Updated: Nov 18
Have you yet discovered the wonderful benefits of a short, daily yoga practice at home? No? Have a little taster here.
Short yoga practices are the cornerstones of my Yoga for Stress Foundation Course. The reason for this is that when your life is busy, or you feel overwhelmed, or you lack in energy, an hour or more of yoga might not be a realistic undertaking. You may not want to leave the house. You may not feel like socialising. A short home practice, however, is more manageable and will allow you release stress and reenergise.
If you have done yoga before you already know that the benefits of this ancient practice are indeed manifold:
Yoga is Me-time away from chores.
It's an opportunity to relax.
You do something positive for body, mind, and heart.
It's an opportunity to recharge your batteries.
The body simply feels great after practicing.
You become stronger and more flexible.
You are rewarded with feeling good, relaxed and well.
I am so convinced by this format now that I would like to invite you to try it out for yourself. Here are some tips on how to get started, but also, perhaps more importantly, on how to stay on track.
Set a time
It's easiest to establish a new habit when you do things at a regular time. For example, you could do yoga first thing in the morning, after lunch, when finishing work, or before going to bed. Find a time that suits you and fits in with your routines and other commitments. Remember that regular doesn't mean rigid. If your lunch break is a bit later than usual occasionally, then do your yoga practice a little bit later than usual - but keep doing it.
Create a space
Having a dedicated space for your home yoga practice can help get into the swing of things, too. Maybe you have the luxury of converting a spare bedroom into your yoga room. If not, a clutter-free corner in the living room or bedroom, big enough to roll out your mat, is all you need. Make sure any props you may want to use are at hand: a yoga block, one or two bricks, a blanket, a belt. Music and incense can help create a special atmosphere but are by no means essential.
Always listen to your body and be mindful of the fact that your body feels differently each day. Be conscious of what you need TODAY. Is it something relaxing, energising, stretchy, active, restorative, gentle, powerful? Adapt your home yoga practice accordingly so that you feel good and satisfied afterwards.
Have a plan
If are used to go to yoga classes you may feel overwhelmed and unsure what to do at home. That's where my YouTube videos come handy: They offer themed sessions which all complement each other to enhance the benefits. If you prefer to practice sometimes without video, keep it simple: A few rounds of sun salutation, maybe followed by some of your favourite stretches, will be enough. The Five Tibetean Rituals is another example of a simple home yoga routine.
Wear something comfortable, which allows you to move freely, like joggers or leggings and a t-shirt. Take your socks off as yoga is best practiced with bare feet. This will allow you to feel the connection with the floor and stop you from slipping in some poses like Downward-facing Dog. Ideally, the room is warm and softly lit. Even with a gentle yoga practice, make sure you stay hydrated and drink some water afterwards. And don't practice after a heavy meal, allow an hour or so to digest food first.
It's so easy to set yourself a goal but less easy to put together a plan and stick to it. It's only human to sometimes get off track, skip a yoga practice. Never beat yourself up, show self-compassion, and simply pick up where you left. And anyway, once you've experienced the benefits of your short home yoga practices, you won't want to miss them.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do every day. The secret to your success is found in your daily routine.”