As much as you might like going out to classes, it is a real luxury and some cases also a necessity to have a yoga space at home. A little pre-planning will make sure you have everything you need and can concentrate on the practice with contentment and ease. Start with a quiet, uncluttered space. It only needs to be a little bigger than the size of your mat, the standard size for a mat is 24 inches wide and 68 inches long. You don’t want to be near a door so there is a chance of you getting hit. You might not be comfortable close to a radiator or window. Choose your spot in the house, and then elect how and where to store your mat and accessories so they are in easy reach and you can get “in the zone” quickly.
- Mat and accessories
The mat is the most important thing, for your own safety. You cannot practice yoga safely on an “exercise mat” which is made from completely different materials. Choosing a yoga mat and the different types of mats deserve their own full blog post but, in the meantime, just know that really, it’s the only thing you need to practice at home. Other accessories may include a strap, a block, and a bolster but I would not invest in these unless you are sure you will use them. Storing your mat in the same place after each use reduces the stress of looking all over the house for it (guilty!)
- What to wear
As you are at home you can wear what you are comfortable in, but remember the guidelines for yoga clothing in general. While there are many overlaps between yoga clothing and other fitness clothing, and many items that you can wear for both, there are some specific requirements for yoga. You don’t want to wear anything loose as the fabric can get in your way and cover your face in inversions. You don’t want any fabrics that are too slippy as it may interfere in your hand placements. You want a sports bra that does not have traditional bra fasteners on the back (ouch!). The softer the better but the support required will depend on your breast size. I find some yoga bras a little on the skimpy side and in a public class, it does get distracting when I’m worrying about falling out. Please do not wear socks as they reduce your ability to grip the mat and in most poses, your feet position is your first consideration, so they need to be “rooted”.
- Finishing touches
You can set the scene with lighting, candles, sounds, and scents. A full length or half-length mirror is ideal if it’s possible for you, as it’s helpful to check your form. As you are not in a class, you don’t have the benefit of a teacher or other students to check your form or compare form. Some people set up their home yoga area like a mini studio with wall hangings, statues, etc. It is entirely down to personal choice and what else the space/room is used for. Unless you have a huge property, chances are your room is also a bedroom, sitting room etc.
- Your practice
You have lots of choice between YouTube, online classes, asana cards, books or your own knowledge to plan your practice. Try to assess what your body needs today. Are you looking for a stretch session, a vigorous workout, to balance out a lot of desk time or to calm anxiety and stress?
You are spoiled for choice on Spotify with the sheer number of tracks available. However, I think music is very personal. Some people like very traditional Indian sounds, and some like to listen to health spa style sounds like the sea or rain. If you are just starting yoga at home, look for some playlists that have already been curated and when you hear a song you particularly like, start marking them as “liked” so the Spotify algorithm can get to know your taste, and make suggestions. Maybe then start building your own playlists. Feel free to give my yoga playlist a listen here. It’s an hour long. I like to download and then put my phone on airplane mode for an hour and just escape.