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.