When I started my yoga practice at home it was an incredibly freeing experience. For years I dedicated my time to practice at the studio. It was hard at times to get the class I wanted with the instructor I liked at a time that was convenient, or at a time that was good for my body.
A lot of the flow classes I liked were pretty late in the evenings (some starting at 8 pm!), with sun salutations- which were stimulating and would rev me up, or were weird times in the middle of the afternoon. I had to plan my whole day around when I could fit my favorite yoga class in. After moving to LA I realized that this structure was no longer working for me.
It’s not that I don’t like being in a studio, because I think the community aspect is great too. But I now strongly believe that a home yoga practice is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself.
Now, personally, I go to the studio if a friend is in town teaching or there is a workshop I really want to get to, but I practice at home now 99.99% of the time. This may or may not be the right split for you, so of course find the balance that works for you.
I want to share with you today 5 Reasons You Should Start A Home Practice in hopes of inspiring you to try it yourself! :-)
5 Reasons You Should Start A Home Practice
1. The ability to customize your own practice. When you practice yoga at home, you are able to align your feelings, thoughts and schedule into your routine. Have to pick the kids up by 5pm, meeting at 3pm? No need to stress thinking you won’t make that 6pm class. You are now able to pick the space, music and overall feeling of your practice all from the comfort of your own home. It’s also really great to get downstairs and start the day with your practice (as I do), without having to change, got out in public, rush into class with other people/energies, before you have had time to gather yourself.
2. Do the type of yoga that feels right to you. My practice shifts depending on what is going on in my life. When I feel I need to focus, I find myself doing a lot of Warrior 2. Inversions give me the feeling of flying and I love to increase the amount of them in my practice when I really need to be creative or want to feel strong and balanced. You may want to start off slowly getting into a flow of just moving your body and getting used to doing a sequence of poses together. You can hold the asanas (poses) for as long as they feel good to your body. Sometimes, my whole practice is just some hip openers or gentle backbends, which are therapeutic for me for sometimes. You also can enjoy a longer shivasana at the end of your practice and a meditation before you start or end your day.
3. The solitude of your practice being just for you. At times when you are first starting yoga, or even when you are an experienced yogi, class can feel a little intimidating. When you are in a room with 15 – 30 other people, it can take more discipline to focus only on yourself and not what everyone else is doing (and what is she wearing? Who makes those pants? Are my legs as straight as hers in that pose?? ). By creating your home practice, you create a space that is judgment-free and ego-free as it is just you and your mat. It’s pretty easy for ego to creep in in a lot of studio settings, which is a bummer because comparisons and competition is not what yoga is about at all.
4. Practice as long or as short as you like. Whether you have 90 minutes or 5 minutes, getting started is the key to success. Consistency and dedication is all you need to get into a routine of starting your home practice. Don’t beat yourself up if you only have time for some morning opening stretches or if you just want to wind down at night after work. Make your practice suit your life. The more authentic you are with your connection to yoga, the more it will naturally fit into your life.
Plus- and this was one of the biggest things for me…the time it was taking me to get to the studio, get back home, get there early enough to put my mat down and get a “good” spot, chat a little after class…really added up. I would rather use that time for meditation. I have more time to meditate now without having to go to the studio.
5. Create your own special yoga sanctuary. You can practice yoga anywhere of course, but to deepen your connection with your home practice, I recommend creating your own sacred space. In my home, I love to practice in my living room. (Shown in picture above :)) It is a bright and airy space and I can often see little humming birds in the tree right outside my window. It feels like nature is all around me. I have a photo of Yogananda and my statue of Nataraja that I got in India. I often love to light a soy candle and burn some sage at the start of my practice to clear the space.
In just a few days, my DVD will be released and with it as a guide, I encourage you to try out starting your own home practice.
A few thoughts from three of our readers that have been doing their own home practice over the last few months…
“As soon as I got access to Kimberly’s Yoga Course I could not wait to try out the Vinyasa sequence. The first time I did the full Vinyasa sequence, I was exhausted but in a good way. It really works every part of your body. It’s been a while since I’ve done yoga, and I’ve been wanting to get back into it for a while. Everything on the video flows at a good pace and is narrated wonderfully so that I don’t have to watch the video the whole time.
I find this different because I’ve gone to classes and just followed along and didn’t truly understand the purpose of each pose. I love that it also has the guidebook along with it that explains all the poses, the philosophies of yoga, the benefits for your health, and eating for your yoga. It’s a complete package. Right now I’m connecting with the Beginner’s Flow Series.
My favorite pose is the dancer’s pose. It’s just fun to do and looks pretty. It’s great for balance and works your core too. What I’ve learned the most is that I’m doing something for myself that will have a tremendous positive impact on my health and mind for years to come. I didn’t know yoga helps maintain and even builds bone mass. That’s very important to me. I will definitely recommend this to all my friends!
It’s great because you can do this at your own pace and time that’s good for you. It also has a beginner and intermediate video as well as a breathing video. I can tell that a lot of time and love has been put into this yoga course. It’s beautifully done. Kimberly is a true inspiration and this is an extension of all the great things she does!”
“The first time I did the full Vinyasa sequence I felt very relaxed and refreshed. I feel a huge difference when doing Kimberly’s program because she paces the sequence well and says a lot while talking little. Other instructors and programs take away from the practice from talking too much instead of keeping it short and simple yet still guiding you.
I hardly had to look at the video to do the sequence. The audio alone was outstanding. Kimberly also gives great advice on how Yoga affects you in life and spiritually. I love that. I’m just getting started and I have just completed the 1st module, but I enjoyed the standing sequences so far the best.
I learned different modifications that I’ve never seen before. Her explanation of pigeon pose made me “get it. I would strongly recommend this to friends. I would recommend her course because it is very well organized and true to the original foundation of yoga. Great music and great instructions.
I want to just close this by saying Kim’s course give me strength and peace. She’s a great teacher.”
“I have been waiting for Kimberly’s Yoga Course for years! I am so excited it is finally here. The first time I did the full Vinyasa sequence it felt amazing and I like that the pace is slow paced, and not rushed.
I have taken only one style of yoga, and I feel that no matter what yoga you practice that you yourself have to feel ease with your own body and Kimberly’s course made me feel that way. My favorite module is reading about the yoga itself.
I really enjoy child pose and tree pose. What I did learn is that breathing is very important and not forcing yourself to the next move will always be important. My favorite pose as well is easy pose, because I love meditating too.
I would 100% recommend the course to a friend. You have 3 hours of yoga and so much information in the modules themselves as well which is good to know for anyone really. This course leaves me with overall positive vibes. I can’t stress enough how I love the slow pace and her peaceful voice. Simple as that.”
Thank you so much Susan, Juan and Marina for sharing your home practice with us and your thoughts and feelings on my new DVD!
I am so glad to have you all here with me for Yoga Week! I hope that these 5 tips help inspire you to create your own yoga sanctuary in your home and that it is totally possible to have a successful and filling home practice.
With love and gratitude,