Embarking on a yoga journey can be an empowering experience, especially when you are the captain of your own ship. Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to teach yourself yoga. By becoming your own instructor, you gain the liberty to customize your practice, working at your own pace and focusing on your unique needs. This article aims to offer a step-by-step pathway, demystifying the various aspects of yoga and enabling you to become your own best teacher.

Understanding the Basics

Before you roll out your yoga mat and start imitating poses, it's important to have a foundational understanding of yoga as a practice. A good starting point is to familiarize yourself with the core yoga philosophies known as Yamas and Niyamas. 


  • Ahimsa (Non-violence): Fosters an attitude of compassion towards yourself and others.
  • Satya (Truthfulness): Helps maintain integrity in your practice.
  • Asteya (Non-stealing): Respects the energy and resources around you.


  • Saucha (Cleanliness): Pertains to maintaining a clean body and practice space.
  • Santosha (Contentment): Teaches you to be content with what you have and where you are in your practice.

Once you've got a grasp on these fundamental concepts, you can start to explore the different styles of yoga, such as Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga, to see what might resonate with you.

How to Teach Yourself Yoga

Selecting Your Focus

Now that you've understood the roots, it's time to decide what you hope to achieve through your self-guided yoga journey. Each yoga style has its unique characteristics and benefits, and your choice should align with your goals.


  • Flexibility: If your main objective is to become more flexible, styles like Yin Yoga might be suitable.
  • Strength: For those looking to build muscle and physical endurance, Ashtanga or Power Yoga is worth considering.
  • Relaxation: If peace of mind is what you seek, then Restorative Yoga or Kundalini could be your path.

Picking a Yoga Style

You don't have to limit yourself to one style forever, but having a starting point can be extremely beneficial. This helps you set a direction for your practice and allows for more focused learning and improvement.

Choosing your focus and aligning it with a specific yoga style can be instrumental in effectively teaching yourself yoga. It sets the stage for a more targeted, and thereby rewarding, practice.

The Role of Online Resources

In the age of information, teaching yourself yoga has never been more accessible. Online resources play a crucial role in self-learning, offering a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

  • YouTube Tutorials: There are countless YouTube channels dedicated to yoga, from beginner-level instruction to advanced practices. Some popular channels include "Yoga With Adriene" and "Fightmaster Yoga."
  • Yoga Apps: Apps like "Down Dog" or "My Yoga Life" provide structured lesson plans and pose libraries, enabling a self-paced, organized learning experience.
  • Online Communities: Platforms like Reddit and specialized yoga forums are valuable for gaining insights from fellow practitioners, resolving doubts, and sharing your own journey.
  • eBooks and Blogs: Many experts have penned down their knowledge and experience in eBooks or blogs. These written resources can provide in-depth information and different perspectives that you may not find in video content.

Creating a Home Yoga Space

Having a dedicated yoga space at home can significantly enhance your practice by providing a focused environment free from distractions.

Choosing the Location 

Opt for a quiet, well-lit area where you can lay your yoga mat flat. Ensure the space is clean and free of clutter.

Essential Items


Consider adding elements like candles, essential oil diffusers, or calming music to create a soothing ambiance.

Developing a Routine

Consistency is key to making significant progress when you're teaching yourself yoga. Here's how to go about developing a routine that sticks:

  • Start Small: Especially if you’re a beginner, starting with just 10–15 minutes a day can help you build the habit without overwhelming yourself. Here are 6 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners.
  • Gradual Progression: Once you’re comfortable, aim to extend the duration and complexity of your sessions, perhaps by introducing new poses or focusing on more advanced techniques.
  • Set Achievable Goals: Whether it's mastering a particular pose or meditating for an extended period, having achievable goals can offer motivation and a sense of direction.
  • Monitor Progress: Keeping track of your practices can offer you valuable insights into your progress and areas that need improvement. This can be as simple as maintaining a yoga journal.

Through leveraging online resources, crafting a conducive home yoga space, and developing a consistent routine, you are well on your way to becoming proficient in the art and science of yoga.

Techniques for Self-Assessment

To successfully teach yourself yoga, self-assessment becomes an essential tool. It allows you to understand where you stand and what aspects require attention.

  • Video Recordings: Record your yoga sessions to observe your postures, alignments, and transitions. Watching these recordings can offer insights into your technique and help you identify areas for improvement.
  • Reflective Journaling: Maintain a yoga journal where you jot down your experiences after each session. Note down the difficulties you faced, the ease with which you executed certain poses, and how you felt physically and mentally.
  • Peer Review: If possible, have a friend or family member who is knowledgeable about yoga observe your practice. They can offer valuable third-party insights into your technique and alignment.
  • Physical Milestones: Set up a checklist of poses or sequences that you want to master. As you become comfortable with them, tick them off the list. It serves as a practical way to gauge your progress.

How to Handle Challenges

When teaching yourself, encountering challenges is inevitable. How you deal with these obstacles can significantly impact your progress.

Physical Challenges

  • Overcoming Stiffness: Start with simple, less strenuous poses and gradually work your way up.
  • Avoiding Injury: Listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard, especially in more complex poses.

Mental Blocks

  • Loss of Motivation: Keep reminding yourself of the benefits of yoga and the goals you've set.
  • Overwhelm: If you're finding it hard to cope with a large array of techniques and poses, scale back and focus on mastering the basics first.

Resources for Troubleshooting

  • Revisit online tutorials or literature that cover the challenging areas in depth.
  • Join online yoga communities to ask questions and seek guidance from more experienced individuals.

Handling challenges requires a balanced approach that involves physical care, mental resilience, and the judicious use of resources. With these strategies, you'll be better prepared to overcome obstacles and continue your yoga journey.

Yoga Communities and Further Learning

Being a part of a community can significantly aid your yoga journey. Here's how:

  • Online Forums: Platforms like Reddit, specialized yoga websites, or even Facebook groups can offer insights, answer queries, and provide a sense of community.
  • Yoga Challenges on Social Media: Participating in month-long challenges on platforms like Instagram can motivate you and also expose you to different styles and poses.
  • Local Yoga Events: Check if there are any local workshops, free outdoor classes, or other yoga-related activities in your area. These can provide direct interaction with instructors and peers.
  • Advanced Courses and Workshops: Once you've gotten a grip on the basics, consider enrolling in specialized workshops or courses to deepen your knowledge. 


Teaching yourself yoga is a rewarding yet challenging task. From understanding the basics and selecting your focus to using online resources, setting up your space, and evaluating your progress, there are multiple aspects to consider. Utilize the techniques for self-assessment and face challenges with well-defined strategies. Don't forget that the yoga community, both online and offline, can be a significant source of knowledge and inspiration. With dedication and the right approach, self-taught yoga is not just achievable but also deeply enriching.