10 Tips for Doing Yoga at Home

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Posted on January 17th, 2012

10 Tips for Doing Yoga at Home
  1. Make enough room for a mat. You don’t need a lot of space to do yoga at home. Just enough room for your yoga mat, and a foot or two around all sides. Once you get your practice going, you’ll feel as much calm stepping onto your mat as you would stepping into a studio. State dependent memory—our tendency to adopt the same physiological state we remember being in at other times we did the activity—works in our favour here. We become calm and energized during our yoga practice and soon enough, after a number of sessions on the mat, we begin to feel calm and energized as soon as we step on it.
  2. Give yourself permission. Friends, family, work—everything and anything can become a reason to feel guilty about taking the time to do yoga at home. The bottom line is this: we can’t take care of others unless we take care of ourselves.
  3. Listen to your body. Your body knows what’s good for you and what’s not. Before you begin your practice, take a few minutes to sit or stand in stillness. Scan your body from your toes, up your legs to your knees and into your hips and lower back. Then scan up to your upper back, shoulders, arms, stomach and chest. Notice any sensations anywhere, ranging from simple sensations of energy to stronger ones of discomfort or pain. Stay tuned into those areas as you do your practice. If you feel increased pain or new pain be sure to back off and choose a different variation of the movement. Rest if you need it.
  4. Feel energized? On days when you feel energized, it can be great to do power vinyasa or kundalini yoga at home. These are more dynamic, flowing, energetic styles of yoga.
  5. Feel like you want to build energy? Kundalini yoga and power vinyasa flow are also great for building energy. If you’re looking for something less strenuous, try a Hatha practice.
  6. Feel like you need rest? Meditation, or yin yoga, are both very nourishing.
  7. Feel free to rest. Feel like you don’t have enough energy to do anything at all? Simply practicing savasana, where you lie flat on your back in corpse pose and simply let go, can be enough of a yoga at home practice some days.
  8. Feel free to meditate. On other days, you might just want to sit in meditation. Yoga asanas, or physical postures, are actually geared towards enabling us to sit comfortably in meditation. So sit still and rest in the rhythm of your breath—no guilt required!
  9. Give yourself permission to make it short and sweet. So a regular class is 75 minutes? What feels right for you? Your yoga at home practice can be as short or as long as you need it to be. Honour what’s right for you. Feeling like you need an asana practice, but can’t convince yourself to get going? Just remember that getting started is the hardest part. Try committing to doing “just seven minutes” but give yourself time for more in case you feel like it.
  10. Just do it. Bottom line: When you do yoga at home, even five minutes can bring in the stress-relieving, muscle toning and lengthening

LINDSEY LEWIS A certified Hatha, Kundalini and Yin yoga teacher, Lindsey is also a behind-the-scenes team member at www.myyogaonline.com. Find her yoga at home videos here, and her website here. Lindsey's personal mantra? Live free


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