I love taking yoga classes and being part of a group, having the guidance of an amazing instructor. Yoga is meant to be shared. But sometimes it’s hard to get to a class or that may not be something that can work in your life right now. The solution for that, if you have the desire to practice, is a home yoga practice. Here’s why I LOVE yoga at home.
#1. I can show up sweaty, or with messed up hair, or mismatched clothes and a hat.
Even after all these years of practicing yoga, there is still energy that goes into what to wear and how to show up “appropriately.” Maybe you can relate to this? When I practice at home, I have no cares. I can don mismatched clothes and have crazy, messed up hair and if it’s cold, I wear my hat! I can even go for a run and arrive on my mat all sweaty, just as I am. That is liberating. You too can arrive just as you are. There is no one to feel judged by and no one to impress.
#2. No travel time and the practice can work with your schedule.
Sometimes you may be in a cycle of life where your schedule makes it impossible to make it to a yoga class. There is no extra time after the time you need to be a work and the time you need to be at home caring for your family. (Or maybe you are fortunate and have a Yoga@Work class with one of our amazing Prasada teachers at your workplace!) With a home practice, you press through that barrier. This ability to choose when you want to practice can make yoga possible for you.
In addition, yoga has a “guide book” called the Yoga Sutras. These are 196, short statements about how to train the mind, which is what the practice of yoga really is about. Yes, we know yoga as an exercise but that is the secondary benefit of yoga. The first sutra, 1.1 gives us some guidance about the time for yoga. Sutra 1.1 is interpreted as “Now, yoga instruction is offered.”
With a home practice, you decide when you want to receive the practice in a way that supports your schedule. You can do it at night, or in the morning, for 5 minutes or 55 minutes. It’s your choice. And once you establish a framework yoga can be one time of day that you nurture yourself, mind and body.
#3. You can do it alone or with other people you live with, depending on what you need.
What do you need more of? Time with the people that you live with who matter to you? Or some sweet time of quiet solitude? Yoga serves either purpose. If you have children, you can invite them to join you, or invite your partner. This time of synchronized breath, one of the simple, yet important parts of a yoga practice, builds the connection between those who practice together.
Also, with the deep breathing in yoga, you’ll experience time in the sympathetic nervous system which calms and soothes your mind and heart, builds vagal tone and reduces inflammation, the beginning cause of all disease. In addition in one study, in as little as two minutes, yoga poses were found in a study to increase energy and self-esteem.
Are these benefits something you’d like to share with the people you love?
#4. You can practice for FREE with amazing teachers.
So most of you know that I love Yoga with Adriene. She has become a YouTube yoga superstar over the years and continues to offer free videos. Not only that but she now has offered a 30-day practice for the past few years. I highly recommend choosing a 30-day practice and just begin. She has planned the practices (18-30 minutes each day) so you build and rotate through poses for a balanced and safe practice. She is genuine and has a wonderful dog, Benji, who joins her for most practices.
I’m working my way through Adriene’s current 30-Day program, Home, and posting about it on our Prasada facebook page.
Another person I follow on YouTube is Bernie Clark for his yin yoga class if you are an athlete and want active recovery or you are working on flexibility. Don’t be fooled, this looks easy but is a wonderful and challenging, mostly floor practice.
Also, my other favorite, and I have a monthly subscription for this one that is less than the price per month of a single yoga class, is Les Mills Body Balance. I like the pop culture music and the variety of segments during one practice. I also have subscribed to Gaia in the past, a site that offers lots of things including yoga videos, and love David Magone’s classes. Don’t be intimidated by his practice, he is an amazing yogi. He offers great instructions and has a dry and funny sense of humor.
#5. You can make the practice work for you.
Sometimes I want to stop my practice and try something again. Or I want more time in a pose, or on occasion, I skip a segment of practice because it doesn’t feel right for my body that day, or I don’t have time for the entire practice. I get to adjust the practice to fit my needs that day. That feels empowering and makes it easier to commit to an every day practice.
So that’s my list. Perhaps you already have a home practice? What are the reasons on your list?