The ultimate guide to practicing yoga at home in 2020

6 July 2020, 14:50 | Updated: 9 July 2020, 14:26

A beginners guide to yoga
A beginners guide to yoga. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Want to take up yoga? Check out our advice for beginners, as well as online yoga classes, equipment and clothing.

With most of us looking for different ways to fill our spare time over the past few months, more and more people have turned to at-home yoga.

Not only can it be a great way to build strength, but yoga can help you switch off from the world, tune into your body and become more self aware.

While starting your own practice can be intimidating, we're here to help you ease into it by putting together the ultimate guide to practicing yoga...

Yoga can be intimidating
Yoga can be intimidating. Picture: Getty Images

What are the benefits of practicing yoga at home?

Yoga studios across the country might be closed, but there are plenty of benefits to learning from the comfort of your own home.

“Yoga helps you to slow down, focus your attention, find inner stillness, peace and quiet and to get to know yourself," yoga expert Kirsty Gallagher explains.

Kirsty - who runs her own private yoga sessions and online retreats - adds: "What we learn on our yoga mats is a direct reflection to how we deal with life off the mat.”

Read More: Vegan snacks UK: Best healthy treats and plant-based products to buy on the high street

In these uncertain times, it also allows you to create a ‘safe haven’ for yourself.

With three years experience in yoga, Scarlett Woodford says that this could simply be a mat in the bedroom, or a bigger set up with candles, props, oils and music.

If you're someone that's intimidated by gyms and studios, being at home can also ease any worries you might have, with Scarlett adding: “There's a misconception that somehow you need to be 'flexible', 'enlightened' or 'good' at yoga.

“I wish people could eradicate this belief because the practise really is for all body types - we're all human.”

What are different types of yoga you can practice?

With so many different styles of yoga out there, there is a class to suit every body type or temperament.

Attending a few online classes could help you decide which practice suits you best, with Scarlett pointing out that Vinyasa and Yin are great both styles to start with.

Vinyasa is a strong flow which is fluid and typically combines strength and flexibility to help the practitioner with their mobility and range of motion.

Scarlett - who teaches online classes at Core Collective - explains Yin as a ‘much softer style’ that uses methodology from Chinese medicine.

Other common styles include Restorative, Ashtanga and Kundalini which all use a mix of meditation, breathing techniques and yoga postures.

Scarlett Woodford has been teaching yoga for three years
Scarlett Woodford has been teaching yoga for three years. Picture: Scarlett Woodford

Online yoga classes you can stream at home

If you want to try your hand at home yoga, there are a whole host of freelance yoga teachers and yoga companies offering virtual sessions online.

These mean you can fit practice into your own schedule and there’s no need to search for classes on days and times that suit you.

Moreyoga

Moreyoga deliver over 20 classes a week, including plenty of options for newbies such as Morning Flow, Hatha, Vinyasa Flow (Level 1), and Restorative and Meditation.

You can also step up your practice with Power Yoga, Rocket or Yin & Meditation.

Price: £1 for first week, then £10 per week after that (NHS workers go free)

FLEX Chelsea

FLEX Chelsea creates a full day of 45 min Insta Live Yoga classes which start at 8am and cover a range of styles.

You can follow these on Zoom and also once per week on IG Live, with choices from Power Yoga, Slow Flow & Yin.

Price: £8 and free for NHS workers

Flex! Chelsea are running online classes
Flex! Chelsea are running online classes. Picture: Flex! Chelsea

Les Mills

Les Mills offers a unique take on yoga; its BODYBALANCE is a yoga-based session which moves you through yoga moves but combined with elements of Tai Chi and Pilates.

These provide 55, 45 or 30-minute workouts – and can be accessed via Les Mills On Demand.

Price: 14 day free trial and £11.95 after that

Adaptive Yoga Live

Adaptive Yoga is designed to make yoga accessible to more people, especially those who have injuries, limitations, disabilities, or the elderly.

They hold three weekly online classes for free for vulnerable people to be able to practice seated yoga at home using a chair, wall, or yoga props.

One to One Yoga Lesson

YogiTribe offers personal one-to-one support from an instructor who will tailor the class to your needs.

This online lesson is ideal for all experience levels, whether you're a beginner or you want to step up the pace and be more adventurous.

