How To Do Yoga At Home | Set Yourself Up For Success With This Guide

Yoga has become one of the most popular ways for people to exercise as well as practice mindfulness and explore the deeper layers of existence in the West.

After the recent pandemic, practicing yoga at home has increased in popularity due to its convenience, accessibility, and variety offered among other reasons.

When figuring out how to do yoga at home, it is important to take some time to set yourself up for success, and in this article we will show you how to do just that.

There are a few things to consider when you start to learn how to do yoga at home, so read on if you want to learn more about:

  • Stating Your Intention
  • Finding Your Sacred Space
  • Setting The Mood
  • The Parts of a Home Practice
  • Choosing a Practice
  • Developing the Habit

Ready to learn how to do yoga at home?

Let’s dive right in.

woman meditating and doing yoga cross legged at home surrounded by plants

Stating Your Intention

Any time that you choose to commit to a new habit, it is vital to first set an intention so that you can remind yourself of why you started when you feel like giving up, so learning how to do yoga at home is no different.

To do so, you must ask yourself why you’re choosing to practice.

When yoga is approached from an exercise-only perspective, it may be a bit more difficult to truly commit to a home practice, since it requires self-discipline and responsibility.

Carving out time every day to do yoga asana, meditate, and breathe, can be an intention in itself, yet if you want to commit to a spiritual routine, a Sadhana, getting more personal and precise on why you’re committing, is paramount.

Practicing yoga as a form of exercise is beneficial for anyone, yet remembering that yoga was ultimately designed as a tool for awareness, self-discovery, and enlightenment, can truly help you hone in on all aspects of how to do yoga at home in a way that aligns with your values and needs.

If you’re having trouble coming up with your why, your Sankalpa, consider taking a few minutes to meditate or journal about it; ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my most heartfelt desire right now?
  • What direction do I want to take?
  • What do I want to cultivate?
  • What specific things need to happen to move me forward on my path?
man showing us how to do yoga at home whilst surrounded in plants

Expand on what is underneath these goals, what is the true yearning?

Is it a sense of self-love, physical well-being, or freedom? What is the feeling that you want to embody? What is the longing in the heart that is pointing you in this direction?

Allow the answers to arise from deep within you instead of letting the intellectual mind interfere too much.

Once you have a formed intention, write it down. Post it somewhere where you can see it often. Let it infuse your practice, and your life.

Finding your Space

Once you know your Sankalpa and your home practice has a purpose, it is important to consider where you will practice. The physical space.

Ideally, we would all have a dedicated practice room with complete privacy, yet it is important to recognize that this isn’t possible for all of us, nor necessary.

Whether you choose to practice indoors or outdoors, to dedicate a while room, patio, or the space between your bed and closet,try to stick to this spot for a while so it becomes a part of the routine.

If possible, make sure this space is quiet, tidy, and private, so as to minimize distractions and interruptions, both internal and external.

woman searching on her laptop whilst sitting on her yoga mat at home

Setting The Mood

Another important aspect of learning how to do yoga at home now that you’ve made the commitment and set your intention, and having found the space that you’ll practice in every day, is how to make this place special; sacred.

Making something sacred is holding it in high regard, being mindful of how it is set up and why it is set up that way.

Consider…

  • Props you have available (mat, blocks, blanket, bolster, strap, meditation cushion, etc.)
  • Choosing lighting and ambiance (candles, lamps, etc.)
  • Spiritual elements (altars, crystals, deities, prayer beads, heirlooms, etc.)
  • Visual elements (photos, tapestries, art, etc.)

Choose as many of these elements as you want, yet keep it simple.

Get creative, and make your practice spot uniquely yours.

There is no right or wrong way to do this. The sole purpose is to make your practice space so inviting that it supports your intention and commitment.

If possible, keep all things organized yet easily accessible; leave your mat rolled out and in place, so that when you choose to practice, all you need to do is show up.

woman doing cobra pose on a yoga mat

Learn About The Philosophy Of yoga

Learning how to do yoga at home will require you to sometimes do your own research, giving you the opportunity to dive deeper into subjects and practices that intrigue you most.

