I am no yoga master, but I have really enjoyed growing my practice in my post-college life. After years of competitive sports, it’s been fun to exercise just for me! When I was in grad school, I probably spent a little too much money on group exercise classes for my budget. You live and you learn. So now, after doing a little financial homework, I’ve been trying to work on my home practice of yoga to save money all while reaping the positive benefits of the exercise.
Doing yoga at home can feel kind of awkward at first. If you are lucky, you might have a spare bedroom or office to use. If you’re like me, you’re sliding your coffee table out of the way and Swiffering up the dog hair to make room. There are a few important things I’ve found when it comes to home practice.
- You need a plan. This could mean doing a flow from YouTube or it could mean reading a book about asanas and creating your own routine. Whatever you choose, don’t go aimlessly to your mat. If you want, write down (or print off Pinterest) a sequence and then get moving. One of my favorite yoga books is Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness.
- You need the right tools. Invest in a decent yoga mat. This pays off in the long-run, big time. If you’ve practiced at a studio before, you probably know how you feel about the mats that are provided. Are they too slick? Do you like that they have less traction because it gives your muscles a run for their money? Go to a store or yoga studio where you can get your hands on a couple of options. Manduka and Lululemon are industry favorites, but I love my Jade Harmony Mat. It has more grip which I found helpful as a beginner. On my wish list are some sturdy yoga blocks to help push myself in poses. I like these Nu-Source yoga blocks.
- Don’t expect perfection. Don’t start stretching and bending with the expectation that you are going to hit crow pose on your first day, or full wheel. Those people on Instagram (love them) doing handstands, they fell over A LOT before they made it there. Two of my favorite gals to get inspired by are @jessicaolie and @the_southern_yogi. I can’t wait to get my hands on each of their ebooks. Jessica wrote #letsstartyoga and #letsstartyoga2.0 and Morgan has an ebook focused on abs called Ab Asanas.
Do you have any favorite yoga gear or resources? I’d love to know.