Wouldn’t you just love to be one of those people who regularly practice yoga at home, effortlessly? In this article I will share some tips with you, to help you become one of those people.
Ashtanga Guru Pattabhi Jois' most famous quote is “Practice and all is coming.” Patthabi Jois encourages us with this saying to have a long-term, consistent yoga practice. With the words “all is coming”, I believe he means that by opening the body and mind consistently through yoga, truth reveals itself to you in time, and with truth comes a deep peace.
1 Create a comfortable spot for your yoga practice
If you have an extra room that you can devote to your yoga, great! Having your yoga mat unrolled and out all the time is certainly inviting.
Most of us will have to be more flexible and create a space when we want to practise. Try and find a spot where it's peaceful and quiet, with as much space around you as possible. An empty piece of wall can be handy as well since the wall is a great prop. If you like, it can be nice and even helpful to create some atmosphere with a candle or an incense stick.
Things like candles and incense are just extras, and by no means necessary to practise yoga. You can be anywhere as long as you have enough space around you so you don’t bump into tables, chairs, etc. I have practised in the living room with my husband present, having his breakfast and reading his paper, even commenting now and then. Not ideal, but I still got my practice in, which is the most important message of this article.
So be creative and get on your mat no matter what! Create the best space you can and enjoy your practice!
2 Get your yoga accessories
All you really need is a yoga mat, preferably non-slip. There are many mats out there that work, but paying a little more usually does mean a yoga mat that is more resistant to slipping. You can also buy an organic mat, to be environmentally friendly. Blocks are great, especially if your body is tight, but they can be replaced with books and other household stuff. A bolster is super nice, but for years I used a stack of pillows and blankets instead.
With accessories, you have the same deal as with space, though: I have been in places where there was no yoga mat, and I found a piece of carpet to practise on. I have even practised on beds in hotel rooms where there was no space to roll out a mat. Just be creative... no excuses :-)
3 Stay safe, prevent injury
This is one tip with no shortcuts. Always watch your boundaries and especially be mindful of your body’s vulnerable areas. Particularly vulnerable areas are knees, hips, spine and neck. If you feel any painful sensations, adjust, soften, come out of the pose if you need to. Don’t force or push.
If you feel any painful sensations, adjust, soften, come out of the pose if you need to. Don’t force or push.
Warm up your body properly before attempting more advanced poses, and keep checking in if it feels okay to be in a pose. Be especially mindful during transitions between poses — these are moments of potential danger because we tend to pay less attention to our alignment at those moments.
4 Choose your yoga style / routine
What are you going to do when you are on your mat? The first question to ask is..... “What do my body and mind need?”
Something active to get the juices flowing or something more soft, restorative, to quiet body and mind? If you don’t know, you can let us help you find your style or just pick something (you can’t go wrong). The more you do yoga, the more you learn the effects of different practices and the more you learn to recognize what it is your body and mind need at different times.
If you pick an online class, don’t get stuck in reading too many class descriptions. The nature of the mind is to look for the perfect class to solve everything. That class doesn’t exist; you have to make it yourself.
If you pick an online class, don’t get stuck in reading too many class descriptions. The nature of the mind is to look for the perfect class to solve everything. That class doesn’t exist; you have to make it yourself. You can also decide to pick a yoga programme where we have put together a series of classes that fit well together.
Try one of our beginner programs.
Pick a style and teacher that suit you for the day, scan and look for a title that speaks to you and 'go for it'. The way you make the class perfect for you is through practising with full awareness, with as little resistance as possible. If there is a part you don’t like, breathe through it, observe and remember that how you react on the mat seeps through in how you react in daily life. In daily life, you will also come across situations you don’t like and choose not to change or are unable to change. Remember the words - “Practice and all will come. “
“Practice and all will come."
In time, your yoga practice on your mat will teach you to surrender more and more to what is. You will learn to stop resisting what is and to stop trying to change things. Next, you will be able to apply that perspective more in your life off the mat. The peace that comes from being able to accept what is will be great, I promise.
5 Enjoy your practice!
Don’t overdo it; if you don’t enjoy your yoga practice you will never keep it up.
6 Always relax with Savasana
It is really very important to give your body time to relax after a yoga practice. The nervous system needs time to assimilate the soothing benefits it has gained during the practice. You can otherwise feel unnecessarily wired after a yoga practice, especially after an intense yoga class.
7 Practise yoga regularly
Even once a week is regular and beneficial! Three times a week is great, every day is great too. What works for you? If it’s very important for you to achieve every goal, then it is much better to set a goal of practising three times a week, being able to do it and feeling proud of yourself, than to set a goal of practising every day and feeling shitty if you do only three times a week. A feeling of failure usually just makes you skip practices even more. So be honest, set realistic goals, and do what you can. A 10-minute yoga practice is still a practice and definitely counts.
8 So get on your mat, practise, and all will come...
Follow a guided programme on EkhartYoga
To help you will all the above steps you might like to follow our programme 30 Mornings with Yoga to get you on the mat every day. The programme features lots of different teachers so it's perfect if you are new to EkhartYoga or want to try a class with someone different.