Cultivating a Home Yoga Practice

Do your yoga students hunger to build a home practice but struggle to stick with one? Sustaining a regular home yoga practice can be challenging even for the most loyal yoga enthusiasts. But practicing independently—as a complement to learning from a skilled teacher—offers a variety of advantages that make it well worth the effort. Find out why a home practice can benefit your students, how you can encourage them to create the space for it, and what will help them get on the mat every day.

Benefits of a Home Practice

Self-discovery. Learning from a skilled teacher is essential for any yoga student, but classes can be full and are sometimes fast-paced. A self-initiated, self-led home practice is an opportunity to enhance body awareness and sensitivity, shedding light on misalignments that might go unnoticed in the studio.

Of course, a good instructor looks out for imbalances and limitations in practitioners, but students who work at their own pace often learn to recognize a physical limitation (such as a tight hip) or an inefficient movement pattern for themselves. One student might realize she puts too much weight on her wrists or slightly bends her right elbow in downward-facing dog. Another might discover that opening his shoulders is far easier for him than opening his hips.

These moments of awareness are important because they inform future yoga practice and enhance students’ knowledge of their bodies and themselves. By applying what they learn through self-discovery, practitioners can challenge their physical edge or correct a muscular weakness. Regular attendance at a studio will yield these same benefits, but they are enhanced during home practice.

A tailored approach. Independent practitioners decide which poses they’ll do and what they want emphasize. Let’s say a student with flexible hamstrings and tight quadriceps attends a weekly yoga class that often focuses on stretching the hamstrings. During her home practice, she can even out her program (and her body) by incorporating more poses that open the quadriceps.

Skill refinement. Home practice provides a terrific opportunity for students to reinforce setup or alignment cues they’ve learned in class. With diligent work, they will refine those skills and begin to store the information in their long-term memory.

Motivation Matters

When class participants ask you about starting a home practice, it is important to understand why that matters to them and what might be holding them back. Ask open-ended questions, such as, “What appeals to you about starting a home practice?” and “What gets in the way of rolling out your mat once you’re home?” When you have this information, you can talk through the situation and help your clients achieve the outcome they want.

Remember that for any person to adhere to any behavior, there needs to be a strong motivational factor for doing that behavior. If cultivating a home practice is something your clients think they should do, but not something they truly care about, they will not be motivated to start, and you may need to address that.

Explore this further by asking questions like “Where did your desire to start a home yoga practice begin?” and “How does starting a home practice relate to who you want to be?” This will help your clients talk about why they want to engage in the behavior versus why they should commit to it.

If motivation is not the issue, and the problem lies in the home environment, then practical solutions can help students overcome common barriers.

Home Practice Solutions

Set the space. A common barrier to home practice is the array of distractions that vie for clients’ attention. These might be objects in the environment (like TV, computers or dirty dishes) or even family members. To win the commitment struggle, it will be important for your clients to “set the space” where they plan to practice.

This could mean moving furniture to the side of a room, creating a permanent yoga space in their home, or using visual or auditory cues to make their environment more conducive to yoga. For example, clients could leverage music to set the mood, even creating a yoga playlist to provide a relaxing environment.

Encourage clients to remove any distracting objects from their line of vision: a laundry basket filled with clothes to be washed, or pieces of mail on the counter, for instance. Recommend setting the space in the morning before work, so clients are ready to go once they get home. And urge them to ask family members to respect the space so that practice can unfold without verbal or behavioral interruptions.

Create a schedule. Your clients will need to figure out a routine that will work for them, whether that means practicing when they first get home, when they get up in the morning or during a lunch break at work. Encourage them to use phone reminders or social support to keep them on schedule.

Avoiding conflict with mealtimes is best, but if clients have to postpone a meal, recommend they eat snacks throughout the day to eliminate large gaps between meals. They should negotiate with family members or housemates, asking them to play music more softly or take kids to another room until the session is over.

Modify or even discard time requirements. Another barrier is thinking the activity needs to last a certain length of time. Some clients might assume they must practice for 90 minutes (as they often do in their yoga class) for the session to matter. For many people, the idea of practicing for that long either before or after work can be daunting, so they may never start.

Help your clients set a realistic and manageable duration goal so that they can succeed. That said, remind them to watch what they’re telling themselves about the length of time they practice. For some, falling short of their goal might mean failure, which could sabotage their long-term adherence. If you notice this tendency in clients, recommend they shift their mindset and recognize value in any amount of practice. Even 10 minutes of yoga can produce an array of benefits.

Let go of expectations. The next barrier to adhering to a regular home yoga practice is pre-existing expectations about what the practice should look like: How many poses should it include? How challenging should they be? These should can get in the way, so help your clients let go of expectations and allow themselves to be present to what feels right in the moment.

