Practicing yoga on your own requires creating a yoga environment and the necessary yoga props. Once a yoga environment is ready, you can start practicing yoga with the aid of this section. You may also want to practice yoga with a qualified yoga teacher to ensure that you understand the basics before practicing on your own.
Make Your Practice Enjoyable
If you make your experience enjoyable, you are more likely to continue practicing yoga. When you begin your practice, start with the poses you enjoy and that you feel offer the greatest benefit, and also add variety to your routine by performing different poses every day. Try to remain positive about the poses, rather than making it a competition to see how well you can perform each pose. You may want to try three or four poses to begin and then adjust your practice to suit your needs.
Balance Your Practice
You should make sure your practice is balanced. A balanced practice includes all three movements of the spine: forward bends, back bends and twists. It is also important to include shoulder and hip movements in your practice.
Listen to Your Body
Make sure you take a few moments to breathe and center yourself before you begin your practice. When practicing yoga, you should always listen to your body. Never push yourself into a pose that causes you to feel pain or discomfort. Instead, move slowly in and out of the poses so that you feel comfortable at all times. Consider each pose as a journey that consists of three parts: coming into the pose, holding the pose and coming out of the pose. All three parts of the pose are equally important.
You should always end your practice with a relaxation or restorative pose, such as Relaxation Pose. This relaxation time will help you fully integrate and absorb the benefits of your yoga practice.
How should I approach my yoga practice?
Setting-up Yoga Environment
You should approach your yoga practice with a positive attitude. When you first start practicing, you should set goals that are within your reach and try not to push yourself too hard. Yoga is about doing your best and learning how to accept yourself for who you are. You may want to keep a yoga journal to record your growth as you practice yoga. You can include items in your yoga journal such as your thoughts, feelings and physical progress.
What time of day should I practice yoga?
You can practice yoga at any time in the day when you feel you need to. Performing an active yoga practice in the morning can energize your mind and body, which can help set the tone for how you feel the rest of the day. You may want to perform a less active practice in the evening to help calm your mind and body after a long day and prepare yourself for sleep. Try to set a specific time each day, or as often in the week as possible, to practice yoga so your practice will become a habit.
How long should I practice?
You should practice yoga at a time that is most convenient for you. This can help make your practice a daily habit. It is better to practice for a short time each day than to practice for a longer time less frequently. Although yoga practices normally last from 45 to 90 minutes, you may find there are days when you do not have enough time to fit in a full practice. In this case, you should at least take a few minutes to practice. Even a few minutes of yoga can have lasting benefits.
Should I eat before I practice?
It is best to practice yoga on an empty stomach, such as before breakfast or dinner. If you have eaten recently, consider waiting 2 to 3 hours before you practice. The length of time you should wait depends on what you have eaten. The heavier the meal, the longer you should wait before practicing. You should also avoid smoking or drinking alcohol or caffeine before a yoga practice.
Where should I practice?
When practicing at home, you should create an area specifically for yoga and meditation. Make sure there is plenty of sunlight and that the area is clean and tidy. Also, make sure you do not have any distractions while you practice yoga.
Should I be concerned about the air quality?
Yes. If possible, you should open a window to allow fresh air to come in. Fresh air is especially beneficial for your breathing, which is integral to yoga. Also, make sure the air is not polluted with burning incense, smoke or any other type of air pollution.
How else should I prepare my yoga environment?
Make sure every prop you need for your practice, such as a yoga mat, blankets and blocks, are in the area before you begin. This preparation prevents you from having to run around the house looking for a different prop before you perform each pose.