Most of us consider yoga something that is good for our physical and mental health, whether we actively practice or not. This post is for those of you who have considered starting yoga, but put it off for one reason or another. Perhaps you feel you don’t have the extra time, or maybe the cost of attending classes is a barrier. Whatever your reasons, I’m going to offer you a way to begin a meaningful and regular yoga practice that will enhance your health – for little to no cost – in 30 minutes per week.
This plan requires no driving, no trying out different studios, no paying $10-30/class, and no scheduling your life around that one class you like. Flexibility is the key (pun) to releasing your inner yogi, and this post will tell you how to do that.
What you need to start a free yoga practice at home:
- Internet connection
- Internet/Wifi-connected device with a screen for watching videos
- Floor space big enough for yoga poses (minimum of 2 x 6 feet – size of a yoga mat)
Here are the steps to starting a home yoga practice:
- Make, don’t “find” time. Select 30 minutes from your week in which you will practice yoga. For me, it’s Sunday morning before my family gets moving.
- Find or buy a mat. If you want to keep this project totally free, find a carpet for your first few practices. Carpeting, a rug, or swim towel will not work as well as a bona fide yoga mat (ie, your feet may slip, the padding may be insufficient), but they are free and available. If you want to buy a mat, see Notes at the bottom for my picks.
- Do not buy “props” right away. Made-for-yoga bolsters, blankets, and foam blocks can be purchased, but why? If you have a pillow (bolster), extra throw blanket (um, blanket), or sturdy textbook (block), you have props.
- Find free online classes that you like. I have been using doyogawithme.com for years and I highly recommend it.
- Watch and practice the online classes – in your living room or wherever. Many doyogawithme.com classes are free, and, if you find value in doing these classes, please consider subscribing, so the people at doyogawithme.com can continue their excellent work. The subscription will still be waaayyy cheaper than attending any class.
There are excellent online yoga classes, and I enjoy all the physical and mental benefits of doing yoga in this format. I know some people really like the social aspect of being in a class, but that’s not me. If you try this or practice yoga in another non-committal way, please share your experience in the comments below!
Recommended Yoga Mats
- Cheap (<$20) and functional: Natural Fitness EcoSmart and BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose mat
- Excellent quality, many options, not cheap: Manduka eKO mat This is the mat I use at home. It stinks like rubber at first, but it is amazing. Manduka has a ton of different mats to choose from, depending on your preferences (various thicknesses, lengths, mats for hot yoga, etc.)
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The information I provide is based on my personal experience, education and study of dietetics, human nutrition, and biochemistry; and my experience as a runner and athlete. Any recommendations I may make about exercise, nutrition, supplements or lifestyle; or information provided to you in person or on this website are for information purposes only and do not take the place of professional medical advice.