• Rebecca Laidlaw

How to practice yoga at home

As a yoga teacher, I've had a lot of people in my personal and professional life ask about practicing yoga at home. I believe that consistent home practice is extremely important to your yoga journey. Here are the most common questions I get asked:

What do I need to start practicing at home?

Nothing. You don't need the most expensive yoga mat or 100 different styles of blocks, bolsters or straps to start your practice. Don't get me wrong, having a good quality mat does make a difference but you can just as easily use a towel or the floor. I do believe in props as they can help advance your practice but they are not essential. There is no reason that you cannot start your yoga practice straight away, the only thing that's in the way is your mindset telling you that you don't have the time or the knowledge to start. Here is your permission, start today.

What do I wear to practice?

Highwaisted, tight-fitting clothing that has a good amount of stretch. As a modern-day woman, I can understand that this is uncomfortable. Not so much in home practice but particularly when going to a physical yoga class. I can, however, guarantee that ill-fitting clothing that rides up over your head or down around your legs is worse. Yoga involves a lot of movement in order to be comfortable, confident and focus on your practice cover-up and don't allow any external forces to impact your practice.

Who should I watch on Youtube to guide me through a practice?

On this note, I am in the process of developing a 21-day yoga challenge on my Youtube channel... but I may not be your style of yoga teacher. That is the beauty of the internet, search for someone that you resonate with. There are many different styles of yoga, try them out! There is a style of yoga to suit everyone from high power classes to slower flowing yin classes. I often recommend Yoga with Adrienne and believe that she is a beautiful, well-spoken and knowledgeable yoga teacher if you are looking for somewhere to start.

How do I stay consistent?

What gets me on my mat every day is the postures that I want to access. At the moment it's a solid headstand and the splits. When I started it was to touch my toes. What keeps you on your mat is the goal you set and it may not be a posture. It could be a state of meditation or that you want to exercise for a certain amount of time each day. There are many physical and mental benefits of yoga from improved energy, sleep, flexibility, and strength. This is on you boo. What do you want? And how bad do you want it?

The last point, a home practice cannot replace a yoga class in-person. A virtual instructor cannot adapt their practice for your body because everybody is anatomically different. The difference in length of limbs, certain injuries and how a person moves cannot all be covered in one video. In a physical class yoga teachers (most teachers I have encountered including myself) will offer adjustments to help you reach postures and are on hand to give you advice on your body type.

In conclusion, what are you waiting for? Get on your mat/towel/floor/whatever and start now. And always feel free to reach out for any further advice.

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