To make your home practice sustainable and complete, there are a few components to consider and to play with to start to shape your own home yoga practice, and since yoga is a practice meant to be taken with us into the world, keep in mind that some of these parts can be performed away from your mat.

Yoga manifests itself as four major paths according to Vedanta.

These paths to enlightenment are Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Rāja Yoga and Jñāna Yoga.

Karma Yoga refers to the path of selfless service to others. So consider; in which ways can you add an aspect of generosity in your practice or in your life?

When we selflessly give our time or resources to help others, we are engaging in Karma yoga.

Bhakti is the path of devotion, of surrender to all things, including the divine. It can be practiced as chanting, meditating, praying, etc.

When we feel love and gratitude for others, or for nature, we are practicing Bhakti.

pregnant woman doing bird dog yoga pose on a yoga mat at home

Raja Yoga is the path of self-discipline and contains amongst other components, yoga Asanas, Pranayama, Meditation and Kriyas.

The time we spend practicing yoga postures or meditating, connects us to the path of Raja.

Jnana is known as the path of knowledge; to attain self-Knowledge through reading, studying, practice and experience.

And when we study and explore the deeper layers of existence, we are practicing Jnana as we get to know ourselves better.

These four paths are not meant to be practiced separately, but intertwined with one another.

Choosing a Practice

When it comes to the physical practice itself, what you’ll choose to do as you learn how to do yoga at home depends mainly on what your intention for practice is.

Yoga is meant to bring more balance into your life, so choosing a series of poses or practices that can help you find more harmony in your life.

Remember; like attracts like. So if you have a fairly stressful job, you may choose to find balance through a softer yoga practice, and if your day has been a bit more on the relaxed side, consider practicing a more vigorous or energizing style of yoga.

You can also keep in mind the time of day in which you will be practicing; if you’ll be hoping on your mat in the morning, perhaps an invigorating vinyasa or slow flow practice would help you harness the energy and you’ll need.

If you’ll be practicing in the evening, to counteract stress, or release stiffness from the body and mind before rest, then you may choose a more grounding practice; yin, restorative, and meditation may be practices more supportive of that softer mood.

For the best Youtube yoga classes to try free and perhaps include in your home practice, click here.

man sitting cross legged and meditating on the floor of his bedroom

Developing the Habit

One of the most challenging parts of learning how to do yoga at home versus going to a yoga class at a gym or a studio, is that it may be hard to stay motivated and stick with it for long enough that not only it becomes non-negotiable in your life, but you can certainly tell the days you skip, or simply when you’re off.

You can of course find a virtual yoga community or an accountability partner or friend, but the commitment still must come from within.

In the same way in which you put all important appointments in your journal or your digital calendar, if starting a home yoga practice is a priority for you, schedule it as well; write it down as you would any other daily task.

Show up on the days that it feels good to, and especially show up on the days that it doesn’t. But give yourself grace; if you skip a day, come back the next.

At first, try to not overcommit; start with shorter practices and let it build up over time.

woman wearing yoga clothes stretches her neck in her living room

Conclusion

Learning how to do yoga at home is about learning how to take care of yourself.

It is important to ask yourself the right questions often and to remain consistent in order to adapt your home practice to your life and reap the benefits.

As you make space for more harmony and balance you will develop skills to move through the ebbs and flows of life more intentionally and fully.

For More Yoga Motivation…

Check out these resources:

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Laia Bové (she/her) is an Afro-Catalan yoga and meditation teacher and freelance writer currently living in Tampa Bay, United States. She is a former professional figure skater and has been teaching movement, yoga and meditation for over 11 years. Laia is E-RYT 500 & YACEP registered with the Yoga Alliance and currently offers group classes, private sessions both in person and virtually and she also leads workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings with a strong focus on accessibility and inclusivity. Laia teaches yoga with the intent to create a space for people of all backgrounds, abilities, shapes, and identities where they can feel empowered and learn tools that will support them in their lives.

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