My New Year’s Resolution back in 2014 was to do yoga once a week, every week, no excuses. While 2014 has long since come and gone, my yoga habit has remained.
But unfortunately yoga classes can be super time consuming. Let’s say you’ve got 10 minutes to get there, you want to be at least 5 minutes early, then the class is an hour to an hour and a half, and by the time you get home basically two hours of your day is gone.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy going to yoga classes. They definitely offer perks that yoga at home can’t bring you. The community and hands-on instruction are necessary to advancing your yoga practice. But sometimes it’s just not gonna happen.
When you’re pressed for time (or $$), doing yoga at home using online yoga videos can be a great solution. Here’s the tools you need to get the most out of your practice:
The best at-home yoga videos
If you just google “online yoga videos”, a ton of options come up. While YouTube in particular has a lot of options, I find it to be overwhelming to find what I’m looking for, and the quality can be hit-or-miss. That’s why I use the two sites below for yoga videos. They are both high quality sites and have great search functionality so you can get just the right flow.
If you want premium content: You can’t beat OneOEight. Founded by Rachel Brathen, author and Instagrammer-extraordinaire (find her at yoga_girl), OneOEight has tons of yoga videos. You can even filter by time, instructor, level, style, body part focus, and feeling. Plus if your interests go beyond yoga, they’ve got videos on meditation, life coaching, and nutrition.
You get all of this for only $14 a month – that’s less than the price of one yoga class at most studios. Plus you get a 10 day free trial offer. If you’re serious about an at home yoga practice, OneOEight is a great tool to use.
If you want free content: DoYogaWithMe.com is going to be your best bet. They’ve got hundreds of free yoga videos, which you can sort through by time, instructor, level, and style. Plus they have videos on specific poses, breathing techniques, and anatomy. Fiji McApline is my favorite instructor there – I highly recommend her Rise and Shine class. It’s 35 minutes that gives an awesome start to your day.
Another favorite, if you’re looking for a deep stretch: Yummy 30
And if you’ve been sitting in a desk all day, this 15 minute video is perfect for getting reenergized after work (it’s called After Work Revitalizer).
Most of their videos are free, but if you’re willing to pay a little bit they have additional videos for paying members as well as options to buy the video or audio file for a specific routine. So if you really like a certain flow and want to do it somewhere without wifi, you can buy the audio or video version for $3 or $6, respectively, and truly take your practice anywhere.
A good base
Okay, so you’ve found a video. Now you need a good place to practice. One of the key aspects for a good long-term home yoga practice is a good base. Most yoga studios have good floors, but that isn’t always the case at home.
If you have tile flooring: the ridges can really make yoga uncomfortable, not to mention that tile is just way harder than wood flooring. I recommend getting an extra thick mat (like this one) if this is the type of flooring you’ll be practicing on.
If you have thick carpet: thick carpet can end up being hard on your wrists (from them sinking higher than the rest of your hand) and can make balance postures nearly impossible. Here to the rescue: the LifeBoard. This awesome board basically makes any surface yoga-appropriate. Just lay your usual mat on it and you’re good to go!
Most yoga studios also have all that extra equipment that can really enhance your yoga. I’m talking blocks, straps, and blankets. While most yoga doesn’t require any of this stuff, it can be nice to have. For a blanket, any blanket will do (just make sure it’s one that you don’t mind washing frequently), and you can find inexpensive blocks and straps on Amazon. FYI there are usually 6 foot and 8 foot straps. Unless you’re really tall, you probably won’t need an 8 foot strap.
Lastly, you need to make sure the space is conducive to a good practice. Obviously you must have plenty of room for all different types of poses in a fairly distraction-free zone. Keeping visual clutter to a minimum and getting away from people, phones, etc. will help keep you focused.
Other tips are to make sure you’re not directly under a light – there’s nothing like a bright overhead light to ruin your savasana. Also, having a room with a large mirror (or even a large TV) can allow you to see your posture and alignment. Without an instructor this can be especially helpful to make sure you’re properly aligned.
Sum it all up
- Use OneOEight (monthly fee) or DoYogaWithMe.com (free) for awesome videos
- Make sure you’ve got a good base: invest in either a thicker mat or a LifeBoard if you need to
- Grab a yoga block, strap, and blanket to take your practice to the next level
- Make sure your space is distraction free
Yoga at home is a great way to enhance your yoga practice and fitness routine. Just be careful when practicing on your own. Don’t push yourself too hard, be patient, and if in doubt on a pose, wait until your next in-studio session to ask an instructor about it.
Does anyone else love practicing yoga at home? Who are your favorite virtual instructors? Let me know in the comments!