Sometimes it’s just not possible to get to a yoga class, between the demands of school, work, and family. Setting up a yoga studio at home is easier than you think, with just a few small preparations, whether you’re man, woman or child.
Find a quiet space – Sure, everyone would like to have a quiet room dedicated exclusively to yoga, complete with dim lights and meditative atmosphere. The reality is, in this modern day world of hustle and bustle, it’s tough enough finding the time to practice, let alone the space in your house. Think outside the room. A place for yoga at home is more about the space in your mind than a room in your house. Pick a time to practice when you can be alone. For some, that means getting up early in the morning before everyone else is awake. For others, it could mean closing the door to the bathroom and setting up mat beside the tub. Find a place and time that’s right for you.
Get some gear – Gear can mean many things to many different people. Ask yourself what you need:
• Blocks – Everyone’s body is different. No matter your skill level, there will always be poses that are challenging for you. Yoga blocks can help support you in many ways, such as supporting your hip during pigeon pose (kapotasana) or simply stabilizing you during half moon pose (Ardha chandrasana). Yoga blocks come in many different materials, such as cork or foam. Choose one that’s best for your comfort.
• Straps – Also called yoga belts, straps are typically made of cotton or nylon. Held in place by your hands and the ball of your foot, a yoga strap can help guide or deepen a hip opener. Buckled and placed around the shoulders and arms, a strap can improve your technique on chest openers.
• Bolsters – Often used in restorative yoga, a bolster is a cushion that can be used under the back or abdomen for support.
• Blankets – A blanket can be folded in many different ways. Fold it and sit on it to raise your hips during easy sitting pose (sukasana), lie flat on the blanket during corpse pose (Shavasana) or cover yourself with it during restorative poses to keep warm and centered.
• YogaPaws – YogaPaws provide traction for your hands and feet. They cushion your joints and bones. Just like yogis and yoginis, they come in all shapes and sizes. Yoga-Paws are an example of a mat made just for your hands and feet.
• Videos – Yoga videos are found everywhere these days. You can buy them in DVD format at your local store or search for them on YouTube. There are also yoga apps available for smartphones and other mobile devices. Just be sure the videos are developed by certified yoga instructors and remember to honor your body when you practice. Only you know how far to push yourself.
Set a Schedule – A regular yoga practice is a medicine for your body and soul. Set a schedule to practice, whether it’s once a day, once a week or more. Give yourself room to grow as your practice deepens, and don’t be afraid to back off if you take on too much at first. A hallmark of a good yoga practice is to honor your inner teacher. If your inner teacher is telling you to be gentle with yourself, listen!
Commit to your practice – Sometimes all it takes is the intention. If you commit to a regular practice, even just once a week, you just might find the hustle and bustle of your life doesn’t really bother you that much after all.