Yoga at Home

September 27th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Fitness

With all this extra mileage from last minute marathon training, I’ve been trying to get back into the groove with a more regular yoga practice.

Increased mileage –> greater risk of injury –> more yoga to help offset the additional time and distance on my legs and feet.

I really fell in love with yoga at the beginning of the year when I started getting to yoga classes on a regular basis.  I was going a few days a week and absolutely noticed a difference in myself – both physically and emotionally.

But of course an hour long yoga class takes way more time than just one hour.  There’s travel time, there’s hauling kids in and out of the car and/or convincing them that Child Watch will be fun!  You’ll see!! – all of which means there were days that simply getting to class felt like more of a stretch and pain in the rear end than pigeon pose did.

So instead of finding extra time to get to yoga class right now, I’ve been doing more yoga at home – and it’s reminded me that sometimes the best yoga studio is the one you set up in your own living room.

Living Room Yoga Studio

And by “set up” I mean shove aside toys, books and colored pencils all while flinging Barbies into the foyer just before you go in search of your calm, centered self.

Yoga at home can be faster and sometimes easier than getting to class – and only minimal effort is needed to get your third eye groove on in your own space.

Maybe you set up a sound stage –

Sound System

complete with an old record player and a bunch of old LP’s.

Anybody wanna come and scratch some 1970’s Disney albums while we get our downward dog on?  You know, those records that some people in this house love to listen to every hour on the hour?  Yeah, that one right there with the yellow label – that’s the one.

Or maybe not an entire sound system, just some speakers to plug in to your mp3 player – on my iPod

to listen to the same old podcasts from that you’ve been using for years now.

Old podcasts or not, I was feeling quite grateful for these audio classes today when I was in the mood to be cued through a series of poses instead of coming up with something myself.

I was able to snag 45 minutes this morning with my mat and Yoga for Runners and didn’t have to haul anybody anywhere.

At Home Yoga Studio

When I first discovered yogadownload I listened to the free 20 minute Gentle Hatha Yoga #1 and #2 over and over again – and these are classes I use now when I’m looking for something short and easy.

The instructors walk you through the poses like any instructor would, and each class comes with a downloadable pose guide to help get you into the poses you’re unfamiliar with.  (I would print it out and leave it right next to my mat for my cheat sheet.)

The most unexpected benefit of that came from these podcasts was the way they prepared me for real yoga classes when I finally started getting to some.  I didn’t feel at all like a newbie and I also came to appreciate the difference an actual instructor can make – a person who is breathing the same air that you are and quite happily (sadistically) adjusts you during poses and remembers every. time. to check that you’re keeping your hips level during pyramid pose.

(blasted pyramid pose.)

A couple of other props in my at home “studio” – my favorite Hugger Mugger cork block and yoga strap.

Hugger Mugger Yoga Cork Block and Strap

And the best, stickiest mat I’ve ever had.

Jade Yoga Mat Blue

And maybe throw in a Buddha statue if you’re looking for that Eastern feel.

A Groovy Statue

(what?  the Seven Dwarfs aren’t doing it for you?)

Really, ALL of these items are optional. You don’t even need a mat to get started practicing yoga to see if it’s something you think you might like or already know you do like.

I’ll admit that these things do help though – and sometimes it’s just a matter of intention.  One of the most memorable things I ever heard a yoga instructor say was that “just one pose can be considered a yoga practice”.  That’s when I first came to see that you can practice “every day” by rolling out your mat and doing just one downward dog or one child’s pose if that’s all you have time for.

Or perhaps your one pose a day is actually unintentional as you move into triangle pose while picking up the Barbies you’ve chucked across your living room.


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8 Responses

  • B. Gomicchio says:

    Thanks for the post! I’ve been wanting to do yoga at home for about, oh, forever. I’ll definitely have to check out that yoga site. It’s exactly what I need. That and someone to make my house look as neat and tranquil as yours ; )

  • Cindy says:

    I love this Ali because I am one who just can’t get to a yoga studio for a real live class.

    never been.
    and some how I struggle with saying I “do yoga” because it’s just me and my mat (and JJ and JJ”s mat) in my bedroom.

    I have just recently gotten a full hour of yoga in (and it feels like a guilty pleasure being alone for a whole hour while kids want your attention) but I am so deeply chill!


    ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm back at ya!

  • So, I’ve been running for 1.5 years now and half two half marathons (I first typed marathongs…) under my belt. I’m thinking of signing up for a full marathon next June, and I was wondering if you (when you have the time, of course!) could write a post about the mental/physical challenges about doing a full marathon. I think it would definitely help hearing that information from someone who has done a full as I definitely do not know anyone who has run a marathon!

  • Yup, can do. This is a good time to write something like this because much of this is on my mind right now anyway. Thank you for the request and the idea!

    • No problem! Unfortunately, I dislocated my knee shortly after this request! I think I might still be able to shoot for a marathon by June, but it will be a SLOW road to recovery given that I’ve already had surgery. I am still very interested in your take on the physical/mental challenges of a marathon, so thanks for your interest!

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