It’s great to go to a yoga class. The energy that comes from it, in a studio with like-minded people. Practicing yoga together is wonderful. And of course, learning from a good, experienced yoga teacher is fantastic and beneficial. To experience the progress that involves regular yoga practice. But also the overwhelming, positive influence yoga practice can have. It can positively change your life. The space in body and mind that is created by regular yoga practice is so powerful. But for most people joining a yoga class daily at a studio is an impossible task. Even getting to a yoga class in time can already bring a lot of stress. All sweaty and in a rush entering the studio to roll out your mat at the last available tiny spot –rush hour after work-. Unintentionally this can already take away the joy of the yoga class a little bit.
A yoga home practice is not so bad after all. What is it that you need for a home practice? First of all: time, a mat, a room that is relatively quiet and preferably an online yoga class or program. There are a lot of high quality yoga classes and teachers on internet. The offer is broad! The beauty of a home yoga practice is that you can actually feel much better what yoga style fits best that day. And that you can wear those worn out jogging pants with the big tear in the middle. And it’s okay that you haven’t brushed your teeth yet. I also discovered some other benefits of a home practice:
- You do not have to be perfect. In a studio yoga class, you try to do your uttermost best – despite the yoga philosophy – ‘ trying to do it perfectly’. But there is so much we need to be “perfect in”. Our relationships, work, family, life – it can be exhausting!
- The practice of yoga at home gives a short break and takes a bit of the pressure away from our expectations.
- At home there is no teacher to please and no special clothing needs to be worn, you can just be yourself.
- You build up discipline. Try to find a moment in the day when it is natural to practice yoga. No laundry, dishes, dishwasher, no cleaning, vacuum cleaner. Just a laptop or Ipad to match an online yoga class of a teacher you love. A lot of high quality yoga classes on the internet. You will be amazed. Focus at home. The “yoga distraction” provides new opportunities for non-reaction.
- The daily temptations and distractions are big. You can try to find a way by maintaining a yoga home practice.
- It also offers the freedom to choose. I often found myself in a strong Vinyasa lesson. While my whole body was screaming for a soft Yin class. Or exactly the other way around. With a home practice you have the freedom to choose a yoga class that is based on what you need that day. We see and feel a lot more than we think we do. When you close your eyes and listen to your body, the movement you really need may arise. Home practice offers the opportunity to make a self-practice more instinctive, without the limitations of a particular agenda.
- From my own experience I can say that I have never managed challenging asanas in the studio. New advanced asanas I always performed for the first time at home.
- While practicing yoga at home (especially in the morning) there is no rush to be somewhere on time. You can step out of bed and exhale yourself in a foreward fold.
- It costs less. Self-practice with or without online yoga is cheaper. And yes, yoga studios make the difference in the experience of the yoga classes. Without a doubt: We need yoga studios. But if you want to do yoga daily, and –for what reason- you are not able to join a yoga class at a studio, home practice can certainly be a fantastic addition. And apart from that is effective with good online guidance. So why not a few lessons a week at home? Building a home self-practice.
Take the time! Be consistent and see what happens.