You can absolutely learn yoga from home with the help of Youtube and some wonderful yogis out there who give away great content and great value.
Don’t be daunted! In this post I’ll share with you how to get the most out of it when you start to learn yoga from home. And who I follow for my yoga journey.
But first of all . . .
Table of Contents
Why Learn Yoga at Home?
There are so many reasons why you might prefer to learn yoga from home.
- You can fit it into your daily schedule and do it at the time that’s most convenient.
- You can do a longer session or a shorter session depending on your mood, time and energy levels.
- You can do a faster vinyasa flow, a core yoga session, power yoga, flexibility yoga or just some gentle stretching: whatever takes your fancy.
- You can set yourself goals and increase your yoga input over time.
- You can do yoga every day.
- You can use your yoga session as a private, quiet, me time.
- When you’ve finished your yoga session you can relax or meditate for as long as you need.
- You can be out in nature whenever possible, doing yoga in the fresh air with the blue skies above you.
- Personally, I like to be alone.
Cons of Learning Yoga from Home
- If you struggle with self motivation, learning yoga from home could be a challenge for you because there’s nobody there to make you do your yoga session. It’s all down to you.
- You’ll need to prioritise your yoga session if you have a busy schedule. Somehow, if you’ve paid for a class, you might feel more inclined to respect its slot in your day, than you do your home practice.
- You don’t have a real live teacher there to correct your mistakes and guide you.
- If you like group activities you might find yoga from home a bit solitary.
- It can be hard to find the videos you like (but now you have this post to help you!).
Solutions for the Above
If the above cons resonate with you, they can all be solved by blending a learning yoga from home approach with a weekly class in a group. That way, you get the social aspect, you get the hands on teaching and you get the organised structure to keep you to your yoga journey while at the same time benefitting from all the advantages of learning yoga from home.
Personally, I haven’t had a real live yoga class yet (I’ve attended hundreds on online ones of course!) and I actually prefer it this way.
When I’m more advanced, I’ll probably go away to some beautiful yoga retreat and have a week or two of intensive yoga, but while I’m building up my strength & flexibility I prefer to incorporate my yoga as part of my daily life, at home.
How to Start to Learn Yoga from Home
When you first start to learn yoga, it’s really important to find a yoga teacher (or a few) who resonates with you. There are so many different styles of yoga videos out there, and it’s a very personal thing – which ones you like more or less.
So don’t be put off if you find yourself watching a yoga video that doesn’t do it for you. That just comes with the territory. Instead of feeling disheartened, just keep scrolling until you find a style you like.
Regardless of style, when you’re starting out, it can be demotivating if the yoga video is too advanced and you can’t even come close to joining in.
It’s fine if you have to modify some of the poses, or take rests or pause the video, but it isn’t so cool if the yogi is doing handstands and splits (for example) while you’re just watching, with no way of being able to modify the pose to keep up with the yoga flow.
So the first criteria is that the video should fit your level, the second criteria is that it should be a style you enjoy and the third is that the yoga teacher resonates with you or inspires you.
I decided to take up a yoga challenge during the Covid-19 lockdown and here I’m going to share how I started off and where I continued to after that.
The Very Beginnings of Yoga
It will depend on your current fitness level as to how you start yoga, as well as your age etc. It’s well known that as we get older it takes more effort on our behalf to get in shape. (No kidding – I almost can’t believe it. I mean, it’s taking serious amounts of time just to build up a bit of arm strength.)
So if you’re in your 50s, you may have to go slower than you’d imagined (because we all think of ourselves from when we were younger!)
Having said that, I know people who are a mere 27 years old and who love doing a gentle yoga flow each day. So if you’re one of them, then Yoga with Adriene is a great place to start your yoga journey, and Adriene’s a great person to walk you through it.
She has a lovely gentle personality which she uses in her videos to encourage her viewers and students.
I chose to follow Adrienne’s 30 day challenge because that way I could follow a different video each day and it would serve as a commitment to daily yoga.
By following a challenge, you can keep yourself motivated for a month because of the specific goal to achieve.
Here it is!
What I like about Adriene’s 30 day challenge
I like Adrienes charisma and personality and for me, the voice is really important because it can be annoying on some yoga videos, but Adriene’s isn’t.
I like the way she approaches the whole yoga workout and she’s definitely got a smooth way of getting you into yoga and introducing you to various poses.
I would really recommend this as a great starting place for your yoga journey.
What’s not to like About Adriene’s 30 day yoga challenge
There’s nothing to not like about it. It’s smooth and gentle.
But I wanted more; it’s not challenging enough for what I wanted, so after about ten days of doing the challenge, I progressed to doing two yoga workouts and used the Adrien challenge as a warm up flow.
Progressing with How to Learn Yoga from Home
When I reached day 10 of the 30 day challenge with Adrienne, I started to introduce a second flow, after the warm up with Adrienne, I did the 14 day challenge by Fiji Mcalpine, and although some of the poses were too tough for me, and sometimes I had to adapt or pause, I found the two went perfectly together.
After you’ve finished the 14 day yoga challenge with Fiji Mcalpine, you may like to repeat the 14 days again, or maybe you prefer to change.
I decided to follow the 50 minutes core workout and repeat it daily to build up my strength. After doing it for about a week, I started to swap it intermittently with some videos from Boho Beautiful, and return to the core workout with Fiji when I feel like it.
After a week of doing it, I still can’t do it all but step by step, slowly slowly!
