If you are asking, can I start doing yoga at home? Yes, you can definitely do it. Whether you are doing it due to the coronavirus pandemic or you simply enjoy doing things by yourself, you can unquestionably go ahead and start your yoga journey at home. Unfortunately, you can’t blindly start practicing yoga and expect to be a success—you need to consider several tips that include:
Attend an online yoga class
Since you are getting started, you know little about yoga. Thankfully, there are plenty of places you can get valuable information. Two of these places are yoga studios and gyms.
Most of the gyms and yoga studios now have online platforms where you can learn everything you need to know about yoga. And the beauty is most of them have free trials, so you can even learn yoga from experts for free!
Begin with finding a reputable online class and enroll. To get the most from the classes, ensure the courses align with your goals. For example, if you are looking to burn fat and lose weight, the courses should include fast-paced poses that will increase your metabolism rate hence burn fat.
If your goal is to improve your mindfulness, you need to attend meditation classes. Are you looking to repair muscles? You should attend restorative yoga classes.
The good thing about online classes is the classes are professionally designed to give you step-by-step guidance and you can ask your instructor questions. Here is an example of a yoga guide you can use to your advantage.
Online courses are great but if you can’t afford them, there are plenty of free beginner-friendly videos on YouTube.
While the videos are free, the unfortunate thing is they are unstructured, and they don’t take you through the step-by-step journey you find in yoga classes. You also don’t have the luxury of asking questions to the instructor.
Make no mistake. This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from the free videos and become a professional yogi. You can, but it will take you a long time as you are left to figure things out by yourself.
Ensure your house is comfortable and quiet
You can practice yoga in any room of the house as long as it’s large enough and allows you free movement. The room should also be quiet. The last thing you want are distractions from the radio or children playing.
The room will even be better if it has a door so you can lock yourself from the outside world.
If you have people living with you, let them know you are practicing yoga, and they shouldn’t disturb you unless it’s an emergency.
Start with beginner-friendly poses.
There are all types of poses from beginner to expert level, and like any other skill, you can easily give up if you begin with the more advanced poses.
As a rule of thumb, start with the easy-to-strike poses, then build up from there. Some of the easy asanas (yoga poses) you can start with include:
Mountain pose: You start with your toes together and heels a little apart. With your weight evenly distributed on your feet, tuck in your hips and engage your core. While inhaling, reach your arms overhead. You can also place your hands in the prayer position in front of your chest and hold them there for five breaths.
Downward facing dog: You start on your hands and knees and with your hands spread wide and your index finger and thumb into the mat, lift your tailbone and press your butt up, drawing your hips to the ceiling. You should straighten your legs as you draw your hips up, so your head is between your arms and facing your knees.
Crescent lunge: Take a large step forward with your left foot, so your feet are almost a mat length apart. You should then bend your front knee, so your thigh is parallel to the floor. At this position, extend your arms towards the ceiling and hold for five breaths. Let go of the hold and repeat on the other side.
Warrior II: Like with the crescent lunge, take a big step forward, so your feet are mat length apart, then extend your hands, so they are parallel to the floor. You should then bend the left knee, so it’s at a 90-degree angle. At this position, point your toes forward and turn your right foot, so it’s perpendicular to your left foot. Finally, twist your torso to the right, so the left hip faces towards the front and the right hip to the back.
You should hold in this position for at least five breaths, then repeat.
Triangle: Start in the same position as Warrior II, then straighten your front leg and reach forward with your left hand. You should then tilt your torso forward and twist to make sure that it opens to the right side. You can rotate your arms to the 6 and 12 o’clock positions or rest the left hand on your shin or the ground. You can even extend your right hand’s fingers to the ceiling and hold in this position for five breaths, then repeat.
As you are making the poses, be mindful of your boundaries and vulnerable areas. If you feel any pain, adjust, soften or come out of the pose. Don’t push your body beyond what it can take as you risk having a yoga injury, and you don’t want one while you are just getting started, do you?
You can know how to execute every yoga pose expertly, but fail to benefit from it if you are inconsistent. Since you are getting started, practice every day. If you have a busy schedule, ensure that you practice at least three times a week.
A great way to ensure that you are consistent is to set goals and see them through. Think about what you want to get from yoga. Is it strength, stamina, flexibility, fight anxiety, or depression? This is the big goal. You should then break up this goal into small daily goals.
Don’t set a certain duration for your practice. Simply set a time when you will practice yoga and when that time comes, lay your mat and strike a few poses. It doesn’t matter the poses you do as long as you do it.
The worst you can do is postpone the practice as it’s only a matter of time before you completely fall off and stop practicing and your dream of becoming a yogi dies. And you don’t want this, do you?