Walmart has everything you need to start practising yoga at home. We chat with an expert who provides helpful tips and suggestions to get your yoga at home practice prepped with yoga equipment and yoga accessory must-haves.
Making time to practise yoga poses can help your body become stronger and more flexible. It can also help you stay calmer when faced with day-to-day challenges. It can be hard to find time to get to a yoga studio. Setting yourself up for yoga at home is a great way to start, or keep up, your yoga practice. Walmart speaks with Holistic Lifestyle Expert and Registered Yoga Instructor, Jenn Pike, to get her tips on at-home yoga equipment and accessory must-haves. She also provides helpful tips on how to optimize your yoga fitness workouts from home so you can be your best you.
Jenn Pike is a Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Expert, Medical Exercise Specialist, Registered Yoga Instructor and best-selling author of The Simplicity Project: A Simple, No-Nonsense Approach To Losing Weight & Changing Your Body Forever! Pike is the founder of The Simplicity Project and her revolutionary women’s health course The Hormone Project. She is also a guest Holistic Expert for “Breakfast Television,” Global, CTV, CHCH and Rogers TV. Pike also sits on the Advisory Board for STRONG Fitness Magazine as contributing Holistic Nutritionist. Gain insight into more of Pike’s helpful health tips on YouTube’s Simplicity TV channel.
Table of Contents
- Is doing yoga at home effective?
- What are the health benefits of yoga?
- What do I need to start yoga at home?
- How can I do yoga at home?
- How do you start a yoga practice at home?
- What is the best time to do yoga?
- What are the best yoga positions for beginners?
“Yoga is the perfect exercise to do at home,” says Pike. “It’s so accessible, it’s portable [and] there are great apps you can download. It can come anywhere with you, whether you’re at home or on holiday with your family.” She pauses for a brief moment, then continues. “The beautiful thing about yoga is that if you have your body with you, you have your equipment with you. You can do it anywhere; with whatever time you have. You can do just a few yoga poses, a few minutes, if that’s all you have time for.”
The health benefits of doing yoga are many, according to Pike. “It improves mental health; mentally and emotionally, you will feel so much more grounded,” she says. “It regulates blood pressure and improves joint health. Metabolically it’s fantastic for hormones. There’s not one system in the body that does not benefit from doing yoga.”
In addition to improving flexibility, Pike says that practising yoga can improve strength as you’re stretching, and offers cardiovascular benefits as well. “Your heart rate is up. If you’re doing inversions, your head goes below the heart, your feet above the heart. That movement helps pump toxic waste out of the body,” she explains. “With your digestion system, you’ll feel a difference. You’ll feel more energy. And you can get pretty strong off it, too,” Pike continues. “Yoga is great at opening up all those areas and strengthening those muscles we’re not firing in our day-to-day lives.”
What do I need to start yoga at home?
According to Pike, when it comes to at-home yoga equipment, a good quality, grippy yoga mat with carry strap, like this one by PurAthletics, is key. “Less expensive ones can slide under your feet and hands. They break apart and wear down quickly. A good quality yoga mat should last two to three years. Look for at least 2mm to 4mm cushioning, for when you’re down on your knees and tummy,” she advises.
Pike also recommends a set of yoga blocks, like this one by Everlast. “Especially for beginners, or the mom who is tight,” she says. “They help bring the ground to you.” Pike explains that yoga blocks can be used in many postures. “Warrior 2. Triangle pose. In a lot of the signature postures, the blocks go under the hands, so you’re not trying to reach all the way to the ground. Or if you’re in a sitting posture and you don’t have flexibility, you can sit on the block to help ease the legs down.”
