6 Yoga essentials for home practice

6 Yoga Essentials for Home Practice

We all know it’s hard to find time as parents to do something together, enter at home date nights for parents. Hubby and I have started practicing yoga every night after little man goes to bed and it’s been amazing! Continue reading to see what our yoga essentials are for home practice.

It’s no secret that our lives are fast moving. Parenthood means trying to find time for yourself, or you as a couple can be really hard. However, we’ve found a common ground in yoga and let me tell you, it’s been the perfect thing for us!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that my hubby is a runner. Marathon training and running, all-consuming runner. I even wrote a post named The Truth About Being A Runner’s wife, go check it out!

With Geoff’s running, it means that he’s pretty hard on his body. On the other hand, it means my time to get out of the house and physical is pretty limited. So, enter yoga.

Over the years I’ve tried to get him into practicing with me but it never really stuck. Until recently that is…

Geoff propositioned me to start practicing together, so naturally, it was a yes!

We’ve also been reaping the benefits of having something to do together that’s physical. We met doing a sport we loved. It meant that we were used to working as a team and working our butts off. Fast forward 10+ years, life happens and we have to find other ways to make time for each other. Because well, parenthood.

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase after following an ad this blog will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you! Things like this keep Wine and Mommy Time up and running.

What we love about yoga:

  • It inspires mindfulness
  • There are modifications
  • It’s a great workout
  • You can choose your class length
  • Easy to do at home
  • Great way to connect
  • Self-care time
  • It’s physical
  • Pumps out tons of endorphins
  • Promotes better digestion
  • Prevents sport-related injuries
  • Is for all bodies

The list goes on, literally.

Who is yoga for?

Yoga is for every body. I repeat, every body.

Now, don’t get me wrong, yoga isn’t all hippy-dippy and frankly, if you’ve never done it, the verbiage may leave you feeling a little awkward. But yoga is a lifestyle. The more you focus on the intention behind the words, affirmations, and the practice itself you’ll gain a huge amount of self-awareness, and it will all come together.

Finding the right class or teacher is always step one.

Personally, I like teachers who are humorous but are great communicators. If you’re new to yoga, you especially need a teacher who can really describe proper alignment because it makes all the difference.

It’s not about just flinging your body in abstract ways and contorting your body into some ungodly position. That will come with time. It’s about learning your body’s capabilities and pushing them a bit further each time to improve.

That’s why it’s called a practice!

There is always room to improve and there are always ways to grow and challenge yourself with variations.

Some of their journeys include:

The website we use to practice has made journeys that go from beginner to intermediate to advanced. If you’re not ready to move up to the next level it’s no worries because you can just do a level over again!

What classes do I recommend?

The first series we started with is #growthgoals. It’s a great intro to get you into the flow of yoga. Bringing you from the basics to advanced. Now, if you’re a beginner, but fashion yourself athletic, don’t skip beginner. Don’t let your ego get in the way.

Basics are there as a foundation. We love that the classes in this series are typically 30 minutes, give or take. We’ve even been topping up with core classes since they’re only 10 minutes!

We’ve both been enjoying it so much that I’ve mapped out the next couple of months of which series we will do back to back! In other words, during the cold winter months, you’ll be able to find us on our mats. Wish us luck!

What do you need to start?

Sign up for a free trial of MyYogaWorks.com (using my promo link will get you a discount, so click here!)

A device with a screen, or a TV (we have a Chromecast which allows us to stream from our phones to our TV)

These are our 6 essentials for home yoga practice:

  1. Yoga mat – The choice of mat to make is totally up to you. Some people opt for thin mats, others (like myself) opt for thicker mats. There are rubberized mats, cork mats, and so many others.
  2. Set of yoga blocks – You should purchase a set of two, per person. As you progress, you may not need any at all, however, there are many poses you will need them for. Some you may even need to stack them!
  3. Yoga strap – Not only can you carry your mat with a strap, but they’re also totally necessary. You can deepen, or ease pull on stretches with straps. They come in a few different materials and usually look like a belt that has D-ring buckles on one end to loop through.
  4. Bolster – Typically used in Yin or restorative yoga, blisters offer great support to really melt into deep poses.
  5. Mexican blanket – Not just for keeping warm, blankets can be used under knees when in kneeling poses, or rolled like a bolster.
  6. Water bottle – Staying hydrated is very important if you’re going to me moving and stretching your muscles.

