Many studies show that a regular yoga practice helps you to lower your stress levels, cultivate a healthy relationship with your mind & body, and improve your overall confidence.
Perhaps our biggest stumbling block to maintaining a yoga practice is committing to a regular weekly studio class(es), but there is no rule that says yoga must be practiced for a minimum of an hour, or for that matter in a studio.
Consistency of practice is the key to releasing the benefits of yoga into your life but do not worry if you struggle to fit a yoga class into your day, not many of us can, instead, if you have just ten minutes spare, pick three or four yoga poses that you like and practice them.
The most important thing is that it’s a practice which fits into your day and one that you can maintain over time.
One of the key ingredients to allowing you to maintain consistency is having your own yoga space at-home with props that support your practice. Creating a personal at-home yoga sanctuary can be simple, you just need enough room where you can place at a minimum your yoga mat. Just make sure that your space has enough room to move freely in all directions!
If you have the room spare, try leaving your yoga mat unrolled in your yoga space because it will attract you to it and make you want to practice yoga more often! If not, don’t worry, keep your mat stored neatly in a corner in plain sight to remind you to set up each day.
It really is as simple as that, but of course you can enhance your space to make it a calming and inspirational space that will add an emotional connection to your practice too. Which will make you more likely to want to practice. You do not have to do this from day one and it might be something you develop over time, but some simple tips are:
- Adjust the lighting
- Light some candles
- Burn some incense
- Open a window to let fresh air flow over you
- Place an object of significance in view that provides inspiration
- Play some music by subscribing to a yoga playlist or create your own
- Decorate your space, think calming colours
The final element(s) to consider are props, and of course these will depend upon your practice style and needs, remembering that yoga is not about the accessories but actually using them to build your practice.
Here is a list of the usual props you can find and likely use at your local yoga studio:
- Blocks - used to support your yoga practice, and bring the floor closer to you if you can't reach it in certain poses.
- Bolster - used to help create relaxation, soften postures, and open up the body.
- Straps - used to help achieve a wider range of motion and increase flexibility.
- Blanket - used to help you sit comfortably and relax in restorative poses, and to help you relax in savasana.
- Meditation Cushion - used to support the body in a comfortable seated position while meditating.
Now it’s time to start your yoga practice!
For the regular yogis amongst us you may be comfortable creating your own flow from memory, or just concentrating on a handful of your favourite asanas.
Tip: The Yogaru 108 Asana Cards are the perfect at-home yoga accompaniment making yoga more accessible by simplifying sequencing to help you build a home practice. Designed to tailor to individual needs and level of experience, to help you get the most out of your time on your mat.
If you are new to yoga and you aren't sure where to start and prefer some teacher led guidance, use one of the many yoga streaming services that are out there or your local studio online classes! These first classes will help you create the foundation to build on your practice.
Here are a few that we’ve been recommended offering yoga classes via their dedicated websites and not just for the beginners amongst us either:
Yoga with Adriene
Adriene Mishler is an international yoga teacher, actress, writer, and entrepreneur. On a mission to make tools for mental, emotional, and physical health accessible for all and is without doubt the biggest yoga star on YouTube with an online community of over 11 million subscribers. Her classes are perfect for all levels and focus on mindfulness and healing, and she has a warm and gentle teaching style.
Yoga with Adriene offers 100% free yoga classes on YouTube as well as "Pay What Feels Good" yoga courses on her website.
Do Yoga With Me
Do Yoga With Me is a comprehensive website covering all yoga styles and levels and is an excellent option for those after quality, free classes with over 500 on-demand yoga classes.
YouAligned.com is a female founded and led online wellness publication that according to Allied Market Research is among the top ten global yoga resources and online yoga platforms, and is home to thousands of articles and hundreds of online yoga, fitness, and wellness classes.
Quite possibly the largest online compendium of yoga practices and resources compiled from 30+ years of research and feedback with 3000+ on demand yoga practices ranging from 3-90 minutes to enhance all aspects of life
Omstars, or the “Netflix for Yogis” as they like to think of themselves as, is real, watchable, entertaining, enlightening, authentic, life-changing content made for yogis by yogis. Whether you are a total yoga beginner, someone looking for healing from chronic pain, searching for mindfulness and meditation to soothe a busy mind, or trying to master a handstand, they have something for you.
We are confident that you will find something that will help you create the foundation to build on your practice in the suggestions above, but also ask your yogi friends what they use at home and your teacher who might post their own online content too.
Setting out with realistic expectations is the key, so start slow, even if it is just for 5 to 10 minutes per day, having a regular yoga practice will have huge personal, interpersonal, emotional and physical benefits over time, and having a home yoga space makes it that much easier to maintain a consistent practice routine.