It took me years after I started going to yoga to start have a home practice.
I couldn’t find the time or the energy to do it for ages. The idea of a home practice was tempting but I never actually did anything about it.
It is at a particularly stressful time in my life that I felt the need to start doing yoga everyday.
Things were changing around me in a way I didn’t like and I reached for my yoga mat to try and find some peace of mind.
My yoga home practice had begun.
It helped me so much.
These 15 minutes a day were like a mini ocean of peace, when my fears and worries would leave me alone for a bit.
That was 7 years ago and my home practice is still going strong.
It didn’t go smoothly though and there were plenty of time during these 7 years when my practice disappeared for days – or even weeks – at a time.
So what did I notice when I was or wasn’t sticking to my home yoga practice?
The funny thing is that it took me not doing my practice for a while to notice the benefits of it.
When I was doing my practice:
I felt calm
My body was moving easily and comfortably
I slept well
My anxiety was pretty low
When I couldn’t be bothered to do it:
My fuse was a lot shorter and I would get annoyed at the people around me
I was a lot more emotional
My body felt heavy and stiff
My anxiety would slowly start to creep back up
So from first-hand experience, I can tell you that having a home practice will bring you:
A body that is more comfortable
A mind that is calmer and quieter
A more positive outlook to life
A break from your anxiety
So now, how do you make it work??
Decide on how long you want to practice
Check your diary or your general daily schedule and decide on how long you can commit to a daily yoga practice.
Don’t be over ambitious. It is better to start with 10 minutes a day and find out that you can do more than get disheartened because you can’t find the 30 minutes you have committed to.
Pick a time & commit to it
Again, look at your diary or daily schedule and pick a time when you can commit to your practice. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day.
Whatever time you choose though, mark in your diary or calendar as non-negotiable. If you need to, tell the people around you that you are unavailable at that time.
Listen to your body
Some days you will feel energetic and ready to go through a full sequence of poses.
Some days you will feel like doing a relaxation and calling that your practice.
And both are absolutely fine!
Whatever you do, make sure it is what you want to do. Make sure it is what feels right for your body.
End with a relaxation
The benefits of the yoga poses and sequences really sink in your body during the relaxation. So, no matter how long or short your practice, make sure that you always allow at least 2-3 minutes at the end to rest in the crocodile pose or to do a mini relaxation.
Look at it as a time for yourself
Doing the practice is one thing, but the way you approach it is equally important.
Consider this time as a time off that you are taking for yourself.
You definitely don’t want to approach this time as another thing on your to-do list.
Be gentle with yourself
Once you’ve picked the amount of time you are dedicating to your practice and when you are doing it, do try and stick to it. But equally, cut yourself some slack!
If you miss a day, you miss a day. Don’t make it a big deal and get back to it the following day.