Regular yoga practice is key
A weekly yoga class is great, but it is really a minimum to gain benefit from yoga practice. Regular practice enables the body, breath and mind to become familiar with the practices of yoga, the environment, the teacher, your body, your own practice and patterns that you bring to it, and the way your moves (or doesn't!) and responds to the yoga asana and to the yoga breathing. Once you have developed that level of familiarity with practice, the breath can become more central and more in focus, and the benefits for the body, mind, nervous system etc. can really start to develop.
Find a yoga teacher to help you get started
If you want to start practicing at home, first start with a regular weekly class with a yoga teacher that you feel comfortable with. Ideally a home yoga practice should be in conjunction with a yoga teacher who can help you navigate establishing a home practice, provide feedback to you and guidance along the way. Over time you'll become more self sufficient with it and be established in a solid and supportive, beneficial yoga practice.
It is very different practicing yoga on your own
As I tell my yoga students, it is very different practicing yoga at home, on your own - just you and your mat. A yoga class offers instruction, encourages you to explore in a different way and to try suggestions that the teacher offers you. In class you'll learn new practice skills, new postures and receive guidance from your teacher. A class is where you learn how to practice yoga. At home you are your own guide, and you put into practice the skills that you have learned in class. A bit like learning to play a musical instrument. You won't get very far if you only ever pick up the instrument in class each week. Using the guidance offered by the teacher, you go home and practice your skills and integrate them.
Your practice may well be set by a yoga teacher who can help you identify what is a useful starting point, but then it is up to you to explore your own body, breath, focus during the practice that you undertake. The process of your personal yoga practice is more intimate, your focus can be more internal, and your awareness need not be drawn away by external instructions.
Start small and regular
It need not take ages, 20 minutes a day is much more helpful than an occasional yoga class. It doesn't need to be an ambitious practice, and it might be more breath or meditation focused, or it might be more physical and challenging. Start with a modest practice, establish the habit of daily or close to daily yoga practice and without rushing headlong into it, over time develop a program that is suited and adapted to your needs
I often work with clients 1 to 1 to help them establish a tailored yoga program that they undertake at home, and over time we meet less and less often once they find an established and suitable way of practicing.
I also run yoga workshops to support you in checking in with home yoga practice. Or regular classes where your yoga teacher can input into your yoga practice are all great ways to develop a beneficial home yoga practice.
It should leave you feeling better than when you began
Your yoga practice should always leave you feeling better than when you began. Calmer, more settled, refreshed, and energised. And if it doesn't check in with your yoga teacher to explore further.
Please feel free to get in touch to find out more.
Or find out about our upcoming home practice yoga workshops here