The Survivor’s Nest – Five Tips for Yoga At Home


Yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time. – Ganga White

About two years ago, I took my first yoga class. I had no idea what to expect, but figured a class called “Stress Management Yoga” would move slowly enough for me to keep up. I’ve been going to this class ever since and love it.

With the basics under my belt, I was ready to create a home yoga practice. Yoga at home is different from yoga in class. For me, 20 minutes on the mat at home can be more intense than an hour class. I tend to move more fluidly into poses, because I am more focused and not not waiting for direction. Alone with my mat, I can pay more attention to my breathing and my body.

It’s easy to create a home yoga practice:

1.  Find a quiet place with enough floor space to set up your mat. My “yoga room” is a small family room we built off our kitchen last year. It’s serene, full of natural light and uncluttered. I designed the room as a quiet space shut off from the public space of the kitchen and it’s heaven with the doors closed.

2.  Store your equipment within reach.  When I first started to think about doing yoga at home, my yoga mat was stored in my car. Like I said, “I thought about doing yoga at home.” I didn’t actually do it because I couldn’t get myself to walk outside to get the mat out of the car. Now, I own two yoga mats. One is still in the car and handy for class and the other is stored in a large crock pot in the corner of the yoga room with my blocks and strap.  Seeing them in the room motivates me and I like that I can grab them right away and get started. Because yoga equipment is very reasonably priced, having two mats was an easy solution to my problem. (Amazon associates links.)

3.  Make a music mix that moves you. My iPod is loaded with yoga playlists that range from serene to new age. Because I control the music at home, I can play whatever I want, as loud or soft as I want. I also enjoy doing yoga in silence, because you can never do that in class and silence focuses me that much more on the mind/body connection.

4.  Create sacred space.  In an earlier post, I shared five tips for creating sacred space. My yoga room surrounds me with my collection of souvenir plates and children’s artwork. There are four pillows on the couch, each embroidered with a single word, “Peace,” “Joy,” “Love” and “Light.” These words remind me of the chant learned from my yoga teacher, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.”Loosely translated, it means, “May the entire Universe be filled with Peace and Joy, Love and Light.”

5. Show up, even if it’s only for 20 minutes.  As Rodney Yee says, “The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind.” The distractions of life and busy schedules can keep us from our serenity, but, if we remember to devote our bodies and minds to yoga for even a few minutes, those are minutes well spent.

Do you do yoga at home? If not, do you have another hobby or exercise activity that you practice at home? Have you made room for it in your home?

123RF Stock Photos and EJ Davis Photography. Thank you EJ for taking my photo, which will be used in a book she is putting together for the Pathway’s Women’s Cancer Teaching Project. 

Survival > Existence,




Nancy's Point's picture

Do you have a dvd to

Do you have a dvd to recommend on yoga for beginners? Everyone seems to be recommending yoga and I don’t know much about it. Is it safe to do at home without taking a class first? I know the class is preferred, but is it necessary?


Debbie's picture

I’m Glad You Asked!

Hi Nancy:

I can recommend Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners. I haven’t used this DVD myself, but I own other DVDs of his and like him a lot. This particular DVD got good reviews as being especially good for beginners.

The most important thing to remember when doing yoga (or any physical exercise) is to honor your body. In class, a good teacher will watch to make sure you aren’t doing anything that could cause injury. At home, just remember to “be where you are,” as my teacher always says. Don’t push yourself farther than your body is ready to go. You don’t have to twist yourself into a pretzel or stand on your head to enjoy yoga.

I hope you give it a try, because it really has been very beneficial to me. Good luck and let me know how you’re doing with it!

Survival > Existence,



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