If you love yoga, you’re likely itching to spend as much time as possible on your mat. I know I am. But doing yoga #everydamnday will quickly become expensive if it means taking multiple classes at a studio. Good thing is, we can practice for free at home!
I know what it’s like though. Going to a class and having a yoga teacher guide you is one thing. Doing yoga solo at home is a different thing entirely. Knowing what to do and how to find that flow when we have no teacher to guide us is difficult. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in feeling a little lost and struggling to get the asanas to come naturally to you.
The key to getting that flow in your one man show? Planning.
As with anything, not much is going to happen if we just stand there waiting for inspiration to hit us. Sure, you could twist into whatever poses you happen to remember from class. But that’s not going to be a very smooth practice, and it could lead to injury.
So how exactly do we put together an at home yoga class? How do we go about planning for it?
I recently discovered Yoga Cards. They’re a great tool for putting together your own practice. The deck includes 47 of yoga’s most common poses. As well as 3 breathing exercises and 5 cards with already set sequences.
So grab a notebook and pen and I’ll walk you through…
How to create a home yoga flow
Landing on your mat
Many yoga classes begin with an exercise to land on your mat and set an intention for your practice. For example a short meditation or breathing exercise.
Give yourself a chance to begin to let go of whatever thoughts are going through your mind from the world outside and whatever experiences you have with you from the day.
Make a note of what type of grounding or landing exercise you want to do. Plan on letting it take 5-10 minutes (or longer if that’s what you need, listen to your body).
Sequencing is very important in yoga, to assure you’ve properly warmed up your joints and muscles before attempting deeper or more advanced poses. One of the five sequences in the Yoga Cards deck is a warm up series which is a perfect starting point.
If you’ve ever done yoga, you’ve done a sun salutation. Include them in your practice plan, sun salutations are an extension to your warm up and an excellent way to further prep for those deeper asanas.
Work your favourite asanas in
Consider which poses you can link to your favourite asanas, and how to flow from one to the next. This is where you create your main sequence that you’ll repeat a couple of times in your practice. Include standing followed by seated or lying poses (such as twists and back bends).
Deepen the stretch and then Savasana
Just like we warm up for our practice, it’s essential to wind down to eventually reach our Savasana. Write down some final stretches that you will hold for longer than the poses in the main sequence of your practice. Finally, end with a note to slowly lower into Savasana.
Practice, practice, practice
Once you’ve got your at home yoga flow written down, you can begin to practice it! Read through it a couple of times, visualise it, and try to memorise as much of it was you can.
Have your notes with you next to your mat. The first couple of times you practice it, you’ll likely need to peek at your notes to remember what to do next, and that’s totally okay! A lot of yoga teachers have their “cheat sheet” next to their mat too!
The more you practice, the easier it’ll get and the more naturally that flow will come to you.
If all this seems like a little bit too much work, you can use one of the sequences included in the Yoga Cards deck. There’s Energize & Awaken, Center & Focus, Firm & Tone, Destress & Refresh, and the Warm Up Sequence.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun – and smile!