If you are want to get started with yoga at home but feel overwhelming with all the information out there. Then this guide is for you.
When I first started with yoga. I went to the studio class and get frustrated by the fact that I can’t follow along with sequences and can’t get into so many poses. (Almost want to give up.)
It takes year of practice to feel yoga is right for me. So the thing I wish I knew before starting with yoga? Get start with doing yoga at home first and then later join studio class if you like.
Because practice yoga on your own, you can understand yourself better. There is only one limitation that is you.
In a studio practice. The speed of the sequence may not feel right, the poses may not feel comfortable, the other students doing so good may bother you. A lot of limitations.
So here are 9 steps on how to get started with yoga at home.
#1. Just do it.
Just start. You are not perfect but at least you give it a try. (Yoga is not all about posing great photos on Instagram.)
If you are not flexible? That’s the reason why you should do it.
If you opting out of a pose or doing modification that’s ok. Experienced yogis have once been there too.
Be present. The time you stay on yoga mat counts.
#2. Learn few basic poses.
Get online to find photo of some basic poses or search tutorial videos on youtube. Learn the name and the form of the pose and try it. This will help you flow through the class easier. (Don’t worry too much about the Sanskrit name or how you look, it is important how you feel.)
Here are some basic poses for beginner to get started:
- Child’s pose
- Cat & Cow
- Downward Facing Dog
- Upward Facing Dog
- Forward Bend
- Low lunge
- Easy twist
#3. Practice online.
Start your yoga practice online at home first if you are not sure yoga is right for you.
With a smartphone or a laptop, you can access free online classes anywhere anytime. You can decide which class to do on the day depend on how you feel. You can pause the video if you can’t catch up, go back and start again.
You don’t need to spend too much time finding the perfect class. Try it and you will learn something new.
Play with different styles! Then stick with the one that makes you feel connected. (Hatha, Vinyasa for flow. Yin, Restorative for relaxing. Power or Ashtanga for extensive practice.)
Here is a very good yoga-style challenge series from BrettLarkin. Check it out and find your style.
If you want to commit to your practice, join 30 days yoga challenges (30 days is a decent time to create a habit). Yoga with Adriene, Yoga with Tim, Fightmaster, and many others channels have these challenges.
If you want to check out step by step how to do more advanced poses. Check out Kino channel tutorials, Yoga Journal library, or Ekhart Yoga.
When you want to deepen your practice, you can start subscribes to online membership or take a yoga class.
Remember to check with your doctor if you have medical concerns.
#4. Listen to your body.
Listen to your body, let the inner teacher be your guide.
Keep asking yourself how do you feel during the practice. The sensation, emotion, and thought.
Avoid any pain or pushing yourself so hard. If you feel pain move gently out of the pose, if you feel discomfort use prob to assist you. Take a break in child pose whenever you need to.
The beauty of home practice is it does help you to connect better with yourself.
To check your alignment, do yoga in front of a mirror or record video of your practices.
#5. Focus on breathing.
“Remember if you are not breathing, you are not doing yoga.” – said Tara Stiles, famous instructor who tells her student in one online class.
Focus on how you breathe is the most important. Pause at any time if you find pose is challenging, find your breath then start again.
Over time you can add meditation and pranayama practice.
#6. Get some gear.
When you are new to yoga and not sure if you commit to long-term practice. A cheap yoga mat ($5-$12) is enough to get started.
Only when you want to get deeper in your practice, you can invest in a quality mat like Manduka or Jade. It does make a huge difference.
(However, if you concern about the environment impact of a cheap mat try a high-quality or eco-friendly yoga mat, here is a guide on how to choose a yoga mat.)
Wear comfortable clothes. Stretchy paint, and a close-fitting top that won’t fall over your head when you do inversion.
When you need extra gear to assist you, you can use stuff around the house as accessories.
Need a Strap? Use belt or scarf.
Need a Block? Use book or dictionary.
Need a Bolster? Use cushion or pillow.
If you want to invest in quality props. It is a good idea to try these props in yoga studio first if you like buy.
#7. Go to studio class.
Arrange your time to join a studio class if you can. Have a yoga teacher to help with alignment. (Make sure teacher has 200-hour teacher training)
When you join the class, don’t stress out by the person next to you can do back bending easily or float into arm balance with ease. No need to get frustrated by comparing yourself to other people when you can’t get into a pose.
Yoga is personal practice. Everybody is different. If you notice your left side and right side are different in some poses too.
Think positive. Poses will come after dedicated practice.
#7. Start sequence your own.
Once a week, close your laptop and try to flow on your own.
Know that every moment you spend building a home yoga practice will strengthen the other parts of your life. The more time you spend to understand what you need, the more strength you get in the long run.
Begin with stillness, start with comfortable seated or lie down on corpse pose, then decide what’s next.
Tired? Relax with restorative.
Feel Energy? Choose fast-paced flow sequence.
Ground? Choose standing and balancing sequence.
Connect with your inner teacher. Listen to what your body needs, move at your own space, develop a sequence that you want.
If you have no idea how to start. Write down poses and sequences you feel good and then try it.
Or you can just do several rounds of sun salutation which work for the whole body.
Try to move in all directions: forward-back, left-right, twist, upside down. Create all directions you have a complete practice.
#8. Create a habit.
Find a routine that fits with your life and forget about the ideal length. Even 15 minutes of yoga a day is beneficial. (15 mins per day better than 1 hour class per week.)
Choose the time that works best for you. Morning/Evening/Lunch break any time. You can start small 5 minutes or 5 counts of break, make a small achievement.
Don’t feel well? If you can breathe, you can do yoga. Practice breathing & meditation when you are in bed is fine.
Make yoga as part of morning rituals (15 minutes is good enough). Sit down and review your calendar weekly, stride out activities that do not serve you.
#9. Keep going.
Keep going no matter what.
- Find online sequence that interesting you. Do what you can. Modify and have fun.
- Float with your own space. Explore what your body needs.
- Join the studio and let your instructors guide you.
Be present every time you show up on your mat. Remember. It’s all about the journey!
Some useful articles worth checking out.