One of the most beautiful and liberating aspects of yoga is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or a designated building or field to practice. Yoga is accessible to everyone, everywhere. The practice meets you where you are – as long as you are willing to approach it.
It is always a good idea to start practicing yoga under the supervision of a qualified teacher, but when it is not possible to make it into a studio (given the current situation), the next best alternative is practicing yoga on your own at home (on in the park, your garden, etc.) – you can also join my or any of your favourite teachers’ online classes, if you fancy some virtual company J
To stay safe and make the most of your practice follow these easy steps:
Find a comfortable spot
Try and find a spot where it is peaceful and quiet, with as much space around you as possible. An empty piece of wall can be handy too as you can use it as a prop. If you are outside, find an undisturbed corner with no or little traffic, if you are inside, it can be nice to create a little atmosphere with candles or incense sticks.
Things like candles and incense are just extras, and by no means necessary to practise yoga. You can do yoga anywhere as long as you have enough space around you without the risk of bumping into tables, chairs, etc. or other people. Be creative and get on your mat, and create the best space you can and enjoy your practice!
Find your flow
Practicing the same poses every day repeatedly is a powerful way to keep consistent with your practice. This repetition offers you a clear vantage point from which to watch yourself grow and change.
When you have found and learnt ‘your’ flow, you don’t have to think about what pose you want to do next, so instead you can focus on your breath and on grounding yourself in the moment. This takes you into a deeper meditative and focused place, so that you will step off your mat feeling more present and peaceful.
Listen to your body and put safety first
No shortcuts here. Always be aware of you limits and especially be mindful of your body’s vulnerable areas, such as knees, hips, spine and neck. If you feel any painful sensations, adjust, soften, or come out of the pose if you need to. Don’t force or push – ever.
Always warm up at the beginning of your practice and keep checking in if it feels okay to be in a pose. Be especially mindful during transitions between poses or when moving in or out of poses – these are moments of a potential risk of injury, as we tend to pay less attention to our alignment.
Try to practice regularly
Even if it is just 15 minutes every day, make yourself a promise that you will do your 15 minutes. Start small (baby steps!), this way you can stick with your commitment and feel positive about your practice rather than guilty if you don’t have a lot of time/energy that day.
Consider investing in some equipment
As I said before, the beauty of yoga is that you don’t really need any props. However, to make your practice more comfortable, you may want to consider investing in some of the following:
A mat: there’s a huge choice out there. If you can, go for a sustainable/ eco one.
A bolster: great for seated or reclined meditation, and a go-to prop for Yin.
Blocks and straps: all bodies are different shapes and flexibilities, so blocks and straps can help you better access the target area.
A small speaker: if you like practising to music or are using sound-only guided routine. This is useful even if you follow online live classes.
Finish off with Savasana
My favourite! It is really important to give your body time to relax in Savasana after a yoga practice. The nervous system needs time to assimilate the benefits it has gained during the practice. You can otherwise feel unnecessarily wired, especially after an intense yoga class.
Above all, express gratitude with your practice! Give thanks! We are blessed to be practicing yoga – let’s not forget that. An attitude of gratitude opens doors and hearts.
If you want to know more about my online yoga classes, you can visit here.
What helps you stay consistent, happy and balanced with your solo practice?