For most of us, our first time doing Yoga was in a classroom setting. Probably at your local gym cooped up with 25 strangers and one thinly-spread instructor. These classes are a great learning tool, but should be only a portion of your practice. Yoga in a class is about movements and cardio, while yoga a home is about stillness and serenity. If the only time you get to zone out is in a stinky room on a community yoga mat, you need to take your practice to the next level by bringing it home.
GO HOME. By “home” I don’t necessarily mean your living quarters. I mean a place you choose to be. Find a peaceful spot in your home, or a place you know you will be unbothered. I recommend having a place indoors as well as a nice outdoor spot you can go.
BUY YOURSELF SOME GEAR. There is no feeling like being able to play with new toys. I fresh yoga mat, rope and block will inspire you to set up shop and get to practicing. And since Yoga is so widely appreciated, you can find some good quality equipment for a reasonable price.
SET THE AMBIANCE. When setting up shop, you should try to please all your senses. The smell, the view, the sounds, the temperature, and the air should all be as close to your liking as you can possibly get.
WATCH YOURSELF. You can practice with a mirror in sight. You just have to make sure your poses are in a place where you see yourself at the peak of your stretch. Now days, all our smartphones are equipped with video capability. Record yourself like the pro’s do. Then look at the video and see what you’re doing right and where you can make improvements.
FIND YOUR STYLE. There are a few ways to find your practice style. The internet is a powerful tool. You can search for guided yoga videos or audio recording, or find variations of poses that you aspire to perform. Social media is chalk full of yogis who want to share their journey.
CONSULT THE EXPERT. When you return to yoga class, pay attention to the names of the poses (Sanskrit and translation). Also, try to memorize any flows or pose to pose transitions so that you can practice on your own. And when that time come for your instructor ask if “anyone has any questions”, take advantage. Talk to your instructor about your progress at home.
With adherence to these tips, your yoga class has gone from your entire practice, to a tool on your journey as a true yogi.
Bruce Leroy Williams