Charmed Chatter

The musings of a Personal Trainer/Foodie, en route to adding Yoga Teacher to the mix!


So, you want to start a yoga practice...
You hear all the benefits touted all over the media, from your local newscast to your fave talk-shows and magazine, and you want to experience this “yoga”! But, studio yoga isn’t an option for you... Maybe you have commitments keeping you at home, or you aren’t a fan of joining a yoga studio. Maybe you just haven’t yet gotten enough of a feel for what yoga is about to commit to one, or you may just not have a suitable studio close enough to your home to be practical.

Whatever the reason for not joining a yoga studio, it does not have to be the end of your yoga journey!
Here I’m going to give you 5 steps to set up your “Yoga a la Maison Experience”. That’s the Frenchified way to say “yoga at home”, it sounds awesome, no?! Like Pie a la Mode... But I digress...

Anyhoo, I love yoga so much, both my home practice and my studio practice, and I just want everyone to share in the benefits! So go on, try this! You know you want to...

1) Find a practice to follow:
If you are new to yoga and you are going to be practicing yoga at home, you will likely need to follow some type of yoga program either from a book, or online, or maybe from a DVD. If you are brand new to yoga you will probably want to watch someone demonstrating the poses and helping to lead you through your practice, until you begin to remember the poses. Once more experienced you may be able to follow a written program, or maybe even design your own little series of poses.

Here are some great on-line resources to help you find a program to follow:

http://www.myyogaonline.com/ This is a fantastic resource that offers you unlimited video access for only $10 a month! Never mind everything else on the site.

http://www.yogatoday.com/ Great site, and great classes filmed in great locations. You are able to download and save full classes for $3.99, or pay $9.99 per month for unlimited yoga. This site also has a free feature class every week!

http://www.yogadownload.com/ Another site with downloadable classes, and monthly memberships starting at $6.95 a month!

2) Create your space:
I think that when you are starting out in yoga, having the right ambiance is really important. Eventually, a focus of yoga is to be able to ignore your surroundings and get right into your practice, but initially creating a space that makes you feel at ease and comfortable, a space that you truly enjoy, will only improve your experience. Also, if you love your little yogic corner of the world, you will want to visit it more often!

I like to set up my mat in front of my fireplace, right beside my big living room window. If it’s light out, I’ll open the drapes and let the sun stream in on me, and if it’s evening sometimes I’ll light my candles, and warm some essential oils. The key is to put yourself somewhere you like to be, and somewhere without interruption.

3) Get the yoga equipment basics:
In order to have a great home practice, there are just a couple pieces of equipment you will want to invest in. These are:
  • A yoga mat (to cushion your hands and feet, and to stick to you and the floor so you don’t slip)
  • A yoga strap (to help with stretching and increasing flexibility in a gentle way)
  • Yoga blocks (again to help ease the poses so that you grow into your practice gently)

These can be purchased for very little, or a whole lot, depending on what you are looking for and how much you want to spend. You can find shops in your town that offer this stuff, but to help, a couple great on-line resources to purchase these products at a reasonable price are:

http://www.yogadirect.com/ This site literally has everything you need all in one place, from eco mats to cheapo mats to blocks to straps, you name it – it is here. US customers can enjoy free shipping too, and even buying from here in Canada the shipping ain’t too-too bad. You can get everything you need shipped to you for as little as $50 in the US and about $80 in Canada.

http://yogadirect.ca/ This is a Canadian company with no affiliation to the above link. They offer all sorts of Eco yoga supplies. Shipping, strangely, is very expensive considering it is within Canada?!

http://www.gaiam.com/home.do Gaiam offers some really cool yoga mats and supplies. The prices are also very reasonable, and shipping in the US is normally no charge. Not sure about Canada, because you need to order from the phone line as they don’t have international shipping available for website orders.

4) Get some cozy yoga duds:
Yes you are at home, and that means if you have a space with enough privacy you could practice in your PJ’s. Or in the buff!  But if you are getting in the mood to practice, you may as well feel ready from tip to toe!

Personally, I still like to get into my own personal cozy yoga gear. Which, for my home practice is usually leggings with leg warmers and a sports bra with a t-shirt or cozy top over it. This way I can start my practice out warm and as I get hot I can take off some layers.

Here are some great sites to get some yoga-inspired clothes; after all they say the right outfit open all the right chakras. I mean doors. Okay it doesn’t apply here, but I love clothes so here is where you can get some:

http://www.dearlildevas.com/ This is a really cool site with really cool yoga clothing. It is all cozy cotton and the sizing is easy as they feature lots of drawstrings! (I heart drawstrings!) Check it out, and you will agree it’s chic and unique and very reasonably priced. It’s also a Canadian company!

http://www.bepresent.com/ This company has some really nice stuff, at a moderate price point. Worth checking out!

http://www.lululemon.com/ You either own some, or have heard of it... But did you know that the shipping from the website is FREE, in Canada or the US and there is a bunch of stuff online that you can’t get in the store! Check it out!

5) Make a commitment:
You will never see the benefits of any workout endeavors, or lifestyle changes, unless you apply them regularly and consistently. So make it a priority to commit to a routine!

Pick a practice that is the right length to allow you to incorporate it into your schedule at least a couple times a week. I would personally aim for 3+ days per week to really see the effects of taking this time for yourself, and your physical and mental well-being. Then run with it, carve the time out, and see where it takes you!

I am also currently running a little home-practice challenge, and if you would like to check it out, click here!

Namaste!

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