Price: £29 from buyagift

Read More: PureGym and Total Fitness reveal health and safety plans for when they reopen

The best yoga mats, equipment and yoga clothing

Yoga mats

Meglio Yoga mat

Meglio Yoga Mat
Meglio Yoga Mat. Picture: Meglio

This Yoga Mat has been designed in conjunction with Yoga instructors and experts in order to allow you to get the most from your exercise routines.

It’s 7mm in thickness to ensure extra comfort during your practice and measures 183cm x 61cmn.

Price: £19.99 from Meglio

Slenderplan Yoga Mat

Slenderplan Yoga Mat
Slenderplan Yoga Mat. Picture: Superdrug

Slender Plan by Superdrug Yoga Mat is your ideal companion for yoga, pilates and other regular exercise.

Price: £5.00 from Superdrug

Willow Yoga Mats and towels

Willow Yoga Mats
Willow Yoga Mats. Picture: Willow

Willow Yoga mats are sustainably made, environmentally friendly and made from a 100% natural rubber base and an absorbent natural microfibre topping.

The premium printed mats are available in four bespoke floral designs inspired by nature, while the collection also includes towel toppers and microfibre towels.

Price: £69 from Willow

Yoga clothing

Weird Fish leggings

Tamra Bamboo Yoga Leggings
Tamra Bamboo Yoga Leggings. Picture: Weird Fish

Find your inner Yogi with these printed leggings made from a bamboo, cotton, and spandex blend.

Weird Fish also have a whole range of Yoga clothing made from the sustainable bamboo fabric, which is not only kind to the environment, but also the skin with moisture absorbing technology.

Price: £30.00 from Weird Fish

TCA shorts

Relentless Power Short
Relentless Power Short. Picture: TCA

If you’d prefer shorts over leggings, these performance cycle-style pair are built from SupremePro fabric with 4-way stretch and TCA D.R.Y. technology that keeps you dry, light and comfortable.

TCA’s 2-in-1 short also gives shaped inner compression for enhanced comfort and performance.

Price: £28-£32 from TCA

Luxury legs tank top

Luxury legs tank top
Luxury legs tank top. Picture: Luxury Legs

Hanro's Yoga Tank Top is made from a soft, supple modal with a touch of elastane which will allow you ease of movement when practising yoga.

Luxury legs also offers matching leggings, as well as a whole range of work out gear.

Price: £35 from Luxury Legs

Yoga Equipment

Meglio blocks and resistance bands

Meglio yoga blocks
Meglio yoga blocks. Picture: Meglio

The Meglio Yoga Block can help to improve core balance, strength, body alignment, and provide support in many different Yoga workouts, opening amazing possibilities for effective training.

Meanwhile, resistance bands can help you achieve deeper stretches during your practice.

Price: From £9.99 for blocks, £4.99 for resistance bands from Meglio

Alora diffuser and essential oils

Rio beauty diffuser
Rio beauty diffuser. Picture: Rio beauty

This Alora aroma diffuser by Rio beauty has a humidifier and night-light, so you can create a soothing atmosphere to practise in.

There's also a calming stream of mist, while adding aromatherapy oils can take your experience to a whole new level of relaxation.  

Price: £24.99 for diffuser and £19.99 for four essential oils from Rio beauty

Muji diffuser

Muji diffuser
Muji diffuser. Picture: Muji

Muji's large aroma diffuser uses ultrasonic waves to vaporise water and essential oils to produce a cool, dry, fragrant mist.

If you can't get to a yoga studio right now, this stylish accessory is the next best thing.

The white cylinder also shines with an ambient glow which creates a tranquil atmosphere for your yoga session.

Price: £89.95 from Muji

Bampton House Candle

Bampton House Candle
Bampton House Candle. Picture: Bampton House

Create the perfect Yoga den with this candle and enjoy calming benefits of Rose Geranium and Patchouli.

A smooth uplifting scent to lessen fatigue and promote emotional wellness as combined they help you achieve a desired state of mindfulness.

Price: £26.00 from Bampton House

Made By Coopers Atmosphere mist

Made By Coopers Atmosphere mist
Made By Coopers Atmosphere mist. Picture: Made By Coopers

A calming blend of five essential oils designed to relax the mind and body.

Price: £15.00 from Made By Coopers

Now Read: Yoga expert reveals 8 easy postpartum poses for new mums