick to and reap the benefits from for yourself. So, if you have been thinking of starting a meditation practice, but haven’t had the time or have tried it before and found that it “wasn’t for you,” then think again. Meditation is for everyone because it is a necessary part of bringing peace into ourselves and our world.
So, without further ado, here are four ways on how to start and stick to a meditation practice.
Understand that it’s all in your head.
I’m going to be very blunt with you right now. The only reason that you believe “meditation isn’t for you” is merely because that’s what you believe. It’s a negative thought that you fabricated (or that someone else fed to you) when you first heard about meditation. Then when you tried to meditate for yourself, you found it to be challenging, which reaffirmed the original negative thought.
Do you think that when I first started meditating, I didn’t find it challenging? Do you think that I just sat down, closed my eyes, took a deep breath in and achieved enlightenment? No. Not even close. Even to this day, after practicing meditation for a good 3 years almost (and sporadically before then as well), my mind still won’t shut up. I have some good days and some bad days, but I have ultimately come to understand that my overall state of wellbeing is far better when I meditate than when I don’t. If you take the time out to practice regularly, you will see that too. I guarantee it.
Set aside time everyday.
Be diligent about this part. Take 10 minutes after you wake up in the morning or 10 minutes before you go to sleep at night. C’mon, you can spare 10 minutes! No, then make it 5. If you can’t do 5, make it 2. Just start out with whatever you can, and set aside a special time each day to practice. Even a few minutes each day are better than none at all.
Decide what you’re going to focus on.
There are a variety of ways you can approach meditation. You can focus on your breath, you can focus on an idea or concept, you can visualize a situation, or you can even try a guided meditation. If you find you’re not benefitting from one form of meditation, then give something else a try. Go at it from a different approach. There are many different methods you can try, and they are all beneficial. If you’d like some ideas for meditation exercises, check out this free ebook including 5 simple meditation exercises that’ll get you going. You can also try these guided meditations as well, which provides you with a voice to focus on rather than the chatter in your mind.
Don’t give up on yourself.
This goes back to the first point in stating that meditation is challenging, and you are likely to want to give up after your first or second try. It does not come easily to some people, and for most, it may feel as if your thoughts will never quiet down. The thing is that you are never going to reap the ridiculously amazing benefits that meditation has for your life if you don’t get past the initial “hard part.” This “hard part” is otherwise known as consistent practice.
Girl On Yoga is a blog about yoga, lifestyle, and healthy / mindful living. If you have any questions that you'd like answered on the blog, submit them here.
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