Yoga at home is gradually becoming the new normal. With the world hit by a deadly virus and all of us stuck at home, there is no better time to start practicing yoga at home.
Yoga increases flexibility. It makes people calm thereby reducing the number of anxiety/panic attacks. Yoga at home is the most ideal way to relax your mind and body while keeping you fit. It reduces stress, tension, and also helps you focus better.
There are various benefits of doing yoga at home than going to a yoga class or studio:
- You don’t have to worry about the timings as you can get to it at any time of the day.
- There would be no worry of being stuck in the traffic and reaching your class late or missing your yoga session due to an important work assignment.
- You also need not be tensed about your kids while you are away from home.
- Yoga at home can save you a lot of money as you no longer need to enroll yourself for expensive yoga classes.
- Going to a yoga class being mad at the traffic or your boss will fog your real purpose of going there in the first place.
Thus, yoga at home saves you money, energy, and time. Additionally, the time you spend reaching the studio or class can be utilized better.
Related: Significance of Yoga
Why you should practice yoga at home
Nowadays, with all our busy lives and the depressing news amidst which we are living, it’s difficult to be at peace. Our lives are constantly surrounded by electronic gadgets. And we are consumed in work. Whatever time we are left with, we spend it socializing with friends. At the end of the day, we have absolutely no time for ourselves. We forget to check on our mind and pay attention to what our body needs.
We all wish for world peace, but world peace will never be achieved unless we first establish peace within our own minds.”Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Practicing yoga at home can be the little me-time you spend with yourself. It is the art of silencing the hustle-bustle of the outside world.
- By relaxing with yoga at home, we can focus on our inner voice. We can discover peace from within our souls. This makes yoga better than doing gym fitness workouts.
- Yoga is a slow and therapeutic practice while fitness workouts are just exercising. Practicing yoga at home will rejuvenate your mind and body. It acts as a stress buster for people with high workload and busy jobs.
- The notable advantage of doing yoga at home is that you can plan your personalized yoga session. You can choose the asanas or poses you want to practice and do it according to your energy level.
- If you’re feeling energetic, then you can choose a moderate or high level of fast and rigorous yoga poses to get yourself flowing. In contrast, if you feel laid back or tired, then you can practice a more relaxed and restorative yoga to refresh yourself.
- You can also cut short your session if you have an important work or an unplanned event. You can later cover-up by practicing additional yoga poses the next day.
- At home, you do not have to care if you are keeping up with the class or if you are getting it right. All these doubts do not ping you at home in a space you are comfortable with.
- Yoga at home is the best way to work on you and practicing yoga at home is best for people who are conscious about their bodies or are too shy to attend a yoga class.
Initially starting from 15-20 minutes a day you can slowly increase the duration to 40-45 minutes. At home, there is no specific time to go on with your yoga. However, this can also be a disadvantage.
To avoid being lazy and cheating on yourself, you need to draft a yoga plan. Mark the calendar to decide which days and what time you will dedicate solely to yoga. Practicing yoga every day will slowly inculcate a habit and become a part of your daily routine.
Yoga at home is free of all the competition and comparison. There is no pressure as there are no eyes on you. You can ease and comfortably perform the asanas, take one step at a time.
Yoga essentials to do yoga at home
There is nothing much you need to get started. That is another great thing about yoga. Yoga equipment is minimal; you need a mat, a strap, cushion (for meditation), and some yoga blocks.
If you are not willing to spend so much, then you can simply use an old carpet or towel instead of a mat and use a belt for straps. You can use basic things available at home as yoga blocks.
If you decide to invest in a yoga mat, then you should get one with minimal thickness. It should also be anti-slip.
The most important thing that you need to start yoga at home is a peaceful and quiet space. This should be the space in your house with minimal or no disturbance where you can concentrate on your asanas.
Find a space that is big enough to allow you to perform different poses and where you can lie down and stretch. Fill this space with things that motivate and calm you, for example, place quotes, aromatic candles/incense sticks, plants, etc. Decorate it with motivational posters and quotes to keep you motivated for daily yoga practice.
This is your space. It should be breathable and comfortable enough for you to concentrate on the removal of all your mental baggage. You should be able to focus on what you need. Here you can forget all your troubles at the door.
Related: Yoga poses for weight loss
How to learn yoga at home
With the evolving technology, there are so many ways how you can learn yoga at home. You can download apps available on play stores specially designed for yoga.
You can also refer to YouTube videos. There are many live streams and videos on social media available free of charge to everyone.
Another important thing that you should consider is having a stable internet connection while you follow the videos. A disturbed connection will interrupt your yoga session and will not be able to serve its purpose.
You can try various apps and decide which suits you best. You can take your time to get settled. Many apps offer free trials. and you can After trial and error, subscribe to the one you liked the most. Even if you don’t want to take a subscription, there are many apps for free.
There are many virtual yoga classes that you can join. You would not be able to get personalized attention from your instructor. On the other hand, you cannot get personal attention even in a real class or studio if the instructor has many students. You have to follow the voice and practice the poses.
The people who do not practice the poses are always worried about fitting in, getting it right. But yoga is not particularly about doing it right. It is all about the feel of it. How spiritually connected you feel with yourself is what yoga is all about.
Once you get the basic hold of asanas, you can perform them on your own following your order. Let the noise coming from outside dissolve in your surroundings. You are free. Breathe in the fresh air and breathe out all the junk that has occupied your mind. If your kids are at home, ask them to join you, and follow your movements.
