1: Choose a convenient time
Timing’s everything: Every day, do your best to hit your mat at the same time, 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.
Practicing yoga in the morning is generally considered to be the best as it keeps energy levels high during the day. However, you may choose a time slot which seems most convenient for you. It could be late mornings, before lunch, or evenings. Yoga at these times can also be a good way to refresh the mind and release stress collected during the day.
2: Choose a comfortable place
Create a sacred space: A small, private room, a corner of your bedroom, a section on your living room floor, or even your back porch. You may choose a quiet space anywhere at home, which is large enough to roll out your yoga mat and where you know you are not likely to be disturbed for a while. All you need to ensure is that your yoga space is clean, well-ventilated, and away from furniture or sharp objects. Consider lighting a candle or two to create a more relaxing environment.
A good mat and proper props are essential to be able to drop into your practice fully. Keep your yoga wear simple. Go for loose, comfortable clothing – you wouldn’t want tight body-hugging outfits coming in the way of doing some wide stretches! Also, keep aside any excessive jewelry that you are wearing and avoid heavy makeup.
Clear your space. You don’t bring your cell phone and extra clothes into a studio class with you, do you? Then keep away the excess when you are practicing on your own.
4: Be gentle on your body
Warm up before doing intense yoga postures. This is an absolute must, else you may be at risk of straining your muscles. Start by warming up your body and do a few body stretches to bring flexibility, before moving on to more intense yoga postures.
Respect your body and do yoga poses gently with a smile. Begin with basic beginner’s yoga sequences and expand your practice as your skills improve. Doing yoga poses increasingly fast or going beyond what your body can take will not bring faster results. It will only make the practice more difficult and painful.
5: Stay motivated
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 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.
Try to adopt a routine. Like forming any other habit, maintaining a regular practice takes discipline and the less you have to think about when it comes to getting something done, the more likely you are to do it. Make it a part of your daily schedule. Get rid of the ‘shall I? Shan’t I?’ mental chatter and decide at what time of day your practice will happen and just go for it.
Another significant way to support your home practice is to practice with a member of your family or a friend. When you practice alone, it might get boring after a while or you may simply become lazy. Try doing it with somebody else and see the difference!