1) As Major Carl Stratton said in a "Celebrate your Pose!" Video: "you won't have to necessarily go to a studio with a bunch of strange women"! Ha!
Much love to all the "strange women" out there who embrace Yoga for what it truly is. Yes, women seem to grasp the inherent benefits of Yoga in the West or at least are more comfortable to experience what it can offer them because they see others doing it, but the truth is that the benefits of Yoga are for anyone. Yoga is a human practice and if it takes doing it in the comfort of your own home rather than a studio, choose something that could be healthy for you.
2) Practice on your own time, your own schedule and at your own pace.
One of the things I love about following along to a Yoga class at home is the ability to modify anything that is currently happening during the class based on how I'm feeling without the pressure of doing the same thing as everyone else. Sometimes you just want to sit in Lotus pose in the middle of your practice while the teacher goes through 2 more balancing poses for instance. At home you could do this and not look out of place. Yoga is really about your own personal journey anyways. The guidance from a teacher in a class isn't meant to be like the guidance in a classroom. You won't pass or fail by following perfectly. You have to listen to your own body to see where you need to go. The teacher can help you get to these moments of self-introspection where you start to hear what your body is telling you, but you must learn to listen and respect yourself as you continue on your own journey.
3) Try many styles quickly and find one that suits your needs.
If you start your Yoga practice at home, you have the convenience of pulling up many different styles and testing them out. Many people try out their first Yoga class and it's not what they expect and they forever associate Yoga with that experience. There are so many different styles and approaches to teaching that it can be a little hard to figure out where to even begin. Use our Joyful Journey creator to create a series of videos catered specific to your needs. We'll even have a teacher check up on you while you're progressing along.
4) A home practice complements a regular studio practice.
Let's be honest. Those of us who have practiced in a studio are probably the first to point out the many difficulties of practicing at home because it becomes very hard to recreate the experience within a studio especially of being in the same physical space as the teacher. It's the same as watching your favorite band perform a live concert on stage through your TV, or watching that exciting sports match, but there's just something different about being there in person. This will always be the largest hurdle. But there's one reason to truly adopt it as a way of sustaining regularity in your practice: even though you may not always attend your favorite artists' concerts all the time or go in person to a sporting game, you typically listen to their music or watch a game regularly on tv right? By doing this, you create a sense of regularity, familiarity. You understand and appreciate what you're following more; after all, you're a fan! So become a fan of your practice because it's your health that you're working on. Sure, one day a week at the studio is better than nothing, but supplement that by squeezing in 1 or 2 more classes on your own schedule -- early morning, after work, on weekends, whenever to keep yourself growing in your practice.
5) Sustain a regular practice.
We cover a lot of inspiring stories on our "Celebrate your Pose!" series. If you haven't seen any, stop reading this and go get inspired!
What you'll come to notice about all the stories is that there is a running them within all the them that is at the heart of their success: regular practice. Almost everyone we've covered has mentioned that they regularly practice. Not practice once a month or when they feel they need to stretch themselves out this week. No. They regularly have committed themselves. Typically this is easy when the reason you've started Yoga in the first place is to recover from physical injuries so it doubles as a rehabilitation, but the benefits come from the regularity of the practice. Our western culture seems fixated on quick fixes with pills and prescriptions that work to act quickly and reactively to some ailment that has appeared on the surface. Yoga and many other healing arts are actually working a different way -- from the inside. Healing you internally by maximizing oxygenation of your body so you feel revitalized, giving you a clearer awareness of your mind, and over time, a positive perspective of life so you can stay happier and healthier