Are you hoping to practice yoga at home this year? Perhaps the notion is high on your 2017 New Year resolution list, sandwiched between quitting sugar (once and for all!) and saving money for an amazing holiday.
Just before you re-arrange your living room to accommodate your new practice space, check out these inspiring tips to help you roll out the mat regularly and well beyond the first of January.
Set your intention.
Pause to reflect on what you truly need from your yoga. A strong, active practice to energise and get your blood pumping? A soothing evening wind-down? A mixture of both? Perhaps you are working with an injury, or hoping to ease a condition such as stress or anxiety with your yoga. Examining your purpose and setting an appropriate intention every time you hit the mat sets a powerful framework for your home practice to unfold.
Embody the yogic principle of satya (truthfulness) and honour your personal habits and preferences. Not a natural early-bird? Don’t kid yourself by aiming for a 5am practice five times a week! Instead, be kind, gentle and honest with yourself. Find a time and suitable frequency for your yoga that compliments your personality and lifestyle. That way, you’re more likely to stick to your healthy new habit and enjoy the positive results as they ripple through your life.
Get your diary on board.
Eyeball your schedule to determine a realistic time-slot for your yoga. 10 minutes every other day will serve you better than 90 minutes once a week if it’s likely to get bumped by other commitments. Pop your chosen time in your diary so you don’t forget and advise family members that this is ‘your time’.
This is the fun part! While yoga requires minimal equipment, you may like to splash out on some quality yoga props to enrich your experience and reinforce your new-found yoga routine.
Top of the list is a non-slip mat. If you have space to roll one out, you have space to practice. Some mats can be rolled up efficiently enough to go travelling with you, so you have no reason to miss a scheduled yoga session.
If you love luxuriating in soothing restorative yoga poses, a bolster is a must. Firm yet squishy, a bolster delivers a nurturing level of comfort and support so you can slide into a blissful state of relaxation. Bolster colours have moved well beyond the traditional purple and are readily available in such a gorgeous range of colours and patterns that you might find it hard to confine your bolster strictly to your yoga space!
One or two blankets will keep you cosy in savasana, as well as providing comfy padding for numerous floor-based poses.
Enhance your savasana with an eye pillow. By masking the light and offering gentle weight over the eyes, the sense of sight gets a break, plus the eyes and surrounding muscles are encouraged to soften.
Consider where you can comfortably roll out your mat to enjoy your yoga time. Favour a clean, airy and uncluttered area where you feel good and won’t be disturbed. You may have an entire room you can dedicate to your practice, or perhaps a space just big enough for you and the mat. Taking your yoga outside into nature could be a pleasant option too.
Wherever you choose, claim the space as your special ‘yoga zone’ and practice there every session wherever possible. Amp up the ambiance with music, candles, essential oils or whatever inspires you. To save time, be sure to have everything you need close by before you begin.
Selecting a few poses to practice or designing a complete sequence may feel daunting at first. Keep it fun, light and start simple. Generally, a complete yoga class begins with a seated check-in or intention-setting process and moves through standing and balance poses, then seated postures including twists, backbends and forward bends. Add an inversion if desired, and always round-out your mat-time with yoga’s ultimate pose of relaxation, savasana.
Most importantly - just start.
A home yoga practice well worth the effort. Remember if you fall off the wagon or miss a couple of planned sessions your yoga mat will lovingly welcome you back, no questions asked. Enjoy the ride and good luck!