Did this post miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!

6 Yoga essentials for home practice

Being the wife of a runner

Being The Wife of a Runner

Being the wife of a runner isn’t easy. I don’t touch on what my husband does on here but it’s about time I did. My husband is a runner, and by runner, I mean competitive, marathon training runner. But he wasn’t always this driven.

When my husband and I met, I was 18 and he was in his early 20’s. We went out, we partied and for a while, our health wasn’t the most important thing to us. All that changed after we got married.

Not long after we got married, my parents dropped a bomb on us that my dad had Prostate cancer. Not much longer after his diagnosis, he had a procedure to implant nuclear beads that would kill those particular cancer cells. You can read more on targeted radionuclide therapy here.

Dad’s news to us spawned a positive effect on my life to start getting myself together and start putting my health at the forefront. I got a gym membership and became happily engrossed in fitness. It took hubby a bit longer. But not by much!

Life as a runner's wife

Why he started

Anytime we’d have a few drinks, Geoff would go to the nearby corner store to buy cigarettes. He’d lie to me and say he was getting snacks, I knew otherwise. Finally, on February 20th, 2013, he smoked his last cigarette and started running. Quitting smoking was something he did on and off for years so I was apprehensive. However, running slowly became his passion.

That spring, he completed his first 5k race. He was all nerves that morning as we got to the race arch. I was nervous for him! He’s so hard on himself and compares his progress to others. While his placement wasn’t in any top tier, it was a personal win for him and I was so proud of him.

Watching them struggle

Over these past 5 years, I’ve seen him struggle, succeed, set and reach goals that I couldn’t imagine obtaining myself.  Seeing him either get an injury which would keep him from running, or being defeated by a cold, or the weather was difficult. You want to fix why they’re unhappy, but you know that all they really want, or need, is to get some miles under their feet.

Sometimes it’s just because of having a crazy schedule that he can’t make it out. Maybe we’re working opposing shifts, it happens. Or, if we take a trip somewhere, he wouldn’t be eating his usual foods and running like he normally would. All of which play huge factors in his mood, which yes, can translate into our home life.

Support, no matter what

While I don’t enjoy running at all, watching him do something he loves makes me so happy. It’s a much better example for our son than the previous lifestyle. Not to mention, he’s in better shape now than when we first met. Can’t shake a finger at that fact!

It’s easy to take for granted the changes people make in their lives when it’s not yourself directly. When you just sit and think about the distance that 10k is and the fact that your significant other just casually run that any day of the week, it’s pretty crazy. But a good kind of crazy. An influential kind of crazy, infectious even.

If you’ve never been at the finish line of a big race or a marathon, you need to experience it for yourself. People are cheering on loved ones, strangers or just cheering out of pure excitement. It’s really exhilarating.

It can get expensive

Everything has a price. And running, it adds up. Sneakers needing to be replaced every so many miles, Garmin watches, race registration. That’s just a high overview!

You’ll get into extras like the cost of clothes for seasonal running (especially all of the extras needed for winter running). Also, think about the time spent prepping for a race.

Time is money, and time is also relationships. When you’re leading up to a big race, there are no other plans to be made. Period. Everything is prepping for that race. Down to making sure that long distance runs are happening, then the dreaded taper, where they cut back on runtime, but they also need more rest.

You’ll see your food budget take a jump during race season, and especially on race, and post-race weeks because of carbohydrate loading. And also supplementation. Don’t forget the supplements, electrolytes, omega’s, protein and more. And so many bananas. Basically all of the bananas.

It takes sacrifice

With all of the miles he’s accumulated, it doesn’t go without sacrifice. His running means me supporting him and his goals, which can sometimes mean putting mine on the back burner. We’re not perfect, and if I’m being honest, yes, we do fight. Not that he doesn’t give me my time, but I still have a hard time asking for it. Because well, mom guilt. We’re still figuring out our balance, even with a two-year-old.

