For years I always loved the idea of yoga but didn’t seem to be able to make to a studio on a regular basis. Because of this I never fully gained the benefits of a regular yoga practice. Through a home practice, I’ve been able to create a slow, deep practice that integrates into my daily routine. Whether you love power yoga, hot yoga or are a restorative junkie like me, I swear you will fall in love with what a home practice can bring into your life.
Don’t worry about the time. I tried in the past to start a yoga routine at home with countless DVD’s but never committed because honestly, with a toddler and a business to run, I don’t have time for an hour or even thirty minutes every day. So instead of trying to do a longer practice every day, commit to just five minutes. You can go deeper if you have the time, but if you only have the expectation of doing five or ten minutes it makes it so much easier to get on the mat consistently.
Pump up the jams. My practice changed immensely when I added music to it. Have fun and put on something that puts a smile on your face. It can be easy to believe that your yoga practice needs to be serious and slow, but it really doesn’t. It just has to make you happy. Indie Yoga, Sinatra, Cottage Bound and Barefoot Beach Chill are just a few of the playlists I bring to my mat.
Create a meditation/yoga kit. While it may not be feasible to set aside a special area of your house dedicated to your yoga practice, you can certainly set aside a meditation/yoga kit that you can easily move to any area of your house that will put you in the right frame of mind when it is time to practice. My yoga/meditation kit includes my yoga/meditation blanket, palo santo with a shell to burn it in, a lighter, my mala beads and my grounding and heart opening essential oils. I keep it in my bedside table, and when I’m ready to start my practice I can easily move it anywhere inside or into the backyard. When I unpack everything and set up my area all I need to do is add some music, and I’m instantly relaxed and in the right frame of mind. It’s also great for when you travel.
Find the right medium for yourself. I tried yoga DVD's and podcasts, but it wasn’t until I found printed routines that I really fell in love with my home yoga practice. Although I have some DVD’s that I adore, when I follow a written practice I’m able to stay in poses for as long as I like without fear of falling behind. It was a bit awkward stopping to look at the pages at first, but then I got in a routine and quickly memorized a few great sequences that allowed me to go deeper than when I’m following someone else's lead.
Involve your kids. If we wait for a time when everyone else is sleeping or otherwise occupied we might just be waiting forever. My three-year-old Owen loves to watch me practice yoga and direct me into different poses. Make it fun and allow them to join in. Yes, you might turn into a human jungle gym, but it’s a fun way to hang out and gets them excited about their own practice. Cosmic Kids Yoga videos are so adorable, and Owen loves when I put one on for him, and he can do his own yoga next to me when I practice.
A home practice allows you to receive the full benefits of a steady yoga and meditation practice without needing to make it to a class. Make it your own, have fun with it, and do what works for you.