The Unexpected (and Obvious) Joys Of Yoga At Home

For years I resisted practicing yoga at home because (1) I like to have someplace to go, (2) I like to be around people, and (3) I like to do yoga in a serene laundry-free, bill-free space. But now that I've started, I see there are some major perks to at-home workouts...

You're Already There A few times each week I walk 2 miles to a public pool, and though I just consider that hike part of my workout, sometimes it feel so, so far. SO FAR. Doing yoga at home right after work, without having to endure a long walk, hills, and rain to do it, has been such a joy.
But Nobody Else Is Perhaps it's because I work in the service industry, or perhaps it's a fact of city life, but sometimes I just want to be alone, please. Practicing yoga all by my lonesome has not been at all lonely, at least so far, and I love the solitude- just me, my breath, and the birthday mix my friend Michelle made me.
And It's Free! Yoga classes are a wonderful investment (a friend maintains that health insurance should cover them, since she hasn't gotten sick once in the years since she started practicing), but they are an investment. Since I'm not spending any money on classes, perhaps I can save up to buy the Transformer Yoga Mat I've always wanted. No, I'll probably just ask for it for Christmas.
A Clean Little Corner You don't need much space to practice yoga, only about 6-feet by 6-feet (or your height by your wingspan, approximately), but in order to not feel cramped, a 10-feet by 10-feet is nice. This is one-quarter of my apartment, so if I always keep it clean and clear, my apartment is always one-fourth clean! Since this space is becoming "Reserved For Yoga" in my mind, I find myself less likely to throw clothes or shoes on the floor there. Cleaning up in order to exercise is no fun (and it's not like I need any deterrent), so I'm trying to keep it clean, all the time.
A Shower When You Want It Most After a sweaty yoga session, you want to shower right away, not after a long walk or bus ride home. And even if your gym has showers, you'll probably want to shower again after that long walk or bus ride home. Your at-home yoga studio is probably just a few feet away from your shower. That's luxury.

(Please note: I highly, highly recommend studying yoga with a qualified instructor, especially if you're new to the practice. They can guide you, inspire you, and — most importantly — protect you from injury. At-home yoga is great once you feel confident, but even then refresher classes with an experienced teacher will keep you safe and on-track.)

Image: Flickr member stevedepolo licensed for use by Creative Commons