Yoga at Home: 10 Ways to Get Started
Last week was the big move as many of you may know. And more than anything it took me out of my beloved morning routine. In a way a change from the norm can be freeing, but after a bit you’re ready to get back to it. Yoga is one of the biggest parts of my routine. Coupled with meditation, it starts my day off right: with focus, awareness, and inner peace. Many of you have asked how to practice yoga at home without the help of a teacher, so I wanted to run through a daily practice. You should, however, be aware of the poses before starting a home practice.
Going to yoga classes is important to build that sense of community around connection and to help you with form and modification. But at the same time, establishing your own practice creates awareness in your own body that you just can’t get in a class atmosphere.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Set a time
I roll out of bed with my mat literally right beside the bed so that it’s almost like an animal waking up in the morning. I wake up at 4:30 and do 45 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of meditation each morning. Adjust it to your schedule, but first thing in the morning is the best way to ensure you get it done. I usually take a break on Sundays.
2. Sun Salutations
Wake your body up with five to 10 sun salutations. Move slowly and feel your body open up as you flow. Be aware of your breath.
3. Add in Standing Poses
Each morning I like to do at least two rounds of standing poses on both sides. These may include Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Warrior 3, Goddess Warrior. Triangle, Bound Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Reverse Triangle, Half Moon, and Standing Split. Add a yoga app to your phone if you need a little reminder of what the various poses look like.
4. Add in Twists
Twists reset the nervous system and detox the liver. I like to add at least one set on each side. Maybe a Seated Spinal Twist, Bound Side Angle, or Reverse Triangle.
5. Add in Seated Poses
Don’t overdo it with standing poses and sun salutations. Leave time for seated poses like Seated Forward Fold, Childs Pose, Garland Pose, Boat Pose, Bound Angle Pose, and Pigeon Pose to name a few.
6. Shoulder Stand
Do Shoulder Stand for at least 50 breaths. This is one of the most important poses you can do for regulation of the endocrine system, the body’s glandular system. This is important for controlling mood swings.
7. Back bending
I either hold Camel Pose or a modified Camel Pose for 10 breaths or I’ll do three Full Wheels for five breaths each. If Full Wheel is too trying, do Bridge instead.
If you’re meditating directly after yoga you may not need a Savasana or Corpse Pose, but if not, hold Savasana for five to 10 minutes.
I try and meditate for 20 minutes after yoga each morning. Elevate the seat on a pillow so the knees are below the hips. Close the eyes and begin to follow your breath as the guiding light of your practice. When thoughts arise, watch them almost like leaves on a river just floating by. Don’t attempt to stop your thoughts.
10. Give thanks
Whatever your belief system give thanks for all you have in your life. Remind yourself how wonderful this life is each day.
-Make sure you attend yoga classes first in order to initially learn the poses. This is just a guide to help you put them all together.
-Check out Audio Dharma for great guided meditations until you get the hang of it.
-Start small, be where you are and learn to be happy with it.
-Follow your breath. Breathing and the movement of prana is the most important part of the practice.
-Be aware. Don’t let this become a routine. Be with every pose. Notice every little part of it.