How to Start an At-Home Yoga Practice

Yoga is an ancient practice that focuses on bringing unity between the body and the mind. Contrary to popular belief, it is not attached to religion; anyone can practice yoga. This is especially true in this current time when you can easily do yoga from home with many different types of yoga to try. Whether you want to get fit, release stress, or just try something new, yoga at home could be an excellent option for you.

What Are the Benefits of Yoga?

There have been many studies that prove yoga’s benefits to physical and mental health. So, you can rest assured that this ancient modality is still applicable in this modern world.

Physical Benefits. Physically, yoga can have many benefits, including:

  • Increased strength
  • Better development of balance
  • Increased flexibility
  • Management of arthritis systems
  • Back pain relief
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep

Mental Benefits. As previously mentioned, a massive component of a yoga practice is fusing your body and mind. To get to a state of harmony between the two, you have to relax your mind and practice being present. This can have an immensely positive effect on your overall mental health.

Some of the specific ways yoga benefits your mental health include:

  • It uplifts your energy and mood
  • It can help you manage your stress
  • Improves your feelings about eating and body imagePromotes your ability to give yourself self-care

How to Get Started

Yoga has many health benefits. Yet, sometimes people can have trouble getting started with it because it seems inaccessible. You may think that you need to be flexible and fit to do yoga. Or, you could be unsure of how to proceed.

Understanding the Types of Yoga. Perhaps one of the main reasons starting an at-home yoga practice is intimidating is because there are so many different types of yoga and places to do yoga online. Some of the different kinds of yoga and what you might expect from them are:

  • Hatha yoga. This is a term that simply refers to the postures in yoga generally. Classes labeled Hatha can be very different from each other. For these types of classes, the teacher's background makes a difference in what you will learn.
  • Iyengar yoga. This type of yoga is characterized by its focus on exact postures and props to get there. It may be more difficult to find online versions of this style of yoga, but it can be beneficial for beginners.
  • Ashtanga yoga. This is a very athletic form of yoga in which you are taught challenging postures in a very disciplined way.
  • Power yoga. Similar to Ashtanga yoga, this form focuses primarily on physicality. The main goal in power yoga classes is to use yoga as a form of athletic training.
  • Vinyasa flow. A term referring to multiple styles of yoga, a vinyasa flow class features many movements that are all connected. This allows you to “flow” through them in a very athletic way. It is one of the most popular styles of yoga.
  • Kundalini yoga. Kundalini yoga is a unique style of yoga. Unlike the more physical types of yoga, its goal is to unlock the body’s energies through movements, breathing, and mediation.

Continued

Teachers. There are far more types of yoga than this list provides. Additionally, within each style of this practice, different teachers bring different sensibilities to each of them. Therefore, it is essential to research and find a qualified teacher when doing yoga online.

This is because the initial way a teacher explains the postures is more significant as they cannot correct any mistakes you make. If you are just starting, be sure to try out an array of different yoga teachers and styles to find what works for you.

Equipment to Buy

One of the best parts about at-home yoga, as opposed to other forms of physical exercise, is that it requires very little equipment. All you need is a way to access the internet, a mat, and a quiet place to do it.

Sometimes, certain yoga classes may require other equipment like a block, strap, or bolster. However, you can get creative with these if you do not want to buy them or don't have access to them. Everyday household items such as belts, books, blankets, and pillows can serve you just as well.

How to Make it a Routine

The goal of yoga is to unify your body and mind. Unfortunately, there is no one correct way to do this. The best way to make yoga a consistent part of your life is to figure out what form and type of yoga work best for you, your body, and your lifestyle.

You don’t need to do the most athletic type of yoga, practice yoga every day, or become a meditation expert. Simply showing up on your mat with the desire to integrate your body and mind is enough. Be sure to listen to yourself when you do different types of yoga and let that lead you in your yoga journey.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on August 17, 2021

Sources

SOURCES: 

Cleveland Clinic: “Yes, You Can Do Yoga at Home.”

‌‌Johns Hopkins Medicine: “9 Benefits of Yoga.”

‌‌Ministry of External Affairs Government of India: “Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development.”

‌‌US Department of Veterans Affairs:  “An Introduction to Yoga for Whole Health.”

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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