Yoga is one of the most beneficial practices and habits we can develop for our minds and bodies. You probably already know many things about the benefits of this ancient and yet modern practice, but we will do a brief recap.
Yoga practice not only provides good exercise, helping us to build strength in our muscles and improve our balance, but it can also help us to become mindful in our day to day lives, feeling more peaceful, calm and less stressed.
While going to the gym and attending classes is one of the best ways to practice, some of you may want to practice yoga every day in the comfort of your own home, allowing you to feel the benefits on a daily basis.
However, without the guidance of a teacher at home, picking up and carrying out your own practice may not be as easy as you first think. To help you get started, here is a selection of tips you can use to create a steady yoga routine at home.
#1. No Pressure
The first thing you’ll need to remember is the fact that you can’t pressure yourself into practicing yoga at home. You may feel like you’re underperforming, perhaps not being able to get into a certain position the whole way or feeling particularly inflexible.
It’s important that you remain calm and collected and remember that your flexibility and posture will get better in time. Don’t try and force yourself into a position as safety is most important.
#2. Use Apps or Online Classes
While you may be at home trying to remember every single detail of the routine you learned in your latest yoga class, why not take advantage of the yoga resources that are available to you.
There is a seemingly infinite amount of content online, from free classes on sites like YouTube to downloadable apps and premium programs from around the world. It’s definitely worth giving several of these platforms a go if you’re practicing from home, giving you the ability to find the one that’s best for you.
#3. Clear Your Mind
Before you start your practice, try clearing your mind from stress and anxieties by writing down your thoughts and feelings so you can enter your practice with a clear mind that’s focused on what you’re doing.
You could start by either writing in a book or a journal, or, if you feel more comfortable, on your computer. It doesn’t matter if you’re struggling for ideas on what to write about, just jot down whatever comes to mind and the rest will follow naturally.
All in all, this should help you to feel calmer like there’s a weight off your shoulders and as though all the stresses and worries of the day have washed away. Once you start getting into the swing of things, you’ll start to feel your mind coming back into the present moment, ready for your yoga practice.
#4. Set Practice Intentions
Of course, this sounds like a goal or a target that you need to achieve, but that’s not what a practice intention is. An intention is, in Buddhist terms, not something that practice with an aim for the future, but rather the path your choosing in the present moment.
Whether your intention is to start your day calmly or stress-free or you’re looking to wake your body up with an energetic routine, setting an intention will help you to guide your practice where you want it to go.
Continuing from what Sarah said, setting an intention doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re setting a definite end goal or task. You’re not aiming to complete a certain pose or practice for a certain amount of time. Instead, an intention in a broad statement that can benefit your life.
#5. Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing is such an important part of yoga, and if you’ve ever attended a class, you’ll be well aware of the fact that many instructors will take several minutes at the beginning of the class, and several at the end to draw their classes attention to their breath.
This is so important for the functional and meditative properties that this act provides you and your yoga session, to ensure that you’re practicing it at home too, perhaps even in the form of mediation.
#6. Practice the Same Postures
When you’re in the comfort of your own home, it’s hard to stay motivated, especially when it comes to trying out some new poses or routines. According to studies, by sticking with the same routine, you can become a master, since you’ll be able to practice your posture, strengthening your muscles and making sure you’re carrying out each pose correctly.
Sticking to the same routine is ideal for home practice since you can simply learn a short routine and then repeat it several times, making it easy to remember and simple yet effective to practice.
#7. Habits Come from Repetition
While this may not be the easy advice you’re looking for, the best way to build up a good habit like practicing yoga at home is to repeat it over and over again until it becomes a habit.
If you’re able to set up a set routine in your day, such as practicing yoga as soon as you wake up, or when you get in from work.
Setting a routine makes it much easier for you to associate a time of day with your practice, making it far more likely that you’re going to practice it. The more you practice at the same time, the more of a habit this will become until it’s an integral part of your day!”
Make sure that you’re not doing anything that could potentially harm your body and only go as far as you feel comfortable, something you can be sure will improve over time.
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