yoga at home: the complete guide to self-care

yoga at home: the complete guide to self-care

Now more than ever, we’re looking for ways to feel good whilst we’re at home right? Covid-19 showed us all it’s possible to enjoy indoors, and it’s doable to make the most of what we have! Yoga at home involves so many things, not just the physical practice of yoga, but everything to do with how we look after ourselves mentally and spiritually. This guide is a run-down of the most effective ways we can do yoga at home to make the most of our time and feel amazing living our life. We’ll explore long-lasting strategies you can try when you’re short on time, yoga poses and practices you can do at home to feel strong and calm, wellness at work if you’re self-employed and even how we can use and reduce tech to look after ourselves at home. It’s jam-packed with goodies, and once you’ve got a few of these down, you’ll be singing!

Yoga at home – the basics

There’s always the question to ask, is yoga at home better than going to a studio? Are there more benefits? There are indeed! You have the flexibility of choosing how long to practice for, who with, when and where. When you stick to a physical class, you lose all that freedom. And whilst you do have to contend with staying a little more motivated, the benefits outweigh going to a class. When we’re faced with travel, parking, distractions, a teacher we don’t love and the costs involved, we’re far more likely to pull back and not practice at all. Whereas yoga at home allows you to save money whilst getting all the good stuff without the extra stress!

There are also far more options available to us online than there are in physical classes. You can still get the attention of a teacher in live online groups whilst practising in your pj’s in your cosy home, and typically if you can’t make the live session times, there are always replays. Live online yoga is a relatively new concept that allows even more freedom and flexibility – before we had pre-recorded sessions that didn’t allow you to interact with the teacher, ask questions or give feedback but now we’re able to ask for what we want and need within these online groups.

woman doing eagle arms to show yoga at home a complete guide to self care

Long-lasting strategies you can do at home when you’re short on time

We’re all pressed for time nowadays, whether it’s pressure from work or a full family calendar. We often find ourselves at the bottom of the list feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Yoga at home allows us to take a step back, re-balance and reset which breathes new life into us so we can come back radiant. Often enough though, whilst our intentions are positive and we like to believe we’ll take time for ourselves, it doesn’t happen enough. We get to the end of the day and have depleted all our energy – the only thing that looks attractive is our bed. Maybe you’re a new mum and all your time is given to your newborn or young family, or you’re busy with your career and work. There are always powerful things you can do in 5 minutes to make life easier, and the more you’re able to do them each day, the more powerful they become.

Strategies could be as simple as taking 3 breaths in the morning, to going for a walk or more in-depth like journaling. Whatever it is you choose to try, the intention behind looking after yourself elevates your life.

Here are a few ways you can look after yourself at home when you’re short on time and whilst they may seem simple, little 1% changes done regularly truly make the biggest impact.

  • Praise yourself
  • Take a day-off and book yourself in to do something nice – appreciate the lead-up and allow yourself to get excited
  • Read a book
  • Walk to work
  • Do some bed yoga
  • Work out at home with something like Yoga LIVE
  • Say thank you for the small things and stay grateful
  • Meditate for 5 mins
  • Write down your thoughts when you feel like it
  • Repeat mantras and affirmations
  • Watch an inspiring TED-Talk
  • Write up a pros and cons list/table when you’re making a decision
  • Be mindful in small moments throughout your day
  • Take 3 big yogic breaths every morning
  • Do 25 movements every morning (squats, sit-ups, high-knees – whatever you fancy!)
  • Give someone and yourself a compliment
  • Walk on your lunch breaks, or between activities
  • Sing to yourself
  • Keep in touch with people: make sure you are seeing a friend or family member at least once a week
  • Keep your thoughts as positive as you can: always try to see the good somewhere.
  • Accept when you feel bad and express it: write it down or tell someone
  • Laugh as often as you can! Bring a little smile onto your face in the morning and throughout the day to encourage this.

You’ll notice as well most of these don’t cost anything – the best things we can do for ourselves are often free. If however you’re craving something new, or would really like to treat yourself, check out this article on looking after yourself on a budget. You’d be surprised how easy it is to feel good without spending hundreds!

It’s also worth spending a little time becoming in tune with your body, to know when it is you need to take time out for yourself. Understanding your cycle plays a huge part in this and doesn’t take long. Have a read of cycle syncing, and learning to hack your cycle and you’ll open up a whole new world of self-awareness.