Throw making plans out the window because training, during race weeks, takes precedence over everything.

There’s no clear way of knowing how long it’ll take for us to get into a good groove, but hey, parenthood, right?

Race season is very much active now, and he is currently training for another full and half marathon. This means extra miles, and certainly some added crankiness on both our parts. Mine because “run” becomes a four letter word to me if you know what I mean. And for him, because he’s burning the candle at both ends.

Trust me, I have my days where when he complains about being tired, or burnt out, I respond with, “you choose to do this” however, it’s not a bad choice to make.

However, I’d take running Geoff, over smoking, unhealthy Geoff, any day.

After a race

There’s something so exhilarating about race day, even if you’re not running it! The build-up of all of the training runs, meal prep, and the emotional rollercoaster is about to be worth it all.

I mentioned before, but honestly, if you’ve never been in the crowd of a big race, you need to go. It’s so amazing watching those people coming across the finish line. Sometimes it’s with tears streaming down their face, into the arms of loved ones. Or, the announcer is calling out the names of the top division leaders.

It’s awesome to see your person come across that finish line, and get to give them a massive sweaty hug because they’ve accomplished something amazing.

This past spring was the first time I got to bring Peyton to the finish line of a marathon Geoff ran. As I passed Peyton over the barricade to Geoff, tears running down his face, it made everything worth it. You’re so proud of your partner, and especially seeing the example they are making for your little one(s).

Not all races are the same

Did you know there are races which are themed? Many are and those are really fun to be at!

Sure, it’s great to go to a race that has these crazy, amazing athletes, who are trying to qualify for massive races like Boston Marathon, or maybe even a regional qualifier!

But, races for causes like Terry Fox, or Pride races, are so much fun. Some races, like color races where people literally pelt the runners with colored chalk, are considered fun runs. You may also be familiar with foam runs, or mud runs, or even costume themed races! No matter what the idea, crazy, or great, I can guarantee, there is probably a race for that. Even Disney holds races

Also, did you know there’s an all Women’s race in San Francisco sponsored by Nike, which at the end, you’re given a Tiffany necklace by a firefighter? Yeah. That’s a thing, and you can check that out here!

You may not be a runner

If you are the spouse of a runner, who doesn’t run themselves, you know where I’m coming from. Why don’t I run? Because I don’t enjoy it. And I’m not going to do something I don’t like doing, just to do something. I’d rather be writing or creating, or just taking in some quiet time. And that’s okay. Everyone has their own thing.

What I do miss is working out. Weight lifting, and training. I used to have a trainer, and I used to go to the gym every day, and I worked hard. Like really damn hard. And I was so proud of my body. That is something I want to get back to, absolutely. But we can’t have both parents out of the house at the same time. So, while I’m still trying to figure out my balance, and make my time, there’s always yoga!

Find something mutually beneficial

Finding something you both enjoy, that’s a happy medium can be a good compromise for the both of you. If you’re a runner, or if your spouse is, you know how important stretching. For a little while, a very little while… I managed to get Geoff to do yoga with me. But, like anything else, that tapered off. He got busy, I didn’t feel like waiting around, because let’s be honest, I feel like I always am. So we stopped doing that together.

But you know what, even now, he will sometimes pop some yoga on tv, or the laptop and get a good stretch in, so I know I helped in some way!

Please note, if you make a purchase after following an ad link on this blog, Wine and Mommy Time will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you!

Related posts:

Maybe you both like hiking, or going for walks. The main thing is that you can’t lose that time together because well, you’re a team. Like I said, we’re not perfect, and lately, we’ve been like ships passing in the night. But that too shall pass, and we will have our “us” time once the dust settles.

Is your spouse a runner? I’d love to hear how ya’ll balance it. Parenthood, your relationship with other, and your time for you! Leave your input in the comments below.

30 Days of FREE Yoga from Home - Wine and Mommy Time

30 Day Yoga Challenge – with free guide!

I love yoga. It’s a great release and is so rewarding for your mind and body. Remember when I told you about getting free yoga classes in this post? Well I have more to share with you!

