Practicing yoga regularly is an excellent way to build strength, flexibility, and balance. It also helps you de-stress and slow down an otherwise hectic day.
Whether you’re hoping to reap the heart-healthy benefits of yoga or you’re simply looking for a low-impact way to get moving and build flexibility, there’s a type of yoga for you — and you can do it without leaving home. You can find popular yoga styles, like Vinyasa (also called flow yoga), Hatha, and power yoga, on YouTube or through online subscription services.
Many of these classes are free and designed specifically for people doing yoga at home. One of the benefits of doing yoga at home is that it can be relatively inexpensive compared to in-person alternatives. All you need is a mat, some non-restrictive exercise clothes, and a willingness to get moving.
Whether you feel prefer to exercise at home or you’re just looking for a low-cost exercise routine, it’s easy to start practicing yoga at home. The first thing you’ll need to do is find a place to do yoga. We’re all adapting to spending more time at home, so it helps to get creative with where you practice. You may need to move furniture around or scope out your yard, porch, or local park to find a good spot. Wherever you decide to practice, make sure you have enough room to move around on your mat without hitting anything or anyone.
When you’re first starting out, you’ll need some basic equipment that you may already have laying around the house. A yoga mat is key. You may also want to invest in some basic yoga supplies, like a yoga block. If you’re new to yoga and you are unsure of what you’ll need, it may be a good idea to get a yoga starter set. Most starter sets come with a yoga mat, a block, and a yoga strap.
When you’re ready to do yoga, make sure you’re wearing exercise clothes that don’t restrict your range of movement. It’s also a good idea to wear a fitted top or tuck a loose-fitting top into your shorts or leggings so you’re not constantly holding your shirt in place during poses like downward-facing dog.
Unlike many types of exercise, yoga requires very few supplies to get started. The only thing you really need is a mat. If you’ve done any type of floor exercise, chances are high you already have a yoga mat at home. If not, there are a few things you need to look for in a new mat.
It should be slightly textured or sticky so you won’t slip while moving from one pose to the next. The mat should be on the thicker side so that you have plenty of cushioning to support your joints. Most popular mats are somewhere between one-fourth and one-half inches thick. The length of your mat is also something to consider if you’re on the taller side.
As you develop your yoga practice, you may want to stock up on some yoga supplied. Most of these supplies are relatively inexpensive so you can easily keep your home workout within budget. The most popular yoga accessory is probably the yoga block. It's a helpful tool for poses like the triangle pose and for modifying poses in general. If you enjoy more cardio-intensive yoga styles, like power yoga or vinyasa yoga, it may make sense to use a yoga towel to prevent sweat from absorbing into your yoga mat. A yoga strap and a yoga wheel are also great yoga accessories as you become more advanced.
If you’re new to yoga or used to taking in-person classes where an instructor can quickly correct your poses, take the time to refresh your memory of central poses like chaturanga, downward-facing dog, and warrior I and II. You won’t have the benefit of an instructor watching out for you in real-time, so do your homework. It’s better than getting hurt. If you’re a beginner, don’t get discouraged if you can’t keep up at first. Your yoga practice will improve as you build strength, flexibility, and balance.
When doing yoga at home, it can be difficult to stay motivated. It can help to build a routine into your yoga practice. Perhaps you can do yoga every morning or right before you go to bed. You could even find a 30-day challenge if you want to build a habit.
With so much free yoga online, it can be overwhelming to find and commit to just one thing. Rather than spending your time figuring out which option is best, focus your energy on finding what works for you. Spend a few days testing out different options and then pick one and stick with it.
When looking for yoga classes, it’s important to keep a few things in mind: price, distribution method, and style of yoga. If you’re looking for free yoga classes, YouTube is likely your best bet. There are a number of YouTubers that offer wonderful, instructive yoga classes in a variety of styles. Yoga with Adriene offers an extensive library of yoga classes, including short, targeted classes and month-long yoga challenges, plus some meditations. If you’d prefer to stream yoga classes on your phone, the Down Dog App is a great option. It offers customizable classes for $7.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
Many gyms and yoga studios are also offering live classes online. Some of these classes are donation-based or available for a reduced fee. You may also want to check in with your favorite local yoga instructors to see if they’re offering live or recorded classes through services like Patreon. Taking online classes through a neighorhood studio or nearby instructor is a great way to support local businesses while practicing at home. Some yoga students have also found it’s easier to commit to a yoga class when they know their instructor is on the other side of a Zoom call waiting for them.
Meredith Gallo is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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