I’ve been a member at a large, corporate yoga studio chain. It was nice. They had soothing music, towel service, and green tea on tap. Of course, those perks came at a high cost, and because it was across town, I struggled to make it to more than one or two classes a week. Not worth it. I also tried out a local yoga studio, and while I liked the instructors and the atmosphere, their limited class schedule left me with few options.
The solution? Do yoga at home.
A home yoga practice offers a variety of benefits. You can schedule a long practice or a short one at any time of day, and you don’t have to waste time or gas driving to the studio. Here my top 5 tips for getting the most out of your home yoga practice:
1. Find an online yoga instructor that you love (especially if you’re a beginner).
You could just do a free-flowing, see-where-it-takes-you practice, but it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you’re relatively new to yoga. Left to my own devices, I end up doing the same simple poses over and over, so I like to use video classes.
My personal favorite is Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. She has over 2.5 million subscribers, and based on her videos, it’s easy to see why. Adriene’s style is very encouraging and personable, and her channel offers a wide variety of classes with variations that are appropriate for all levels. I used to use videos from a mix of different instructors on YouTube, but recently, I’ve been enjoying the consistency and familiarity of YWA.
2. Get on your mat as often as possible.
Don’t lock yourself into the idea that you need 30+ minutes of uninterrupted time. Even a little bit is better than nothing, so if you’re in a hurry (to get to work or to sit on the couch…no judgement here), opt for something short like this practice. I try to do yoga daily, even if I only have the time and energy for five or ten minutes, because once I skip a day, it’s easier to justify skipping another, and another, and another.
That being said, I am not a big fan of 30-day challenges. If I do end up missing a day during an official challenge, I feel defeated, and that’s not the point at all. If challenges work for you, by all means, do them! If not, find what motivates you, whether it be a habit-tracking app like Steady, a hand-drawn star in your paper planner or calendar, or simply the day-by-day satisfaction of knowing you’re doing something to take care of yourself.
3. Carve out a physical space for your home “studio.”
My home yoga studio [pictured] is in the corner of my bedroom. I leave my mat and props set up all the time (one less excuse!), but if you’re short on space, you can stow them away in between sessions. Just keep what you need close to where you’ll need it. That way, you can be ready in mere moments. Helpful items for your home studio include:
- Yoga Mat
- Bolster or other sturdy pillow for restorative poses
- Blanket for savasana or extra support
- Block (I only have one, but two would be ideal.)
- Foam roller (I use a RumbleRoller) for self-myofascial release
Because my “studio” space is open to the rest of my bedroom, I try to keep the whole room as clutter-free and calming as possible. That way, whether I’m in head-to-knee pose or heading to bed, the space feels like a personal retreat.
4. If you have carpet, invest in a LifeBoard or a DIY solid surface.
There’s nothing worse for your half-moon pose than a wrinkled mat on an unstable surface. When I first started doing yoga at home, I originally planned to buy a large sheet of MDF (medium density fiberboard) to lay over my carpet. It’s kind of like plywood, but smoother, and I think it would make a good, cost-effective solid surface for yoga. It could even be painted with a pretty color, inspiring quote, or intricate pattern–whatever suits you! If you go this route, keep in mind that the board’s large size would make it pretty heavy and awkward, so it would work best in a space where you can leave it in place all the time.
I ultimately bought a LifeBoard, which is basically a plastic platform that is a little bit bigger than a yoga mat. It’s nice because it’s lightweight and easy to move if needed. It also breaks apart into two pieces, so it would fit easily in a closet or even the trunk of a car. When laid on top of my carpet, it doesn’t feel quite as stable as a hardwood floor, but it’s pretty darn close.
5. Incorporate aromatherapy, music, or whatever else you like.
This is totally optional, of course, but when I want to feel like I’m at a “real” yoga studio, I always reach for my Stress Relief (Eucalyptus Spearmint) Candle from Bath and Body Works or Caldrea Linen and Room Spray (Rosewater Driftwood). You might also consider diffusing some essential oils if that’s your thing, or playing music that you like.
In the end, the best part about practicing yoga at home is that it’s YOUR space. Enjoy it!
Do you practice yoga at home or in a studio? Tell me about it in the comments.
**I have provided links to the exact items I use and recommend. Many of the product links in this post are Amazon affiliate links; if you purchase through the link, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!**