How to start a home yoga practise.
We all start yoga for different reasons and stay doing yoga for different reasons as well. Just like anything thing in life the first steps are the hardest but with consistent effort and patience what you want to achieve from your practice will come to fruition.
Remember to love and cherish your body because it is unique, and so are you!
If you are thinking of starting a daily practice and not sure where to begin? These some of the common questions I get asked by Family, Friends and Students.
Do not own a mat
When you are new to yoga practice there is no need for fancy equipment, the requirement is committing time in your busy day to practise. You do not even need to have a yoga mat. If have something to protect your joints, like the knees and elbow you are fine, but make sure the place is clean and tidy. When practising at home find a place with carpets instead of hard flooring. Only buy a mat when you feel you are ready to take the next stage of your practice.
Best time to practise and for how long?
Start with 5-10 mins or however long you feel you can give yourself and stick to it. Decide what would a suitable time during the day, it can be after you wake up and before you shower or just before bed. You can have a break between days, yoga is meant to be fun and enjoyable and shouldn’t feel like a chore but rather an activity to look forward to. You can only make progress if you are consistent in your practice.
Gradually, increase the time but at your own pace and when you feel you can commit more time to the practice. I practise twice a day, a short asana with a gentle movement practise with pranayama in the morning and a stronger asana practise with Yoga Nidra in the evening.
Listen to your body.
Yoga is not about doing its about feeling. The correct alignment is the foundation of all the asana. When you are new to practise distinguishing between pain and discomfort can be difficult. Many new students will keep pushing past what their bodies are capable of, which then results in injury. I am very guilty of treating my body is this manner.
The practice should be fun because you are dedication your time to bring your awareness within and work on cultivating true happiness. If the asanas are causing pain then your body is not ready, with most asanas there are variations which still gets the same benefits, so play around and find out what works for you.
Do not forget to breathe.
When we breathe in a yoga practise we are moving energy around the body. Taking in positive energy and learning to let go of stale negative energies that been sitting around in our bodies. Taking time to learn proper breathing techniques will deepen your practice and is a tool you can take with you and use in your everyday life challenges where we want to act instead of react.Yoga is not about doing its about feeling and when you really bring awareness and notice the sensation of the breath, it works to calm the nervous system. I could always skip pranayama practice but now if I am limited on time I will just do breathwork, to gain focus and set myself for the day ahead.
What do you want to achieve? Reality vs Expectation.
This is a question you need to ask yourself and give your self an honest answer. Because if you start to lose faith in your practice and it will be the reason that will carry you through times when you make excuses not to practise. It is important to remember we all practise yoga for different reasons, whilst some have been practising for years and dedicate 1-2 hours every day, some are still relatively new to the practice and simply lack the time. However much time you have does not matter but how frequently you practise every day is more important. I started with 15mins every day when I was new to yoga in my late teens and now I try to find time get in practice in the morning and before bed.
When we see people online perform incredible poses, it should not discourage us but inspire us to experiment and grow in our asana practise. If you cannot perform a poses you just saw, remember the person has probably been practising for years, has the strength and mobility also probably practises a few hours every day. This is something I came to eventually understand.
All bodies are unique and all bodies are special. When you are on the mat is about you and how you could use that time to make you feel better from the inside. It could just be stretching out some tight hamstrings, doing more pranayama to aid with stress. When we do all that with awareness we are practising yoga that rest is just extras, good to have but not always important.
Practise with an open mind and heart❤️