Establish a home yoga practice this year!
Establishing a home yoga practice can be challenging. The calm feeling you get when you enter a spacious, warm and uncluttered yoga studio space can be impossible to replicate at home. Distractions abound! Even finding enough space to put down a yoga mat can be difficult. But it can be done.
First, remember that yoga is a practice and the journey is more important than the outcome. The making of a little space for yourself is a part of your journey. Look around your home and find a place that can accommodate your mat, and clear the space so you can easily put your mat down when the time arrives. Decide which direction you will face on your mat, and place a candle or make a small alter at the front. Depending on the amount of space you have, you may decide to keep this space sacred and make your dedication to yoga part of your permanent living space. For many of us, it is more practical to make a conscious decision to keep the space uncluttered so that it can be easily converted to a yoga space when the time arrives.
You now have a space. Step on to your mat. It is that simple. Do one pose, tadasana and move into standing sun breath. See what speaks to you from here. Do not overthink your home practice, just arrive and allow. There is no need to commit to an hour, or to any amount of time. The beauty of your home practice is that you listen to your body and find the teacher within. You can wear whatever you want. You can chant or go right into savasana. You can keep going, repeating the poses you love, or slow it down, savoring the time you take to get in to each pose. You can take your time in child’s pose or do sun salutations over and over. Gaze at your candle and hold a balance pose. There is no right or wrong, just practice.
Distractions happen. Dogs come to occupy your mat, cats curl up on your lap when you meditate, and kids show up to watch and offer commentary, and your partner decides it is a good time to talk. This is the practice of yoga. It is learning to be present and receive the gifts of your life. It is letting go of expectations and goals, of returning to your breath and being mindful of your response to the distractions. This is yoga, this is life.
Establishing a home practice is a profound step in moving forward with your yoga practice. You may attempt a home practice and abandon it many times before it becomes a habit. Let go of perfection or of fear of failure. This is your practice. Take a breath and start.