Yoga at home - 10 tips for your home practice
Feeling the inertia of practicing yoga at home instead of your usual yoga studio? Here are 10 tips on how to get fired up and started!
Yoga is a wonderful sport with multiple benefits. But as with beginning any fitness routine, there might be several things that are keeping you from practising, such as a tight budget, a busy work schedule, or simply just the inertia from being inactive. Here are 10 tips for getting started on a yoga regime from the comfort of your own home.
1. Do your research
There are many different types of yoga, and before you begin, it might be good to do some research. Some questions to ask yourself: Which poses call out to you? Which sequences look fun to you? Which style - Hatha’s slow and controlled pace, or Vinyasa’s powerful and flowing sequences - are you comfortable with?
The style of yoga you choose to stick to will help you choose the right yoga clothes and mat that are suitable for your practice.
2. Select a space
Regardless of the style of yoga that you are going for, you will need a decent-sized space with plenty of airflow. There should be no dangerous or sharp object around you that you might fall onto. It is also helpful if the space you have chosen is quiet and peaceful. Using scented candles (placed in a safe manner and location) can help to improve the ambience of your personal yoga corner!
3. Practice daily
It is best to block out an hour of the same part of each day for your yoga practice. If you practise daily, even for just 15 or 20 minutes, you might be able to see and feel the benefits quite quickly. You can also challenge yourself by trying a new posture weekly. This way, you will continue to improve, feel challenged, and engaged during your practice.
4. Switch off distractions
Switch off all forms of potential distractions, especially your phone and computer, when it is time for your practice. This will help you stay present in the moment, which can then help you reap the maximum benefit from your practice. Turning off distractions also helps you focus on getting your postures right, which is important if you want to stay injury-free.
5. Start small
You might be tempted to try out complicated poses or inversions – after all, those look great on Instagram! However, you might want to spend some time on the basics, especially if you are a beginner. Start off with a few Sun Salutations, and eventually, you’ll be ready to try the harder poses. Take things slowly, go with the flow, and trust your body. Progress only when you feel ready.
6. Practice on an empty stomach
It is best to practise yoga 2 - 3 hours before a meal. An empty stomach allows you to move with more ease on the mat. A full stomach, on the other hand, might lead to nausea, and that is not the best way to go about your practice. You would not want to be feeling uncomfortable while you attempt a new pose or even an inversion.
7. Warm up
As with all forms of physical exercises, it will be helpful for you to warm up adequately at the start of your practice. Begin with some slow, thoughtful Sun Salutations and Cat and Cow poses before moving onto the more challenging poses. This will help keep your body safe from injuries.
Remember to keep taking long, deep breaths during your practice. For Vinyasa flows, the goal is the work towards linking each move with one breath, which requires a lot of focus. If you are out of breath, you might want to listen to your body and slow the pace down. Once again, listen to your body, and breathe - your body will thank you for that.
9. Cool down
You’ll be all warmed up by the end of your practice. In order to gently ease back into your day, you will want to cool down at the end of a session. Include slow, restorative postures, such as the Savasana (lying down) at the end of your practice. During the Savasana, allow your mind and body to settle and return to a state of calmness and normalcy.
10. Learn from experts
There are many sources to learn from. It will be helpful to search for yoga videos and websites that call out to you, in order to learn about new sequences and poses that you can try during your next practice. Alternatively, we all have that one friend who is an expert yogi – why not reach out to him or her, and have a joint yoga session? (:
Written by: alphonso lim
Sport leader, decathlon
" The challenge of the savasana lies in its simplicity - few can master the art of staying still, silent, and alone with nothing but onerself and the present. "