The idea of practicing at home is great. No time constraint, more freedom to do whatever our bodies are asking for that day, self-care time, no extra fees or payments to practice yoga… & with the expansive and growing communication platform we have at our very fingertips (the internet), we can get full yoga classes and even one-on-one consultations with real-life yoga teachers through a video call on our computers in the comfort of our own home. Yet it seems that for the majority, when we go to practice at home it seems almost impossible. I know for me when I first started to develop a home practice, it was so hard for me to focus. I was constantly getting distracted by things I had to get done, noticing parts of my house that needed to be cleaned, and of course the little fur babies in my household that came running the moment I rolled out the mat.
Over the years, I have started to develop my own home practice and its the staple for my self-study. It changes everyday. Sometimes I need to move, sometimes I need to sit, sometimes I need to read and sometimes I need to chant. Sometimes I need all of the above.
Don’t get me wrong, I still readily go to studio classes as much as I can. However, my home practice gives me the option to just chill out in a restorative pose for twenty minutes without any questions asked. It’s liberating, and I’m hoping to give you some tips to create this for yourself!
Create a sacred space. I live in a one bedroom apartment with my husband and three cats. I used to try and do yoga in my living room and though I would sometimes succeed, it always seemed challenging. It didn’t feel cozy, relaxing, and natural the way it did when I was in the intimate setting of a studio. So, I decided to put the table that we NEVER used for dining in storage and create a space. F.Y.I… It doesn’t have to be a large space, it can be a little corner of your living room. Mine has turned into a rather large space (sorry hubby!) because I keep all of my books, herbs, essential oils, props, journals, and plant-friends here. Also… less IS more… The less distractions the better… So keep it simple! (Pictured below is my updated space… after I originally posted I had a sudden urge to declutter + clean the entire space… this is the update! I’m telling you… Less is more 🙂 )
Create an alter. What I mean by this, is create a little area in your space that has some sacred meaning for you. It could be anything, a crystal or a rock that has a special meaning, a picture of a role model or a deity, a mantra that strikes you in all the right places or your favorite flower… Here is one (of my many) alters, pictured below
Surround yourself with comfort. Keep blankets, bolsters, and pillows readily available in your space (if you have straps or blocks, keep them somewhere too!). The worst thing is to be in a pose and realize you would be more comfortable with a blanket and have to get up and go get it… talk about a yoga-buzz-kill!
Keep a journal close by. Sometimes we can’t seem to get out of our own heads, and at that point, we just need to let it out. Write about what your feeling. Express what came up in the pose. Then maybe once you have gotten it down on paper, you’ll be able to be present with your practice. Also, some of the BEST ideas/realizations/memories come up in meditation, write them down afterward so you don’t forget!
Gift yourself the time. One of the most essential things that we gain not only from a home practice but just from yoga in general, is self-discipline. Yet, during our home practice it seems that our self-discipline is challenged more-so because we don’t have a teacher (in a classroom setting) telling us exactly what to do. So it can be very easy to convince yourself that you don’t have the time to contribute to your home practice when you realize during down-dog that you need to do a load of laundry, or clean the table that you just now are noticing is dusty… So. Give yourself the time. A good way to start is by committing to an entire hour/thirty minutes/even just TEN minutes without pulling yourself away. Put a timer on your phone and see if you can just leave it on the other side of the room while you get your practice on. You deserve it, so tell yourself that!
YOU-TUBE! You-tube is incredible. There are so many awesome yoga teachers that extend their teachings onto the internet… You can find full hour yoga classes, ten minute quickies, how-to-do-certain-yoga-poses, yoga for insomnia, pretty much anything you need is right at your fingertips with this platform. Take advantage of it! If you are a first-time-yogi, I recommend starting out with some beginners videos and maybe even reaching out to a yoga teacher that does online consultations. There are SO many of them out there… Just have to do the research!
Freestyle. This can seem so strange at first, especially if we are first-time-yogis. But if you have been developing your practice for awhile and are familiar with the yoga poses and breathing exercises, I invite you to try out some freestylin’ of your own. It doesn’t have to flow, and it doesn’t need to be something that you think too much into. Just see if you can listen to your body, notice what it needs, and take yourself wherever it wants to go. Trust yourself. Trust your body. Trust your intuition. It knows more than you realize.
Creating a home practice is challenging, yet liberating. The internet now has so many tools for us to use in the comfort of our own home and we should take full advantage of it! I hope you can do some loving, freeing, and comforting yoga with yourself and your body today (without any distractions :))
Peace, love, and ever-lasting gratitude,
P.S~ Keep an eye out on the blog over the next few weeks, I am working on my next big project… + this blog is just the beginning! Stay tuned my friends xo