Create a yoga practice routine you can stick to with our top tips
For many of us, making the transition from face-to-face yoga classes to online sessions has been challenging. However, we’ve come up with a few handy tools to help you establish a solid home practice that’ll leave you feeling empowered and energized.
1: Be still and notice
Take few moments at the start of your practice to check in and get present. How are you feeling today? Which parts of your body are feeling particularly spacious or even a little tight? Acknowledge whatever comes up and commit to practicing in a way that honours how you are feeling. Tired? Give yourself permission to take child’s pose whenever you need it. Full of energy? Sit a little bit deeper in your chair pose!
2: Make time to practice
If you’re busy, don’t worry about squeezing in a full 60-minute class. In fact, practicing little and often will (a) help integrate yoga into your daily/weekly routine and (b) allow the poses to land in your muscle memory better than if you’re doing an hour-long session, once a week. Whether it’s a 10-minute practice every day or a 20-minute practice three times a week, set up a routine that works for you.
3: Commit to a time for your practice/meditation
Setting aside 10 or 15 minutes at the same time each day will help build a routine you can stick to. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or on your lunch break, reserving that precious pocket of time for your own wellness will make it a non-negotiable addition to your day.
4: Use props to support you
Whether it be a yoga block, belt or blanket, it’s worth having props close-by before you get moving. Props are fantastic tools that’ll enable you to stabilise, support and strengthen your practice. You can get creative with how you use them, too, which will ultimately help you build a practice that’s better tailored to your needs.
5: Books for blocks
Don’t have a yoga block handy? No problem – you can get creative by recruiting a selection of household items instead. Books are an excellent substitute for blocks – especially if you have a substantial hardback on hand. A dictionary will do the trick nicely and if you don’t have one of those, a chunky Harry Potter book is perfect. Failing that, a solid Tupperware container should fit the bill.
6: Straps, belts, dressing gown cords…
If you’re keen to enhance your flexibility, a strap is a fantastic tool to have nearby. If you don’t have a yoga strap at home, there are plenty of alternatives you can use instead. A dressing gown cord, thick pair of tights, resistance band or even a leather belt will work well. Failing that, you could use a towel in place of your strap – essentially, anything that’s long, thin and fairly strong.
7: The wall is your friend
Positioning your mat near the wall can be an enormous help when it comes to balancing poses – if you sense yourself starting to topple, it’s easy take your hand to the wall for more stability. For the restorative poses in your sequence (thread needle, waterfall, reclining dragonfly etc), taking your legs up to the wall will help you melt even deeper into the shape and the sensations it produces.
8: Slow down and tune in
One of the best things about developing a self-practice at home is that you have plenty of time to slow down and focus on the poses you need most. Whether that’s a juicy hip opener or an energizing back bend, give yourself the time and space to linger in the shapes that feel good for your body.
9: Create a space for your practice
While it’d be fantastic to create a mini Lumi studio of your own, the reality is that most of us don’t have that kind of space to set aside. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the gorgeous studio vibes, either. Set up your own sacred practice space by lighting a candle and putting on your favourite yoga playlist – Krishna Das, Deva Premal and Snatam Kaur are a few of our favourites. That way, you’ll be in the zone no matter what’s happening in the background.
10: Soak up your Savasana
Following the physical practice, allocate some time (even if it’s only two minutes!) for your final rest. Let your breath drop back into its regular rhythm of inhales and exhales, consciously relaxing every muscle in the body. Not only is this posture fantastic for calming the body and mind, but it gives you a golden opportunity to get present and enjoy a well-earned break before moving on with the rest of your day.