As I write on this topic I am filled with emotions. This entry was inspired by a Facebook post looking for motivation to practice more yoga ‘at home alone’. I feel so passionate about this subject because my home practice is essential to my physical health, my mental health, really just my general quality of life.
I’m a stay at home, homeschooling mom of a 3 year old and almost 5 year old. Even if that’s something you cannot relate to, I’m sure you relate to some of these challenges: can’t get to a class, feeling like there’s never enough time, struggling to balance responsibilities with self care, aging, knowing what you need to do but doing the opposite, making excuses, procrastination, low energy, scattered energy, impatience, fill in the blank. All of these struggles are dramatically lessened when I prioritize my yoga home practice, when I carve out the time (Nights like tonight I only had 20 minutes. I rarely practice more than 45.), create a space (no matter how small), disconnect in order to deeply connect.
I think the idea of creating a home practice can be intimidating. Maybe you have a 90 minute class you go to and think you have to emulate that. Perhaps you truly feel like you do not have the time. That was a huge block for me. My youngest wakes me up insanely early so setting an alarm to practice before my day ‘starts’ is absurd and at night I just want to zone out and watch something mindless. Sometimes I do but the majority of the time I unroll that mat. In the beginning carve out 10 minutes. It’s likely you won’t want to stop at 10, but knowing that’s all you ‘have’ to do in a wonderful way to create a routine.
Sometimes I create a playlist. Often this is the only quiet time I have all day so silence in preferred. I set up modestly with just my mat and blanket in my girls’ schoolroom and honestly that’s enough. If you are someone who gathers inspiration from symbols, stones, scents, or plants and have the space, it may provide an easier transition into your practice time.
Even though my movement practice (mostly yoga but also some fitness and dance) is organic at this point I began by using my home practice principle of 3. What do I need? What I want? What am I avoiding? Try to let the first thing that comes to mind be ok. Resist overthinking. (For example: I need to stretch my shoulders. I want to move and build heat from the inside. I am avoiding stillness, particularly holding standing balancing postures. If I had 10ish minutes I would warm up my shoulders and practice seated cow face arms and eagle arms, then I’d move through a strong and mindful sun salute variation, lastly I’d hold eagle and if time dancer. ) The answers are constantly changing for me but sometimes if something is working for me I will continue with those answers and let the practice evolve. If my energy is depleted and a restorative practice makes sense, welcome that.
I’ve written about this before but I feel like acceptance is the key to most things. My home practice tonight was interrupted so many times but I kept coming back to it and it was shorter that I intended and certainly less focused I know without a doubt I’m better for those 20 minutes on my mat.
At this point in my life, my breath work and meditation practice is separate. I use the breath work and meditation to settle before bed but that practice can be part of your home practice, used to start the day, or peppered throughout. I will expand on meditation in another entry.
Why add a home practice into your life? By committing to 20 minutes of self reflection, dropping into my physical body, meeting myself on the mat exactly where I’m at (there’s no hiding from myself) I feel improved health, clarity, intuition, connection, and value to my days. I 100% have my moments where I loose it for sure but because I’ve practiced, I see it so clearly and can reset. My home practice brings me back to myself and not just what I do all day long. That is why I am so passionate about a home yoga practice, feel everyone is capable or creating one, and can benefit from it as I do.
Please feel free to comment with any questions!