Many of us struggle with keeping up a consistent home practice. That’s why group classes are so appealing. Particularly at the end of a long day it’s wonderful to be told what to do, what to look for in a posture and what we should be feeling.
But they can also be hard to commit to when we’re tired. Sometimes the most important voice to connect to is our own. Connecting with ourselves in a home yoga practice helps us better hear the wiser teacher within, our more evolved consciousness.
Here’s 3 easy ways to get into a consistent relationship with your mat at home.
1.) Don’t psych yourself out time wise and set a goal that will feel intimidating.
An hour is great, but if you’ve only got 5 minutes then do just 5 minutes.
Find a time you can commit to consistently. Once you clear the air with yourself about setting aside an honest and manageable time you transform the attitude surrounding your practice from a chore to a treat that you can’t wait to do.
Once things start to feel fun and good you’ll be surprised how quickly 5 minutes flies by and you’ll be easily doing way more. Just keep it pressure free.
2.) Don’t confuse a home yoga practice with exercise. Too much baggage!
Don’t make this about burning calories or getting more fit.
You certainly CAN get stronger doing yoga. You can even get yoga-inspired fitness to help you reach certain physical goals. Make this time about a practice that just helps to reconnect you to a calmer place and feel good in the body.
Frame it this way: You do yoga, so you can do other kinds of movement classes better.
3.) Make it about you. NO RULES
(obviously, except for safety rules)!
That means no rules about the kind of movement you want to explore. If you feel like you need to explore forward bends in all their variations do just that. Do movement that doesn’t even “look like yoga postures, but that feels good.
If you bring conscious awareness, attention to the breath and the intention to sense what’s going on with your body and emotions than you’re doing Yoga. Don’t worry about not being able to think of any poses just start moving.
Inspire yourself with music. If you love your studio/gym classes, but never like the music this is your time to do what feels right for you! Play Jazz, Hip Hop, Metal (I, for one, love Pantera while in Down Dog), or…nothing. Do what what you want. This is what this time is for. Light candles, incense or do it in the dark.
Learn about yourself, what you need to feel restored and give yourself the gift of better well-being.
Written by Melissa Gutierrez, Yoga Instructor