Woman practicing yoga warrior II pose at home.

Resolve to Practice: 10 Tips for Building a Home Yoga Practice

By: 
Eve Johnson

If I could write a letter to myself at 39, I’d probably make it anonymous, so as not to freak myself out by revealing a rupture in the space/time continuum. But what would I say to that brand-new yogi with her faltering home practice? After decades of practice and teaching, what’s my best advice on having a home yoga practice and keeping it going?

My Top 10 Tips

1. Do the standing poses: They make you strong. Whenever you’ve been away from practice, and at the beginning that’s going to happen more often than not, start back with the standing poses.

Woman practicing yoga crescent lunge pose at home.

2. Aim for a short practice every day, and make it a habit: Find a spot in your day for 15 minutes and make it as automatic as brushing your teeth.

3. Start by centering: Sit still, close your eyes, connect with your body. Drop your sitting bones, lift your spine, relax your face. Then do some standing poses.

Woman practicing meditation yoga at home.

4. Move in slowly, move out slowly: You’ll be amazed at how much you learn by slowing down. You can only hold your alignment on the way into a pose if you’re slow. Move out of poses slowly, and you’ll protect yourself from injuries, like that nasty little hamstring tear from sitting up too quickly from Upavista Konasana (Wide-Legged Seated Forward Bend Pose).

5. If you’re not entirely sure of a pose, do it anyway: Figure out where your confusion is and ask your teacher at the next class. If you don’t practice it, you won’t remember to ask.

6. Always include a pose you love: Practicing a pose you love helps you look forward to your practice, and will likely inspire you to return to the mat.

Woman practicing yoga revolved triangle at home.

7. Set a timer for at least three minutes short of your practice time: When it rings, lie on your back with your knees bent, and relax your back into the floor. Never skip Savasana (Relaxation Pose).

8. Celebrate the small gains: Every practice contains at least one improvement or insight. 

9. Remember how good you feel when you practice: There’s nothing like that smooth, calm sense of peace you feel when you emerge from Savasana. That feeling can make a significant impact on the rest of your day. Remembering this can inspire you to stay consistent.

Woman practicing yoga gate pose at home.

10. Be grateful: At the end of the practice, take a moment to give thanks for arms, legs, eyes, ears, breath, yoga mats, bolsters, teachers, teachings, for whatever moved, or didn’t move, and for being alive to experience it all for one more day.
 
Reprinted with permission from Eve Johnson, My Five-Minute Yoga Practice.

 

Baxter Bell, Melinda Bell, Ayurvedic tips, Healthy aging, Third Act, YogaUOnline Course

 

Eve Johnson

 

Eve Johnson taught Iyengar Yoga for 18 years before being introduced to Spinefulness in 2016. Convinced by the logic, clarity, and effectiveness of Spineful alignment, she took the teacher training course and certified in July 2018. Eve teaches both Spinefulness and Spineful Yoga at Prodigy Movement, in Vancouver. For class information, go to http://spinefulness.ca.

 

 

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