For a new yogi, joining the yoga community can be quite intimidating. Scrolling through your Instagram feed you see all of these awesome, inspiring people who are able to pull off poses that you can’t even fathom your body doing. If you are like me, you also wonder how their wallet can sustain their yoga practice. Let’s get real: yoga can be expensive, especially when practicing in a studio. Luckily, developing a home yoga practice is not very expensive, making practicing at home a much more accessible option for most people.
In my own journey to become a yogi, I’ve found several things that have been helpful in creating a consistent (mostly home) yoga practice.
- Free Yoga Videos– There are numerous resources available online. I came to yoga through Erin’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I’ve also found a number of other resources through yoga websites and just perusing Youtube. Utilize them. The great advantage to practicing with internet videos is that you can go at your own pace, pausing or stopping when necessary. You also don’t have to wait on a studio schedule, working it into your day when it best suits you. There is also a great variety in what is available to you so you can always have fresh material to challenge yourself with.
- Free/ Reduced Classes– Through persistence and some research, I have found several opportunities to practice with an instructor for free or at a reduced cost. There is a local studio that will offer free classes every once in awhile and I try to take advantage of as many of those as I can. I have also discovered that local arts, recreation, or wellness centers will often offer classes for a price that is significantly more affordable than practicing at a studio. Many of the instructors at these places also teach at the more expensive studios so you’re getting the same instruction with less cost involved.
- Personalize Your Practice– Find a way to bring your own “spin” to your practice. Come up with a yoga playlist. Get yourself special yoga clothes (side note: patterned leggings make practice so much more fun!). Make a routine that works for you. One of the biggest things that I have had to let go of is my notion that my practice doesn’t fit the mold of what I think a yoga practice “should be” like and have embraced it for what it is.
- Create a Dedicated Yoga Space– If you have the ability to, create a space in your home specifically for your yoga practice. When I first started my home yoga practice I had to constantly rearrange furniture to unroll my mat. Several months in, I decided that dedicating a space specifically for yoga was something I was going to do for me. I painted the walls a calming blue, incorporated some plants, put up some encouraging mantras, and now I have a space that I look forward to practicing in regularly.
- Online Community– The internet has this amazing way of connecting people from all walks of life and all localities. The Bad Yogi community is one of the most incredible, inviting, and inclusive communities that I have ever encountered. It is an uncompromisingly bright spot in a world that is all too easily taken over with negativity. You will find yourself inspired and encouraged by people you have never met in real life, and that’s pretty cool.
- Instagram Challenges– I have found that this is a really fun way to expand your practice. There is even a Instagram feed (#IGYogaChallenges) that connects you with different challenges. Most challenges include poses that may not necessarily be accessible to a new yogi, but I have found that usually the challenge hosts are willing to accept variations and different levels of poses. These challenges are a great way to try out poses that you’ve never heard of before and discover some pretty awesome things about your body in the process.
- Recording Your Practice– Recording my practice is probably one of the most intimidating, yet rewarding things that I have done for myself. In reviewing the video of my practice, I can see the areas that I would like to improve on in the future. Even better, I also see some pretty awesome celebrations of things that I can be proud of (side note: this is how I discovered that I have an AMAZING chatagruna!). I take the good and the “not so good” in stride and use it as fuel for the next time that I hit my mat.
What are some tips that you’ve found helpful in developing your home yoga practice?