The group yoga class experience is wonderful. You have a teacher whose training is steeped in tradition and ability science, guiding your movement, responsible for your brain, body, health, mind, emotions, and well-being. In the end, you return to your life with a balance of peace and calm. The event even involves students who understand your stress and share their kindness and support for your practice. Who could ask for more?
You. Right now. Ask for more.
Developing a home yoga practice can deepen your appreciation and grow your practice in ways the group dynamic could never fulfill. For the most part, your local yoga studio, or gym, or wherever your class meets, is a controlled environment. That’s half the fun. It has the props, the extra mats, the incense and the chanting playlist streaming via Bluetooth. Consequently, at home, that energy is up to you to create. Where will you practice? Your bedroom, your living room, your yard. And what will you practice? By drawing on your own resources, your practice will become personalized in a way that the studio can’t compete with.
First, Google “yoga poses”. Do that! Next, begin to listen to your inner teacher. Do your favorite asana What sounds good now? Do that. Intuit your own flow. Also, are there asanas that you wish you could hold longer in class (I could stay in pigeon FOREVER and then do the same on the other side)? At home, you can create your own sequence. Many yoga classes don’t leave adequate room for pranayama (breathing) and meditation. Maybe your home practice is based on 20 minutes of pranayama and meditation every morning. Love Ayurveda? Practice an entire sequence dedicated to your dosha! Looking to learn more about the eight limbs? The yogic ethics? There are so many great books out there to keep your home study interesting.
Your group yoga class provides an atmosphere of community. You can create that at home with your partner, children, roommates, or pets. Invite a friend from your class and take turns picking poses. Alternatively, many yoga teachers offer private sessions that can help show you how to bring your practice home. Sharing your practice can deepen your relationships through quality time.
Speaking of time, your home yoga practice can happen ANY TIME YOU WANT! Working late? Your mat at home is open all night and can be waiting for you when your alarm goes off. Futhermore, the comfort of your mat may even make it easier to not hit the snooze button so many times.
Will I still want to go to class?
I know, I’ve made your home yoga practice sound divine. Peace and joy at your fingertips, day and night. Am I talking myself out of a job? No, I don’t think so. You love your teacher. You enjoy your classmates. The group class environment fulfills your desire to connect with others and your teacher will continue to inspire you with sequencing and philosophy. However, your home yoga practice just gives you more yoga and more yoga is always good!
Comment below with your favorite home yoga practice tips!
P.S. Check out my new YouTube video for a simple Sun Salutation to do at home!