How To Start Your At-Home Yoga Journey

The current state of our world can be pretty upsetting, and Now more than ever, we need to seek out a little self-care and a much-needed reprieve from the noise of everyday life that could be accessed in our homes. If you find life is a little too heavy right now, consider adding an at-home yoga routine. There has never been a better time to practice the ultimate self-care at home. Yoga soothes our bodies, calms our minds, and strengthens our muscles. 

Practicing yoga at home is one of the easiest ways to give yourself equal parts challenge and peace. You don't need to have studied a long time at a studio to begin yoga, and you don't need much to begin. Yoga is for all body types and fitness levels (via The New York Times). So if you're ready to give yourself the gift of yoga, prepare to reap the benefits in your mind, body, and soul.

Start small and build

The most intimidating part of an at-home workout schedule is getting equipment. However, with yoga, you simply need space, a mat or towel, and yourself. If you are just beginning, pick the most enjoyable pose and start there. There is no minimum or maximum time requirement for yoga. Let your body tell you which stretches it needs each day (via Gaiam). Maybe child's pose is the best place to start. Perhaps your hips could use pigeon pose. Finally, have some fun with happy baby. Pick five enjoyable poses that your body feels it needs and build from there.

Use what you have around the house

Sometimes people are hesitant to try a new workout regime because of the supplies and gadgets they believe they need. With yoga, every gadget or supply can be substituted with something you already own. Since you are completing the practice at home, you won't feel silly substituting. Consider using a blanket instead of a mat, a chair instead of a bar, or a scarf instead of a belt (via Yoga Basics). There are countless ways to replace expensive equipment with things from home. Get creative with your choices.

Don't forget to align

In every exercise, performing the moves properly is more important than the repetitions. Yoga is no exception, and it may be the most important practice for proper alignment. If you can, try to practice in front of a mirror. If one isn't available to you, consider finding a video on YouTube or using a DVD where you can watch yogis model specific moves. The only way to benefit from everything that yoga provides is to put your body in the most favorable position for each move (via Yoga Journal). Once your baseline is set, you will start reaping the gifts of yoga.

Set goals and celebrate

As we age, we don't always get the benefit of mastering a skill. With yoga, setting small goals like touching your toes, being able to move into downward dog, or holding a plank for 30 seconds longer than you could at the start are all causes for celebration. A nice tool to aid in this would be a yoga journal. You can write down your goals and the date you set them. Then, when you can physically do what you wanted from the beginning, write down the date of celebration. Repeat this as many times as you'd like. Most yoga participants feel improvement in mobility within four to eight weeks of starting their practice (via Live Strong). This progress is cause for celebration, and it will keep you coming back to the mat.

Get creative with your practice

There are so many types of yoga practice out there. If you're looking for more of a gentle, deep stretch, search for Yin Yoga. If you'd like more of a cardio challenge, look into power yoga (via MasterClass). If you love the different types of flow, seek out some fluid vinyasa yoga (via One Flow Yoga). No matter your mood, there is a yogic practice that will aid in your quest for peace. By taking part in many different yoga practices, you'll strengthen muscles all over your body and never get bored of the same exercises.

Yoga soothes our bodies and our minds. Once you start a practice at home, you'll soon see why so many athletes make time for yoga in their busy schedules. It not only takes physical strength to hold the poses, but it also takes mental strength to focus on breathing and stretching. You'll find your sleep will improve, your focus will be sharp, and you'll feel stronger in a very short time (via Gaiam). The benefits of yoga are endless. Let the power of yoga into your home, and let it help heal what ails you from within.