Many people have the misconception that you have to do yoga in a yoga studio, or that you have to set aside quite a substantial amount of time and money in order to have a consistent and dedicated practice.
One of the frequently asked questions I get is: “I want to get started on yoga, but I can’t afford a yoga class/ I don’t have a yoga studio near me/ I have no time!”
Home practice is possible even for beginner practitioners. Of course, if you’re attempting yoga for the very first time ever, I always recommend dropping in for a class because it is always better to have a yoga instructor looking out for you, correcting your alignment, and teaching you the basics. Of course, once you have gone for a couple of classes and if you want to save some time and money, home practice is definitely the way to make yoga as accessible as possible.
What do I need for home practice?
1. A nice space: You would want somewhere with minimal distractions. No phone, laptops, with nice music playing in the background, and if you are conscious about your family member stumbling into your practice, then maybe you might want to do it in a closed room. If you have a backyard, that can be a wonderful place to practice and soak in some sun and fresh air.
2. Yoga mat: It is always advisable to have a yoga mat with you when you practice. Of course if your house is carpeted, you can practice on the carpet. But you may also get carpet burn from the sliding and friction, so a yoga mat will still provide better support and comfort. (Unsure how to pick a yoga mat? You might want to check out this post.)
3. Yoga blocks + strap: These are not necessary but good to have. You can always use a stack of books from your house as yoga blocks, and a towel as your yoga strap. That way you don’t have to spend money on additional equipment if you can’t afford it!
You don’t need anything special for home practice. This is definitely sufficient for you to practice yoga in the comfort of your own home regularly.
What are some of the yoga websites that I should go to?
There are so much information on the Internet and sometimes it is difficult to find the right online resource that works for you. However, there are a couple of great websites and YouTube videos that I would like to share with you guys. They helped me a lot in my own home practice, and they are also extremely informative. If you are already attending yoga classes outside, these resources are great to complement your practice and deepen your understanding of yoga.
YogaGlo is a web repository of online yoga classes, and there is a large variety of yoga videos to choose from! However, you have to pay $18 per month, which is still a lot cheaper than yoga classes out there. There is a 15 day free trial for you to try out YogaGlo if you’re interested, so make use of those 15 days and watch as many yoga videos as possible!
2. Yoga Journal
This is my personal favourite because it is extremely informative with lots of yoga poses and yoga routines to choose from. I really like its anatomical focus – a simple search for a yoga stretch for (insert body part) will give you a wide range of yoga poses that you can do. Not only that, I love its livemag, which is a spread of yoga poses and flows. You need to have a paid subscription for its livemag, but I’ve seen a few floating around on tumblr all thanks to some of the generous tumblr yogis who have taken the liberty to post their own subscribed magazines.
Mind Body Green has lots of great reads that not just focuses on the physical aspect of yoga, but also the spiritual aspect of yoga. Some of its articles really made me reflect upon my own practice, and it has some great tips that help to improve your daily practice such as 6 Quick Asanas to Build into Any Day, and A Fun Sequence That Will Stretch You From Head to Toe.
Similar to Mind Body Green, this website has lots of articles that allows you to reflect upon your own practice. This is a great resource to look at during your own free time.
I love her yoga videos because it has a very nice pace, it’s easy to understand, and Sarah breaks out the poses really well. I watched a couple of her videos to get into certain asanas and I must say that her advice and tips is really very useful. I would really suggest this to those who are just starting out on yoga.
LivestrongWoman is a fitness channel more than a yoga channel, but it is also a great resource to have if you’re doing other workouts besides yoga. I also love their self-care videos too. More specifically, I like the Yoga Solution Series by Tara Stiles on here. Her routines are really effective and it definitely would turn up your practice a notch.
3. Tara Stiles
Tara Stiles is my personal favourite and she’s definitely a huge yoga inspiration for me. I love her yoga videos and they are all extremely effective. However, I wouldn’t recommend her to beginner yogis because she has a really fast pace and you might get really lost and confused. However, you can watch her videos first, and then replicate them into your own routine.
4. Ekhart Yoga
I love their channel because it is really neat and systematic, which makes navigating around the yoga videos really simple. I personally have not tried their videos before, but these are definitely great videos to work with during your home practice.
Kino MacGregor is one of the most established and popular ashtanga yogis around. I have done her video (Yoga Handstand Jump, 10 minute class with Kino) before and I really loved it. She provides great explanation and has a nice pace to her videos as well. She has a huge collection of yoga videos that you can add into your daily routine. Definitely a channel that I would recommend to all yogis from beginner to advanced.
I hope that this post is really useful for those who are looking to start on their home practice but have always felt intimidated to do so. These resources are all extremely useful and informative, and will help every yogi no matter whether you practice at home or you practice in a yoga studio.
Of course this list is not exhaustive, this is merely a collection of some of the websites and YouTube channels that I find really useful, please feel free to comment below if you have any other websites or YouTube channel that you think deserves a mention too!