Remind them that practicing only a handful of poses can be helpful and that they don’t need to do an advanced sequence for the practice to make a difference. A home yoga practice might be restorative poses one day and a more vigorous flow practice the next, and that’s okay. The practice can be different every time, since a regular yoga practice will ebb and flow based on energy levels, muscular tension, interpersonal stress, and nutritional and sleep habits.

Seek out helpful resources when choosing poses. Last but not least, your clients may find choosing poses difficult when they practice at home. Encourage them to start by practicing their favorite ones first and then add in different or more challenging options over time. Yoga books, online videos or yoga websites might prompt ideas. Suggest that clients keep these helpful resources near their mat while they practice so they can refer to them if they feel unsure about what to do next.

Home Yoga Matters

Regardless of the barriers your clients face, there are ways to help them achieve the benefits they want from a regular home yoga practice. Find out as much as you can about their motivation and help them dismantle environmental barriers. Working together, you can find the solution that will allow their home practice to thrive.

HELPFUL TIPS AND PROPS FOR HOME YOGA PRACTICE

These pointers may seem basic to you, but they can help students get a home practice up and running:

  • Always practice on a mat. It will help you avoid slipping, especially while holding downward-facing dog or warrior poses.
  • Place your yoga mat on a hard, even surface. Practicing on carpet is not recommended, as it affects weight distribution in the hands during weight-bearing poses, and this can lead to wrist pain. Practicing on carpet can also affect balance in standing poses.
  • Have a minimum of two thicker yoga blocks (either cork or foam) to support yourself in seated or standing poses.
  • Aim to have at least one yoga strap. If a strap is not available, use a resistance band instead.
  • If possible, use a woven yoga blanket for support when needed (e.g., to cushion the knee in lunges). A thicker home blanket that’s easily folded provides a good alternative.

By:

Source: Cultivating a Home Yoga Practice – IDEA Health & Fitness Association

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All The Yoga Accessories You Need To Improve Your Practice

Our homes have become not only a place to lay our heads but also our offices, classrooms and gyms. So it’s no wonder Canadians may be searching for balance and a little serenity in their lives.

Yoga delivers a dose of calm and can help to relieve stress and anxiety. But it’s not just medicine for the soul; it can also offer a challenging workout or a gentle stretch, depending on the discipline you choose and the poses you practice.

Check out our selection of yoga accessories, available in Canada, to take your regular sessions to the next level. Remember: Yoga is about progression, not perfection, so keep practicing!

Yoga mats

One of the most important and affordable yoga accessories is the mat. It will keep you comfortable, helping you to relax into stretches and breathe deeply. At the end of your session, when you enter the meditation section, a good mat will help you forget where you are and drift away.

Yoga Mat (starting at $40.26; society6.com)

Yoga Mat

Society6

Yoga Mat

Created by a community of independent artists, these yoga mats are comfortable and look great. Lightweight yet durable, you’ll be spoiled for choice with all the beautiful designs and colour options, with shipping available across Canada.

Be1Yoga Thick Nonslip Yoga Mat ($32.95; amazon.ca)

Be1Yoga Thick Nonslip Yoga Mat

Amazon

Be1Yoga Thick Nonslip Yoga Mat

Available in six colours, all with a black backing, this yoga mat is thick and comfortable underfoot. The nonslip material will make sure you keep your balance no matter how hard you work out.

Amazon Basics TPE Yoga Mat ($59.16; amazon.ca)

Amazon Basics TPE Yoga Mat

Amazon

Amazon Basics TPE Yoga Mat

The dense rubberlike material TPE creates a thick and soft mat that’s perfect for floor work and yoga poses. This mat is available in five colours, including blue, red, purple and green, and comes with the Amazon Basics one-year limited warranty.

OGOGO Hot Yoga Mat ($25.99; amazon.ca)

OGOGO Hot Yoga Mat

Amazon

OGOGO Hot Yoga Mat

Available in 12 stunning designs, including an ocean vista and sunsets, these mats give you a beautiful scene to focus on while you stretch. The lightweight design can be folded instead of rolled to save space and makes a great choice for traveling yogis.

Desert Dreaming Suede Travel Yoga Mat ($79; sugarmat.com)

Desert Dreaming Suede Travel Yoga Mat

Sugarmat

Desert Dreaming Suede Travel Yoga Mat

Montreal-based Sugarmat makes beautiful yoga mats that you’ll want to show off. This synthetic suede travel yoga mat folds up into its own cute carry bag and feels amazingly soft on the skin.

Nonslip Yoga Towel ($69.95; slowtide.ca)

Nonslip Yoga Towel

Slowtide

Nonslip Yoga Towel

These towels feature a waffle material that gives great grip and catches any sweat drips before they fall onto your mat. Made from 100% recycled materials, primarily plastic water bottles, you can feel good about this sustainable purchase. Plus, the double-sided print makes them a super-attractive addition to your yoga gear.

