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10 tips for practicing yoga at home

By Ramdesh Kaur

Practicing yoga at home has never been easier.  If you are a beginner to yoga or relatively new and want to establish an at home yoga practice, it is important to do some groundwork before jumping into the fray.  To prevent injury and maximize the power of your yogic experience, careful preparation and modest investments can make learning yoga at home viable, efficient, and fun.

Here are ten tips to help you establish an at-home yoga practice.

1)  Create a space

Set aside a space dedicated to your yoga practice.  Make sure it is free from furniture that could create a hazard to you as you do various yoga asana.  Your yoga space should be clean and serene.  Decorate it with images and objects that create a peaceful and sacred feeling in your heart

2) Invest in tools of the trade

If you do not already have a yoga sticky mat, purchase one.  There are yoga mats for every budget and taste.  A mat cleaner will keep your mat smelling fresh after tough workouts.  Make sure you have two blocks and a strap for modifications and consider getting a yoga blanket.  Not only will they keep you warm when you relax in savasana but they can also be rolled up to help you modify poses.  You may need two bolsters for under your knees, and you will probably want at least one style of zafu or meditation cushion.

3) Carefully prevent injury

If your grandmother told you that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, she was right.  When you practice yoga at home, it is your job to make sure that you don’t injury yourself.  Keep your space clear  of obstacles like furniture and children’s toys, and if possible, do your yoga in a room with hardwood floors.  Soft surfaces can injury joints and thick carpet makes balancing difficult.  Lifeboard is a hard surface that you can put on top of carpeting to make a transportable yoga floor if necessary.

Christel Pierron (Seva Simran Kaur), an experienced teacher of Hatha Yoga, YogaDance, and Kundalini Yoga in Cape Cod, cautions, “Never force a posture. If you are going to tip over your edge, it is better to have a teacher who can watch you and help you go further.  At home, take it easy.  Don’t compete with your body. Love your body, nurture your body, and be present. Be present, warm up, fully get into the poses you know…that is how an at home practice should be.  More difficult poses should be in a class, where your teacher can make a safe environment for you.”

4) Choose your yoga style

There are so many styles of yoga to choose from that it can be a little daunting at first.  But rather than be overwhelmed, be excited!  There are so many forms to choose from that if you don’t like one, you have several others to test out.  Hatha yoga is the most common form of yoga, but there are several schools of Hatha yoga to choose from.  Pierron recommends that beginners try something like Iyengar yoga or Kripalu yoga to help them learn the mechanics of a pose.  If dynamic movement and deep meditation is your true love, Kundalini Yoga might be the perfect style for you. Shop around for teachers and styles that appeal to you, so that you know what will inspire you at home.

6 more tips here.

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