As many of you know, I started doing yoga when I was 14 without anything but a DVD to follow. For the first year of dabbling with yoga, I didn’t even own a mat! By the time I was 16, I had my Manduka ProLite mat and a plethora of iTunes podcasts and downloads to keep me entertained every single day. The first time I stepped into a yoga studio was the first day of my Yoga Teacher Training.
Frankly, I just love practicing at home! I can take any class I want, with any teacher I want, at any time I want, for as long as I want. Plus, there is zero pressure or competition involved with an at-home yoga practice, which is one of the many things that drew me to yoga in the first place! Plus, an at-home yoga practice can literally cost you no money. Compared to yoga studio memberships that can break the bank at nearly $1000 for a yearly unlimited membership, I’ll take the free option.
In no way am I saying to stop going to yoga studios. I’m a teacher at one! Yoga studios offer so much besides the yoga itself – friendships, community, professional teachers to guide you, empowerment, energy, a break from home life.
But when finances are tight or you’re on a time constraint, it’s always nice to have back-up options that you can do right at home.
All you really need to start doing yoga is a mat and podcasts or DVDs. Yes, I started without a mat, but I really don’t recommend going mat-less unless you want to slip and slide on your carpet and get a carpet burn (umm… ouch much?).
Once I got out of my DVD stage (I had two yoga DVDs that were just ok), I started my real yoga practice with Yoga Downloads.
They offer classes of all different lengths and styles with professional teachers via mp3 or video. I personally liked the mp3’s so I wasn’t straining my neck to see a TV screen, and since Yoga Downloads offers printable pose guides to go along with their mp3’s, I would just print one out and place it in front of my mat as I practiced.
After I was decently good at yoga and knew all the poses by name, I started doing podcasts from iTunes from Dave Farmar. This dude is an absolutely incredible yoga teacher. I credit my own passion for yoga to him. I really hope to someday practice with him in person, but for now I’ll stick with his podcasts. iTunes offers a lot of other teachers and classes to experiment with, and the best part is that most of them are free!
Whether with DVDs, podcasts, YouTube videos, or mp3 downloads, there are so many options to make an at-home yoga practice work for you! Just because you can’t afford or don’t have time for a studio doesn’t mean you still can’t practice.
Have you ever done yoga at home?