I frequently mention that I started doing yoga at home. I practiced at home, alone, for years before ever stepping into a studio class. If you’re a beginner, I always recommend finding a good teacher you can talk to, ask questions, and have them examine your form. There are many reasons that people choose to practice at home instead of with a teacher. For me, I was mostly just afraid and insecure. I also understand that it’s not always possible to get to a studio class due to finances or location. Home practice is cheap, flexible to your schedule, and you don’t even have to get dressed to do it.
Equipment you will need:
This might be controversial to say, but you really don’t need any equipment to practice yoga. Certain manufacturers of $90 yoga mats will have you think otherwise. Most people own some sort of comfortable clothing they can move in. Since you will be practicing at home, it can be your pajamas, your underwear, or even your birthday suit. Don’t let the excuse of “I can’t afford yoga clothes” stop you. Carpet burn may be a problem if you don’t have a yoga mat. You can get one very affordably in the fitness section of any store like Wal-Mart or Target, or get back to the roots of yoga and practice on what they do in Mysore, simple cotton rugs. Instead of a yoga block, you can use a thick book. Instead of a strap, you can use a hand towel. Straps and blocks can also be bought very inexpensively online.
Here in the USA, we get very caught up in “buying” into a lifestyle as if making the purchases makes the activity actually happen. When I started running, I had to get the fancy shoes for over-pronators, the expensive no-riding shorts, the moisture-wicking socks, the bras that strap your breasts down into submission, the new-fangled fitness apps for my IPhone, the eco-friendly, fair trade, handmade arm strap for said IPhone, and not to mention the registration fees for all those runs I was going to do. How long did I run? Maybe 6 months. Start simple. If you get a regular practice going, feel free to invest in some quality equipment. Just remember that a large retail purchases of yoga equipment does not a yogi make.
Free online video sources:
Who said you have to pay a $15 dollar drop-in class fee to practice? There’s a ton of free online video resources out there.
DoYogaWithMe.com: There’s also a wide range of class lengths, ability levels, and yoga styles. I still watch videos there from time to time because of the variety of yoga styles that no one teaches in my area. I also love their beginner’s studio section which can help guide you in the right direction if you have no idea what you are doing.
DoYouYoga – 30 Day Challenge: This popular yoga blog has a free 30 day challenge that you can start at any time. You sign up with your email, and you get a great beginner friendly video delivered to your inbox everyday for 30 days. If spiritual/new age preachy speak has you heading for the hills, I think you will enjoy Erin Motz’s fresh take on modern yoga. The videos run an average of 10-20 minutes so it’s perfect for getting started into a yoga routine.
Ekhart Yoga on Youtube: Esther Ekhart offers many free classes on her YouTube channel. She changes these from time to time. If you like her style, she even offers a subscription to her full library of videos for as little as $12.99 per month.
You don’t even need an internet connection to do yoga. Here are some of my favorites:
Baron Baptiste – Journey Into Power: This DVD was my introduction to Power Yoga. It’s around 30 minutes long. It’s great for beginners, and I still bust it out from time to time.
Suzanne Deason – Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss : This was my first experience with yoga. This is a very relaxing class complete with harp music, set in Sedona, Arizona. I really like that there are 4 versions of this same class. You can pick a level at the beginning and change as your abilities progress. If you are looking to start a yoga practice to destress, this is the perfect DVD.