Home Yoga Practice…the struggle is REAL.
Yes! I struggle with home yoga practice all the time, even after 2 years of home yoga practice! More often than not, home yoga practice feels more like a mental practice than a physical one. Practising yoga first thing in the morning is the hardest for me as I am not an early riser and the snooze button always gets the better of me. The number of times I have actually managed to get out of bed for morning yoga is less than 10 times in 2 years, haha! Would really like to have my yoga practice done before the day starts and I am still working towards that. My regular home yoga practice is usually in the evenings, after I get home from work. However, sustaining that is not easy too. After a long day at work, all you want to do is to laze on the sofa, watch TV, cook, and maybe catch as short nap when you are home. Sounds all too familiar? We are all in the same boat.
Here’s my 5 simple tips for Starting and Maintaining your Home Yoga Practice:
1. Find a good online source for practicing yoga
There are many great online yoga sites and videos out there and the one which I practice with is Yogaglo. Personally, I think that its one of the best sites to practice yoga online. Thanks to a wide variety of classes and awesome teaching team (think Kathryn Budig, Noah Maze, Dice Lida Klein etc)! You can filter classes according to their duration (ranging from 5mins to 90mins) , difficulty level (1,2,3 or mixed), body part and style of yoga you would like to focus on !
, 2. No Expectations
- First and foremost, don’t kill yourself over how long your practice is. No practice is too short or too long. On days when your energy level is low, 10 mins on the mat is better than not getting on the mat at all. On days when you feel more energetic, go for a 60 or 90mins class!
- Secondly, your family members, kids or pets who stay under the same roof may be walking around or even over you during your practice! Don’t be affected. Acknowledge the fact that your home is not a yoga studio. I used to practice at my mum’s place before I moved into my own. The mat space I had was in-front of a large wardrobe and my mum/sisters will sometimes “cross” my mat to retrieve things from the wardrobe. My dad used to stand at one corner to secretly peek at me. When you first start your home practice, you will inevitably feel affected by all these distractions, but don’t let that affect your time on the mat. Acknowledge their presence, breathe and just continue your practice (that is why its good to have a online video guiding you). After some time, your family will slowly “respect” your yoga space and try not to disturb or distract you during your practice. When you get past this stage, you will start to realise that yoga can truly be practiced anytime, anywhere, as long as you set the right intention.
3. Clear space for your practice
You don’t need a big space or 1 designated room for your home yoga practice. All you need is a space where you can place a normal yoga mat and you should be able to stand upright with arms reaching out to both sides without hitting anything. Having a wall nearby is ideal as you can use it to support your inversions, stretches or simply legs up the wall. You can always modify your practice to suit your space constraints (e.g. Yogaglo have classes for hotel yoga and yoga in small spaces)
4. Start SMALL and slowly build up
Give yourself at least one month to be comfortable with a home yoga practice. Start by practicing for 15-30mins each time, once or twice a week. As you become more comfortable, try doing a 45mins or 60mins class, once or twice a week. Then slowly start to “work out” a home yoga practice schedule, for example, Home Yoga every Monday and Thursday (morning or evening). Note it down in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone and commit to it. Small steps, baby progress.
5. Shift your Mindset
Last but not least, the most important and hardest thing is to shift your mindset from a “cant-do” (excuse) to a “yeah ok, its hard but I can do this”. On days when I am really lazy, I will quickly roll out my yoga mat and get changed to my yoga clothes, then select a short level 1 or yin yoga class, simply because I know that I'll never regret spending time on yoga!