Another piece of yoga equipment that can be helpful to secure hands or feet during yoga poses is a yoga strap, like this one by Zenzation. “You can loop it around your foot, to get the body where you’re trying to move it to,” Pike explains. “It helps with doing a hamstring stretch, as well as some of the balancing standing postures, like dancer’s pose,” she continues. “If you hear the cue to grab your foot with your hands and you find you can’t reach, you can use the strap to loop around your foot. It gives you longer limbs to create that extension. It also provides support, so your leg is not hanging in the air. It gives you something to ground yourself into.”
Next on Pike’s list of at-home yoga equipment and accessory must-haves are yoga therapy balls, like these by PurAthletics. “They’re wonderful,” says Pike, who explains that therapy balls differ from foam rollers as they’re smaller and can get into hard to reach areas to help strengthen and condition muscles. “Every class I teach, I use yoga therapy balls,” she adds.
While Pike agrees it’s great to have your dedicated yoga room, she acknowledges that in reality, it’s not always possible. “If you have kids, it’s likely not going to happen. The great thing with yoga, is that you can just slap down the mat, wherever you are,” says Pike.
It’s also helpful to keep your mat and yoga accessories wherever you spend the most time. “If it’s the family room, have a basket there so when the kids are playing, you’ll see it,” she suggests. “You’ll be more apt to [exercise]. Out of sight out of mind.”
If you can carve out some alone time, set the mood by turning the lights down low or shut them off, and lie on the ground or the bed. “You can use a diffuser and some essential oils like lavender oil to help calm you, or grounding oils like cedarwood, or oils like wild orange or peppermint to help pick you up and give you more energy,” suggests Pike. She adds that a lot of diffusers, like this one by Mogu, now have a light to create a candle-lit-type of environment.
Pike also recommends InsightTimer, a free meditation app that is home to more than 6,000,000 meditators around the world. “Meditations vary from two minutes to 60 minutes. You can go in and choose an energy meditation, or a ‘put me to sleep’ meditation,” she explains. “There’s a whole menu. You can do a meditation, or just have some nice tranquil music in the background.”
“Ideally, it would be fantastic if you can get to a couple of beginner classes with someone who can help you with your form and technique, so you’re empowered when doing yoga alone at home,” recommends Pike. She adds that the first studio class is usually free and there are often discounts for the first couple of weeks. “Instructors can make sure you’re not hyperextending the pose or pushing yourself too deeply. It’s great to have that in-person experience at least a couple of times for framework so you can be more confident doing it at home.”
Yoga DVDs can provide instruction, as well as yoga videos on YouTube. Pike herself has two yoga DVDs and has captured flows online, like her Hip Opening Hippie Flow session on YouTube. She also recommends yoga apps like YogaGlo. “It’s a really good app,” she says. “They offer a five-minute series all the way up to three-hour practices. You can have it on your phone or iPad, so you can do it wherever, whenever.”
“Really, there’s no better or worse way to do yoga. It really depends on the person and what they’re looking for,” says Pike. “Try to provide yourself with a sample, trying out a couple of different classes and offerings,” she advises before starting yoga at home.
According to Pike, “It’s when you have [time]. If you’re doing it in the evening, try to find something more gentle and restorative, so it’s not counteractive to getting good sleep,” she suggests. “Earlier in the day, doing a more vigorous practice can help you get up and get going.”
Don’t worry about how much time you have for your practice. “Learn how to create movement in your moment,” says Pike. “The beauty of yoga is that if you have 60 seconds to breathe deeply, you’re in a practice.”
Pike recommends starting with something low to the ground. “Try a child’s pose first, then come up on all fours and bring yourself into a downward dog—that’s a good transition pose to flow from one movement to the next,” she says. “Then some standing postures, some balance postures, do some planks for strength, and bring yourself back to child’s pose.”
One of Pike’s favourite poses is the sun salutation. “[It’s] like a full-body workout,” she explains. “There’s a lot of different movements to the sun salutation.”
“Listen to your body,” advises Pike, of when it’s time to step up your yoga game for more challenging poses. “You’ll know when you’re ready for a longer flow, more challenging flow, or deeper variation of a posture.”
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