Like I’ve said before I have absolutely no affiliation with DoYogaWithMe.com at all other than being a member who truly loves to share them with people. It’s really hard to find good yoga online and when I came across DYWM years ago I felt like I hit the jackpot!

In time for the new year, DYWM made a 30 Day Challenge. Basically you follow their suggested daily classes. They have both a beginner and an intermediate version so that you can choose your difficulty. If you need more help on which one to pick check out what they have to say below.

 

30 Day Yoga Challenge - Wine and Mommy Time

 

“Not sure which challenge to do? Follow these guidelines:

Do the Beginner Challenge if: you have been practicing yoga for a year or less or you most frequently choose beginner classes online or gentle to moderate hatha yoga classes in a studio. The classes will range from gentle beginner to challenging beginner classes and will include restorative and yin classes.

Do the Intermediate Challenge if: you have been practicing yoga for a year or more and you most frequently choose power or vinyasa classes online or at a studio. The classes will range from gentle intermediate to challenging intermediate and will include mostly power/vinyasa yoga classes.

Important: No matter which challenge you choose, you will most likely feel challenged in many different ways – physically, mentally, spiritually. Remember that yoga is about humility, surrender and experiencing your true self, and sometimes it’s better to choose the more gentle path in order to sink into your inner experience. So don’t be too concerned about choosing the right challenge during your 30 days of yoga – enjoy the path you are on!”*

 

Click here for your free 30 Day Challenge guide

I have also created an easy to follow spreadsheet for you to follow along. You can do this 30 day program as many times over as you want! Initially I intended to start the program and follow it through starting January 1st, however, it just didn’t happen. So I will be starting on March 1st and I will share with you all my journey, starting on day one, on day 15 and at the end.

If you haven’t tried yoga before, I highly suggest giving this a try. This challenge is supposed to increase in difficulty so you won’t be starting off in a difficult place. Being able to do yoga at home is also wonderful because you don’t have the self doubt that some people do when attending a class.

30 Days of FREE Yoga from Home - Wine and Mommy Time

All I suggest is to come into this with an open mind, and an open heart and just enjoy the journey. We focus so much on our next day, our next week, our next month and yoga really helps bring that focus back. I always feel so much more at ease after a class and it really is so humbling. They call it practice because you will always find a difference in yourself and your abilities the more you practice it. Think of your new practice as a marathon, not a sprint. Take it easy and enjoy.

Now, on to what you will need. First, sign up for a free account. In your account you can bookmark classes, comment on ones you’ve taken and so much more. Obviously WiFi, it’s super easy to stream their videos on a tablet, computer or even phone. A space large enough that if you lay on the floor like a starfish, you aren’t touching anything else. Yoga mat, other than the videos, you will need a mat.

Let’s talk about your yoga mat. You don’t need to spend an arm or a leg on a mat by any means. Places like Marshall’s, Winner’s, or even some supermarkets have affordable ones. However, word to the wise, cheaper isn’t always better. Just make sure your mat is thick enough for your floor. I would suggest 5mm or more if you have laminate, hardwood or tile.

Last but certainly not least, just enjoy it. Feel free to share this with your friends and as always, let me know what you think! I can’t wait to share my challenge with you all and I’d love to know that you’re following along with me.

*text quoted from: https://www.doyogawithme.com/30-day-challenge

**image credit of DoYogaWithMe.com

Wine and Mommy Time - How to get FREE full-length yoga videos at home!

How to Get FREE Full-Length Yoga Video’s At Home!

Yoga and Sunday’s go together like peanut butter and jelly, but yoga studios and your wallet, not so much. I love yoga for so many reasons. It’s a time to unwind, relax and push yourself physically and mentally, it always leaves me with such a peaceful mindset for the rest of my day or night.

Since our little man came along I haven’t gotten the chance to practice, however, with him getting a bit older now and his naps becoming more scheduled I want to take the opportunity to get some me time back. Being a new mom is wonderful, but man is it stressful. Geoff has his outlet of running which keeps him in check, I however need to get my groove back. Before I got pregnant going to the gym or doing home workouts was my stress relief. Now the thought of leaving the apartment is daunting, all I want to do is just relax and the last thing I want right now is to be out in the hustle and bustle.

