Yoga is the word on everyone’s lips these days. It isn’t surprising because exercise is hard you guys, and yoga lets you feel all sorts of blissed out, stretchy goodness. From stress reduction to increased strength and flexibility, and an overall improved sense of well-being, it’s no wonder everyone is keen to embrace their inner yogi. But at 20 bucks a class, ain’t no one got time (or cash) for dat.
But it turns out; you can get your yoga on at home for free! Here’s our simple guide to starting your own home yoga practice.
Take LOTS Of Classes
Hate to break it to you, but there’s no replacement for a solid foundation. If you’ve never done yoga before, nothing beats an intensive beginners course to really kick-start your new yoga routine. Most studios do them and you’ll get a feel for the poses in no time! In an ideal world, you’ll keep going to a class every week or so to supplement your home yoga practice, just to make sure you’re not forming any bad habits!
Find An App Or Online Instructor
You might have to test a few of these out, some are amazing, and some are just crazy annoying. We love the Yoga Studio app with ready-made collections broken down into categories like beginners, intermediate and advanced essentials, sun salutations, yoga for runners, yoga for back pain and so on. Each of these categories has up to 11 sequences—ranging from five to 45 minutes—so you can choose to focus on flexibility, strength, balance or whatever else floats your boat. We also can’t get enough of Yoga with Adrienne.
Find A Comfortable Space
Ok, you kind of know what you’re doing, and you’ve got your comfiest yoga gear on, but where are you going to set up shop? The last thing you want is someone barging into the room when you’re that close to mastering your headstand! While it’s nice to have a dedicated yoga zone, all you really need is enough space to spread your arms out (and a wall or stable surface doesn’t hurt in case you lose your balance). So even if you live in a tiny house with loads of housemates, you’ll be able to make this work. Whether you’re in the lounge room, the bedroom or your backyard, just choose a place where you won’t be worried about people interrupting you constantly.
Pick A Time And Stick To It
We think that doing your yoga first thing in the morning is the best possible way to start your day, but find a time that works for you, and then stick to it. If you’re not a morning person, don’t try and force it. Whatever time you choose, make sure it works for you, for other people in your house (hot tip: don’t do yoga in the lounge room at 7pm when everyone else wants to watch Netflix) and then be consistent.
Yes, yoga is super peaceful and relaxing, but there are also some pretty intense poses (have you tried doing a handstand recently?!) so don’t just jump straight into those without getting into the zone first. If you’re using a good app or online instructor, follow along carefully, they’ll always take you through poses to warm your body up before getting you into anything crazy.
Focus On Your Breathing
While it sounds elementary because you do it all the time, consciously breathing will change your life. If you did your yoga classes like we told you to, you’ll remember your yoga teacher taking you through a breathing practice before moving through postures. It’s one of the most important aspects of yoga and as they say; yoga without breathing is no different to any other sport. Breathing is a great way to reduce tension, and after some at home practice, you’ll be able to use your breath to release daily tension. Win.
Much like anything we start at home where no one is watching, it’s easy to let the ol’ home yoga practice slip. If you need some extra motivation, check out Yoga with Adrienne’s 31 Days of Yoga challenge, and reward yourself with some new active wear when you’ve finished. And if you do slip up, just get back on track when you can.
Not quite up for yoga? Check out the Lazy Person's Guide To Mindfulness.
Image credit: Nancy Hanna