5 ways to create your perfect yoga home studio
Doing yoga online is great. You don’t have to travel. No dark, icy roads. No time wasted in the car. Tuning in to meet like-minded people, share a little, move a lot and find a sense of peace, camaraderie and community. Stretching and staying sane. What’s not to like. That said practicing yoga at home brings many challenges from intermittent WIFI to wailing children and missing seeing people in person. With Covid continuing to rage it seems we’re going to have to embrace the changes. This blog will give you simple achievable tips on how to make your yoga at home feel even better.
table of contents
- pamper your WIFI
- make space at home
- have yoga props to hand
- get a bit zen with your yoga home studio
- online etiquette
- finding health and harmony at home
pamper your WIFI
Before class turn off items that use WIFI. Yes, turn them off. Don’t imagine you can just ‘not use them’ apparently, it’s just not the same. When our WIFI was playing up we did a count items – 12! Our WIFI is not the most flash and it really needs a bit of consideration for classes to be smooth. So now before class I go round and put off phones, ask kids to shut down and unplug WIFI devices.
make space at home
So obvious, but I still find myself brushing the curtains by mistake or bumping into furniture. Before class work out a space where you can:
- fit a mat and move freely
- access a wall or some sort of support
- see the class online with a place for your device where it gives you a good view
have yoga props to hand
It’s a good idea to have a blanket, something to drink and a block or two to hand in case you need them during class. Since it’s online you can nip out anytime to go get what you need, but you’re likely to benefit more from the class if you have what you need to hand. It helps you to get the most out of your class.
get a bit zen with your yoga home studio
Everyone is different about what makes them feel chilled and nurtured so choose what appeals most to you from following to claim your space. Think Marie Kondo meets does yoga space
- light a candle or incense
- put music on just for you, a perk of being at home
- declutter anything that jars you
- create a little arrangement of meaningful items to focus your practice
- clean your space as much or as little as you need to before hand
- cleanse your space energetically by burning sage
- find lighting that makes you feel happy inside
This is great for your yoga class and you might even like it more after too.
online class etiquette
Camera on or off?
Usually yoga teachers prefer cameras on so they can check how everyone’s doing and guide you. For myself I like cameras on as I love the connection. Seeing cats come visit, children pop in all help with feeling connected and making online feel more normal.
Microphone on or off?
There’s a joy in hearing every day lives continue, with yoga questions, WIFI discussions, amused giggles and releasing sighs during class. This joy sometimes means others can’t hear well and in larger classes it seems to change the speakers amplification. Your teacher will guide you or mute you. For classes over 6 I favour muting but people unmuting at anytime to chip in and share.
Approaching your device
This is a funny one. In person we know how to refrain from giving too much information, but with a camera it’s sometimes hard to get it right all the time. As beautiful as our bodies are inadvertent crotch shots are not ideal. If you need to adjust your device, take your knees to the side.
Here are some lovely ways to increase your wellbeing and enjoy your yoga home studio:
- Check out contraindication and health issues you have so you can look after yourself really well and get some top tips on how to help.
- Find out about my wonderful yoga teacher Grandmother Connie Dennsion. She did yoga in her tiny sunlounge.
- This book on pregnancy yoga is a great way to support your home practice if your having a baby.
Why not subscribe to TheYoga for lovely yoga ideas and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox.
If you want yoga online but don’t want to sign up for class why not try this 100 day yoga challenge which only takes 10 minutes a day. You can do it every day or when you feel like. You can get a somewhat stylish yoga journal designed for the programme to keep you on track here.
Finding health and harmony at home
Check your WIFI, set out your space, get what you need, make it a bit zen and then enjoy the class. All of these things matter in making your space your own. When we come out to class we physically make space between our daily difficulties and yoga. When you’re at home you have to spend more time accepting your stuff, literally and in spirit, and working with it. Yoga is about finding balance, health and harmony through moving consciously and with the breath. Doing yoga at home gives you more time, more chance to embed your practice in your daily life and might even encourage your to start self practice. You can do yoga anywhere, but there’s no place like home!
Want to find an online yoga class? click here
If you liked this blog why not try:
Happy New Year 2021: with a free yoga tracker
Uujayi breathing: a video and blog to help you breath your way to calm
Music for love, peace and non-attachment: you might find some yoga home studio music inspiration here
Freebie Yoga Tracker >>>
Start 2021 with a motivational yoga tracker. Colour code to show the difference between a morning stretch or a full class, or simply highlight the days when you’ve done any yoga at all. Feel free to share it with your friends.
