Jacci Gruninger, MS, CIAYT, ERYT500

You are all ready to start your online home yoga and fitness routine but realize there was always something nice about going to a yoga studio or fitness center. Stepping into the studio or center helped you to leave whatever you were doing before behind you. You can do the same thing at home with a little bit of creativity.

Here are a few steps to get you started.

Where will you practice?
First, determine where in your house (or your backyard) you have space to move. If you are doing yoga, roll out your mat and see if you can come into a twist on both sides when lying down without hitting the wall. Try standing in Mountain pose and reaching your hands over your head — is there anything you will hit like a light or fan? If you are doing fitness, do you have space to do a push-up or plank pose?  How about room to march or jog forward and back? Do jumping jacks?

For yoga, I like to have two yoga mats set up like a “t” so I can be facing the camera no matter which way I am standing.

Second, can you place your video device (phone, laptop, tablet) somewhere where you can see the screen AND the teacher can see as much of your body as possible?

Get Rid of the Tech
Only bring into the space the technology you need to take your class. If you’re practicing in the space with your TV and aren’t using the TV to project your class (see XXX blog for seeing us on your big screen) put a towel or cloth over the TV. Do the same with any clocks or other “reminders of doing” you might have in the space.

Find some music to play
It’s hard for the instructor to play music while teaching live stream classes. You might consider playing music you like at a low level while your taking class.

Keep your equipment/props nearby
If you are taking yoga, it’s always a good idea to have your yoga mat, blanket (or towels), blocks (or books/paper towel rolls), strap (or tie/belt), bolster (or pillows) nearby. For fitness, a water bottle, light weights, bands, tubes etc. Keep everything neatly organized in your yoga/fitness space so you have easy access to it during class.

Lighting
When taking a fitness class or a vigorous yoga class you might want more light to create more energy.  Lower or less light can calm you down for a gentler practice. You can add candles, string lights or strobe lights depending on the effect you are looking to create.

Temperature
There is something to be said for hot yoga but that’s not for everyone. The nice thing about creating a home practice space is you get to decide. If you like a warmer room, consider a small space heater.  Cooler? Open a window or bring in a fan. You might also have control of your thermostat depending on where you are practicing and the type of heat/AC you have.

Decorate
What brings you joy?  Maybe it’s a vase of flowers or a picture of your family or favorite pet. Bring a few of your favorite things into your practice space. You might even create a practice altar where you can place bring your well being goals.

Let Your Family Know You Are Practicing
Consider creating a “Practicing” sign to place on your practice space door or to hang from the ceiling to let your family know you are taking care of yourself.

Hopefully, your home is a place of respite for you. Creating a space to practice your wellbeing is just another part of being in your home. The space you create can be all yours and can help you get through difficult times by continuing your self-care.

Jacci Gruninger