My Yoga journey began in 2012 when I walked into a yoga studio for the first time. I took a 60 minute Flow class at Pure Yoga Ottawa with an unfamiliar teacher. As I moved through postures and sun salutations, I made a connection to my body and that I had never felt before. I fell in love with yoga that day, and so the journey began…
It wasn’t until after I completed my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training in 2017 that I found the importance of establishing and developing my home practice. I had only ever experienced yoga in a studio full of people, at a scheduled time and place, with mirrors on the wall where I would watch myself and others move through their practice. So when I rolled out my mat in my living room for the first time and started my own flow, I had no idea what to expect.
But why start a home practice in the first place? Well, I was inspired by several yoga guru’s in the community who spoke of their “home” practice as a place to connect and evolve at a deeper level, that complimented their studio practice. I was curious to see what that would mean for me, so I started to find pockets of time throughout my day to connect with myself, and flow at home.
Within a few weeks, my eyes were open to a whole new world of yoga. Here are the benefits I immediately felt, and why I believe my home practice has changed my life:
Connecting to the Breath: I would close my ears, and immediately bring myself into the present moment. Without the distraction of other people in the room, or the urge to open my eyes and look in the mirror, I began to deepen my breath, and connect to my body quickly and with ease.
I Discovered Online Yoga: Practicing online yoga was the perfect compliment to my studio practice. I joined Pure Yoga Online, which is online studio with a very affordable month membership. Having access to over 125 classes and 20 different teachers, I never felt the STRESS of making it to a studio class. When life got in the way, I knew I would be able to connect with a great Pure Online class at my own time and in my own space.
Fitting in a Practice Daily: Having the space at home allowed me to practice every single day. Whether I was able to find 10 minutes to simply meditate or 60 minutes to flow, my home space gave me the opportunity to reap the BENEFITS of yoga daily.
Moving at My Own Pace: I lead a fast paced life, and found my home practice was a safe and healthy space to slow down. There was no pressure to “keep up with the class” or try poses my body was not ready for. I was free to move and flow at my own pace, to my breath, and stay where ever I needed to stay.
I Gained Confidence: I built my SELF-CONFIDENCE practicing at home in two ways. First it allowed me to try NEW things that I otherwise was afraid to do in studio. With no fear of being judged, I allowed myself to go FURTHER into my asana practice. The Second, was that practicing daily strengthened my body and mind. I saw improvements in my flexibility, muscle tone, energy and vitality. As my HOME practice evolved, I let go of the fear of what I looked like and was able to get in line with what I FELT like. Yoga makes me feel good.
Starting up your at HOME practice is not just for the experienced yogi. It is for all levels. So whether you’re just beginning your yoga journey or you wish to compliment and explore your current yoga regime, here are my top 5 tips to GET STARTED!
1. Find a quiet space that makes you feel good! Whether you are in your bedroom, home office, living room or basement, find and transform an area of your house that you LOVE.
2. Get a good yoga mat. Practicing at home doesn’t need to be fancy and expensive, however, investing in a quality mat will keep you wanting to go back for more. Your mat should allow you to move and feel secure and grounded throughout your practice. It’s your foundation, so make it good.
3. Start at the beginning. Yoga evolves slowly and with intention. You don’t need to jump right into 60 minutes of power. Try spending 10 minutes laying on your back and connecting to your breath and then see where your body takes you.
4. Use great resources. There are many great online resources for you to use. I personally recommend Pure Yoga Online. If you’d like a membership, go to www.onlinepureyoga.com and use the Discount Code: “elisa10” and get your membership for only $10/month.
5. SET it and don’t FORGET it! Keep your home studio set up at all times. Keep your mat out, and start to surround it with things you love. Flowers, pictures, candles, and anything else that makes you feel happy in that space. This will give you the opportunity to settle into your practice immediately. You won’t have to take the extra time to put all the pieces together… it is already there and ready for you when you find the time.
Elisa Kurylowicz is a local adventure blogger and social media expert. You can follow her blogs and listen to her podcasts at “Elisa Unfiltered” http://elisaunfiltered.com/ and find her on instagram www.instagram.com/elisakurylowicz