Having a dedicated home yoga practice is a wonderful, safe space for self-exploration. There are lots of benefits to practicing yoga at home.
Perhaps you are learning fundamental videos before entering a public yoga class, or checking it out to see if you like it.
You could be working on a specific pose,
educating yourself on a specific aspect of yoga, or you have an advanced or regular practice and don’t always need a teacher to guide you.
To practice hatha yoga is to listen with equal curiosity to:
the energy of the breath (prana)
and the mind
To dedicate yourself to the deepening of your own self-knowledge.
There is likely a comfortable place in your home to sit with yourself and practice a little yoga or meditation. Let’s find that place and set it up! A few small rituals before and after will set your home session up for success and ensure that your body is able to assimilate the benefits of the practice.
As an added benefit, doing yoga in your room will bring positivity energy - both to you and to the space!
Establish the space that you practice yoga. Have at least two feet of clear floor space around the perimeter of your mat.
Cleaning: Take 5-10 minutes to clean the room, your mat, and your body. Dirty things distract the mind and provide one more obstacle in its pursuit of peace. Sweep the floor before placing your mat. Spray your mat down. Brush your teeth or wipe your feet off. Just a little something so you feel fresh stepping into the space and onto your mat.
Gather all props nearby. (block, blanket, bolster, strap)
Take a moment before your practice to check-in. What brought you to the mat today? How does your body feel?
Begin to find your comfortable seat. Use props for more comfort. Move your tailbone forward and back until you find a centered location that provides grounding and support in your seated position. Stack your shoulders on top of your hips. Lengthen through your spine.
Take a few breaths. Where is the breath sitting in the body? Avoid any judgements like, “my breath is so shallow, it should be deeper.” This is just information for you to understand where your body is at in the present moment. Take note of it, work with it, or see if it changes naturally with your practice.
Perhaps press the palms together for a moment, set an intention, light a candle. Any small moment that feels right for you to acknowledge that you’ve created space for yourself.
AFTER: Ending your yoga practice. Explore the ways that you end your practice. Particularly if you are watching a video to practice yoga, I encourage you to take some quiet moments of stillness following the end of the physical poses.
Some suggestions include:
Lie in savasana for a few minutes, get up slowly
Sit comfortably with yourself for a moment or 10
Bring your hands to your heart, draw your chin toward your chest and turn your awareness to within
Recite a sloka, or peace chant
Have a moment of gratitude for taking the time to dedicate yourself to deepening your awareness of your mind, body and spirit
Creating a ritual before and after your yoga practice will create space for to explore the present moment with ease.