Do you currently practise yoga at home? Is it something you’ve been meaning to do, but never quite manage to fit in?
My home yoga practice is one of the things I cherish the most. I know it can be difficult to build yoga into your daily life, so today I want to help you figure out the first few steps.
5 Benefits of Practising Yoga at Home
Here are some of the ways a daily home practice can improve your overall sense of wellbeing:
Yoga teaches you to breathe better
If you’re feeling stressed or under pressure, you may not be using the full capacity of your lungs. The body’s natural response to these triggers, sometimes called ‘the fight or flight response’, causes us to breathe from the top of the chest area, so our breaths become short and shallow. In yoga, we practice full belly breathing. This allows us to use the breath to guide the practice, moving consciously with each inhale and exhale.
Yoga helps build strength and flexibility
By practising regularly, you will start to release and loosen tight hamstrings, hips, shoulders and other common areas that suffer when we build up tension and stress.
Yoga encourages you to carve out time for yourself
It’s so important to make time for self-care. Yoga can help you become more aware of your body’s needs. If you show up on the mat each day, you will notice small changes to your energy levels and how you’re feeling. You’ll also learn tools and skills that can be applied to everyday life.
Practising yoga at home is free
A yoga studio is a wonderful place to learn, however classes can be expensive. They can also feel intimidating, especially if you’re new to yoga. These things make it easy to come up with an excuse not to go. Building a regular practice of your own allows you to take it with you wherever you go.
Yoga improves focus and attention
Yoga can help train the mind to become more present. Through practising yoga, you’ll start to learn how to focus and concentrate, which in turn will help you breathe better. When we breathe better, we think more clearly.
5 Steps to Starting a Home Yoga Practice
Buy a yoga mat
The simple act of rolling out your mat, even if you’re only going to sit on it for 5-10 minutes, will become a ritual that encourages you to unwind and relax. Our favourite mats from ecoYoga are kind to your body and the environment. Made from sustainable, plant-based materials here in the UK, the 100% rubber compound is also completely biodegradable.
Set a time and choose a place to practise
This doesn’t have to be every day or for a full hour. Start small and build from there. Stepping on to your mat once a week for 10-15 minutes is a great place to start. You will find the more time you practise, the longer you want to be there.
I find I practise best in the morning. I love the feeling of moving my body before the day starts and the rest of the house wakes up. If it’s winter or a cold morning, I wear a few layers and switch on a heater for 5-10 minutes. If evening’s work better with your schedule, that’s great. Mix it up over a few weeks and see what works best for you.
Be gentle with yourself
There is no right or wrong way to practise yoga. Sitting and noticing your breath for 5 minutes each day is a great place to start.
Keep it simple
When I first started a home practice, I thought I would never be able to remember which pose came next. If you share this fear, it’s important not to over-complicate things.
Practise with a friend
If the community aspect of a class appeals to you, you can recreate this at home with your partner, housemates or a friend. Alternatively, sign up to the next State of Liberty online retreat. Each stage of the retreat is made available at set times over the course of one weekend, so you’ll experience the different elements as a group. You’ll also be able to connect with fellow participants via our dedicated online forum, creating a powerful communal experience for everyone involved.
As you begin to feel more confident, you can start building up your sequences and improving your flow. It doesn’t need to be perfect or anything fancy. Try to take ownership of your body, be aware of how it’s feeling on any given day and decide how you would like to move.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself! Our bodies love to move and twist and open, but they need to be looked after. Yoga is a lifelong journey. The more you practise, the more amazed you will be by your body and how it moves.
Love Lizzie and Clem x