OK, so that’s a pretty big ask! Changing your life sounds dramatic, it sounds unattainable. But actually, I promise, it’s not at all dramatic, it’s totally attainable and more than that, you’ll just find it happening, when you least expected it to.
How has yoga changed my life? Well, in every single way and in every single day, but yoga in studios and gyms isn’t always the best thing for your daily journey into yoga. I do occasionally practice in workshops and see my teacher in class at studios, to get some of the group buzz and get feedback from my teacher on my practice. But, these are the reasons that I personally prefer a home yoga practice.
1. I get to bespoke my class
When I go to class,often I often can’t get to the right teacher’s class because they’re teaching at a time I can’t make. So I have to go to another class with another teacher and you have to do as the teacher says (it’d be rude not to!). Whereas I get to choose to practice with what i want to do, with the teacher I’m looking to practice with. I’ve been sitting all day? i’ll do an energetic, flow class which features hips. Had a tough day and need nourishment? I’ll do yin or restorative. Only have 5 minutes – yep, you get the idea…
2. I can practice outdoors
Admittedly, I live in the UK and this doesn’t happen every day. But when the weather is anything but rubbish, I take my yoga outside. I can hear the birds, look up at the sky, feel the wind and sun on my skin, and moving outdoors, in nature, is the very best thing in the world.
3. I can leave my ego aside
When in class, often my ego is invited before I am and struts into the room several paces before me. I know, this is my issue with my ego – but I’m tempted to compare, look around, and do everything un-yogic possible.
When I’m on my own, my practice is much safer, I’m not struggling to keep up or tempted to show off (rare now!) – I just focus on feeling my body moving and breathing, which is a marvellous feeling.
I don’t like show-offs, nor do i have any desire to be the show off. I don’t like the feeling of eyes on me when I’m in my yoga space, which is a sacred space – there are many studios and classes where this doesn’t happen. But I’ve had some bad experiences…
4. I don’t need to worry about my outfit or what I look like
Again, we ‘shouldn’t’ worry about these things, but nowadays yoga seems so trendy and I don’t like a fashion parade. Or if I do want a fashion parade (again, rare these days!), I like to separate it from my yoga class. I like to wear exactly what I want, have dirty hair and feel amazing, simply because I’m doing yoga, not feel bad because I’m ‘not good enough’.
5. I don’t need to get out of my PJ’s
When i practice first thing in the morning, I don’t want to put on ‘exercise gear’, i’ll do yoga exactly as I am. And if that’s in my PJ’s hugging a cuppa tea, that’s how i’ll do it.
I absolutely love yin and restorative yoga (which is basically going really deeply into yoga poses because you hold them for ages). I love nothing more than getting into my PJ’s, having a cup of camomile tea to hand, putting on a fire and getting really cozy as I settle into my yoga.
7. I can set aside an hour to do yoga and the class takes me an hour!
No getting early to get my spot in the studio, no hectic-hour long rush to get there, no gossiping after. For me, the whole of my studio escapade usually takes about 3 hours to do an hour or 75 minute class. Now I can do an hour’s yoga and it takes an hour.
8. I don’t have to mortgage my house to do my yoga
Even when their studio is too far to get to often, when they’re away or on retreat. I don’t have to take chances with my body with teachers I that don’t really work for me.
10. I can do exactly what I want to do, and what I need to do without worry
If the class I’m following does a handstand or headstand, I’ll do another pose suitable for me without the faff of the class breaking up and losing its flow. Or if I want to just carry on doing backbends and I’m not ready to finish, I can.
It’s magic, like that.
And actually, I find that I’m more able to listen to my body’s feedback on class and respond to it, and am a bit more physically and emotionally tuned in to the changes yoga causes in my body, mind and soul.
But do go to class too!
Having said that, I do enjoy going out to class. I love adjustments, I love the social and I love just seeing my teacher. I just don’t like to do that every day and I do love and in fact really feel the benefits of doing yoga every day.
And let your soul fly
And I love the feeling of my soul flying because I get to do exactly what I need and when I need it!
We’re all different, life is trial and error. There were times in my life I wouldn’t have been able to practice at home like this. Maybe now is your time, maybe it’s not. Maybe you’ll pick it all up in a few years and it’ll feel completely different.
Life is like that, and the great thing is – nothing ever stays the same. Just keep trying different things, and do what works for you. I will only share what works for me, but my home yoga practice has changed everything about my life, my body and my mind and has made me feel ever more spacious and free – maybe, just maybe, it will do for you too.
Keep experimenting and keep curious.