7 Easy Steps Getting Started Doing Yoga at Home

Starting a home yoga practice can ultimately save time, energy, and money. You no need to fight traffic to make it to class on time or remember to bring our yoga gear. Twenty minutes of yoga at home is often more beneficial than driving, parking, and paying to practice for an hour at a studio. So if you are looking to do yoga at home, follow these steps.

Step 1: Create Space

Just enough space will get the job done! Sometimes the places in our homes are not the biggest nor quietest. The key is working with what you have! Go ahead and move some furniture around to get started where you are!

Step 2: Find something comfortable to wear

Wear clothes that are light and comfortable. No need to wear skin-tight yoga pants; in fact, some yogis feel a lot more "free" wearing loser pants. It is best to wear a shirt that does not rise when doing certain poses, but you can tuck your shirt in your bottoms to avoid this. Wear socks if you feel more comfortable, but best to keep socks off for a better grip on the mat.

Step 3: Get a Yoga Mat

You don't need a fancy yoga mat that costs tons of money! Here are some things to consider when looking for a yoga mat:

Thickness: A thin yoga mat is about 1/16-inch thick and ideal for practicing balance postures, giving you a secure connection to the floor. The downside to a thin mat is that it provides less cushioned support for you. A 1/4-inch yoga mat is considered thick and may be more ideal for back support during core work, inversions, and other postures that cause your bones to dig into the ground. If you would like a happy medium, go for the standard yoga mat labeled 3.3 mm or 1/8-inch thick.

Material: The material of a mat will determine the texture, stickiness, sponginess, and eco-friendliness. Most yoga mats are made of either vinyl or rubber. Vinyl mats last a long time and can endure many yoga classes. Rubber mats typically have jute and cotton in them, making them more eco-friendly but less spongy.

Texture: The mat’s texture will control the amount of traction it has. If you sweat a lot in yoga class, a grippy mat will keep you from slipping around. If the bumpy texture bothers you, make sure the smooth mat has a moisture control mechanism.

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Step 4: Consider getting blocks

They are helpful but not necessarily needed! The ideal size for a yoga block is 9 x 4.5 x 3 inches, but you will find both larger and smaller blocks. Choosing a larger or smaller block will depend on your hands' size and the level of your flexibility. If you have small hands and are fairly bendy, you might want to consider a smaller sized block. Conversely, if you have larger hands and less flexibility, think about choosing a larger block.

Originally yoga blocks were made of wood, but now blocks also come in both foam and cork. Foam yoga blocks are less expensive than cork and wood, more lightweight (weighing between 3 and 12 ounces), and are very soft. Because of their low cost, durability, and ease of cleaning, they are the most common blocks found in yoga studios.

Most of the time, you will only need one yoga block, but there is a good chance that you’d regret not buying two. You will find that having a block in each hand or stacked blocks will offer more support, which will lead to a wider range of poses you can attempt during your practice.

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Step 5: Strap

Yoga straps are very versatile for yoga students of all skill levels. You can use a yoga strap to achieve proper alignment, get deeper into a pose, play, and experiment, or even carry your yoga mat. Yoga straps come in various fabrics and widths, and there are multiple types of buckles and loops to choose from.

Loops vs. Buckles: A strap with a buckle will give you the most options, but a strap with loops is much less fussy to use. A strap with a sliding loop design can easily be used as a yoga mat carrier.

Length: Straps come in different length options. Choose a longer strap if you are tall or struggle with flexibility.

Material: Most straps are made with cotton, which provides a good grip and allows for easy cleaning, but straps made from other natural materials are great as well.

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Step 6: Cushion/Bolster

Either it is a bolster, pillow, or padding; cushions are helpful to alleviate discomfort.

Yoga bolsters are dense pillows of varying sizes used to support particular parts of the body in different asanas. Like other yoga props, they help take the strain off the body as you ease from pose to pose. They provide not only comfort but support for the body to achieve the best circulation of blood flow. Consider a cushion or bolster for the following remedies:

Leg Circulation: Placed under the knees during Savasana (corpse pose). Encourage a feeling of floating.

Abdomen & Gut Circulation: Stick a bolster under the lower back for a supportive backbend (fish pose, bridge, or easing into wheel).

Chest Circulation: Lengthwise along the mid to upper back, neck, and head to open the heart chakra.

With so many bolster sizes and shapes to choose from, it can be challenging to figure out which one is right for your practice. Consider the following shapes:

Chose Rectangular: has a flat surface and a lower height, which provides a more stable surface area, and allows the body to fold deeper into forwarding bends.

Chose Round: its shape offers a larger diameter, which is better for opening the chest or heart chakra. It has a taller height than the rectangular, which provides more support for forwarding bends.

Every yogi is looking to improve circulation and aid in relaxation techniques. That's why bolsters are the perfect prop for everyone. Not just another pillow, bolsters assist you in your practice by lifting your body up or applying pressure where needed.

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Step 7: Patience

Do not rush, do not be frustrated, be consistent, be patient with your progress. Yoga will transform your life over time. The more we allow ourselves to be present and fully embrace our thoughts, emotions, and bodies in the present moment, the more our yoga practice will transform our lives. Challenge yourself, but do not force any poses. Flexibility will come naturally over time.

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