Practicing yoga at home even just once a week can elevate your practice and connection to self.
We’re not saying cancel your yoga membership or stop seeing your favorite private yoga teacher. We’re not even suggesting practicing alone at home is better than any other way to practice. We 100% believe in the importance of having a qualified teacher and a supportive community of likeminded people to be a part of your yoga practice. But adding in a regular session that does take place on your own, without a teacher, video, or music, is absolutely beneficial. Here’s why:
Integrate the Lessons:
Practicing yoga at home allows you to deeply integrate everything you’ve learned from private lessons and group classes into your body and mind. You can almost think of it as a little self review quiz. Are you becoming more aware of your body? Are you adjusting as necessary? Do the asana cues come naturally as you go through your poses? Can you remember to focus on your breath? We become more self-sufficient and empowered when we take our practice into our own hands from time to time.
Decipher What is Your Energy and What is Theirs:
What is your practice when no one is around? How does your body move when the room is quiet?
There’s a very different energy when you practice at home vs. with other people. Regardless of whether you consider yourself an empath or not, humans pick up energies from other humans. Think about it. When you’re in class practicing with all the strong and bendy yogis, odds are you’ll feel more motivated to keep up with (or maybe even go beyond) the rest of the room. We feed off the energy of others, whether fellow students or the eyes of our private yoga instructor.
Even the music played in classes can effect your response to the practice. A teacher’s playlist essentially tells your nervous system how to respond— upbeat and loud during powerful movements, slow and soft for relaxing yin practices. Sometimes the reaction you have in a yoga session is created through the sounds of music, not the movement and breath itself. Which is fine, music is fun! But it’s still a good idea to take at least one practice a week at home without music, without anyone to witness, and without anyone extending their own energy into your experience. Explore your body’s natural responses and listen to your breath without distractions.
Quality Alone Time:
Practicing alone at home gives you some serious quality time with yourself, as well as the ability to work out emotions and release what’s no longer serving you. It provides the powerful challenge of facing yourself, by yourself, for yourself. It’s so important for everyone to spend time alone, to cultivate a relationship with themselves, and become self-sufficient and self-aware. Practicing by yourself is a nice way to develop that quality, especially since deepening connection to self is the point of yoga, anyway.
So yes. Keep seeing your private yoga instructor. Attend all the festivals. Go to yoga classes and make friends at your favorite studio. But take your yoga home, too, and let it be something you experience alone sometimes. It really is a game changer, and you might be surprised by what you discover.