Fiji Mcalpine has lots of videos available on Youtube which are great for building strength, flexibility, stamina, peace and stillness.
Boho Beautiful has some wonderful videos but most of them are on the difficult side or more advanced. Here are some which are great for earlier stages in yoga.
First of all, a beginner’s flow to get the juices going. I really love Boho Beautiful’s way of presenting the video and she keeps you busy, so no hanging around!
As well as doing flows, you might sometimes like to do more of a stretch routine. This video is a flow of twists and asanas (poses) you can move gently from one to another, with a feeling of deep but peaceful stretching.
And if you’re up for a slightly more demanding flow, here’s another one from Boho Beautiful that is slightly more of a demanding flow but is also gentle and not too advanced for us early players.
How to Learn Yoga from Home: What to Expect
When I first started yoga, I remember wondering how long it would take to achieve something. I knew yoga wasn’t about achieving, but hey it’s natural to want to progress a bit, isn’t it?
So I searched online for answers and to be honest, there aren’t really any answers out there. Everywhere you read it’s either vague or it says that yoga is about the present moment (which is true – but doesn’t stop you from wondering . . . ).
For a few years I did yoga on and off, and rather than feeling any particular change in my body, I just noticed the stiffness when I didn’t do yoga. So the lack of yoga was noticeable but the continued yoga appeared not to make a difference beyond soothing away the stiffness.
But then again, I wasn’t doing yoga every day and I would go through periods of completely not practising.
That was back then. This is now. Everything is different now . . . for now yoga is part of my present as well as my future.
The true way to embrace yoga is to enjoy it in the moment and forget your goals while at the same time being more determined than you’ve ever been, about your progress . . . and your goals!
Sounds like a contradiction? Well, I think that everything in life has an opposite side of the coin and it’s only when you see them both together that you get the whole picture. Enjoy the moment and know that your goals will come to you in their own good time.
Don’t measure the change or study your waist every day. Don’t look into the mirror and feel disheartened that the reflection is the same. By doing so, you keep it the same. If you can just let go and go with it, then you’ll start to feel amazing.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes. It doesn’t matter how tangible it is. If you enjoy your moment and you KNOW you’re progressing at your own pace, then you’ll find your own way to rejoice within your practice.
Is that a cop-out answer? Maybe. Because the answer will not come to you until you stop asking the question. Embrace your yoga session for what it is: an amazing part of the day when you can feel yourself in your own body, uniting your mind, body and soul and taking time from your schedule to give something back to You.
Edit: Despite writing this, later on, I did begin to feel that I wasn’t progressing in yoga so I made some changes to my practise and wrote another post about how to progress in yoga and see real change.
How Often Should You Practice Yoga at Home?
From my own experience, I think the only answer is every day.
However, this is a very personal question because every answer under the sun will fit somebody.
You can do yoga as much as fits into your lifestyle, but the only way to get true transformation so that yoga becomes part of your life (in my opinion) is to practise every day, or almost every day.
It’s only when yoga truly becomes a part of your life that you really feel the deep benefits. If every day doesn’t suit you, start out however you can, and appreciate what you can do.
On the days when you don’t do yoga, do a quick stretch, downward facing dog, spinal twist or plank pose before you start your day. By just including that little moment, you’ll remind your mind of your yoga practice and make it easier to keep it going.
It’s so easy to fall in and out with yoga. It’s as though you cross a line into it and you’re full speed ahead. Then you cross one little line out of it and it becomes a thing of the past, until your next wave of practice comes your way. So to avoid that, do those little stretches, or invent your own short yoga flow to squeeze into your day when you get out of bed.
It might take you a few years to really feel that yoga’s part of your life (as it did me), but if you know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, you just keep going.
How Long Will it Take to See a Difference?
Sorry, but the question isn’t a valid question! Because it will depend on how often and for how long, and how hard you workout.
Change the question to: how long will it take to feel the benefits of yoga? And the answer is: immediately.
You feel the benefits while you’re in your flow and there’s nothing in this world to replace the feeling of connecting with your body, mind and soul in a yoga flow.
If you’re specifically looking to change your body, you may like to take up additional fitness workouts designed to build strength. And if the reason for your body shape has anything to do with menopause (like mine does) they you may like to read 5 steps to beating menopause naturally.
Tips on How to Get the Most out of Your Home Yoga Routine
- Don’t be fixed on a specific time. Choose a favourite time of day to do your yoga flow and if you can’t manage it one day, be open to changing the time of day.
- Always, always congratulate yourself on showing up.
- You will get days when you think you should be more advanced/fitter/stronger than you are. Accept that as part of the journey and never let that feeling bring you down. Instead replace it with the thought that you’re much more advanced than you would be if you weren’t doing it.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. We all have our own weaknesses and strengths. Your weaknesses are are what make you strong. Appreciate them as a means to learn.
- Choose a yoga flow to fit your mood each day.
- Try to vary your yoga flow so that you keep surprising your body.
- Enjoy and give gratitude and you’ll be surprised how much you come to love your time on the mat.
What About When You’ve Exhausted the Free Yoga on YouTube?
When you feel like you’re struggling to find new videos to follow on Youtube, it may be time to join a yoga platform or subscribe to your favourite teacher.
There are many yoga platforms out there, with various differences, but I chose to go with Grokker. You can read about my experiences in the post on yoga lessons online with Grokker .
Finally, if you have any thoughts on how to learn yoga from home which you think I’ve left out, please let me know in the comments section below!