Nine Tips for a Successful Home Yoga Practice

Let’s face it. We all live busy lives. Most of us can barely carve out one hour once a week for yoga class, let alone several. Unfortunately, yoga practiced that infrequently is unlikely to yield long-term benefits. The solution? Supplement your studio practice with yoga at home. Below are some hints to get you started.

Guidelines for a Successful Home Yoga Practice

  • Short and simple beats long and complex every time. Why wait until you have a spare hour? Three twenty-minute practices each week will yield significantly better results than a single sixty minute one.
  • Yoga is more than asana. Only have five minutes?  Try a simple breath or meditation session. The mental and emotional benefits from ten minutes of deep breathing can be profound.
  • Make your practice place special. Most people don’t have a yoga room in their home, but you can turn any room into a sacred practice space. Dim the lights; light a few candles; ring a pair of Tibetan chimes. Create a ritual that signals the transition from daily life to practice.
  • Celebrate success. Give yourself a mental high-five each time you practice, whether it’s for sixty seconds or sixty minutes. If you chastise yourself for not practicing, you never will. Instead, celebrate each and every time your feet land on your mat.
  • Integrate or distract kids and pets. Pets love interrupting yoga practice, so give them something else to do instead. Feed Fluffy some tuna; give Fido a chew toy; pop a Looney Tunes DVD in the player for the kids. And if you can’t distract them, have them join you. Yoga with the kids might become your favorite part of the day.
  • The best time to practice is when you’ll actually do it. Be honest with yourself. If you’re more likely to win Lotto than get up fifteen minutes early, don’t plan to practice at 5:00 AM.  Morning, lunch time, evening, before bed….Any time is yoga time.
  • When you get discouraged—keep going!   There will be days that you don’t want to practice. Days that you don’t have time to practice. Practice anyway. Remind yourself what you love about yoga. If that doesn’t work, take the advice of dog trainers everywhere and treat yourself for practicing. I understand chocolate is particularly effective. 😉
  • Schedule practice time on your calendar—in ink! If you practice whenever you can squeeze it in, you’ll never unroll your mat. Choose a consistent time, write it down, and set up a reminder system.  Make your practice a priority.
  • Above all else, enjoy yourself!  Yoga is truly a gift.  Treasure it!

What has worked for you? Please let me know by leaving a comment.

Namaste

Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and join my author mailing list for updates on MURDER STRIKES A POSE, available January 8, 2014 from Midnight Ink!

10 thoughts on “Nine Tips for a Successful Home Yoga Practice

  1. Thekla Richter

    Love these Tracy! Two more things that have worked for me have been:

    * Piggyback it on an existing daily habit – do it right before or right after something specific that already happens consistently in your daily routine. Like, “after my morning coffee/tea” might be easier to stick to than “at 7 am.”

    * In addition to making your practice place special, keep your yoga stuff– mat/props/yoga books/home practice worksheet/comfy clothing etc– in one accessible spot, like a single shelf or basket. Having to locate a few scattered objects can be a big mental blog to getting started. Make it easy to say yes to yourself.

    See you in class tomorrow!

    Reply
  2. Allen Moore

    This is a great post. Hopefully it will entice more people to practice outside of class, opening the door to the long-term benefits of yoga. My own practice is brief and focused (“Short and simple…”) and is part of my early-morning routine (“The best time to practice…”), so it always gets done.
    @Thekla: Good points! I do my practice immediately after my aerobic workout (“Piggyback…”), and all my props are kept close by.

    Reply
  3. Lisa M.Randall

    Thanks for sharing useful information. Yoga helps us to become fit and healthy. Doing yoga at home is very good idea. In daily busy schedule, we don’t have enough time to go outside for yoga practices. But one thing always keeps in mind, try those yoga poses in which you are expert or you have proper knowledge about that. Some yoga poses will harm you if you don’t have proper knowledge about that. So try the yoga poses at home once you get complete information about that.

    Reply
  4. Peg Cochran

    I love the idea that 20 minutes, three times per week is better than one whole hour–who has an hour on top of everything else? Do you have a suggestion for a series of poses that would take about 20 minutes and be good for someone returning to yoga after several years? My dog LOVES when I try to do yoga, and thinks it’s the perfect time to wash my face…hopefully he’ll get bored if I do it often enough!

    Reply
    1. Whole Life Yoga Post author

      Hi Peg. I should really write a blog article on a 20 minute practice, shouldn’t I! My lineage believes in customization, so it’s hard to come up with global recommendations. However I often recommend the book YOGA FOR YOUR LIFE by Margaret and Martin Pierce. It has lots of short practices, and it’s beautifully photographed. It’s out of print now, but you can still find it on Amazon. That’s where I’d start! http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-For-Your-Life-Practice/dp/0915801604

      Reply
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