I used to have a really hard time practicing yoga at home. I just found it hard to focus and to really get into that yogic state of mind. Like in mid practice my mind was spinning so bad and I am telling you, I could pretty much get off the mat in the middle of the Warrior Sequence to check e-mails, clean the cat litter box or start folding laundry.
By Petra Axlund Stegman
My mind was literally a spinning monkey mind. That was obviously happening to me in yoga class as well, but at home it was like all my discipline and dedication just went out the window. And yes … I think I can see quit a few heads nodding out there now. So if this is happening to you, just now that you are not alone and know that you are not a hopeless lost case. You can get a wonderful home yoga practice. I promise! So start being really kind to yourself and get rid of all those crazy expectations. That you are going to practice for 90 minutes and that it’s going to be perfect, life changing and spectacular. So why don’t you just roll out your mat and see what happens. Just that easy. Roll out your mat and see what happens. Maybe start laying down, seated or even standing. Close your eyes and just feel. Your body will tell you if you get quit enough and just listen. My life has been kind of crazy and fast lately so yesterday I did a slower practice where I held every pose for 10 deep breaths. It wasn’t important what poses I did, I just flowed and did what the body wanted to do, allowed it to be authentic and effortless while holding each pose or 10 breaths. It is pretty cool what happens when you slow things down and allow your soul to kinda catch up with your body. In your home practice you have the freedom to check in and do everything in your own pace.
10 TIPS FOR A GREAT HOME YOGA PRACTICE
1. Start super simple and easy. Just roll out your mat and see what happens. No expectations.
2. Write down your 5 favorite yoga poses on a piece of paper and then just do those 5 poses. Nothing more, nothing less. If you start this simple and with poses you love you will start to associate your home practice with something you want to do, not something you have to do.
3. Then create a simple sequence that you practice at home. It can be super simple; a few warm up Sun Salutations, one or two standing poses, a balancing pose, a back bend, a twist, seated stretch and then Savasana and short meditation. Practicing the same poses every day repeatedly is a powerful way to keep consistent with your practice.
4. Make a promise to yourself to practice at home every day. Maybe promise yourself 5 or 10 minutes on the mat, then everything over that is a bonus. Starting small and being realistic is they key, you need to be able to stick to your commitment.
5. Try to practice at the same time every day. Create a routine and be consistence. Just like brushing your teeth you want your home practice to be a habit you just do without really thinking about it.
6. Create a space for your home practice. This does not mean you need to have a special yoga room. It might be a corner in your bedroom, just reserve a spot for your practice. You can decorate with paintings, create an alter, have candles or incense. It doesn’t matter as long as you love it and as long as it feels like your own yoga sanctuary.
7. If your main practice is at home, I suggest you go to a yoga studio at least once a month for a “tune up”. Maybe take a class or a workshop. Just to have your teacher check alignment and bring attention to areas of your practice that need assistance – and also to get motivation and inspiration for your home practice.
8. There will always be sounds and noises around you (unless you have a sound proof room in your house) so don’t let that steel your peace. It does not matter if someone is talking in the other room, if your neighbors playing load music or cars honking outside. Take that as an opportunity to practice letting go and just watch your reactions to the distractions. And truth is that most of the sounds and noises comes from inside your own head.
9. Yoga Journal is a great resource to get information and motivation. This link goes to their great page with home practice articles and tips.