Beginning a home practice can seem daunting. The mind is amazingly adept at making excuses not to step onto the mat in the comfort of our own home: lack of time and space topping the list of excuses!
But starting a home practice can be transformative - helping you to sharpen your intention, overcome habitual behaviour and becoming more self-aware.
Beginning a home practice needn't be a big deal - and doesn't mean a huge commitment.
Practising for 15 or 20 minutes every day, or a few times a week, is more beneficial than attending a longer class once a week, though of course both are ideal!
Here are a few pointers:
- It's helpful to establish a routine that fits in with your lifestyle - perhaps practising early in the morning, or in the evening. Try and find a time most likely to suit you and make a commitment to yourself to stick to it for a while. If something gets in the way, don't scold yourself - just start again and renew your commitment.
- Set aside a room, or corner of a room, that can be dedicated to practising - or at least quickly transformed to be 'your space'. This could simply mean lighting a candle or some incense. Practice in this same spot every time. It will help you ease into a yoga frame of mind.
- A good way to establish a home practice is to download some yoga classes and play them at home. The copmany www.yoga2hear.co.uk is one of a few offering downloadable classes and audio CDs.
- Find a way to start your practice that resonates with you. This could be a few minutes of meditation, or pranayama, or a short Savasana. This is a good way to mark the start of your time on the mat, and the short suspension of every day life.
- If you are practising without this kind of instruction, start experimenting with a variety of postures that will give you a rounded routine: Sun Saluations, a few standing postures such as Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) and Triangle (Trikonasansa), and some seated postures. Try Staff Pose (Dandasana) and Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsanasa). Finish with a back bend, inversion (if you have time) and short relaxation.