Often people new to yoga benefit from the advise and presence of a trained yoga instructor. This really is the best way to be introduced to the practice and be sure you are performing the asanas correctly. However, a yoga class isn’t possible for everyone. Some don’t have a studio or gym offering yoga close to home and others just can’t spare the cash for classes.
The lack of access or funds doesn’t exclude you from the practice of yoga. Practicing yoga at home is possible, if you use a few precautions and start with the right materials. There are a large number of yoga DVDs on the market. In addition, if you subscribe to cable or satellite television, channels such as Fit TV have yoga programming. The On Demand feature on my home cable has a few yoga workouts, including a weekly morning practice that is pretty good.
Finding good yoga programming and DVDs is a matter of trial and error. You can browse online stores, read reviews and stay tuned to the DVD and book reviews category on this blog for some tips. However, the choice is really a matter of preference. The DVDs I like, another person may hate. Conversely, just because I, or another reviewer, gives a DVD high marks is no guarantee it will work for you.
Once you have selected a yoga DVD for your home practice, you’ll need a few more supplies. The first is a yoga mat, also called a sticky mat. These can be found in any store selling exercise equipment and in stores like Target for a reasonable price. You’ll need plenty of room to move around, so this may mean moving coffee tables to clear a space.
Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes for your yoga practice. You can purchase yoga clothes, or just wear sweats or exercise pants and a t shirt. Props such as blocks and yoga straps are helpful for many beginners, but aren’t essential for everyone. Whether you will need props depends on your individual level of flexibility.
The most important thing to remember when beginning a home yoga practice is to take it easy. Don’t push yourself, but gently work into the poses. Some beginner DVDs show people of different skill levels, including a person doing modifications of more difficult asanas. Always remember that yoga is a process and is not a competition, so don’t expect to match the instructor in skill on the first try.