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Developing your yoga practice at home


Finding time for yoga during the week outside of your regular class can be a great way to progress in your practice and fully achieve the benefits yoga has to offer.

Finding motivation for yoga at home

Starting your own practice outside of class can be difficult without the motivation and guidance from a teacher. Once you get into the habit of regular home practise and create your own routine, motivation will come much easier. A reminder of the benefits regular yoga practise can bring can boost your motivation as well:

The benefits of yoga

  • Developing your own practice at home can help you advance and develop:
  • Increased flexibility and strength
  • Stress relief
  • Improved posture
  • Increased body awareness
  • Muscle tone
  • And a range of other mental, physical and spiritual benefits

Developing your yoga practice at home
If you attend a regular yoga class during the week this will give you an outline for a routine to follow at home. If you do not attend a class, there are plenty of books available that will give you ideas of which routines to follow.

Warming up
Start your yoga practice with a warm up. This could consist of hip, shoulder and knee rotations, lateral stretches, gentle twists and various balancing postures. These exercises will warm up your body and will then allow you to gradually go into more challenging asanas.

Sun salutations
Sun salutations are a great way to evenly stretch the body, and can effectively further help your yoga warm up. Some may choose to do seven or even more rounds of the salute to the sun to constitute their home practice. If you want to mix up your practice, try doing between two and four sets to allow for more time for other stretches.

Variations

Sun salutations form a great basis for yoga practice. You can use the essential base postures from the salute to the sun sequence and add in variations to create a new routine. For instance from the warrior one pose, ease into warrior two, dancing warrior and then humble warrior and then ease back into the end sequence of the salute to the sun. Once you become more experienced in your yoga practice you can create your own flowing asanas that incorporate a range of postures and stretches.

Floor postures
Floor postures can follow. These may include a series of stretches or twists. You may choose to try more challenging yoga postures now that your body is sufficiently warmed up, such as the shoulder stand. This is also a good posture to conclude your yoga practice with.

Relaxation
Relaxation is beneficial after yoga practise. It also offers a chance for you to truly unwind and switch off your thoughts. After yoga, meditate or practise yoga nidra for 5–10 minutes.
 
Once you have developed your yoga practice you will be able to adapt it as you see fit. It may change as you advance in your ability or you may alter it to keep it new and fresh.