Some folks ask how to start a home yoga practice so here is some information to get you started. First I will review the basics and then discuss how often to practice and what to practice. Remember though, the only right practice is regular practice!
Don’t let your desire for perfectionism get in your way. Just show up at your mat and practice. One of the amazing things about yoga is that despite the great benefits that it produces, it requires no costs.
There is not specific yoga training equipment that one has to use in order to obtain the desired results. There is no such thing as the perfect environment required for practicing yoga.
It is also highly recommended having an empty stomach, before starting your yoga exercises. As a general rule, one or two hours after a main meal is the ideal time for practicing yoga.
As breathing is a key element in yoga training, do not forget to also clear your nostrils and your throat. In what concerns the clothes you are supposed to wear, try to select something very comfortable and loose, such as training suits, sweat pants and a t-shirt, shorts or loose pajamas.
Some people would rather wear no clothes at all, but, nevertheless, most practitioners put something on, especially if the yoga session is not private.
The space should be quiet, and ideally used only for yoga. (Can be a section of any room)
Place a mat, blanket or towel on the floor.
The temperature should be moderate – not too cold and not too hot.
The room should have fresh air but not windy or cold.
Sunrise and sundown are desirable times for yoga (although any time works!)
Wear light comfortable clothing.
A bath or shower before is good for limberness -wait at least 20 minutes after
practicing before bathing)
In the morning wash, urinate and move the bowels before practice.
Practice before eating or wait two hours after a meal.
Physical Practice (asanas):
Do not practice if there is a fever or deep wounds.
Consult a teacher if there is an illness.
Spend five to ten minutes warming up/stretching before beginning practice.
Do not force your limbs into a difficult position.
In time your body will open.
We are after sensation not pain!
Beginners should hold each asana for 3-5 breaths.
After about three months of regular practice this can be increased to 5 to 10 breaths.
Always inhale and exhale through the nostrils unless specified otherwise.
Focus on making the breath slow and smooth.
At any time you need a rest come into child pose or Savasana (corpse pose)
Finish asanas with Savasana for five to ten minutes.
How often to practice?
The rule of thumb for how often to practice is simple.
It is better to practice for short duration regularly than to practice once a week for a long time.
In other words it is better to practice 4 times a week for forty-five minutes then to practice one day for two hours.
With that being said some people get what they need from practicing just a couple of times each week while other practice five or six times a week.
It varies from person to person.
On average though you will get the most benefit from your practice with average of four sessions per week.
The length of time of each session depends on your experience with yoga, time constraints, level of fitness, and motivation.
A good idea is to have a journal to keep track of your practice with information such as date, how long you practiced, what you practiced.
How you felt during and after your practice, what thoughts came to mind during practice.
How you felt later in the day as well as the next day, which postures were challenging and which were felt good.
General Framework For Your Session:
Always begin your practice with easy movements and build towards the more difficult postures ending with a cool down.
Imagine a bell curve, at the beginning of the bell curve is a moment of centering.
As you move up the curve there are warm-ups, then opening postures which help to build heat / flexibility / strength and at the top of the curve are the most challenging postures.
Moving down the other side of the bell curve are cool down postures followed by Savasana.
Here Is a Template That You Can Use to Create Your Own Practice Session:
- Opening postures
- Challenging postures
- Cool down postures
Postures To Practice:
Sometimes it is fun to have a practice without any preconceived notion of what to do and just see what comes out.
Sometime it is desirable to tune into your body and see what your body is asking for.
Other times you’ll want to plan your session as indicated above.
It is during this session that having theme will be helpful.
Some Classical Themes Include:
- Forward bends,
- Balance postures,
- Standing postures,
- Seated postures,
- Restorative postures,
- Hip openers,
- Shoulder openers,
- Strength building postures,
- Groin openers,
- Hamstring openers, and postures that build energy.
All this is a direct consequence of the fact that yoga is, more than a practice, a state of mind and a life style.
That is why your will, as well as your beliefs and attitudes towards this philosophical path are all that actually matter.
Moreover, a balanced and healthy diet, based on natural food, is a key issue for preparing yourself for your first yoga session.
What we eat can strongly affect both our mind and our soul, so it is crucial to mind what we eat.
Even though you do not need a specially designed place for performing your yoga class.
Make sure, when electing the room where you will be holding the class, to choose a place as far away from distractions, such as radio, street noise, TV as possible.
The place also needs to be clean and quiet and, if possible, ventilated.
A blanket is the accessory that you absolutely need in order to gain comfort when carrying out the exercises and the meditation.
They are performed in either sitting or lying positions, but, however, a towel or a mat, could work, as well.
In case you have not decided which could represent the best moment of the day for carrying out your yoga session
You have to know that both morning and evening practices can result very beneficial to your body and mind.
Thus, performing the exercises in the morning can contribute to your good shape for the whole day, as it improves your vitality level.
On the other hand, evening yoga practices helps to induce a restful and peaceful sleep.
Your yoga session should not exhaust you.
Do not hesitate to take a break, when you feel tired.
Actually, short breaks are common, between difficult exercises.
Keep in mind that as little as 15 minutes of correct yoga practice can produce marvelous results on your body and mind.
As a final idea, try to remember that the most important thing, when practicing yoga, is your attitude and your desire to discover the incredible sensations and experiences this ancient philosophy can provide.
Yoga is best practiced with a qualified teacher at first.
Watching all the video’s available on YouTube will only give you so much.
Before starting a home practice have a few lessons at a Yoga studio.
Learn the basics so you wont hurt yourself when doing yoga.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.
I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.
I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet