If you want to watch your practice in action, you can practice in front of a mirror or even record photos and/or video footage on your phone or camera. I know, it can be kinda weird to watch your body at first, but it’s a dope tool for checking alignment. This is how I’ve refined my own postural alignment for years, and it’s the whole reason I started my Instagram account (and it’s played a major role in my body love journey).
3. Use stuff around the house as accessories
If you don’t have a yoga mat, don’t worry about it. If you’re short on cash, a beach towel can suffice until you can get a cheap mat. If you need extra traction on your cheap mat, throw a towel on top of it. My first yoga mat was my dad’s old threadbare Pilates mat, and I made that bad boy work for years.
You can make yoga props out of whatever you have handy. For instance, my first yoga block was a Star Wars VHS box set and my first yoga strap was my dog’s leash. Couch cushions are a good stand-in for yoga bolsters if you’ve got ’em handy.
You don’t need to buy special clothes—just find something that you can move in comfortably. And if you’re at home, don’t be afraid to practice naked.
4. If your practice sticks and you want to continue, plan to treat yourself to some accessories or apparel
Although you can make yoga props out of literally anything, the longer you practice, the more you’re gonna want to invest in quality products. (In my opinion, there’s nothing more annoying than falling on my face because I’m sweating my balls off and my yoga mat can’t take the pressure.) I’ve accumulated my props over time, and I always look for gear that’s more ecologically sound and geared toward diverse bodies. My favorite yoga block is Manduka’s Unblok recycled-foam yoga block ($24, Manduka), and I love Yoga Hustle’s straps ($16, Yoga Hustle).
It’s kind of an annoying reality, but I do think good yoga mats are generally expensive and bad yoga mats are generally cheap. And if you’re fat and/or tall, you might eventually crave a mat that’s built to accommodate your size. Personally, I use the Jade Yoga XW Fusion mat ($180, Jade Yoga), and I can’t recommend it highly enough; it’s expensive as fuck but worth every penny.
5. Try online classes even if you already have a home yoga practice
Even if you regularly practice yoga and have a knowledge of postures, the whole point of practicing is to turn off your mind, and that can be hard to do if you’re constantly mentally sequencing your own flows.
As time goes on, you’ll build up an internal encyclopedia of yogic knowledge, and organically sequencing postures will start to feel more natural. But even after that day comes, it’s helpful to leave the sequencing to online teachers and allow their words to guide you to the teacher within.
The experiences of learning from a teacher in a studio and learning from a teacher at home are not all that different. Sure, there’s no one there to tell you if you’re practicing the postures incorrectly, but even in the best IRL classes your teacher won’t always be able to give you personalized attention. Plus, sometimes personalized attention can be majorly distracting to your practice. Especially if you’re like me and have difficulty receiving criticism about your body.
In my opinion, online classes are much more low pressure than IRL classes. In online classes you’re not distracted by the other practitioners in the room. You’re not concerned with what anyone else thinks. You don’t have to strain to hear the teacher depending on your mat’s location, and you don’t have your view of the teacher obstructed by other students. You don’t even have to find childcare, because your kids can join you on the mat.