Yoga at home can be hard. At the studio, there are the judging glances of other yogis and yoginis (probably not, but it can seem that way) or the raised eyebrow of the instructor to keep you on task, but at home it's a little easier to just skip it.
Maintaining a consistent yoga practice at home is tough; it requires significant dedication and motivation. Often, I find the dedication is there. I want to do yoga, but the motivation is lacking. I start to rationalize: "I don't really need to do yoga today. I do yoga all the time. I can take my rest day early this week. I'll find time on Sunday," and so on and so forth. But I have developed a few strategies that help me transition nicely into my practice on days when that nagging reluctance tries to keep me away.
- Simply put on your yoga clothes. No pressure. They're comfortable, right? Just slide into your yoga duds and see what happens.
- Start slow. Allow yourself to begin with an open-ended meditation. Sit on a cushion, or get comfortable in child's pose or a supported reclining bound angle. Just breath. If you choose, this can be your practice, but in my experience, I'm ready start moving after a brief meditation. If you feel so inclined, move on to some sun salutations, giving yourself permission to end the practice once you've completed however many are comfortable for you. Carry on with this "just one more" attitude. It's gotten me through many a reluctant practice.
- Be accountable. Engage your spouse or a good friend, and ask them to check in with you about your practice. If this is not a viable option for you, start keeping a practice journal, or better yet, a practice blog. I have tried keeping practice journals in the past, but have not been diligent enough to document any progress. My experience blogging about my practice, however, has been very motivating. The idea that someone out there might be reading about my practice, and maybe even relating to my experience and rooting for me in my efforts, is hugely inspiring.
- Insulate your yoga space. Play unobtrusive music while you practice to drown out distracting noise. If you are averse to music during your yoga, I've found that the airy hum of the humidifier in my yoga space works beautifully for blocking out the boyfriend's music in the other room, all the while improving the air.
- Make space for your practice in your home. You don't need much. Be it a whole room or a quiet corner dedicated to your practice, designate a space that you can keep clean and free from interference. Set up an altar, with candles, or don't. All you need is a clean space with enough room to stretch out and unroll your mat, but try to keep it sacred, even if only in your mind.
- Make space for your practice in your life. Commit time to your practice. Make it a priority. It's much easier said than done, but most anyone can carve out at least 30 minutes a day, or a few times a week, if they have the desire. Be flexible. If you can't wake up at 5:00 AM, try practicing after work, or before you go to bed. Practice at different times on different days, if you must. Just do it often. The more you practice, the easier it will become.
I hope this helps anyone who might be eyeing their mat gathering dust in the corner.