Practicing yoga at home is all about getting started
You want to begin practicing yoga at home but you have no idea where to start. And, you definitely don’t feel comfortable going to a studio yet.
I’ve been there. It’s hard to start something new. Do you just roll out your mat and get to it? Which app or website is the best home practice tool? What if your pet insists on being involved?
Or perhaps you’re already practicing at a studio and want to incorporate yoga into your daily routine. Practicing yoga at home is a fabulous option for those on a very tight schedule that makes getting to class difficult on a regular basis.
Whatever your reasons, you’ll benefit greatly from practicing yoga at home, although it might not look like what you originally imagined.
Over the past couple of years, my yoga practice has shifted into something that involves a lot more than the asana practice. That’s usually where most of us begin, but there’s no reason to get stuck in the mindset and dogma of our practice needing to look or be a certain way.
Practicing yoga at home offers you the opportunity to have the exact practice you want and need
If you want to commit to practicing yoga at home because it helps you better navigate your life or you want more of a connection to the Divine, you can incorporate other spiritual practices into your physical practice. It can be anything you want.
Yoga literally means “to yoke” or to bring together in union, to connect, so really whatever makes you feel this way is yoga.
Before we delve into other spiritual practices you may be interested in incorporating, it’s really important to do a couple things first.
- Make the time commitment every day. Put it on your calendar daily and if possible, do it at the same time each day. This makes it much easier to create a habit. I like to do it first thing in the morning before anyone else is awake so I’m not interrupted. When you practice in the morning, you are setting the tone for your day by gaining confidence and having that awareness that you are working on bettering your life. It’s a pretty great feeling and great note to start your day on!
- Create your space. Having a designated space is a luxury and sets you up for success. You also infuse that area with all the positivity that results from your practice and committed energy. The space can be as sparse or fancy as you like. Whatever motivates and inspires you to get to your mat often is what’s important.
Once you have earmarked the time and created the space, you can decide what types of practice you’ll incorporate into your routine.
Spiritual practices offer you the stillness to get quiet and listen. Even though prayer is spiritual, it’s you talking to the Source, not listening. Feel free to incorporate prayer, visualization, scripture reading, and listening to spiritual audio books but make sure to include at least 10 minutes a day of one of the following. I always do meditation daily then add in the other practices.
Different Types of Spiritual Practices
Start small. Don’t set yourself up by trying to meditate for 30 minutes right off the bat. If you do, you may feel disappointed that you only make it 5 minutes. Instead, start with 5 minutes and work towards longer periods of meditation as you build your home practice.
With meditation, you aren’t trying to clear or empty your mind. As with all yoga practices, aim to have one point of focus. Focusing all your thoughts and attention on one thing, such as the breath, a chakra, etc. and every time your mind strays from that one thing, you gently guide it back over and over again.
When I say journaling, I mean spiritual, emotional writing. Something that connects you to the source, not simply complaining about your day. Though sometimes it’s good to get that out on paper instead of talking about it which just creates more negative energy.
Journaling about what your grateful for connects you with pure love and you’ll attract more abundance into your life. It’s a wonderful ritual to begin each day, but it can be done at any time you feel the need to get your thoughts on the page.
The key to really get the most out of gratitude journaling is to genuinely feel gratitude, not just list things without acknowledging the feelings that come with it.
Another interesting approach to journaling is to write about your dream life. What would a day in your dream life look like? Consider doing this practice this after gratitude journaling because then you’ll have already attracted super powerful, positive energy which will help evoke your dream life quicker.
Chanting or reciting a mantra is very useful for calming the mind. It gives you something really tangible to focus your energy and thoughts on and is often in another language so if you start thinking about something else, it’s really easy to trip yourself up and lose your focus. It’s okay to lose focus. It’s actually an opportunity to practice how to refocus.
I love oracle cards. They’re so much fun and can really help you tap into your intuition. Even if you think you can’t tap in, using these cards will help guide you and give you ideas and different perspectives on life situations. There are a few ways you can use them. You can ask for guidance for the day, asking what your angels, intuition or God wants to tell you today. You can also ask questions surrounding a certain subject or issue in your life. Lastly, you can pull a card to be your theme for the day. My favorite oracle cards are Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Deck if you’re looking for a recommendation.
Pranayama & Mudras
Two yogic techniques that can really help you practice yoga at home are pranayama, breathing exercises, and mudras, positions usually done with your hands. They help create specific effects. Some help you concentrate, others assist with various chakras and some help with dealing with emotions. The list goes on and on.
The use of pranayama and mudras can really offer you a feeling of empowerment in your practice. They are effective tools to help better your life.
The main point I want to get across is that there is no absolutely right or wrong way to practice yoga or be spiritual. It’s about what’s resonating with you now. And practicing yoga at home really is all about you and honoring your needs on a given day.
One of the biggest things that can hold us back in our practice is always needing guidance from others. But that’s the beauty of yoga. You have all the answers within. Start believing in yourself and trusting that you are more magnificent than you ever thought possible. Because it’s the truth.