As someone who has been practicing yoga regularly for the past seven years, one of the questions I hear the most is “How do I start doing yoga at home?”
One of the most fulfilling skills I have developed is the ability to practice yoga at home. So, I want to share with you all you need to know to get started. To start your home yoga practice, all you need is a yoga mat, comfortable clothing, a quiet space, and access to YouTube. Although yoga is a complex practice with many components, the best way to begin your journey at home is by following along with teachers on YouTube videos.
What do I need in order to start doing yoga at home?
All you need is access to YouTube and preferably a yoga mat. The yoga mat is not obligatory, but it does make the whole experience a lot more pleasant. The mat becomes your yoga space and provides you with comfort and support while the YouTube videos will guide you through your very first yoga postures.
When searching for videos on YouTube, be sure to include the keywords “beginner yoga” in your search. Ideally your first yoga workout will be gentle and beginner friendly to gently immerse you into the practice. Stumbling across a higher level video might discourage you away from the practice.
How do I know which YouTube videos to pick?
There are three main factors that you might want to consider when choosing a YouTube video:
1. The length of the video
2. The word “beginner” in the title
3. The like to dislike ratio the video has
You want to start with a short (10-15 min) video. Many people underestimate how hard yoga is. Do not dive right into the long videos because this might leave you discouraged and out of breath. Instead, begin with the short videos this way you can check out different teachers and yoga styles (yes there are different styles of yoga but don’t worry about that right now, just find a video that you like and go from there).
Be sure that the word “beginner” is mentioned in the title. The last thing you want is to jump right into an advanced yoga video that will leave you feeling as flexible a stick! Be sure the video you select is designed for beginners. Learning yoga at home has its advantages when compared to starting with a studio because it allows you to explore the practice at your own pace.
Take a look at YouTube’s Like to Dislike Ratio feature because it literally tells you what percentage of people actually liked the video! This is great when selecting your first video because this way you get a general idea of weather or not the video is enjoyable. I would advise you to select a video that is in the top. The people who have rated the video are beginners just like yourself so you can choose your videos accordingly.
When is the best time to do yoga at home?
The best time to practice yoga is in the morning before you have breakfast. Yoga is about finding the space that exists within your body and folding into those spaces. Said spaces get filled up with food and will restrict your mobility range hence preventing you from getting the full benefits from the practice.
After consuming a meal, your body focuses much of its energy on breaking down the food in order to process it through its system. The best time to practice yoga is when you have an empty stomach and are in a state of ketosis. Being in a fasted state while practicing yoga will yield the most benefits physically and mentally.
How often should I practice yoga at home?
The frequency at which you practice yoga is completely up to you. Most yogis would agree that a daily yoga practice keeps them fresh and full of energy to go about their day. Yoga has a multitude of health and cognitive benefits and starting your day off with a flow will elevate your energy and inevitably start your day off just right.
You can choose to do yoga once a week or practice multiple times a day. Personally, I can’t go more than a few days without yoga now because my body physically aches for it and I don’t feel like myself without it I know this is the case for many other yogis.
When should I transition from my home into a yoga studio?
Truth be told, you might actually prefer your home practice over a studio practice. There are many advantages to doing yoga at home vs signing up for a studio. You can practice anytime, any style and any length of time you want, and wearing whatever outfit or lack thereof! Before transitioning into a studio, you should decide which style of yoga you like the best as there are many to choose from. After having done a few beginner videos, you should have a basic feel as to which types of yoga you prefer. For example, Yin yoga is a very slow type of yoga which requires you to hold each position for an extended period of time, whereas Ashtanga yoga is very dynamic and includes many jumps and moving in and out of positions with every breath. In yoga, these are two very opposite styles and you will inevitably prefer one over the other. Deciding which type of yoga is your favorite may save you from attending a class that you simply will not enjoy.
The best way to suss out studios is by attending classes. Ask around or check out online reviews to get a feel of which one is right for you. Even after transitioning into a studio, you will always be grateful for your home practice on the days where you’re feeling stiff or low energy and need a good stretch before starting your day.
In conclusion, in order to start your home yoga practice, all you need is a yoga mat, comfortable clothing and access to YouTube.
When deciding which YouTube videos to start with, take into account the level of difficulty, the length and the rating of the video that you select in order to enjoy your first practices to their fullest.
You might want to pay attention to which types of yoga you prefer and search your future videos accordingly. Remember that yoga is a journey, take your time and remember to be present with every breath that you take. Learning yoga will most likely change your life for the better, enjoy the ride!