Now might be the greatest time in history to start practicing yoga at home. Many of us are in lockdown, without access to gyms and yoga studios, and the circumstances of our incarceration make it even more important that we stay strong, sane and supple. Currently, I’m teaching yoga to my household of 5 every evening and it’s the crucial element that’s keeping us calm, pain-free and moving well.
In researching this article, I spoke to several Yoga 15 students, many of whom have practiced the videos for more than 100 days in a row. They were kind enough to share their experience and some invaluable pro tips.
1. YOUR YOGA AT HOME SET UP
“A decent mat makes the world of difference, and making your experience more enjoyable will increase your motivation to stick at it.” (Lee, Longest Streak-413 days)
All you really need to practice yoga is a mat. You’ll often hear teachers calling yoga mats sticky mats because their most crucial job is to stop your hands and feet from slipping. Regular fitness mats are just not as effective. They are usually too short and don’t give you the grip you need. My favourite mat is the Manduka Pro (6mm) but I have several others that I like. A beautiful, black Reversible Lululemon Mat (5mm), a super light travel mat that I bought in France (2mm) and a couple of Gaiam mats that are less expensive and work just fine.
The length of your mat is crucially important. Regular mats are 68" long which will be too short if you’re over 5'8" or 170 cm. If you’re squeezing yourself onto a shorter mat (or a fitness mat), it’s likely that you’re compromising your alignment.
Props and other equipment
If you have tight hips, a couple of large blocks (4" x 6" x 9") are well worth the investment. I recommend that you sit on a block if, when you’re sitting cross-legged, your knees are higher than your hips. Other poses where they can come in useful are Low Lunge with Sidebend, Lizard, Modified Warrior 3, Half Monkey and Supported Bridge. In each video, I give you my recommendations for props but please ask if you have any questions. A yoga strap is great for Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe pose and the ones I have double up…