I brush my teeth after almost every meal (I keep a toothbrush in my desk drawer). It feels weird, off, and frankly gross if I don’t.
Now, if I haven’t done my minimum of 5 sun salutations by the end of the day, it feels weird, off, and frankly gross. Doing yoga every day is as natural as brushing my teeth, which I guess is the goal of these 30 day challenges. My body has gotten used to being stretched out at some point during the day, and my mind used to taking a little vacation as I submerge myself in the rhythm of a practice. It’s amazing what even 5 minutes can do for your alignment – physical, mental, and emotional.
Doing yoga every day necessitates having a home practice – I don’t have the time (or money) to go to a yoga studio every day. Having a strong home practice means that I can do yoga more regularly, and tailor it to the amount of time I have and what I need. I try to go to at least one studio class a week to make sure I’m maintaining good form, get diversity in my practice, and maintain a sense of community.
This post on the Strala yoga blog reminded me that having a home practice can be challenging. Here are a few things I do to make a home practice work for me:
- Create Space: I live in a small studio, so I sleep, work, live, and do yoga in the same room. I don’t have the luxury of a separate space to do yoga – there’s barely even space for my mat on the floor. However, the act of moving my ottoman out of the way, lighting a candle, and rolling out my mat has become a little ritual that creates the mental space for me to practice yoga. I also turn off my phone and email notifications so that there are no distractions.
- Rock Out: I have created a few yoga playlists for my home practice for different moods and types of practice (and even times of day). It’s another way to create space and to make yoga fun. Try timing your practice to the music – it starts to feel like dancing.
- Be Led: You don’t have to do it alone – there is an abundance of free and pay classes online, both video and audio (refer to my recap below, the post on the first half of Yogust, and my Enlighten page). I like being led by someone else to make sure I have a well-rounded practice. I like not knowing what is coming next. It also helps me relax my mind by completely listening to someone else’s voice, rather than my own. Some of the audio classes I listen to are recordings of actual classes, so they satisfy the sense of community and gathering that a yoga class gives.
That said, I also want to work on having a stronger self-guided practice. Have any tips? Let me know in comments.