Five Ways to Benefit from an At-Home Yoga Practice. ~ Sinda Anzovino

Via Sinda Anzovino
on May 8, 2012
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You’ve heard it said a million times…yoga is a daily practice.

In your head you try to figure out whose classes you can attend and which times might fit your schedule.  Classes are not necessarily catering to the times which are available to you. Frustrated, you start to wonder how you get a daily practice in?

You understand that the benefits of daily practice will be a good thing, but you are still left sorting out the logistics of it.  Finally, you come upon the simple answer: add a home practice to complement the class practices you are able to make at your yoga studio or gym.

Enjoy these five benefits by establishing a home practice:

  • >Stay centered.
    Practicing each day is much like taking a look in the mirror before you go out into the world. You get a chance to check in on how you feel and establish your self-confidence and self-worth.
  • >Retain strength and flexibility over time.
    Practicing once a week will not retain flexibility any more than dieting once a week will help you lose weight. Increasing the number of days you practice by adding a home practice can completely change your level of strength and flexibility and provide quicker physical progress as far as asanas (poses) are concerned.
  • >Move at your own pace.
    In a class you may feel rushed or even anxious to keep up with the teachers cues. In your own space you have the opportunity to really take your time with your breath and make sure you feel truly open in your pose before moving onto the next one.
  • >Bring the sacredness of your practice home.
    Change your perspective on what it means to have a yoga practice. Not just having to go to a specific place to allow your yoga to happen, but letting your practice exist wherever you happen to be. This can be quite a liberating experience.

The hard part is the many pitfalls we all have in our lives; children, pets, phone, computer, TV, lack of space, lack of motivation and other distractions such as chores. These pitfalls will help justify why you just cannot get a practice in at home if you let them.

So how do you get around this? Start by closing your eyes and thinking about what the biggest pitfalls are for you when you are at home. Planning how to overcome those challenges will make you better able to maintain a home practice.

To help get you through this part here are some tips on overcoming those pitfalls:

>>Invest in a gate to keep out kids and pets.

>>Throw a tapestry over the computer and TV if they are in the same room as you will be practicing in. You will create a more welcoming space.

>>Turn the computer and the telephone off. If you must keep your computer on, check out some Youtube videos of yoga for inspiration or to follow along to.

>>Design your yogic space! This can be as simple or ornate as you like. Create a home altar that is mobile (candles, incense, statues, crystals, pictures of family or whatever you hold sacred and special to you). Dim the lights. Add a serenity fountain or some other connection to the elements. Play your favorite yoga music.

>>Try to use a corner or space near a wall—you won’t need anything larger than the size of your yoga mat. If you do have a wall to use, a great motivator is to put up a picture of you in your favorite yoga pose or a picture of a pose you are trying to work towards. This will keep you inspired and you can change up the picture whenever you want. Keep a bottle of water and a towel handy so you don’t feel the need to leave your space once you have begun your practice.

Remember you can always start small. Maybe just bring five sets of sun salutations into your home practice at first and see if you can commit to that. As you build consistency, increase the duration of your home practice. And if you are having a rough day, take a seat on your mat or zafu (meditation cushion) and take five minutes to close your eyes and center your body, breath and mind.

This is far better than skipping the practice altogether. Within a week you will feel like a new person and I promise you will begin to see changes in your practice and your perspective. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.


Editor: Jennifer Cusano

Sinda Anzovino, E-RYT, CATYMT, former owner and teacher trainer of Yoga Journey RYS, currently teaches for New York Sports Club, Destination Maternity, White Plains Hospital and her sometimes ‘A’-List’ private clientele. She lives with her 2 children in Westchester, NY. Sinda has a fun and light hearted approach to her teaching that embraces all who study with her! Visit her on the web here.




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About Sinda Anzovino

Sinda Anzovino, E-RYT, CATYMT, former owner and teacher trainer of Yoga Journey RYS, currently teaches for New York Sports Club, Equinox, Destination Maternity, White Plains Hospital and her sometimes 'A'-List' private clientele. She lives with her 2 children in Westchester, NY. Sinda has a fun and light hearted approach to her teaching that embraces all who study with her! Connect with her on,, and, and check out her website here at


9 Responses to “Five Ways to Benefit from an At-Home Yoga Practice. ~ Sinda Anzovino”

  1. Just posted to "Featured Today" on elephant yoga homepage, to elephant yoga on facebook,
    and @elephantyoga on Twitter.

    Bob W. Associate Publisher
    facebook, twitter, linkedIn
    Yoga Demystified, Gita in a Nutshell

  2. It may sound silly but I like to always do a couple of things before I start my home practice each day. After lighting some incense and a candle, I carefully and mindfully sweep the space before setting down my mat and beginning. The symbolic cleansing focuses me.

  3. Jay Fields says:

    Thank you, Sinda, for bringing up yet again why it's so important to have a home practice. I agree with you about the added benefit of being able to practice on your own time in your own way, and how much taking the time to create a sacred space at home can add to the desire to practice. Definitely!

    But I disagree with you that the pitfalls are primarily external–like computers and pets and kids. I wish that I could put a gate up to keep away the real challenges that keep me from wanting to spend time on my mat alone without someone else there to gently hold space for me! Things like self-doubt, fear, anxiety, grief, judgement, and all the other internal voices and feelings that assail me when I choose not to let myself be distracted by the external things. All those external distractions are just what I use as excuses because the real excuse that I just don't feel comfortable being alone with myself and all my feelings seems too vulnerable to admit. Not to mention, much harder to address.

    I share this here because after years of struggling with practicing at home, when I changed the way that I looked at it (as the quote you referenced at the end of your article says), my practice changed. When I admitted to myself that it's not that I don't know enough about yoga or that I don't have enough time or that there are too many distraction, it's simply that I'm avoiding myself–that's when I opened to a whole new level of compassion and spaciousness for whatever happened on my mat. Now I practice without effort, and help others who are in the same boat.

    And yes, Sinda, you are totally right–practicing at home makes you feel like a new person! Thanks for your words.

  4. Sybil says:

    Jay – this is a HUGE response. You nailed me – for sure. "….it's simply that I'm avoiding myself…."

    Thanks for sharing openly and opening my eyes to something in myself I didn't want to see but need to evaluate.

  5. Sinda says:

    Thanks so much for reading and for your thoughts, my hope is that the home practice coincides with a practice under a qualified and certified teacher to make sure that safety and self confidence can happen as well. What I will say is that the pitfalls are not primarily external, but for practitioners looking to step up their game and start to make their practice more daily, the tangible pitfalls seem to come up the most often. I've taught several workshops on this and while the emotional and psychological aspects are as important as the external pitfalls, this article was not directed at someone looking to create a solely home practice out of nothing. I should add that another pitfall is furniture- so if you are practicing arm balances you learned in class, please make sure to do them away from things that might hurt if you fall into them! 🙂 Thanks for reading and for the comments! Keep them coming! Namaste!

  6. Sinda says:

    I think the ritual of preparation is a wonderful way to start the home practice and I truly encourage it for long term connection with your practice at home! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

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  9. Sinda says:

    many thanks!