Yoga is a relaxation technique for all ages. It’s also a lucrative industry which has taken off in the face of overwhelming interest. Yoga is such a popular way to relax because you can do it at home without needing to buy expensive equipment. It just takes a few minutes of your time each day. Here’s what you need to get started with yoga at home.
Your floor is more important than you think with yoga. The ideal floor for yoga is solid wood. It’s hard and it’s the easiest thing to balance on. You also get better feedback from your body. A soft, plush carpet dulls the body’s senses and doesn’t give you the full benefit of your technique.
If you don’t have a hard floor in your home, do it on a carpet with the tightest fibres. In other words, the hardest carpet you can find.
You really don’t need much equipment to get started with yoga. If you aren’t suited to a hard floor, a yoga mat is one option you can use. Apart from that, just wear conventional gym clothes. You want to remain as flexible and as comfortable as possible.
For basic yoga instruction, you should purchase a book or a video. A book can teach you some basic exercises and lead you through the ‘why’ of it all. A video involves an instructor guiding you through each session with ambient music.
Yoga is about peace and harmony. It’s about getting in touch with your heart and your mind. The best way to practice yoga is in a calm environment where you have complete control over the noise levels.
For many people, the surroundings depend on the time of day. Yoga practitioners with children will ideally want to practice when their children are asleep or at school.
You have a few options for the environment you use. Firstly, look for somewhere where you have a lot of room. Yoga is about stretching and being free. A cluttered room confines you and contradicts the ideals of yoga.
Next, you should aim for quiet. Try to pick a room in your house which doesn’t face a major road. If you can’t do this, switch on some music. Make sure it’s calm and instrumental. There are plenty of yoga tapes available, but you can use anything. Some prefer to use the sounds of the ocean or forest. It should whisk you away to a personal piece of paradise.
As a treat, you can also consider your garden as an ideal yoga location. If it’s quiet, you could create your ambience by hanging a set of wind chimes up.
On days where you’re rushing around, yoga will rank poorly on your list of priorities. Solve this by dedicating a space exclusively to yoga. Make it your own and associate it with yoga. You can burn candles and incense, or hang pictures of figures that inspire you on the walls. Leave this space exclusively for relaxation and you will have a sanctuary to retreat to when life gets tough.
Geoff McCabe owns Anamaya Body, Mind and Spirit Costa Rica Yoga Retreat