Starting a home practice

For many people, the idea of starting to practice yoga at home seems daunting. Is there enough time between family duties, work, social life? What if I do something wrong? Can I justify spending time doing some yoga when there is so much to do? These are all questions that trouble us and lead us to put off home practice until another time. Yet, it would be great to experience the feeling that we have after a good class on a more regular basis.

Here are some simple tips that could help you make a start:

1. Create space

You don’t need much room to practice yoga (believe me I have managed in the most tiny hotel rooms, train carriages as well as in the great outdoors). A spot in your bedroom/living room where you can stand and spread your arms will suffice. Make sure it’s clean and that you can find some quiet there at the time when you want to practice. Creating space also involves making time. Whether it’s in the morning or after work doesn’t matter as long as you claim some time as your own. Yoga mats are not essential but it helps to get you going just rolling the mat out and telling yourself it’s time to start your practice. You can buy them at

2. Start with something simple.

We often do many different postures during Iyengar yoga classes and it is sometimes difficult for beginners to remember instructions and repeat them on their own. So, just begin with what you can remember. See if you can recall the postures that you enjoyed during the class and have a go.

3. No time pressure.

If you only have time for 10 mins of practice to start with that’s fine. When I first began practicing at home I would do 10 mins or so of stretching before going to work. It started every now and then and grew the more I developed an interest. Don’t put pressure on yourself to do too much. Just do what you feel like and enjoy it!

4. Ask questions.

If you want some advice about your practice, ask your teacher. He/she will be able to advise you on sequencing (the order of the postures), relieving pain and discomfort, practicing during menstruation or pregnancy and much more. Remember, all Iyengar yoga teachers are extremely well-trained and it’s their job to know these things!

5. Anytime anywhere!

Remember you can do yoga anytime anywhere. Don’t be ashamed to practice yoga wherever you can. Sometimes, the need to stretch is strong and whether you’re at your office, on a train or bus, in a restaurant or in the supermarket checkout queue, just do what you’ve got to do. I’ve had some great conversations with people at train stations who have asked what I’m doing and this has sparked fascinating conversations.

6. Recognise!

Finally, if you’ve managed to fit in a bit of yoga practice in your busy schedule, recognise it and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment! The journey has begun and it will be immensely rewarding, however far you choose to take it.

Enjoy your practice!

Guy Brickley

3 thoughts on “Starting a home practice

  1. Nick July 12, 2014 / 8:24 am

    You are right, Guy – by far the greatest challenge is finding/making time rather than physical space! I struggle at this busy time of year even to make your classes at the weekend, when all I want to do is rest. I start most weekday mornings with a short sequence of dog pose, kneeling and bending forwards and arm stretches and I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to extend this into a longer routine. Your tips have inspired me and Ilona to get the mats out this weekend!

    • yogawithguy July 12, 2014 / 1:44 pm

      That’s great to hear Nick. It’s great that you and your wife discovered yoga together and can practice at home with each other. I’m happy to give you some tips any time regarding home practice. Just ask if there’s something you want to know.

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