The best way to go deeper and further in yoga is to begin practicing at home. Going to yoga class once or twice a week is the best way to start yoga, and even for intermediate students, it should continue to be a source of information and inspiration. Though you will notice some improvement in your strength and flexibility with weekly yoga classes, to make significant, consistent progress, an almost daily practice is needed.
As with most things, the hardest part of beginning a home yoga practice is getting started. To improve your chances of success, start small. Pick a time of day – first thing in the morning is best – when you can spend five minutes doing yoga. Do downward facing dog, mountain pose with arms overhead, two or three standing poses like triangle, extended sideways angle and warrior, then a seated pose such as bound angle or hero pose.
That’s about five minutes of poses and easy enough for any yoga student to do. Stick with your five minute sequence for a week or two to show you have made a commitment to practicing yoga at home. Then, see if you can increase your time and effort to 15 or 20 minutes of yoga.
Base Your Yoga at Home on Classes
For many yoga students, one of the challenges of home practice is figuring out what poses to do. The next time you go to class, pay particular attention to the sequence of poses. As soon as you get home, take a few minutes to write down the yoga sequence from class. Spend your next week at home working on that sequence. If you don’t have time to do the whole sequence, find a good way to shorten it. For example, if there were three standing poses, just do one, but choose a different one each day.
Yoga Books and DVDs
There is no shortage of yoga sequences in books, DVDs and even online. In fact, there are so many that it can be hard to know which one is best. Ask your yoga teacher or a more experienced student for recommendations. Try to find a resource that is compatible with the style of yoga you enjoy. There are many yoga methods, and jumping around from style to style is not always a good approach.
Once you have started a home yoga routine, it will be easier to maintain. You may even find that you start doing longer yoga sequences than you had planned. If you realize one day that you are adding poses and spending 30 minutes or more on yoga, congratulations. You are on your way to having a successful home yoga practice.