Pro-tips for Beginning a Home Practice

One of the reasons coming in to Renkon Yoga Studio FEELS SO GOOD is this: we put a lot of thought and energy into creating a space that feels sacred for you.

Consider some of these ideas to help your home yoga practice feel extra-special.

CHOOSE A YOGA NOOK: This can be in a tucked-away corner, a spare bedroom – or heck, even in YOUR bedroom (that’s my favorite place to practice). Consider your happiest-feeling rooms of your house – the rooms with the most comfortable temperature, lovely natural lighting, and – this is a big one – the least amount of visual and audio distractions. That’s the spot!

GATHER WHAT YOU NEED: Once you’ve decided on your perfect yoga nook, lay out your mat in the direction you think you’ll like best (we recommend near a window if you can), keep in mind your needs for a screen and plug for streaming your virtual classes from Renkon. Add a blanket or thick towel or two, a yoga bolster or small, firm pillow or chair cushion, and yoga blocks if you’ve got them. We also love to keep a book of poems nearby, some incense and/or candles (and a kid proof lighter if you’ve got littles), a journal and pen. We also recommend an easy-to-add, light layer like a zip up sweatshirt to toss on if you get chilly during meditation. Try grabbing a basket to store these items when you’re not practicing so your nook always looks tidy, lovely and inviting.

ORGANIZE YOUR TECH: Since you’ll be joining us virtually, decide if you’ll be using a phone, device or computer to tune in as you practice. Figure out the best way to set that up so you can easily see it, and get the charger organized so you stay powered on. (These are all things that will interrupt your practice if you don’t take care of them ahead of time! You’re welcome!). To protect the audio quality, our online classes won’t have music – if you’re a music lover, consider adding a small speaker so you can stream some relaxing music into the background of your yoga nook or dialing up the Spotify playlist our teachers might somtimes provide. Bonus: this can sometimes help block out the noise of a passing truck or a conversation elsewhere in the house to help you stay present.

SELECT A SCHEDULE: We don’t want this daily virtual yoga practice to become a nagging thing on your to-do list that you never get to. When we hold classes at the studio, they have a scheduled start time. – our virtual, live-streamed classes do too! This helps our guests stay accountable to yourselves and your yoga practice by showing up on time and staying consistent and steady. Reflect on the reality of your current life and determine what time of day you’ll practice, check out our schedule to see which classes line up with your needs. Do your best to practice at the same time of day, or at times throughout the week that really support you and the schedule/flow/logistics of your reality – this is how your yoga practice becomes a longterm, sustainable part of your life instead of an item on your to-do list that you struggle to get to.

Real talk: We know this is a pretty dynamic time with lots of changing logistics and unseen developments daily so please select the time to practice as an experiment, see how it goes, and reserve the right to change your mind about your practice time if it becomes necessary.

BEGIN WITH INTENTION: Just like we ask you to arrive to the studio 5-15 minutes ahead of class, show up for your live-streamed class or personal practice just as intentionally on time. 30 minutes before you plan to practice, change into clothes that allow for ease of movement. 15 minutes before practice, turn off your devices (except the one you need to stream the class), light your candles, bless your space in the ways that work for you, and find your way to your mat. 5 minutes before class begins, click the link, enter the password, and hangout in the virtual waiting room until your teacher welcomes you in – or if you’re practicing on your own, tune in to your needs and consider what will best support your practice on that specific day. Spend a few minutes arriving, breathing and being before you begin.

If your mind is over-full, consider using the few minutes of stillness before yoga practice to write down all your worries in your journal. Give yourself permission to be petty, curious, and real with yourself. Say it all into the pages where anything goes. Acknowledge the fear. Allow the anxiety. It’s real, it’s there, and its warranted, love. This practice helps you move that fear energy out of your body so the journal pages can hold a bit of the edge for you so you can step onto your mat and practice. This is a great activity to do before bed too.

This is a practice. It won’t ever be perfect; it can’t be (and it’s not supposed to be), by the nature of what this is: a practice. It will be ever-changing day by day. Some days you’ll be energetically dialed in and FEELING it. Other days, you’ll resist, resent, and even maybe skip it entirely. In these tender times, it’s 100% important to keep what you need in mind, my loves. Don’t bail on yourself, though. If a full yoga practice feels like too much, give yourself permission to lay on your yoga mat and close your eyes and feel your belly move up and down as you breathe in and breathe out instead. If a full yoga practice feels uninspired, check into what does sound great – maybe its a long walk, maybe its cuddling up with a book, maybe its a guided meditation, or perhaps it’s pulling out your guitar for a solo jam session. Whatever is your living, breathing, true-blue self care practice on any given day, that’s enough. Go with grace. Follow your gut. Tend to your needs in ways that work for you.