The most liberating and alluring aspect of yoga is that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment, a designated place or a particular body type in order to savor its benefits. It is accessible to all. The yoga practice meets us where we are and how we are — as long as we have the desire to remain dedicated to the science of yoga.
Due to prior commitments, work-life imbalances, geographical considerations and so on, yogis may sometimes (or oftentimes) find they are unable to make it to yoga class. Regardless, developing a home practice and committing to it is just as effective for deepening your relationship with the art of yoga.
Here are my top 10 tips for conducting your own safe yoga practice so you can take on the inner tranquility and mindfulness of yoga in the comfort of your home.
10 Tips for a Safe Home Yoga Practice
Pick a Comfortable Spot
Look for a spacious and distraction-free place in your house where you can indulge in daily yoga practices. Having a yoga mat rolled out every time is inviting. Deck the room with scented aromatherapy candles (go for sandalwood, jasmine or ocean breeze), spiritual quotes, soft lights and/or a welcoming Buddha statuette for an inspiring and enhanced yoga practice.
Gather Props and Ancillaries
Gather durable, high quality and colorful yoga props such as blocks, straps, pillows, etc. The yoga props assist in correct alignment, and comfortable entering and exiting from postures, thus keeping you safe from injuries. The props are also helpful in pose modifications, creativity and performance of advanced level yoga asanas.
(Here's How to Hold Proper Chaturanga Alignment, including with the use of yoga props.)
Honor your practice time as sacred and important. Promise to yourself that you will practice even if it is for 15 minutes. Stay committed to your yoga routine and feel positive about it. Discover your favorite style of yoga, whether Hatha or intensive Ashtanga yoga, for an interesting practice.
Another advantage of a home yoga practice is that you can prepare in advance. Stick to a preset schedule and time for your practice to avoid the possibility of gaps. If you need some extra preparation, learn from yoga books, online classes, etc. Surprise yourself with some spontaneity and show up to the mat regularly.
Discover the art of smart sequencing. Structure your yoga poses in a unique way when changing from the initial sequence to the next one. For creating smart sequences and to acquire the wisdom of yoga in-depth, consider enrolling in yoga teacher training in India.
(To get started, here are Fundamental Yoga Sequence for Beginners.)
Incorporate inversions into your sequencing. It can be intimidating in the beginning, but with the help of yoga props and being gentle with your body, you will start to love the inversions. These are great for clearing the head and feeling happier overall.
Stick With a Sequence
Performing the same yoga postures every day helps a practitioner gain mastery over it as well as is a powerful way to be consistent with the practice. If you are an Ashtangi, sequencing Ashtanga yoga postures with a focus on breath, drishti and mudra, takes you into a meditative state.
Pay Attention to the Body
The yoga teacher training in India ensures that the learners have grounded knowledge in anatomy, physiology and pathology. While home yoga practices pay attention to your body, listen to what is going on in your body and perform the postures accordingly. If you have physical limitations, look for variations of the poses to achieve maximum benefit.
Take Time to Breathe
Always include breathing exercises in your yoga routine. Gentle pranayama techniques help you to be present with yourself. Try to be still and meditate to experience nourishment and peacefulness. These techniques compliment asana practices and assist in devoted yoga practices.
Enjoy the Practice
Excess of anything is bad. Don’t overdo your yoga practice. Keep it simple, interesting, engaging and holistic. Respect your body and yoga science for optimal benefits. Make your home yoga practice enriching and restorative, yet fun and pleasurable, too!
(Read on for What to Expect From a Reputable Yoga Teacher Training.)