For yogis and yoginis looking to shift their practice from a brick and mortar yoga studio to an online studio, more than a few questions will arise about the process. With almost 15 years experience helping students from around the world join our online yoga community, we’ve identified five steps that help smooth this transition and maximize the benefits you’ll create from developing a long-lasting, at-home yoga practice.
1. Create the Ideal Space for Your Yoga Practice
Considering the options within your unique living space, choose a spot in your home where you feel relatively relaxed and undistracted. I say ‘relatively’ because everyone has different living arrangements and you may find it hard to find a quiet space in yours. That’s ok, though... I’m here to help you maximize the benefits of your online yoga experience, no matter where you live!
Make sure the spot you choose has sufficient space for you to comfortably move around. Ideally, you want about a foot of space on either end of the mat, and four feet from each side. It’s ok if you can’t - just do your best.
To help you feel more relaxed and present, add items like candles or incense, or anything that helps you feel more relaxed. Personalizing the space makes it feel more like ‘your space’, somewhere you go to find calm and devote time to your own well being.
2. Add the Yoga Props That You Need
Although props are not necessary to practice yoga, in many classes you will find them extremely useful. If you plan to practice regularly, I would highly recommend getting, at minimum, a yoga mat, block and strap. Bolsters are also great to have, but they can be replaced with pillows or a rolled blanket (see this video). Straps can be replaced with ropes or ties. Some find that a thick book can be a replacement for a block. If you would like some recommendations, check out our articles on Eco-friendly Yoga Mats, Yoga Blocks, Straps and Bolsters.
The most important thing to remember is to prepare your space ahead of time and make it super easy to start a class. If you can, have your mat, gear and device ready for you whenever you need it! If you aren’t able to do that, make it as easy as possible to access and set up, so you can be ready in seconds or minutes.
Also, if you don’t have any props, you can still practice yoga! I’ve practiced in my living room with the kids doing crafts around me, next to our tent while camping, and even while waiting for my flight at the airport. Get creative with what you’ve got and learn to find inner calm no matter where you are!
3. Choose the Optimal Spot For Your Device
The ideal placement of your device is quite easy to figure out, but may take some trial and error. What works best for me is to place my laptop on a surface that is eye level when I’m seated, and have another spot that is one or two feet higher, where I can quickly move it to when I’m standing. The ability to pause the video and jump it back when needed allows me to stay with the class no matter what I’m doing. If you’re doing the class on a TV, simply orient your mat so that you are able to see the TV as much as possible.
4. Choose a Yoga Class or Series That Suits You
Do you know what style and difficulty level you are looking for? If so, use the filters on our Yoga Classes page, along with each class’s name and description, to find a suitable class. If not, use our Guide to the Types of Yoga to help you select your class.
Your Practice Studio is where you can easily track your progress, return to classes and series and locate new and old classes from your favorite teachers. Once you start doing our classes, any videos that you have played will appear under your ‘History’. ‘Collections’ features Programs and Challenges that you have saved, or created yourself, and ‘Following’ lists the teachers you have followed and allows you to quickly add more.
Many yogis like the structure and ease of following a Program or Challenge, which range anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and provide you with an easy-to-follow progression of classes that are designed to move you toward a specific outcome.
5. Create a Routine That Works for You
Do you prefer to exercise in the morning, mid-day or after dinner? How long would you like each session to be and how often would you like to practice? Based on your answers, create a practice schedule that you can fit into your weekly routine. The more you practice, the greater the positive impact on your energy level, performance, focus, outlook, stress, anxiety, strength, flexibility and balance. Many people practice as often as every day - judge for yourself what works within your life and what is best for your body.
Remember to be kind to yourself as you plan out a yoga routine. Forgive yourself when you simply can’t make practice happen, and listen to your body as much as you are able. When it tells you to take a break, do so. When your chosen program is telling you to do a vinyasa class and you know that you need a gentle hatha class, make the substitution. Listen to and learn from your body’s feedback.
Here’s an example of a weekly yoga practice:
Whether you’re brand new to yoga or a seasoned practitioner, knowing how to set up your practice space at home will be a major factor influencing whether you are able to establish a regular yoga practice. Following the five steps above will help you transition smoothly from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life into your yoga practice, all while ensuring you get the most out of each and every practice.
Good, sound advice David especially the listen and learn feedback from your body and forgiving yourself when necessary.
You have been my teacher from day one of my yoga discovery and I cannot fault your guidance, advice and sincerity.
Thank you and best wishes for this festive christmas time. So looking forward to new yoga challenges in the new year! :-)
Nice reminder of how to set up a good routine.
Wow, thank you Gillian. What a lovely message to read :-)
I really needed to read this today- lovely practical and gentle advice, thank you David
David your classes have gotten me through a number of back injuries and help me recover from long hours sitting at the computer. Thank you for all you do to make yoga accessible. I'm happy to have been a subscriber for a number of years now, DoYogaWithMe is well worth it.
I appreciate how these steps are easy to follow. In theory. Now to dive into reality.
Looks straight forward enough. I’ll try my best.