Not sure where to start with setting up a yoga practice at home? You can get started but find it tricky to stick to doing yoga at home. Read our tips on how to establish a personal yoga practice for life.
One of the things we get asked about most at Movement for Modern Life is how to successfully practice yoga at home. Setting up and sticking to a home practice is something that everyone who does yoga has struggled with. We have found some tips that are most helpful and we’re sharing them with you alongside articles to inspire you, so you can successfully practice at home. Let us know how you get on.
Consistency is the one thing that came up in almost everything we read and from everyone we asked about setting up a home practice. We love the way, MFML’s founder, Kat Farrants puts it in an article on tips to start a home practice. Kat writes:
“Remember that it’s hard to form a habit, but once it’s formed, old habits do die hard. Imagine how silly it would seem if someone said that they just couldn’t motivate themselves to clean their teeth! Change the way you think of it. Think of your home practice as an essential – as essential as cleaning your teeth. It doesn’t need to be a long practice, but just get on your mat and move. If only for 5 minutes.”
Make it Manageable
Lizzie Reumont suggests being realistic about how much time you have and you will be more likely to set yourself up for success. She writes: “Once you have started a practice, commit to a specific amount of time or a specific class. Starting a practice and then quitting half way through is a slippery slope. Be realistic with the time you have. If you are trying out something new: whether it’s a teacher or a style, try to make a commitment in the first five minutes or so. If you don’t enjoy the first few minutes, you still have time to change approach.”
It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling that yoga at home has to be a certain way. It doesn’t. You get to pick what works for you, whether that’s duration, time of day or location. After having a baby, Kate Walker realised that she was no longer able to find ninety minutes to practice and that in fact, a shorter practice made a world of difference. We realise life with a baby can be challenging and we hope that Kate’s article about fitting yoga in will help you if you find yourself in this position.
Make it Yours
You can practice in your pyjamas if that works for you, or turn your living room into your own retreat space. Kirsty Norton writes: “If you’d like to make it into more of a ritual, it’s nice to make a tea, light a candle and set your intention for the day ahead. Journaling at this time of day adds a nice element of expression. Do all this with presence, feeling like it’s another thing to do will just make it a chore. Choose behaviours and actions that support your heart.”
For Kat Farrants having an accessible, safe, inviting space to do yoga in is key to successfully practicing at home. Kat writes: “It is necessary to have somewhere that’s an inspiring and safe space for you to move and breathe deeply. A space which, if just for 5 minutes, is yours to inhabit fully and move freely. As a busy and practical person, the most important thing for me is that it must be somewhere accessible.” Kat suggests having and using things that make a space more meaningful to you. You could practice by candlelight or: “pick a scent, yoga oils or incense and keep it by your mat to evoke your sense of intention in your yoga practice.” There is more inspiration in Kat’s article on creating your home yoga space.
Tracy Johnson writes about the importance of keeping things varied. She writes: “Try to keep your home practice varied. When you practise at home it’s really tempting to stick with the flows and poses you like or are good at. In a class, you know the teacher will lead you to places you would rather avoid, like inversions or backbends. Keep the variety at home. With online classes you can try out different teachers and styles as well as different levels to keep you challenged and interested. If your practice becomes stale, it will start to wither and die, so feed it regularly with variety and keep things fresh.”
Set an Intention
Setting an intention and working with it first thing is a fantastic way to fill your day with meaning. In an article about setting up a daily morning practice, Nikita Akilapa discusses how this works: “If you set and intention, a point of meditation and focus for your asana practice, it can continue to come alive and permeate throughout the day. Intentions are a beautiful way to remain mindful off the mat and it’s exciting to observe how the themes unpack from one moment to the next as you navigate your day.”