It is always much better to attend neighborhood yoga classes for better practice, but who has the time these days? If you have a full time job or a stay-at-home parent with young children to look after, attending regular classes could be a problem.
However, it’s not definite that you always have to do yoga at classes or with a group. In fact, some people prefer to do it alone, in the comfort of their own homes. Yoga classes can be a great social gathering for likeminded people and the perfect place to start yoga, but you can easily continue your lessons at home. In truth, that’s what most yoga enthusiasts do. They start with a few classes and then continue their yoga lessons at home, and return occasionally for some extra pointers.
Is it Better to Do Yoga at Home?
It is certainly more convenient to continue your yoga lessons at home. Unless you have time on your hands, it is tough to get ready and go to a yoga class after you are home from work, exhausted. Even if your classes are close to where you live or work, doing anything after work can be doubly exhausting. At home, you can do your yoga any time you like: after midnight, at the crack of dawn, midday, or before going to bed.
There’s a lot of materials to take help from, too. It’s not that you have to make up your own yoga asana when you are doing it at home. You can buy instructional DVDs anywhere for doing yoga at home, and YouTube literally has tens of thousands of videos explaining everything. You can try out different yoga videos ever day or just stick to the one that suits your style and pace.
Doing your yoga at home is the more affordable choice. You won’t have to pay for your classes week after week; all you need to pay for are some instructional DVDs. Usually these DVDs come with other useful information on diets and healthy living beside yoga instructions, so they are quite a bargain. Besides, everything you need to know is also available on YouTube, absolutely free. All you have to invest in are some comfortable yoga clothes and a yoga mat.
It is more private too, if you don’t like to exercise and sweat in public. You can take a break anytime you want and go at your own pace. You won’t have to struggle to keep up with other people around you, and neither do you have to feel embarrassed if you are harassed with yoga at first.
How to Do Yoga at Home
If you want to do your yoga at home, it is always better that you take a few beginner’s classes initially. A few weeks’ worth of classes will be enough to teach you the ropes and the positions, after which you can perfectly practice your yoga at home based on your classes, at your own time and pace.
You can return for top-up classes every now and then, too, in case you have forgotten some of the asanaor if you are doubting your positions. Online yoga classes or yoga videos on YouTube can help as well.
If you want to do yoga at home, these are some pointers that can help.
- Set a Time
Although one of the advantages of practicing yoga at home is your flexibility with timing, it is better if you have an appointed time. Early mornings are the best, before everyone wakes up, especially if you have young children or if you go to work. Any other time fits in as well, as long as you can give some exclusive time to yourself for practice without any kind of distraction.
The one-hour or one-and-a-half hour that you give to yoga should always be a time when you aren’t expecting anyone or when you won’t have your young children interfering with your practice.
- Set a Place
The location is just as important as the time. Your yoga practice should ideally be in a location that is not too congested or stuffy. Fresh air always helps and it is the best if you can do your yoga outside, i.e. in the backyard or a balcony. If that’s not possible, try to do it beside an open window, since breathing in fresh air is an important part of your yoga.
Alternatively, if you are practicing yoga with the help of DVDs or YouTube videos, your yoga may need to be placed in front of or close to the television or computer. You need to be within a short distance of your TV or computer to occasionally glance at it for your asana; at least, you need to be within earshot of it.
Besides, you cannot do your yoga in a congested place with too many furniture around you. A few inches around your yoga mat is extremely important, because you’ll need enough space to spread your arms and legs.
- Get the Right Gear and Look
There are no special clothes that you need for yoga; your most comfortable clothes will do the trick as long as they give you enough mobility. Women usually wear leggings, tank tops, T-shirt and/or sports bra for yoga, and most men are comfortable in a pair of sports shorts and T-shirts. If you have long hair, it needs to be tightly tied into a bun so that your hair doesn’t bother you between your asana.
A yoga mat is quite important, though. It will keep you steady and prevent sleeping, particularly in poses where you need to keep balance. These yoga mats are available in any sports shops, online shops or yoga studios.
- Make Time and Space
It is very important that you are not disturbed during your personal yoga sessions. Usually yoga classes run for an hour to 90 minutes but if you don’t have the time, you can do half-hour sessions, as well. However, during this time, you need to be completely without any kind of distractions. This includes your phone and/or any other gadget in the room.
Especially if your yoga sessions are being held at early morning, you need some secluded time for yourself to start the day in your own terms. The meditation session at the beginning and/or the end of your session is just as important as the actualasana, and you need to make sure there’s nothing else on your mind when you are aiming for peace and tranquility.
- Don’t skip the “Om” Meditation Part
As mentioned before, the meditation part is extremely important both before and after your yoga sessions; if not both, at least once. Yoga is actually a kind of meditation – the physical kind, and the actual “Om” chant in your mindfulness meditation before yoga will help you calm down. At the beginning of the session, meditation will bring both your mind and body to a rest, and prepare you for the exercise that rests ahead. It will help you concentrate at the task at hand and forget about everything else.
At the end of the session too, meditation will give you the strength to face the rest of the day, and get your body charged up for action. Just the chant “Om” can send vibrations down your whole body that will give you just the energy you need.
- Always do the Basic Asana
Whether your yoga sessions are for 30 minutes or 90, there are a few basic asana that you should definitely try at least once every day. These are easy asana for beginners that everyone can do on their first try.
The basic asanaincludes:
- thetadasana or the ‘mountain’ pose,
- thevrikshasana or the ‘tree’ pose,
- theAdho Mukho Svanasana or the ‘Downward facing dog’ pose,
- thetrikonasana or the ‘triangle’ pose,
- thekursiasana or the ‘chair’ pose,
- theNoukasana or the ‘boat’ pose,
- theBhujangasana or the ‘Cobra’ pose,
- themalasana or the ‘garland’ pose,
- theuttanasana or the ‘forward bend’ pose,
- the ustrasana or the ‘camel’ pose,
- thesalabhasana or the ‘locust’ pose,
- thedhanurasana or the ‘bow’ pose,
- thebharadvajanasana or the ‘Bharadvaja’s twist’ pose,
- thebalasana or the ‘child’ pose, and finally,
- thesavasana or the ‘corpse’ pose.
These are a mixture of standing, sitting and lying down yoga asana that are extremely good for you; each of them has a special pressure point that helps a particular part of your body and mind. If not all, a combination of these yoga poses every day can really help your overall wellness.
In some ways, it is much better to do your yoga practices at home. You can everything on your own term without having to follow someone else’s instructions, and you can set your own time and pace. Besides, what counts more is that you practice your yoga poses every day without failing, regardless of where you are.