If you’ve ever researched yoga in your area I’m sure you’ve come across studios that charge upwards of $100+/month, and that’s only for one form of exercise. Personally, I find being alone with my thoughts rather than a room full of people much more relaxing, regardless of the price. Especially if you are a beginner it can be a bit intimidating, people all around you, so much more advanced and bending like Gumby while you seem to be as flexible as a brick. Plus at home, you can create your own sanctuary, even if that means just dimming the lights and lighting a candle, but I’ll get into that later.

DoYogaWithMe.com Free Yoga Classes

A few years ago, in my searches I came across DoYogaWithMe.com and fell in love. Not only does it have full-length videos, but you can search all sorts of options in different skill levels such as video length, yoga for sports, different muscle groups, pregnancy, you name it! They even have guided and unguided meditation sound clips as well. Anyone who I talk to who mentions yoga I’m always throwing this site at and I’ve never had bad feedback. There are hundreds if not thousands of videos so you never get bored. You can save videos in your profile for future reference or just so you don’t have to have a million bookmarks in your browser. It’s a great way to create a routine of gratitude and mental health and to also a great way to see if you enjoy it. Some people will use this as their main source of practice, others as a gateway to test themselves to see if they wish to pursue that studio yoga life before committing to their memberships.

Signup and membership to DoYogaWithMe.com is free forever, however they do have an option to be a $5/month subscriber to give you, even more access, their site is expanding rapidly so $5/month if you choose to take that option is a drop in the hat, plus it keeps them running, and no I do not get kickback from them or am paid by them. Every year the site also invites it’s members to a yoga retreat, this past year was in Croatia, each year it is a different destination, something that has been on my bucket list for quite some time.

One of the classes I suggest if you are just starting out is Beginner Basics in Flow by Fiji McAlpine. It is a 75-minute class but there are shorter ones out there if you don’t have the time. Fiji is by far my favorite instructor on the site, some are a bit too “hippy” for me if you know what I mean, but to each their own! They have added some new instructors in the past year however and I am very excited to give them a try as well. If you are an early riser or are the type of person who likes to workout in the morning, give Rise and Shine by Fiji a shot, it’s not a beginner class but a great intermediate class with variations to poses if you are a beginner-intermediate. Rise and Shine is only 35 minutes so it can be pretty easy to fit into your morning before starting your day.

A lot of people have a hard time mentally disconnecting from their checklist of chores they need to be doing around the house, or those episodes recorded on their PVR just itching to be watched, but once you get into making yoga at home a habit it becomes really easy to switch your mindset. Some tips I have for creating a relaxing practice environment at home are:

Dim the lights, or turn them off and light a candle if dimming is not an option, it creates a serene atmosphere to unwind, it also helps you focus solely on the video and not the vacuuming you need to do.

If you are a parent, put toys or other kid/baby items out of sight or do it in a room that is adult-ified, again, just to help clear your mind.

A yoga mat, this is a given, however, some people like to just use their floor and that is totally fine! It just may be uncomfortable at times in some positions and you may not be able to fully enjoy it.

Choose a time of day that you know you are 100% distraction free, kids nap time, in the morning before going to work, before bed, choose a time that you don’t normally have scheduled for other things, or simply make the time.

Close your curtains. Funny enough, in our old apartment, even with my lights off, when I thought I was safe from leering eyes I wasn’t, it was a little unnerving and interrupted my practice because I had to go close the blinds.

Make sure you can see the screen of your tv, computer, or whatever you’re using to watch/listen to your class on is easy to look up at.

Check your internet connection, if your internet is shotty you may have a skippy video, so not zen.

In regard to yoga mats, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg, wait until you are ready to invest in a really great mat. If you are just starting out some places to check out are Superstore, Winners, or pretty much any sporting goods store! Remember you really don’t need a lot of space for yoga, just enough space for you, your mat, and whatever you are watching it on. I hope that this post inspires you to move your body and relax. If you have found any other sites or links feel free to share in the comments below!
Namaste