Meditation accessories

It’s fine to use a chair to meditate, but a special meditation cushion can help you get into the right position. Plus, it looks great in your yoga corner.

Walden Original Meditation Cushion ($179.07; walden.us)

Walden Original Meditation Cushion

Walden

Walden Original Meditation Cushion

The Walden meditation cushion is filled with natural buckwheat with a layer of memory foam on top for total comfort. Over time, the cushion conforms to your unique shape, providing support where you need it the most. These cushions encourage you to tilt your hips slightly, aligning your spine and making for a very comfortable meditation session.

Leewadee Meditation Cushion Set ($119.99; amazon.ca)

Leewadee Meditation Cushion Set

Amazon

Leewadee Meditation Cushion Set

This set comes with a Zafu cushion featuring a carry strap and a mat that rolls up for easy storage. Choose from a huge range of colours and designs to coordinate with your decor. It can also help you to develop the perfect lotus position.

Serene Tibetan Singing Bowl Set ($24.05; amazon.ca)

Serene Tibetan Singing Bowl Set

Amazon

Serene Tibetan Singing Bowl Set

Begin your meditation practice with the soothing sound of this Tibetan singing bowl set. Hand-painted and complete with a wooden striker, you’ll soon be sinking into a deeper state of being.

Bluecony Ikuko Original Meditation Bench ($139; amazon.ca)

Bluecony Ikuko Original Meditation Bench

Amazon

Bluecony Ikuko Original Meditation Bench

If kneeling isn’t comfortable for you, try a meditation bench, which allows you to practice a kneeling posture while supporting your weight. Crafted from cherrywood, this bench comes with a travel bag, and the legs easily detach to allow you to reach a Zen-like state no matter where you roam.

Yoga journals

Keep track of your progress, the poses you found easy or challenging and the way you felt during practice with a handy yoga journal.

Yoga Notebook ($7.84; amazon.ca)

Yoga Notebook

Amazon

Yoga Notebook

This 100-page notebook features inspiring and motivational quotes to deepen your thinking about yoga, meditation and mindfulness. Take a moment before or after your practice to jot down your thoughts and feelings.

Erin Condren Soft Cover Notebook ($15.65; amazon.ca)

Erin Condren Soft Cover Notebook

Amazon

Erin Condren Soft Cover Notebook

Use this notebook as a bullet journal to sketch poses or to write down your impressions after a session. The lay-flat feature is particularly helpful during class, as you can simply lay the journal on your yoga mat and jot down your thoughts. As always with Erin Condren journals, you can choose from a selection of pretty designs.

Meditation: A Day and Night Reflection Journal ($22.76; amazon.ca)

Meditation: A Day and Night Reflection Journal

Amazon

Meditation: A Day and Night Reflection Journal

Track your meditation practice with this journal that has space to record your daily mantra, intentions and any meditation aids you have used, such as cushions or candles. You also get a snapshot of your changing emotions and any challenges you faced during your practice.

The Mindfulness Journal ($23.56; amazon.ca)

The Mindfulness Journal

Amazon

The Mindfulness Journal

This journal has actionable prompts that help to focus your mind and intentions on the practice ahead. There’s a prompt for every day of the year divided into weekly mindfulness topics. There’s also writing space for your own thoughts.

Yoga apparel

Any comfortable clothes that allow your body to move work well for yoga, but if you’re looking for something special to make you really look forward to your next session, check out these suggestions.

The Sport Scoop Top ($82; londrebodywear.ca)

The Sport Scoop Top

Londre

The Sport Scoop Top

The double-lined compression material used on this super-comfortable bra top by Vancouver-based sustainable swim and body line Londre keeps you cool no matter how long you work out. The inclusive line includes sizing from XS to 5XL, and this particular top comes in seven colours.

Icyzone Workout Tank Top for Women ($28.25; amazon.ca)

Icyzone Workout Tank Top for Women

Amazon

Icyzone Workout Tank Top for Women

This three-pack of racerback style tank tops is incredibly affordable. Choose from a wide range of colour combinations to match your yoga pants and let the sweat-wicking fabric keep you dry and comfortable through every pose.

Baleaf Women’s Harem Pants ($29.99; amazon.ca)

Baleaf Women's Harem Pants

Amazon

Baleaf Women’s Harem Pants

For lighter workouts and meditation sessions, choose these loose-fitting harem pants, which come in either black or dark grey. The soft fabric feels great, and the pockets are extremely useful.

By: Fiona Tapp

Source: All the yoga accessories you need to improve your practice | CNN Underscored

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Related Contents:

Delaney, Brigid (17 September 2017). “The yoga industry is booming – but does it make you a better person?