So I’ve got the funny feeling this year is going to be challenging, and thankfully every challenge has a silver lining.
For every thing we cannot do there is another thing that becomes available. I missed going out, but have loved being quieter and in the garden.
When we can’t meet friends in doors we meet outdoors. When we can’t meet outdoors we call, facetime and send cards. There are the benefits from time slowing up.
Yoga benefits immeasurablyfor having space and time.
Keping clear and motivated is important. Sometimes a good quote on a post it is enough, or your three aspirational words. Live online classes help, as does personal practice. You can use a yoga journal (£5.50 online) keep it in your diary or use the free Yoga Tracker (download above) so that you can chart your progress through the year.
Setting a time of day to practice and having a clear area means that yoga time is easier than if you have to put away the clothes, move the cat basket and move the pile of books.
In terms of looking after muscles that are active, Muslces need time to release, and some muscles release more easily than others. Stretching off muscles that are tight from use is easier than stretching off muscles that are holding emotions.
When the body is tense it takes time to feel safe and relax again. It’s a great idea that we can stretch hard for 30 monutes and come out relaxed, but in my expereince it just doesnt happen. Tension takes some care and time, to start to soften and melt. I think of it a bit like an unfolding. Like petals of a flower. We move towards a yoga pose, giving the body time to have many moments of aliveness. To open and expand.
Wishing you roots and wings for 2021
Uujayi breathing is where the back of the throat closes a little, which restricts the out flow of air. This makes the breath longer and has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Learning uujayi breathing
Initially breathing out through your mouth as if you were trying to mist up a mirror works to get the right feeling. To do uujayi breathing you keep this feeling but gently close the lips and breath out through your nose.
When to use Uujayi
Sometimes uujayi breathing is taught very strongly and done throughout asana practice. I dont recommend this partocularly. The breath is a very refined and sensitive thing – its our very life fore. I favour a usually think a genlte and steady practice rather than drama, but please do as feels right for you. I suggest sitting quietly and easing into this breath ofr 5 minutes or so. Notice how you feel before, during, and after. Your key to learning pranayama (breathing in sanskrit) is noticing how it affects you. When you have proff for yourself it is much easier to embed a practice as it has become your own.
The sound of Uuajyi
I was teaching uujayi breathing online (as all my classes are right now with lockdown) and as it was online nobody could hear my breathing with the microphone. So here is the lovely sound of uujayi breathing.
I wouldnt normall record my own strange breathing sounds, however in my service to helping others learn yoga – here it is!
I have also included 3 videos – the sound inside a seashell, darth veda and waves. They all have the same sort of deep raspy rhythm of uujayi breathing. Ofcourse Darth Veda is a personal favourite. Just imagining I am Darth Veda bereathing through a mask is a quick way of connecting with uujayi breathing for me. The sound you hear when you take a shell to your ear, or of repeptiitve waves also help and are rather more traditional anaologies.
Sciatica is never fun, and is especially prevalent in pregnancy when the change in posture, weight of the baby, changes in the pelvis doe tot he hormones and then position of the baby all play into an increased tendency to sciatica.
Sciatica typically involves a pain, weakness or numbness down one or both legs. The NHS have an excellent description of sciatica and basic advice. Sometimes it is described as if you could draw a line of where the pain goes. Its easy to say ‘oh its just how your baby is lying’ or ‘its just nerve pain’ but if you are suffering form it, you can find it very debilitating, and this in turn can affect your mood.
The below yoga video shows a short sequence of yoga poses that are helpful in making space at the back of the pelvis that helps to alleviate pain and the trapping of nerves. There are more poses than just this, however a memeber of this class was wanting to practice more often than twice a week as yoga was proving effective in alleviating symptms and pain. Primarily this video is for E, however I thought it best to do the video so tohers could benefit form it as well.
There are other poses that are highly beneficial but less helpful during pregnancy. When pregnnat be mindful of good advice that doesn not take in to consideration that you are pregnant.
Any yoga practice is best with a yoga teacher, particularly in pregnancy where there can be other complications. Please check out with your teacher if this is suitable for you, but at least it will give you some ideas of what can be really helpful to make life a bit easier and more comfortable to those with sciatica.
If your sciatca is severe or if yoga is not shifting it Id recommend going to see an experienced and refinedosteopath (David Lasnet or Adam Harker in the Edinburgh area) as they can rebalance the pelvis to alleviate symptoms.
Video coming – just waiting for approval from those in it x