Here at the Yoga Loft, we are *so* pleased when students choose to practice at our school.
We know that nothing beats practicing live, in-person, with your favorite teacher in a group of supportive and kind yogis.
However, the practice of yoga can be very personal and sacred. Sometimes the biggest break-throughs come when practicing alone, in silence, with the permission to have any kind of reaction that comes up during deep breathing and thoughtful movement.
I remember the first time that my yoga teacher said, “You can try this pose at home!” And that very day, I started building a short, humble home practice that has served me well for a decade now.
Developing a home practice can be challenging and if you talk to most people that have a home practice, solo practices tend to be much shorter and less intense than a group class because we are not as likely to push ourselves without a teacher present. Household distractions like laundry and letting the dog out come up all the time. There will always be something at home to keep you off your mat.
Here are some tips for developing a reasonable, sustainable home practice.
- Set aside 20 minutes to start and block off that time in your schedule the same way that you would a work obligation or any important event. The only way this works is if you consider the time non-negotiable.
- Take care of everything that you can so that when you choose to unroll your mat, these sacred 20 minutes will not be filled with thoughts about what else you could or should be doing.
- It might be helpful to have a plan, it might not! Think about how your teacher sequences his or her classes. Start with a centering pose (lying down or seated) to establish a smooth, even breath pattern and to set an intention. Incorporate light, easy warm up poses before trying standing poses. Try an easy backbend after standing poses and then a couple seated forward folds before resting on your back in Savasana. Practice what you know and don’t concern yourself with replicating what you do in class. This is your home practice, after all!
- Set a timer when it’s time to rest in Savasana. Honor that time that you’ve created to balance your work with rest. Even if you only lie down for three minutes, it’s important that you take that time to practice rest.
- Consider creating a dedicated space for your home practice so that you can leave your mat out and see it whenever you walk by that room. It may provide a friendly reminder and make it easier for you to incorporate a spontaneous downward dog or vinyasa into your day.
Do you already have a home practice? Leave any additional tips in the comments section of this post! And if you choose to start a home practice this week, please let us know how it goes. XO
Thank you for reading! ~ Megan