How to Turn Your Yoga Hobby Into a Yoga Habit
You’ve dabbled in yoga for a while, attending yoga classes here and there and occasionally rolling out a mat at home. But lately, you’re feeling motivated to get serious about your practice. Where should you start?
While most yoga teachers recommend beginners attend classes to learn proper form and alignment, if you have some yoga experience under your mat, you have a few options for taking your yoga practice to the next level.
Practice Yoga At Home
Home yoga practice is both convenient and free, making it perfect for enthusiasts who struggle to fit studio classes into their budgets or schedules.
Before getting started, you’ll want to create a space to practice yoga at home. While it’s possible to do yoga anywhere your mat will fit, a clean, quiet space gets you in the mindset for yoga so you’re not distracted by other household responsibilities. In addition to a well-chosen yoga mat, Yoga Outlet recommends outfitting your practice space with yoga props, a meditation cushion, and an altar with objects to inspire your practice.
You’ll also need a way to follow along with yoga videos. If practicing in the living room, you can use a streaming device to broadcast videos to your TV so you’re not craning your neck to view a small laptop screen. Simple streaming devices start around $30, but since device compatibility varies, you’ll want to compare streaming devices to find one that works with your TV.
Take Your Mat Outdoors
Practicing outdoors has a lot of perks. Not only do you reap the many wellness benefits of the outdoors, but natural sounds are an ideal backdrop to yoga and meditation. Depending on how small or busy your home is, outdoors may be the only space you have to practice.
While less comfortable than watching on TV, your phone is a useful tool for practicing yoga outdoors. Rather than relying on one or two memorized flows, you can use yoga apps and videos to keep your practice interesting. Since it’s challenging to follow a fast-paced flow on a small screen, choose yoga sessions that focus on just a few poses. By taking a deep dive into challenging poses, you can push yourself to learn something new.
Go to Your Yoga Studio
Even if most of your practice happens at home or outdoors, every yoga enthusiast should aim to visit a professional studio once in a while. Not only is the studio a wonderful place to connect with other enthusiasts and build camaraderie, but it’s also the best place to get expert guidance. Without a qualified yoga instructor to aid you, you may execute poses incorrectly and put yourself at risk of an injury.
A licensed yoga teacher can provide valuable insights, whether you’re brand new to yoga or years into your practice. However, in order to get the most out of in-studio yoga classes, you have to communicate with your teacher. If your instructor doesn’t know where you’re struggling, they can’t give you advice on how to overcome your yoga roadblocks.
When looking for a studio, U.S. News recommends seeking a compassionate, knowledgeable yoga teacher who resonates with you. When you connect with the right instructor, you’ll feel more comfortable opening up. Being transparent about your challenges is the best way to tap into the unique insight you can get from a yoga professional.
There’s no reason to limit your yoga practice to the studio. If money, time, or motivation keep you from attending yoga classes regularly, practicing in your own space is a wonderful way to build your yoga habit. However, solo practice shouldn’t replace studio sessions entirely. By developing a yoga routine that includes both the home and studio, you can develop your practice and reach your goals.