Yoga does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees.B.K.S Iyengar
Yoga at home – Tips for beginners
- Do not start the first day with a rigorous and high-level yoga. Take baby steps and start from the basics.
- Everybody is unique. Give your body the time it needs. Some poses might be too easy for you whereas others might seem tougher. Research for the pose that suits you.
- Do not get discouraged if you are not able to pick up everything in the first attempt. Take as long as you need to get it right.
- We have said it once. And let us say it again: Your yoga space should be a no disturbance zone and should be the one that inspires you to get better.
- Do not eat or drink anything 1-2 hours before yoga. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Wear comfortable and stretchable clothes. Your clothes shouldn’t restrict your movements because yoga is about being free.
- Lastly, don’t forget to focus on your breath.
Yoga poses for beginners
Being a beginner means starting easy. Do not start with complicated stuff. Start with the basics though they look too easy.
There are various poses you can try when you start doing yoga at home.
- Cat cow
Cat-Cow or the Marjariasana mainly focuses on the spine. It relieves all the stress and tension locked up inside of you. From the bottom of your head beginning from the medulla oblongata to the coccyx, you can feel the impact in every part of the spinal cord. It increases spine flexion and massages all the internal organs.
- Downward Facing Dog
This exercise is also known as the Mukha Svanasana. It engages your entire body, especially stretching the hamstrings and the arms. It also elongates the tight muscles of the calves. This pose makes the back flexible and stronger. It is a great pose to shake up the whole body.
- Low Lunge
Anjaneyasana or lunges are a form designed to work on the lower body. Lunges works on the thigh region and the stubborn muscles of the whole leg.
- Bridge Pose
Setu Bandhasana is a yoga asana for the lower back, hips, and thighs. It relieves lower backache and gives a proper shape to the hips. It also works in the thigh region.
- Upward facing dog
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana is a back-bending pose that also focuses primarily on the back. It relieves backache and strengthens the vertebral column, wrist, and arms. It stretches the thorax, abdomen, lung, and shoulders. It also stretches the spine and relieves backaches.
- Sun salutations
Surya-namaskar or sun salutation is also a famous yoga pose practiced by many fitness conscious people. It is a complete exercise that involves the full body engaging the back, arms, legs, core, and shoulders. It involves advanced backbends and arm balances. They are practiced as a warm-up and are followed by standing poses.
More than the poses, yoga is about your body. Your body is a temple. You should nurture it. Motivate yourself to get out of bed and practice the yoga poses. They will lend you muscle strength and make your mind a more habitable place.
“Yoga begins with listening. When we listen, we are giving space to what is.” — Richard Freeman
Yoga at home can be the makeover your mind and body deserve. After practicing the basic poses for beginners, you can advance your level. Then try the high-level poses like Firefly Pose, King Pigeon Pose, Nataraja Pose, Peacock Pose, etc.
With these, your body becomes more and more balanced and gains more flexibility. You will be surprised by what all your body can do and how far you’ve reached.
Related: Explore more Yoga poses for beginners
Yoga at home: To rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul
The corona-virus pandemic has completely turned our lives upside down. But in these tough times, learning to live with the new normal, practicing yoga, fitness, and mediation turns out to be the silver lining.
And yoga is not just for these tensed times. We all need inner peace and balance to stay healthy and happy, which we can attain by doing yoga at home.
With various advances and minimal expenditure, you can get started anytime with nothing but the stuff you already have at home. You don’t need any different clothes. You do not have to be afraid of being watched.
Doing yoga at home will make it much easier to experiment with other fitness practices because you will be more confident. Yoga connects you to the only person you need connection within this harsh world- the person living inside you.
With regular yoga at home, you will learn to handle tough situations with a calm mind. You will be less angry and more content with your life.
We need not spend so much on expensive spas, massages, and meditation retreat when we can achieve the same amount of satisfaction from yoga at home. The serenity you’re looking for everywhere is inside you. You just have to discover it through yoga!
“Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.”B.K.S. Iyengar
Best Yoga Books for Beginners
Yoga is a practice that has a lot to do with the body, mind and spirit. Understanding its essence helps you to practice the asanas with clarity. Here are some of the best yoga books for beginners. Reading the beginner yoga books them will guide you the ins and outs of yoga poses.
- Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, narration by Swami Vivekananda: Simplifies the understanding of Patanjali yoga sutras and a good book to get started with yoga.
2. Yoga for Everyone: A Step-by-Step Illustrated Guide to Iyengar Yoga: Shri BKS Iyenger is the founder of Indian Yoga who spread its potency to the whole world. This book helps you to understand his insights on yoga in a engaging way.
3. Yoga & Stress Management: Stress is a silent killer in the modern life. And Yoga is a miracle cure for stress. Learn how to beat stress with simple yoga practices with the help of this book.
4. Yoga Mythology: 64 Asanas and Their Stories: Devdutt Patanaik explains the secrets of each yoga pose in this book in a captivating way. You can understand a lot about each yoga pose through this yoga book for beginners.
5. Hatha Yoga Pradipika: This is a comprehensive yoga book that covers yoga poses from depth. Once you have given a read of any of the yoga books for beginners, you can pick this book. Also, if you are an expert in yoga or have intermediary experience, this book is a great resource.