Helen Sian India showing how to do Side Plank Yoga at Home - yoga for weight loss

Yoga poses at home that pack a huge punch

When you’re struggling with one particular thing like achy necks or tight lower backs, it can be easy to run to the medicine cupboard and grab some pain killers, only to wake up the next morning with the same, if not worse pain. Simple stretches done regularly not only help hugely with aches and pains, but help to calm the nervous system and soothe pent-up feelings. After a few stretches you’ll always feel calmer and more ready to take on the days’ challenges.

If you have back ache but don’t fancy rolling the mat out, try these poses. They’re all standing so are amazing to do any time of the day.

If you find yourself hunching a lot over your phone, laptop, table whatever then these are the poses to turn to. Easing open tight necks and shoulders helps you to feel confident and calm – two powerhouse qualities.

If lower back pain is a constant in your world (as it is with so many of us), sort yourself out with these yoga at home poses. They’re simple and really effective.

Of course breathing plays a huge part in yoga and in keeping the body and mind calm, so it absolutely has a place in this guide! There are certain poses you can do right where you are to help open the lungs and soothe the soul. Try them out here.

And finally, if you’re needing something straightforward to lift your mood (these work amazingly with children in the morning), give these a go. Simple poses you can do each day to stay calm and jolly.

Wellness at work, whether you work from home or office

When you’re busy it can be really easy to try and get through the work before doing something for yourself. Have you ever found though that most days you only have time for a quick lunch, maybe if that? There’s this idea that the work is more important than us, but without us there would be no work. It’s incredible how choosing to use 5-10 minutes of your day can make such a difference to how the day goes. So many times I’ve missed meditations or breaks because i’ve just really wanted to get something at work done and have ended up tired, doing a bad job and ultimately making my day harder. When I pause, breathe and do something for myself, my day runs like a dream rather than a nightmare…

So what can you do that doesn’t take forever but helps to calm things down and smooth things out a bit? Take regular breaks. And I’m not talking about 30 minutes every 2 hours, but a 5-minute break here and there to pause, go outside and take a few breaths can really shift stagnant energy. You could also try just walking. Walk to the loo, walk around the office or your house. Easy, simple and effective. The best things always are. Another incredibly effective strategy is shaking! Shake out your arms and your legs and calm your nervous system down. Take it from anxious, fidgety energy to calm and flowing but shaking! There a plenty more things you can try that only take 5 minutes, and if you have a team to look after, try and involve them too using the strategies right here.

If you’re ambitious like me, always striving and trying to reach the top, take a moment to read this. Slowing down first thing sets you up for success. It allows you to filter through what’s important rather than reacting instantly to everything that comes your way. The techniques covered are easy to apply and are the difference between a break-down and a smooth going day.

And for something more physical to shift flatness, try out these desk stretches. You can do them sitting right as you are, in fact, have a look at it now and give them a go before reading on. You’ll come back feeling lighter and more focused. You could also give these three things a go – say thank you, distract yourself and take 3 breaths. A powerful trio when the stress starts rising.

Finally, if you’re needing something more powerful and all the above haven’t quite got you feeling good, use this to build confidence when you’re underperforming. It’s a little more immersive and therefore even more powerful – totally worth doing to prove to yourself of worthy of feeling good.

Look after yourself because you are worthy

Yoga isn’t just the physical practice, it’s the practice of connecting your body and your mind. When your body is feeling tight and tense, maybe even a little achy and painful, we can check in with ourselves to balance this out. Giving yourself the time and opportunity to look after yourself at home is an incredible gift that is simple, easy and surprisingly effective. When you use time in your day for yourself, you’re showing yourself you are worthy and valued and only good can come from this.

Take some time to identify how you can look after yourself at home and work with this guide, why it’s important to you and what you need to do to make it happen. The world we be a better place because you have!

Yoga LIVE – live online yoga classes at home

Make the whole process that much easier with all my Leading Ladies over in Yoga LIVE. We’re all steadily building our self-care practice at home and our monthly challenges are fast-tracking the benefits. Join us here and get your 2-week free trial. You’re totally capable of feeling empowered and capable, and I can’t wait to see you blossom. Join Yoga LIVE here.