In my experience, home yoga practice has three major challenges: (1) Convincing yourself it’s a good idea, (2) Actually deciding to follow through and do it and (3) Figuring out what to do.
The problem is this: once you get through steps 1 & 2 (which is not an easy feat), you don’t want to wait around for step 3. You are ready to go — right. now.
So to help you get started right away with step 3 when you’re ready, I’ve got some tips for you on how to figure out what to do in your home yoga practice.
There are several great DVDs out there that are designed specifically for curvy yogis. You can check out a list on my Freebies page. In addition, many local libraries carry yoga DVDs you can check out so you can see if you like them. And as services like Roku, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Apple TV and Google TV continue to expand, many of them have yoga offerings you can experiment with. In addition, online sites like YogaGlo and YogaVibes offer monthly subscriptions with access to many different teachers and practices (and I even have some videos on YogaVibes that you can check out!).
Do What You’ve Done Before
Been to a great class lately? Replicate it at home! You probably won’t remember every single thing you did in class, but that doesn’t matter. Go for the spirit of the class more than the exact mimicry.
Follow What Feels Good
Another option is to let your body be the guide. Start by getting on your mat and just moving around, stretching whatever needs to be stretched. Some of this may look like traditional yoga poses, some of it may not. To me, this is one of the great things about home practice — you can be more informal and experimental.
Another great choice is to follow a written down sequence from a book. Sometimes this is difficult because you find yourself looking back at the book what feels like every 5 seconds. But in my experience, after doing a sequence from a book a few times, I get a pretty good feel for it and don’t have to look back as often (or potentially at all).
Put Together Your Own Sequence
Interested in creating your own sequence? There are some good resources available, including things like yoga pose decks of cards. These handy dandy things allow you to lay a series of poses out in front of you. Like a book, you still have to look at them. But unlike a book, they’re much easier to glance at — no page turning, no reading a long list of instructions (although that is available on the back of the card in most cases if needed/wanted). I usually put my sequences together like this: lying down warm-up, seated warm-up, standing poses, seated cool-down, lying down cool-down (Savasana).
Finally, support can be wonderful for creating a home practice. It can help you build confidence in what works for your body in a safe way. Many local yoga teachers offer private sessions, so you could always approach one of them about helping you create a home yoga practice. I’ve done that many times with my students, and it’s always fun. Another option is to join something like 30 Days of Curvy Yoga, the course I co-run with Marianne Elliott. The course is designed to give you the support and skills you need to create a home practice that is rooted in self-kindness (something we can all use more of!)
Speaking of, Marianne and I are doing a FREE live call on Tues, Oct. 9 at 8:30pm EST (time zone converter). The theme of our call is “5 Top Tips for Starting a Home Yoga Practice (& Why Kindness is Key). We’d love to have you join us! And if you can’t make it live, we’ll be sending out a recording of the call afterwards — as well as a handout summarizing our top tips and a downloadable guide to setting up your own home yoga studio. So if want those goodies — sign on up!
We’d also love to have you participate in the last round of 30 Days of Curvy Yoga for 2012. We’re starting on Oct. 15 (which will take you right up to the holiday season — giving you a foundation to navigate that with more ease).