Yoga Burn – Discover The Brand New Routine to Help Boost Metabolism & Shape Your Yoga Booty

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The secret to the success of the Yoga Burn Program lies in what’s referred to as Dynamic Sequencing. Dynamic Sequencing is the way in which the yoga burn program teaches you how to properly perform each movement and then continues to adapt and increase the challenge at the precise moment your body starts to get used to the routine. This forces your body to change and adapt, which in turn, helps to build a shapely, feminine body that not only looks better, but feels better too!

The unique 3 phase program guides you through a series of different videos that are laid out in a way that will keep your body and mind guessing to ensure you do not get bored, or hit a plateau. Each video is 45 minutes long and can be done anytime, anywhere. You are encouraged to complete three 45 minute videos a week, with the option to complete a bonus video lesson which is provided.

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It’s highly recommended to fit the bonus video in if you can find the time, as the bonus video is focused on increasing your emotional well being, self-confidence, and overall happiness. I’m sure you’ll agree that confidence and happiness are two of the most attractive attributes a woman can possess. Learn more about Yoga Burn’s 3 phase program below.

Phase 1

Foundational Flow

This phase is called the foundational flow because that is exactly what we will be building: A solid Yoga Foundation. The first four weeks are designed to teach you the foundation of a strong yoga practice and of course, start to shape long, lean muscles while having fun! Both beginners and advanced yoga students can and will benefit from this unique set of sequences. You will learn how to execute proper form and build a strong “mind-body” connection so you can call on the muscles you need once we move into the more challenging videos. This initial foundation is the key to progressing through the next two phases safely and effectively.

 

Phase 2

Transitional Flow

Phase 2 is dedicated to teaching you how to combine the moves we’ve learned in Phase 1 into a smooth flow that will allow you to burn more calories and get that heart rate up! By now you will be more comfortable with our basic moves, so let’s mix it up and keep your body guessing to force it to adapt and change for the better!! Each video in this phase focuses on large muscles groups. The 3 workout videos are: Upper body, Lower Body, and Core. We will work on our transitions from one pose to the next. Learning how to link poses together feels really good, and allows you to focus on the present moment rather than giving the mind time to wander…it’s like a moving meditation!

Phase 3

Mastery Flow

Get ready to kick it up a notch ladies! It’s time to combine all that we have learned from the past 2 Phases into a scorching hot sequence designed to fire up your metabolism and transform your body in ways you may have never imagined possible with yoga!

The layout of each video is slightly different than the previous videos. There is more repetition of each pose to really encourage the desired muscle to fatigue. Also, you will be guided through a combination of upper and lower body compound movements. These are designed to get the most done in the shortest amount of time, and the muscles we are going to target will help give your body that attractive hourglass shape.

Phase 3 is designed to spice things up, reenergize and reinvigorate your mental focus while fully maximizing your weight loss results.

The secret to the success of the Yoga Burn Program lies in what’s referred to as Dynamic Sequencing. Dynamic Sequencing is the way in which the yoga burn program teaches you how to properly perform each movement and then continues to adapt and increase the challenge at the precise moment your body starts to get used to the routine. This forces your body to change and adapt, which in turn, helps to build a shapely, feminine body that not only looks better, but feels better too! Yoga Burn’s unique 3 phase program guides you through 15 different videos that are laid out in a way that will keep your body and mind guessing to ensure you do not get bored, or hit a plateau.

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Yoga Burn is for women from any walk of life who are ready to make time to follow a done-for-you yoga program designed to promote natural and healthy weight loss without any need for pills, powders or potions. If you want to lose weight and get in shape without having to spend countless hours in the gym or lift heavy weights then Yoga Burn may be a great fit for you.

First of all, when it comes to meditation you need to be professionally guided where, how and when to focus your concentration every step of the way in the most comfortable, quiet and stress-free environment of your choosing.

Secondly, each meditation session must take a strategic approach that focuses entirely on your mind, body, or spirit in order to maximize the benefits you can experience in these 3 vitally important areas of your life- And unfortunately, this is where so many generic meditations fail.

Yet, this is also where The Yoga Burn Meditation Solution comes in to save the day.

The Yoga Burn Meditation Solution offers you a unique 3 choice approach to your meditation sessions that focus on either your Mind using visualization techniques to sharpen your mental focus, clarity and improve attention span… Or your Body using techniques designed to release mental and physical tension, improve your immunity and overall health and hormonal balance… OR Your Spirit where a majority of focus is dedicated towards speciality breathing techniques to help you connect with your inner self and make you feel calm and centred.

And no matter what session you choose that day they all focus on increasing your self-love, happiness, your self-confidence and positivity and improving your overall sense of well-being.

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