Fall in love with your home yoga practice.
Before being forced to practice at home, how many times did you skip your yoga
practice because you couldn’t make it to the studio?
I get it, you were busy, stuck in traffic, tired, hangry, the class didn’t sound like what
you needed that day… the list of reasons goes on. I know, because I did it too!
While no one could’ve dreamt that we would be forced to discover a home practice
by way of quarantine, I’m grateful for this opportunity to dig in and create a new
ritual. I had a mediocre, but somewhat consistent home practice that often consisted of turning the video off when it got difficult, and always ended with me leaving my yoga mat spread out in the middle of the room for 3 days afterward. Sounds ok, but I live in a 1,000 sq ft condo, so the mat became more of a floor runner / bed for the dog because I was too lazy to roll it up when I was done with it.
So, what’s changed?
When we were forced to practice from home, I actually took the time to set up a
yoga-nook in our home where our mat can stay rolled out!! Instead of setting up my
mat in the middle of whatever the current situation was in my living room, I
surrounded myself with candles, plants and my gem collection.
And you know what? There are some major benefits I’ve been experiencing from a
consistent home practice, which I’m excited to share with you in this post. Don’t get me wrong, there have been challenges.
One positive thing I’m leaning into is the new flexibility that comes with my home
practice—and I don’t mean physically. Before stay-at-home, I was practicing for an
hour 3-4 times a week, either at home or at the studio. My “old” home practice
always involved watching pre-recorded videos. Now, I am consistently practicing 6
times a week and my ‘class’ varies from 15 minutes – 90 minutes. I usually take
three livestream classes at Up, and two from another studio or friend (maybe even
from across the country!). One “class” is usually a 15min warm-up / play with
different poses on my own. I always give myself one intentional day of rest, and
some weeks that turns into two or three.
Practicing at home has allowed me to give myself permission to shake things up in terms of timing and location—and I’ve found that it’s actually opened up my practice to more consistency!
Another piece of that flexibility I love is the ability to practice at different times of
day. What’s your favorite time of day to practice? I’ve learned that I personally enjoy
practicing in the morning as an access to shake off any tightness from sleep and set myself up for the rest of the day. And then I don’t have to try and fit it in once my day gets busy!
Have you noticed that you’re now able to take classes at times that never would
have worked for you before? Maybe try on some new classes! In the morning, you
might be physically tighter, but more mentally present because you don’t have a full
day of meetings/kids/driving that you’re holding on to. Hello, rolling out of bed at
5:55 for the 6am class! In the evening, your body is more open from moving all day,
but maybe your low back is tight from standing and your wrists hurt from typing.
Yoga can feel like a great release after a long day of work!
You’ve probably heard us say if you practice 1X a week you’ll change your mood, 3X a week you’ll change your body, 5X a week you’ll change your life! If you’ve found yourself practicing more often these days, what’s opened up for you? I’ve noticed that on mornings when I stay committed to my yoga routine, I feel more at ease with the day ahead of me, less anxious, and more focused. My inversion practice is also stronger because I take more time for practicing whenever I want to add it in to my class.
Certainly, I miss the heat and how much it helps my hips and hamstrings to
open—but to make up for it, I spend more time in the poses that allow opening, like
forward folds and half pigeon. And one good thing about not always practicing in the sweaty, hot studio? Getting ready after class is much faster!
What is your favorite thing about a home yoga practice? Maybe it is that you get the opportunity to discover what you need from your yoga practice. Instead of letting inertia and the teacher’s energy that day carry you, you get the opportunity to create exactly what you need for your day. When you hold yourself accountable to allowing your breath and intuition to guide you, you know if what you need is a light, flowy practice or a really challenging, deep practice. Holding yourself accountable to what you need for that day creates a new sense of love and appreciation for your body, mind and soul. Allow yourself to get creative, mess up, fall out, and start again!
I personally love that if I am running 10 minutes late, I don’t have to miss my entire
yoga class! Because let’s be real: I’m always running 10 minutes late, and I’m always hungry.
Having a home practice that you love means that you can create a practice that
works for you, in duration, energy and timing. When we’re back in the studio, I plan
on keeping my home practice alive for the 2-3 days a week that I don’t make it to the studio to continue to strengthen my practice and give myself more time for curiosity on my mat.
***A quick tip for the days you have all the reasons to skip yoga or when the couch
and Schitts Creek just looks way more appealing. 15 minutes (heck, even 5
minutes!) of breathing and moving intentionally, counts as yoga!! Stick through Sun
A + Sun B’s and allow that to be your warm-up. Sometimes it sucks in those first 10
min and you want to stop. Believe that you will feel better, physically and mentally.
Once your first 10 minutes are complete, you’ll be totally in your flow and glad you
stuck with it! You are on your way to changing your mood and how you show up for
the people around you.
I want to hear what’s working for you in your home practice! Share with us what is
new for you and what you plan to carry with you once we can practice in the studio again.