Now almost a religion in its own right, yoga has garnered a following well into the millions worldwide, spawning studios and even wellness retreats dedicated to the restorative exercise. However, making yoga a part of a daily routine is still a struggle for many who either don’t have the time to make regular trips to the studio, or can’t afford the steep fees.
The good news is that unlike other sports, yoga doesn’t require plenty of space, nor does it need expensive, fancy equipment. From the best YouTube channels to stream, to the most essential props to invest in, here’s a guide on how you can make any room in your home a temporary oasis of calm.
Finding the right space
While many agree that there is no one perfect setting to practice yoga in, a space that’s as clutter- and distraction-free as possible is always recommended to make it easier to set the mood internally.
Your environment is just as important a factor as everything else, so if you must, go ahead and light that bougie candle or incense you’ve been saving. Keep your phone in another room if possible, the last thing you need to hear when you’re curled up in the child’s pose is the incessant ping of emails.
What you’ll need
One of yoga’s biggest virtues lies in the fact that save for a corner of space and an unbreakable focus, you hardly need plenty to get sweating.
That being said, a yoga mat is probably one of the most important piece of equipment to own when practising yoga anywhere, but they’re not all created the same. Specific features such as length, material, and durability are factors in determining which is right for you. Because joint support is crucial, choose a mat that’s thick enough and with traction for a stable foundation to practice on.
Other useful investments include a bolster for restorative poses, yoga blocks for those challenging balancing asanas, and straps for a deeper stretch. While still a relatively new prop that’s starting to gain a foothold in studios, yoga wheels are recommended for gaining flexibility, especially if you’re into a more advanced practice.
The best streams
Just as how you’d be inclined to engage a swimming instructor during your first attempt in the pool, it’s imperative to attend a few studio classes before attempting home practice. Form and breathing techniques are one of the most important aspects of yoga, so finding a teacher who can guide you through the basics can help cultivate good habits.
Those who seek a little help at home after can turn to free YouTube channels such as Yoga by Adriene, which now has a little over five million subscribers. Yoga by Candace’s videos also cover everything from yoga in bed and Vinyasa Flow classes, to guided meditation sessions. For voice-guided routines, apps such as Yoga Studio and Down Dog have been known to be popular amongst budding yogis.
Finding your beat
While some yogis prefer to practice in silence, many others find it easier to sink into a meditative state with music. Optimal yogic breath is often slow, controlled, and rhythmic, so having the right tunes playing can be a useful guide to reference your breathing pattern with.
You’ll want to link your movement and breath to the beat, so choose or create a soundtrack that will keep your breaths at under 10 per minute, making sure that you don’t feel short of breath throughout.