Your Yoga Home Practice: A TNT Habit You Can Start Today

“If you are taking yoga classes but not practicing at home, you may be missing the best—and potentially most therapeutic—part of yoga. Your personal practice is where the deepest work happens, when you go inward and go at your own pace” 
— Nina Zolotow, Author & Blogger, Yoga as Medicine & Yoga for Healthy Aging

Sitting in my spare room, surrounded by brand new blocks, blankets, bolsters and straps that my students had ordered gave me a thrill.  It told me they were excited about yoga and the possibilities of extending this to their home practice.  Frequently students tell me the benefits they are recognizing from their classes. Adding a home practice in addition to classes or while traveling would greatly expand the benefits. However, making the time and having confidence to start a home practice can feel overwhelming.  But, starting small is achievable. 

Committing to a TNT (tiny, new, tangible) Healthy Year Habit of starting a yoga practice at home could be one of the best decisions you make this year. Starting small may simply be doing a single pose or a 10-15 minute “mini” well-rounded practice. You will quickly find practicing at home in addition to going to class will help you tremendously. Just get started for a TNT power packed result.

Some tips to help you get started

Find a Place to Practice: Find a quiet place you feel comfortable and not self conscious of what your spouse or other family members are thinking.  Flooring does makes a difference.  Thick carpets feel great under your feet, but are harder to achieve stability on your mat while doing yoga.  A hard surface is best. Having your mat and other props that you can use visible helps you maintain your commitment.

Find Balance in your day in little ways!  How about Tree Pose while waiting for your coffee?

Find Balance in your day in little ways!  How about Tree Pose while waiting for your coffee?

Find a Time to Practice

Maybe this is just 10-15 minutes when you first get out of bed to get your day started or 10-15 minutes before you go to bed as part of your wind-down routine.  

Another idea is fitting in some poses while watching TV, brushing your teeth or standing in line at the supermarket. 

My pickleball friends often laugh when they see me doing hamstring and lower back stretches on the sideline between games, but for me it is a lifesaver.  

No Time?  Try a quick standing Down Dog, by holding and stretching at a table or your kitchen counter.

No Time?  Try a quick standing Down Dog, by holding and stretching at a table or your kitchen counter.

 

Start Small & Listen to your Body: You may feel you don’t know what to do.  But when you tune into your body, it will start telling you what practice/poses will feel good today. 

Always warm-up first to get your muscles ready to work if you are doing a more active sequence.

Don’t Forget Your Breath: Remember yoga starts with your breath.  It is the energizing life force that brings nourishment to your entire body.  Don’t overthink it, just make sure you are breathing deeply and exhaling fully throughout your practice.  Inhale as you expand, exhale as you contract.

Be Safe: Remember the guiding principal, if you feel pain you must back off.  Use your props or a wall for balance.  Go slow and don’t over do it.  

Click on the box below for a sample 10-15 minute “mini sequence”.  Remember you can do some or all of these.  It is YOUR practice not set in stone.  I will be adding more poses in the coming months to give you more ideas in the future.

Connie Cline, Brandy Wismer and Janelle Roth

Connie Cline, Brandy Wismer and Janelle Roth

 

Special Thanks to Ann Brackeen for her photography and our New Beginnings & Wellness Robson Ranch Yogi Models, Janelle Roth and Connie Cline.