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Setting up a yoga practice at home isn’t always easy. More so if you are new at yoga. While I always recommend for new yoga students to start by seeking out a class or a teacher to begin with, sometimes practicing at home is the only option we have. After all, we are still kind of in the middle of (hopefully soon end of) a pandemic and most classes were or are still cancelled. There are many other reasons why some people prefer or have to practice at home – whether it is for time reasons, financial reasons or maybe just because someone doesn’t feel comfortable, yet to practice in a studio full of people.

If this is you, I have you covered. This is a little guide to help you set up a safe practice at home.

  • Find your location

Sadly, not all of us live in a palace. Luckily, all it takes for you to practice yoga at home, is enough space to roll out your mat. I for once live in a one bedroom apartment and I just roll out my mat in the living room/kitchen area. Push aside your dining table and chairs, place your mat next to your bed. Maybe you have a nice living room with enough space to practice in.

I recommend, choosing a spot where you will have some quiet time for yourself. If you live with children, a husband/partner or even roommates, makes sure to find a room with a closable door. Even your bedroom will work fine, especially if you just wish to have a little 15 minute night time yoga practice.

If you have the chance to pick your spot, look for a room you feel at ease and comfortable in. Maybe light a candle or burn some incense – it will shift the energy instantly.

Although an outside space like a garden or a park can be very grounding, I do not necessarily recommend it as an adequate space for beginners, as it can bring many distractions. If you however feel like connecting to nature, please go ahead – a meditation in the grass or under a tree can feel magical.

  • Arm yourself with props

Props are a girls new best friend! Whether you are a beginner or a pro some props are a must-have for all yogis.

However I do understand, that if you are just dipping your toe in the yogi lake for the first time, that you might not want to invest in many, sometimes pricey items. Don’t worry I have you covered.

You will need a mat – whether it is a yogi mat or one for the gym is irrelevant for now. As long as it gives you enough stability and keeps you from hurting your knees. I recommend you make sure your mat doesn’t slide on the floor. If it does or you really don’t have any mat on hand, just practice on the floor directly – barefoot.

Find some pillows – no you are not going to sleep on them. However, they can offer some delicious support in various poses like supported seated forward fold or inversions. The thicker the cushion, the better in my eyes. It will be your best friend if you meditate whether it is to support your back when on your coach or to sit on, if you are on the floor.

Grab a blanket – When you start yoga, your knees will likely not be used to the pressure, especially in a low lunge or pigeon pose. So just slide the blanket under your knees when it starts to hurt.

Need a strap? Just grab a fabric belt or a gym band. It will make some poses a lot more accessible for you. Lie on your back, put the belt around one foot, hold the ends of the belt in your hands and stretch that leg to the ceiling. Feel the juicy stretch in your hamstring and the gentle release on your lower back. Switch sides

  • Start simple

Simple wins every time. There is no need to get extra fancy to become “good” at yoga. Simple and easy sequences are just as effective as practicing headstands or tricky binds. Especially if you are rather new at practicing yoga, I recommend you stick to simple sequences. Find an easy sequence that looks charming to you – the options are endless on the internet (videos, audio or even pdfs). Want some resources or help? Send me a message and I will help you get started.

I recommend trying to remember a small sequence like a sun salutation or a warrior flow, so you can totally focus on the movement and breathing rather than having to peak at a sequence on screen or even paper. Don’t worry, if you get the sequence wrong – it doesn’t matter what order you move your body in, as long as you move your body in a mindful way. The only aim for you is to tune into your movement and to pair it with your breath.

  • Listen to your body – leave your ego outside

One of the perks of practicing yoga at home, is that you don’t have to compare yourself to others. Obviously, there is no one around you, you might feel like you have to compete with. It is a great chance to leave your ego at the door. It will allow you to totally tune into your body’s needs.

As there will be no teacher to guide you either, it is especially important you 100% feel into your body. Listen to how far your body feels safe to go. Feel for the movements your body would like to make. Do you feel like opening your chest or take some cat/cows? Do you just need to stay in child’s pose for the whole practice? Don’t worry too much about how it looks. Does it feel 100% good? Continue. Do you feel a sharp pain? Don’t force and get out of the pose. We do strive to find comfort in the discomfort in yoga, however we never push passed the body’s limit – sharp pains are never a good sign.

Listen closely, your body will always keep you safe.

  • Don’t skip savasana

Okey, I am totally guilty of skipping savasana one out of two times I practice yoga for myself. Please don’t do that. Savasana, the corpse pose, where you just lay on the floor at the end of the practice, is kind of the whole reason why we practice yoga in the first place. We move our body in a mindful way to bring our awareness back into the present moment and the energy to flow.

I recommend – and will take the advice for myself too – you take and plan enough time to be able to practice savasana at the end of your practice. Give yourself those 5 extra minutes or even just 2 minutes to ground yourself and find stillness within yourself.

It will be the hardest part of your practice (even if you are just lying there), yet the most effective and helpful one.

Do you have any questions or need any help? Head over to my website and send me a message. I am more than happy to assist you in any way I can.

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