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Starting out with anything as a beginner can be challenging, and yoga is no exception.
You hear everyone rave about how great it is, how they have transformed their body and decreased their stress. You may even follow a few yogi’s on Instagram and have gotten inspired, but then thought “How do I get there?”
Whenever someone asks me this question I always say the same thing: practice and dedicate yourself and you will see results.
But I know it’s not that easy. There is so much information out there and so many options it can get very overwhelming figuring out where to start.
Not to mention going to a yoga class can be SO stressful when you’re a beginner.
It can be intimidating walking into a room full of people you don’t know trying something you have never tried before, especially when the people you’re doing it with are more experienced.
It can easily cause you to compare yourself to others and make you lose focus on your practice, which is the only thing you should be worrying about.
Not to mention yoga classes can be expensive. They can range anywhere from fifty dollars a month to a couple hundred dollars a month depending on where you go and how often you go.
But the awesome thing is you don’t need to go to a yoga studio to build a strong and fulfilling yoga practice, you can build one in the comfort of your own home.
There are so many reasons to start a home yoga practice, especially as a beginner:
You don’t have to worry about getting to the studio on time.
You don’t have to practice in a crowded room full of people.
You can more easily focus on yourself, and are less likely to compare yourself to others.
The worry about looking silly in front of others (which you never can!) is eliminated.
You have more options and control over the the length and how strenuous your practice is each day.
What You’ll Need to Start Your Home Yoga Practice
There are a few items that I believe are essential to building a strong and fulfilling home yoga practice:
1. Yoga mat
You need a good quality mat that has good grip and is slightly padded to protect you from injury. You can read my review of the 5 best yoga mats for beginners that you can buy on amazon here.
These are a must when first starting out to help improve your flexibility without straining yourself.
Even if you don’t feel you need them for flexibility purposes, there are tons of other uses for them that are covered in this article by Yoga Journal here.
You can get yoga blocks in a bunch of different stores, but some are way overpriced. The ones I use in my home I bought on Amazon, and they are awesome. These are the ones I have.
Another wonderful tool to help relieve tightness and improve flexibility. You can buy a good quality one on amazon for a fair price, like this one here which I use myself. The small investment is definitely worth it. You will be thanking yourself you bought it on days you are really feeling the tightness in your hamstrings!
You can use your own blanket, a pillow, or a blanket like this that most yoga studios use. I like this one because it is thicker than most blankets while still maintaining its shape which fulfills it’s purpose well.
Blankets help you maintain your posture, can be used to support your knees or hands, and can be used in Savasana for comfort as well.
This one is optional but definitely recommended if you are interested in trying restorative yoga poses. They give your body support in poses so you can focus on relaxing. You can buy these on Amazon as well.
They are firmer than regular body pillows you use in bed and can really help open your body up in poses as well. This one on Amazon has great reviews if you are thinking of getting one!
6.Any type of device that lets you play music
I am declaring this one an essential, because music makes everything better! If you decide to follow someone on YouTube for classes or follow a full program like Yoga Burn, music is usually included in the background.
But if you decide to take your practice into your own hands and start with simple yoga poses or maybe Surya Namaskar, music definitely helps lift your mood and give you more energy during your practice! You can use your phone, or I just decided to buy a little cordless speaker for better quality. This is the one I have.
How to Start A Yoga Practice At Home
1.Create a space you love
You don’t need to have a whole room dedicated to yoga, although that would be ideal. You can find any place, whether it’s a small spot in your living room or outside in your backyard(not ideal in the winter!) just find a space and make it yours. Fill it with art, quotes, decorations, scents, anything that makes you feel inspired to get on your mat.
2.Dedicate a set amount of time
In order to make something a habit, you need to be consistent with it. Just like a class, you need to set a specific amount of time to yoga at least a few times a week. I recommend at least dedicating 3 set days per week and stick to them for awhile.
This is much easier if you are following a set program, which is why we recommend Zoe Bray-Cotton’s 12 week program Yoga Burn. The program is set up so you do yoga three times a week for 12 weeks, which is the perfect amount of time for developing a strong habit and practice.
3.Find a teacher
There are tons of options for finding yoga teachers thanks to the internet. There a lot of amazing free classes on YouTube that range in difference of times and types of yoga, although this can still be somewhat overwhelming for beginners because of just how many options there are.
I personally think investing in yoga program is the best route to go if you really want to see results. As I stated earlier, Yoga Burn really is the best beginner program you could invest in when first starting out. It’s a 12 week program that is done 3 times a week and includes a bunch of great resources for beginners like a yoga pose library, beginner flow, and restorative flow, so you get a taste of everything. You can check out her program here.
Top 5 Essential Tips for Beginners Starting A Home Yoga Practice:
You’re not going to get down a pose after one shot, and you may even lose balance and feel defeated at times. Yoga is not about perfection, it is about growth.
The more dedicated you are to your practice and the more time you set aside for it, the more consistent your results will be. But with that being said, please don’t give up after messing up one time, or a one hundred times. Be patient with yourself and realize yoga is a journey, not a destination. You taking the time to better yourself now will show in your future results, even if those results aren’t in this very moment.
Like I said, the more time you dedicate to your practice, the better your results will be. You can’t practice once a month and expect to progress as much as someone who practices three times a week. Set aside time for your practice to make it into a habit.
That is another reason we highly recommend Yoga Burn, because it not only helps develop your practice, but it helps you create consistency and habit. Practicing three times a week for 12 weeks is a great timeline to develop a routine and create long lasting habits.
3.Never skip Savasana.
So many people do this, and I can’t say enough how important Savasana is to your practice. People think because it is a resting pose that it is optional, but I disagree. Savasana gives you the time to reflect on your practice, as well as promotes mindfulness and awareness.
4.Track your progress.
I think it is so important to track your progress, especially in the beginning and especially as someone practicing at home. You don’t have a yoga teacher to tell you how much you have improved, so you being able to tell yourself is great motivation and inspiration.
Two great ways to do this are by taking pictures and writing in a journal every time you practice.
5.Master the basics.
I know it may be tempting to try to move right into the pretty poses you see online, but not only is this bad for your practice, but you could put yourself at risk for getting hurt. Mountain Pose and Downward Facing Dog may not be as “sexy” as other poses, but they are extremely important for developing the strength and alignment that is needed to build a fulfilling practice.
Home Yoga Resources for Beginners
Here are a few extra resources to help you jump start your home yoga practice:
I would love to answer any questions you have on beginning a home yoga practice. If you have any questions or comments, please do so in the comments below!
Ally is the co-founder of GroundedPanda.com with her fiance Victor. She began practicing yoga at the beginning of her career as a Registered Nurse to cope with the physical and mental stress it put on her, and fell in love with it. Her goal is to help beginners develop a fulfilling practice without the intimidation. Besides managing this website, she loves hiking with her loving fiance and cuddling with her two silly cats.