Let’s face it- as much as we would like to have infinite time and resources to attend the trendy yoga classes at the most popular studio in town, we don’t. Family, work, and financial setbacks often make it hard for us to get to class. Sometimes our kids get sick, or the boss wants us to stay late, and many of us cannot afford to attend a $10-$20 dollar class multiple times a week! Luckily, at-home practice can be an excellent supplement to studio time.
It is important to remember that at-home practice works best for yogis who have already grasped the basics. You should NOT just begin to practice at home without the help of an instructor who can offer adjustments to ensure you are executing your poses correctly. Regular practice with a certified instructor will help you avoid injury (very important!) and make your at-home practice easier, since you are already familiar with standard sequences.
Before you begin, consider the space in your home where you will begin your practice. It doesn’t need to have an earth-toned color scheme with candles and incense, but it should be a calm, quiet room with no distractions. Inform the other members of your household that you will be unavailable for a short time, and leave that cell phone in another room! Next, think about what goals you have in mind for your yoga practice. Are you looking to improve your flexibility, lose weight, enhance your mindfulness? Set specific goals that can be easily identified and you will be rewarded with a feeling of accomplishment!
Your at-home practice can be as unique as you are, however I believe there are 2 routes you can take.
1. Practice With DVDs
DVDs are an excellent resource for at-home practice and with so many types available, it has never been easier to find one that is just right for you. If you are an expecting yogi, prenatal DVDs can guide you through stretches for all 3 trimesters. If, like me, you find yourself suffering from anxiety, try a stress prevention workout. Maybe you want to include your little ones in your yoga routine, we even have a DVD just for kids. Find a DVD that you like and stick to it! This may seem redundant at first, however following the same sequence of poses leads to consistent practice and makes it easier to identify your goals.
Develop Your Own Sequence
This method is geared toward the more advanced yogi. By learning your strengths and weaknesses through your previous practice, you can develop a set of poses that is uniquely yours. When putting together your sequence, consider: what poses make you feel empowered or relaxed? Which poses do you shy away from? Make sure you include a healthy combination of both, since the poses you find difficult and tend to avoid are the ones that will strengthen your practice and help you move forward.