The first step to developing a home practice is finding a space that is conducive to your practice. Things to consider:
1. Can you move freely? Is there enough room?
Are you able to lift your arms overhead without hitting a light fixture or fan? Can you practice handstands without kicking furniture or breaking valuables?
Do you have to move your coffee table every time you want to practice?
2. Is the floor supportive (and clean)?
Depending on your practice, having a firm surface beneath you is important for protecting your wrists. I love doing my gentle practice on nice rugs or carpeted areas in my home, but I prefer to practice downdog on a firm floor such as the linoleum in my kitchen, or out on the deck.
I don't have sensitive knees, but I have found that I do need to bring an extra blanket with me when I practice in my driveway or on my deck. Gathering these props at the beginning of practice, avoids the disruption of going back inside to gather them.
3. Eliminate distractions
Turn your cell-phone to airplane mode (if you can), close the browser on your computer, turn off the tv. While it might be tempting to "squeeze in a little yoga" while you get caught up on your netflix/hulu binging... let's be honest... that's called stretching, not yoga. If you want to use your phone or computer for music, by all means, put that technology to work, but make sure you don't fall into the blackhole of online shopping or social media binging and waste the hour you set aside for your practice.
4. Do a 5 minute pick up and avoid doing chores during this time
As much as we love to avoid doing dishes, vacuuming, putting the piles of clutter away, there seems to be no time as good as yoga time to begin creating external order.... just remember external order does not equal internal order. Designating a space where we can't see all the "to-dos" helps tremendously.... after all that's why most studios are so barren, the props are always neatly stacked, etc... it's conducive for creating an environment free of distraction.
5. Offer yourself whatever privacy you need
According to instagram, a lot of people find it endearing to have their pets crawling on them during practice, I however find it incredibly distracting. Now that I teach, I don't mind knowing my neighbors may be watching me, but if the prospect of the local dog-walker seeing you in downdog on your porch makes you cringe, make sure you select a space away from spying eyes. Closing doors while family is home can foster a nice reminder that this is YOU time.
It may take time to discover the best location in your home, and that's ok! Each and everyone of these tips came from a "failed" home- practice session of my own. (If you only knew how many times I set out with the intention to practice for an hour, but found the dirt on my carpet to be too unbearable...) Just remember, they call it practice for a reason!
If you have any additional tips on How to Select a Location in your home for Building your Home Yoga Practice, please share them in the comments below!