If you're new to yoga, getting hands-on attention from a teacher is the best way to build a strong foundation, but if you're strapped for cash, it's still possible to build a solid yoga practice. Doing yoga at home can be a beautiful gift to yourself, but keeping a consistent practice can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Both seasoned students and newbies alike can benefit from these tips for creating a sustainable home practice.
Start slow: There's no need to dive into a 45-minute sequence from the get-go; start with just 15 or 20 minutes when first creating your home practice. You'll be more likely to stay committed to your new routine if the length of your practice doesn't seem so daunting. Get started with our 20-minute total-body yoga sequence.
Timing's everything: Every day, do your best to hit your mat at the same time. Whether it's first thing in the morning or once you're home from work, a stable routine will train your mind to crave a regular practice time. You also won't have the excuse about where to find the time to practice if it's seamlessly built into your busy schedule.
Pick poses wisely: A great yoga teacher once told me to choose two poses I love and one I hate when building a practice at home. The ones you love will have you feeling confident and graceful, but the ones we hate are the ones our bodies need the most!
Create a sacred space: Make a sweet home for your practice. Whether it's a corner of your bedroom, a section on your living room floor, or even your back porch, find a place where you'll have ample room for your mat and for fluid movement. Consider lighting a candle or two to kick up the ambience a notch. See tips for setting up a yoga space at home here.
Try a DVD: If you can't afford studio prices right now, find a DVD that matches your skill level. The Tara Stiles Is Yoga DVD Set ($20) is truly suitable for all levels: the set comes with four DVDs with helpful instruction and thoughtful sequencing. Our 10-minute yoga sequences from Ursula Vari and Exhale Spa or this 20-minute lower-body practice from Sadie Nardini will also work well in a home yoga plan.