5 Tips to Make Yoga at Home Work For You
By Alissa Rodgers
We’ve heard it time and time again, especially these past few months – “doing yoga at home is hard!” “I don’t have the right space!” “There are too many distractions!” “I can’t keep myself motivated!”
While there’s likely some truth to all of these statements, know that yes, you can keep caring for your body, mind and spirit in the comfort of your home – no matter what home looks and feels like to you.
Just like consistently going to the studio or gym, maintaining a home yoga practice takes discipline and commitment. In fact, it might even build these muscles for us more than our yoga we do outside of our home. It also requires a letting go of thinking that we have to find the “perfect” space and time. Yoga is never about perfection anyway. It’s about practice: doing what you can, with where you are at and what you have.
We all have the space and time at home if we want to find it – and our bodies and minds (and probably partners and/or kids) will thank us when we make yoga and mediation happen on the regular!
Here are a few tips we’ve found helpful as students and teachers over the years in helping to build and keep up with a home yoga practice…
Pro Tips for Creating & Sustaining a Home Yoga Practice:
- Designate a space. It can be anywhere that’s big enough to hold you and your yoga mat. Ideally, you have a hard, flat surface. If this isn’t possible, invest in a sturdy mat (Manduka’s Pro mat is my personal favorite). To the best of your ability, pick a space with minimal distractions (we know this is hard – feel free to tell your roommates to leave you alone for an hour!).
- Set-up your space. In your own way, make this space a little extra special and a place where you want to be. That might look like:
- Adding a lamp for soft lighting
- Having a basket with props you use for practice (buy a set of props for home if you don’t have them or check out our video here that shows how you can use household items for props)
- Including items that set the mood such as candles, trinkets, scents, plants, etc.
- Placing artwork, books, pictures, etc. around the space that provide you with inspiration
- Getting a journal or notebook to record and inspiration and reflections that might arise
- Having a means for timing and music (if you prefer music)
- Commit to a schedule. Put home practices in your calendar as a meeting with yourself and let others know (especially those in your home) that you will be unavailable during this time. We recommend 2 times per week to start.
- Turn off technology. Anticipate interruptions and do what you can to keep them at bay. Put your phone on airplane mode and if you are using your computer or tablet to stream a video, turn off all alerts.
- Set an intention. Yoga tends to be more inspiring and rewarding when we take time to set an intention for each practice. Is it to work through physical tension? Is it to relieve mental stress? Is it to grow in patience, kindness, gratitude, love or acceptance? Spend a minute or two at the start of your practice to reflect upon how you are feeling and what you need.
Many people utilize live stream or pre-recorded classes to guide them through a practice. There are lots of great sources out there including videos on YouTube. Live stream classes are nice because you are practicing live with others and there is a sense of community and accountability in that. Pre-recorded classes are great because you can do these at anytime and there are often short versions of classes available to watch on those days when you might not have a full hour to devote to your self-care. Whatever you choose, commitment and consistency are key. Keep at it – you are so worth this time you dedicate to yourself!
Alissa Rodgers, eRYT500, is the founder and CEO of GoYoga. She fell into yoga after the birth of her first son. Feeling desperate to lose baby weight, reconnect to her body as well as find a sense of community, she tried yoga after the urging of her best friend. While she did not love it at first, she kept going back 2-3 times a week because she had started to feel different. Sure enough the extra weight began to fall off, but more importantly she began to feel more energetic, clear and confident than she’d ever felt before. This eventually led to opening her own yoga studios (which total 8 now in the Columbus, Ohio area), leading yoga teacher trainings and providing both in person and virtual offerings that share the powerful tools and effects of yoga with people of all types. On top of being a business owner, she’s a single mom of 3 boys and therefore she understands the busyness, overwhelm and stress we can often feel. This is why she is passionate about inspiring people to commit to mindful practices of self care. We cannot serve others well if we first don’t take care of ourselves.