I've been a fan of home practice ever since I started on my yoga path well over a decade ago. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy going to classes and workshops because I do both fairly regularly. I practiced at home when I had to move the coffee table in order to jam a yoga mat into the crowded living room space. I learned quickly that I had to make some spacial adjustments and that I needed to turn down the ringer on the phone and the volume on the answering machine. Practicing at home has its own set of unique challenges (re: distractions).
What's Your Yoga Studio Pet Peeve?
Of course practicing in a studio (or gym) isn't all lotus flowers either. Earlier this month, there was a lot of talk about yoga studio etiquette thanks to a NY Times Article on the subject. This is my favorite blog post on the topic (courtesy of Linda-Sama, the yogi behind Linda's Yoga Journey ). I have to laugh because I know that sometimes practicing at a yoga studio tests your yogic mettle. I've practiced in crammed yoga studios (literally, the floor was covered over by yoga mats with nary an inch between them), been disrupted in Savasana by ringing cell phones, gotten a more revealing glimpse at a fellow yogi's intimate parts more than I would have ever cared to see (the yogic version of TMI), and been distracted by classmates gossiping in the middle of class. Yes, sometimes I feel like practicing with others puts all of the lessons you claim you've learned through yoga to work.
Transform Your Home into a Yoga Studio
If you don't want your yogic mettle tested (after all, it's tested a hundred times a day with things like work, traffic, children, significant others, bosses, etc.), carving out a space at home to practice might be just what you need. If you don't feel comfortable with directing your own practice, there are a number of yoga DVDs and CDs available to practice along to. Not to mention all of the online sources for yoga.
One of my favorite sources for online yoga is -- aptly titled -- MyYogaOnline.com . For just under $80 for an entire year, you get access to yoga practices, meditation practices, pilates and dance classes, yoga workshops, and wellness lectures (you can even download yoga music). With yoga studio monthly fees costing upwards of $120, $80 for 12 months of yoga is a steal. I have a membership myself and I love it.
Win A Year-Long MyYogaOnline.com Membership
For those of you wanting to start a home yoga practice, I'd like to offer you the chance at getting a MyYogaOnline year-long membership for free. The membership (valued at $89.95) includes all sorts of goodies including yoga practices (in styles from Ashtanga to Kundalini to Hatha to Restorative to Yin) for the beginner and advanced yogi, yoga lectures and workshops, brief practices for desk jockeys, meditation and pranayama practices, as well as pilates, cardio, and dance workouts. Everything is viewed online, so you don't clutter up your computer with large video files.
All you need to do is comment on your biggest yoga studio/gym pet peeve. I'll pick one commenter at random to win the year-long subscription to MyYogOnline.com . I'll announce a winner on Sunday, June 27th.
Testing your yogic mettle can be fun every now and again, but sometimes you just want to practice in peace and in your own space. Whether you're dealing with challenges at home or in the studio -- may equanimity prevail!