If you're anything like me, you can't always make it into the studio for a yoga class. This was happening more and more frequently at the beginning of a very busy semester of classes, interviewing for jobs and attempting to maintain some semblance of a life. Relying on studio time for my yoga practice just wasn't cutting it anymore. So, I began practicing at home. And believe me, if I can make it work in my tiny college bedroom, then anyone can! Follow these tips for practicing yoga when you can't make it to the studio.
Create a special space
When practicing outside of a studio, it's important to put a little thought into where you lay down your mat. It's much harder to stay focused when you step away from that virtually distraction free room your studio's owner so craftily designed. But that doesn't mean you can't create a space of your own. This is your opportunity to make your own yoga environment. This could mean lighting a candle or dimming the lights. I like to practice somewhere clean and tidy. I also lock my bedroom door so that I can prevent as many distractions as possible. Play around! When you find a setting that works for you, it will make practicing yoga at home that much more yogic.
Make a yoga playlist
One of my favorite parts of practicing yoga at home is picking my own music. I have a yoga playlist full of many of my favorite songs. The beginning and end of the playlist is comprised of mellow, indie bands, while in the middle, I chose upbeat, more intense songs to energize me through difficult standing postures. You might prefer something more calming. If this is the case, I recommend the "Yoga" station on Pandora radio. If you prefer not to listen to music, then that is your choice as well. It's all up to you, which is the beauty of practicing yoga by yourself.
Design a flow or find a podcast or DVD
If you like the idea of deciding which poses you will practice, I recommend sitting down and thoughtfully creating a few flows of poses to do, so you won't be distracted while you're practicing. This can be a great opportunity to do your favorite poses, your in-progress poses and your just-for-fun poses. If you need some ideas, draw from your favorite teachers.
If this doesn't sound fun to you, there are tons of podcasts, DVDs, and television programs out there! Personally, I enjoy Dave Farmar's podcasts on the iTunes store. He is a renown teacher in Baptiste yoga and the podcasts are all amazing and recorded live. And... It's free!
Soak it up
The great thing about doing yoga at home is that you have complete freedom over your practice. Take that Twisted Chair pose into Side Crow when you're feeling playful. Use your wall to assist you with that inversion you've been wanting to try. Skip a vinyasa and go straight to Downward Dog if you're arms need a break. Follow your breath religiously. The world is your oyster!