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DIY: The Essential Guide for Practicing Yoga at Home

We have all been here: You worked late and missed the last yoga class of the day but you really want to get on your mat.  You’re desperate for a gentle and restorative class, but all the classes you can find are booked out.  You want to get in some vinyasas but the thought of driving, parking, and fighting the crowd make you slump back down on the couch and flip on the TV instead.

Before you start with the excuses, continue reading, because you really can do yoga on your own! So without further ado, here are some DIY yoga tips and essential guide to practicing yoga at home.

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1: SIZE DOESN’T MATTER.

It’s not all about the timing of the class. Ten minutes or thirty minutes of yoga, with focus and attention, can be very effective and make you feel amazing. When you are new to a yoga self-practice, don’t go for length, but rather go for quality. Start with a shorter practice of 10-30 minutes (or whatever seems realistic for you) and then revel in your success when you complete what you set out to do!  You can build from there and add 5 minutes each week, if time allows.

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2: IMPROVISE YOUR PROPS.

There IS a reason for the “ stuff “ you have been hiding away! Have you got any large hardcover books lying around?, they work great as “yoga blocks”. Have an old scarf or the belt from a robe? They function perfectly as yoga straps. Your couch pillow can double as a bolster, and an aged or used throw can act as a yoga blanket! Don’t let the lack of “ certified “ props hold you back from practicing. Get creative with what you’ve got and if you find out what props you love, treat yourself by investing in a set that you can use at home.

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3: KEEP IT SIMPLE.

When you are beginning a home practice, start with what’s familiar, do the poses you know well, and see if you can use what you’ve heard from teachers in class to both self-correct AND help focus your mind on what you’re doing.  You’ll be amazed at what you can remember and what you know. You may also notice that your yoga practice becomes a moving meditation when there is no outside voice to distract you and you are able to focus yourself completely in the moment.

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4: USE WHATS AVAILBLE FOR YOU.

In todays digital world there are so many helpful sites that will hand out free tips and tricks. Online yoga is more fun and economical than a DVD because you get unlimited access to hundreds of classes for one monthly cost.

 

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  1. MAKE IT FUN

Yes, an eventual goal of yoga practice is pratyahara (withdrawal of the mind from the senses). And, in the meantime, we are physical beings and this is a physical practice. There is room in yoga for paradox. Make it delightful to your senses. Light candles, play music, create an atmosphere that is pure pleasure for you to revel in for those 20 minutes. It just might become one of your favorite parts of the day.

6: TAKE SAVASANA.

Think of Savasana as your delicious reward after hard work. Taking time to rest at the end of your practice can surprisingly be one of the hardest parts of doing yoga at home, but don’t skip! Not only does it feel amazing and allow all the benefits of your practice to sink in, but when you practice at home you can stay for as long as your body and mind needs.  If you’re feeling sleepy after your practice and want to doze off for a few minutes post-savasana, you can do just that!  Who said an at-home practice can’t be as satisfying as a studio practice?