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Perfect Your Practice: Options for At-Home Yogis

Whether you're interested in trying yoga for the first time or you've been practicing but aren't sure what to do next, there are a variety of resources you can use to maintain your yoga practice amid pandemic restrictions. From technology to equipment, set yourself up for success by incorporating some of these tips for an effective at-home yoga practice.

Find an Experienced Teacher You Love

Just because you don't like a particular teacher doesn't mean you don't like yoga! You can't expect to love every yoga teacher any more than you loved every high school teacher you had; finding a teacher you love means giving yourself time to try classes with different teachers. Make sure they're trained and certified.

While one of the benefits of attending an in-person class is that you can get real-time feedback from the teacher, there are also many qualified teachers offering classes online via YouTube, Gaia, and Yoga Download.

Get the Right Equipment

You may have doubts about whether to invest in a new hobby or exercise routine at first because you're not sure you're going to stick with it, but getting the right equipment can actually help you stay the course. For example, if you're not using a yoga mat, the floor may be too hard and uncomfortable, and you're not going to want to sit or kneel on it. It may also be too slippery, which makes it hard to hold certain poses.

A high-quality mat lasts a long time, and you can make your practice even more accessible by using props like blocks, straps, and bolsters. You'll find you keep using them long after you stop calling yourself a beginner.

Practice in a Calming Space

When setting up your home yoga space, it should be a sanctuary of relaxation. Paint the room in a muted color, install dim lighting, and light some scented candles. Keep the mood positive and free of anxiety by removing any clutter from the space and burning some sage to clear out any lingering negative energy.

Give Yourself Permission to Have a Short Practice

Yoga isn't all or nothing; the moments add up. That's why it's worth getting on your mat even for as little as seven minutes. You might not have time for an hour, and that's okay. Get on the mat, use the time you have, and know your body and mind are benefiting from that. Seven minutes is better than zero minutes!

Don't Compare Yourself to Others

In yoga, everybody wins, so if you're on the mat, you're benefiting. Sure, you might see people on Instagram who practice every day (or claim to), but comparing yourself to others can lead to discouragement and frustration.

Do what you can do, and go at your own pace. All poses can be beneficial, so no matter how far you progress physically, you can always return home to poses like child's pose, cat/cow, and downward dog.

Every expert yogi was once a beginner. They learned and grew, and you will, too. Enjoy the process.

Set a Goal or Intention

You can set goals and intentions on both large and small scales. You can set an intention every time you step on the mat, such as staying patient, breathing mindfully, staying present, being grateful, avoiding checking your phone notifications, or trying a new pose.

Set larger goals to help guide your practice over the long term. This might be as simple as practicing a certain number of times each week or month. There are apps you can use to help you track your progress. Apps like Yoga Studio, Daily Yoga, Find What Feels Good, and Down Dog will also help you create your routine, so you never sit down and think, "I don't know what poses to do next!"

Yoga is a journey, and even after years of practice, you may find yourself unmotivated or disinterested, especially when you’re distracted and consumed by COVID-19 stress and uncertainty. Step outside your comfort zone and try a new yoga style with a new teacher, and carefully consider your goals and intentions. Do what you can to get back on track, and adapt your at-home practice to your needs.

Article by:

Sheila Johnson

Yoga Studio

© by Franny Armstrong
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