One of the biggest challenges for me as a Yoga teacher has been around maintaining a steady Yoga practice of my own, and not letting it slip out of my days even on my busiest weeks. Even for people who aren’t Yoga teachers, showing up to your practice on your own every day can be a challenge when you’re habituated to a certain Yoga teacher or studio who may not always be accessible. Considering that daily practice is our best hope for a sound mind in a sound body, it’s worth looking at ways to enable it.
Here are some of the tips that have worked best for me over my 8 off years of teaching Yoga:
- Keep your Yoga mat rolled out at all times This makes perfect sense to me because my mat is as relevant to me as my furniture, if not more. I wouldn’t fold up a chair and stash it in a corner once I’m done sitting on it, so why pack off our mats into corners? Between wherever you may be and getting on the mat, stand a thousand splendid excuses. The huge benefit of keeping your mat always rolled out is that it short-circuits the excuse-making process that the brain is so good at.
2. Schedule a fixed time slot everyday, starting small
Even 5 minutes a day makes a difference, so start with whatsoever little time you can carve out for yourself. A fixed time slot lays down a set rhythm and pace to swim into everyday, cementing the habit a bit more each time. And there’s way less opposition from the to-do-lists in your head when you’ve blocked a certain time slot for a specific purpose.
3. Wear non-restrictive clothing
Make it a habit to live in clothes that let you move as free as possible in every direction, made of fabric that lets your skin breathe. At least in your own home. You’re far more likely to land up on the mat and to move more in general, if your body isn’t imprisoned in restricting attire. And haven’t we all heard that our bodies are about 70% water? Wouldn’t you rather keep all that water moving more than stagnating?
4. Making S P A C E
A Yoga practice has so much to do with making space for yourself, for your body, its sensations, for old and new feelings to be felt and released, for observations and insights, and most regally – for the breath. Making space for anything – not just Yoga – is how we give permission for it to happen, unfold and leave its imprint on our lives. So make space in whatever way you can, whether it’s an overcrowded wardrobe, email inbox or long-held grudges jostling for precious space in your life. De-clutter and watch your spaces – both physical and beyond – expand and transform. Making space for a Yoga mat in your living space is a great first step in this direction.
Hope these tips help you begin and maintain a steady home practice 🙂
Be sure to ask your Yoga teachers at the Barcelona Yoga Conference for their personal suggestions on how to maintain a home Yoga practice, as every teacher has their own ways of meeting their practice.
Let me know in the comments if you have any additional ideas/suggestions!