Developing a Successful Home Practice
Strategy for Successful Home Practice
Creating the conditions for your Rhythm & Routine
One of the most beautiful and liberating aspects of yoga is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or a designated building or field to practice. Yoga is available to you where ever you are at – as long as you are willing to approach it, and have a strategy..
In Yoga, we stretch and open our physical body, to promote a more easeful and comfortable flow of energy within the body so that we can sit for a long time – essentially we are creating the conditions in which meditation can occur. Similarly, to set ourselves up for a successful daily practice, we need to create the conditions in which your Rhythm & Routine can occur.
The willingness and desire to create a habit of Practice is not enough to sustain us on the path in and of itself. As we’ve all experienced by now on Day 4, motivation is transient – its comes and goes, ebbs and flows. Everything from our sleep last night to the conversation we just had can effect our motivation.
We need a strategy! We need to create the conditions in which practice can occur.
Developing a home yoga practice and committing to it is a profound tool for deepening into your own personal relationship with yoga. Here are some tools that have helped me in my home practice of Yoga:
1) Create a foundation for your practice: Start with a set sequence.
It can be powerful to repeat the same poses every day, Practicing the same poses every day helps you keep consistent with your practice. This repetition offers you a clear vantage point from which to watch yourself grow and change.
Let us know what you think in the comments at the bottom of the page.
2) Commit to a specific time of day & a minimum amount of practice time.
For some of us, first thing in the morning works best, for others its when you have a bit of time in the afternoon or before bed. Experiment with yourself, find a time that works best for you and stick to it. The more consistent you are, the more the habit of practice will be able to stick.
For me, I wake up every morning excited about coffee. So my first sip of coffee is my trigger for my first sit on the mat. I do my journaling, my coffee drinking, then I begin to open my body and meditate. What an you use as your practice trigger?
Choose a minimum amount of time that you are prepared to commit practicing for. Even if it’s just 5 , 10 or 15 minutes, make yourself a promise that you will do your time. That’s your practice – just that – everything else is bonus time! Start small (baby steps!); this way you can stick with your commitment and feel positive about your practice rather than guilty if you don’t have a lot of time/energy that day.
This is why we have our “big” and our “small” practice: Ultimately, it’ more important to establish a steady, grounded and stable routine of practices that we can sustain over long terms adding in bits and pieces as we journey through life.
3) Clear Space / Clear Mind: Sanctify your practice:
Our outer space reflects our inner space: Creating the conditions in which practice can occur is absolutely key.
Today we invite you to spend some time cleaning your bedroom or house. Start with making the bed, clearing off any surfaces that collecting scattered papers, cleaning out the nooks and crannies. Then noticed how you feel.
Creating a space in which you feel good and free to practice is key to a successful home practice. You want to create an intentional space, and I would even recommend creating a small altar of what it is that you want to focus right now. It can be simple. A candle and incense maybe a picture of someone who inspires you, maybe a crystal or something you found in nature that inspires you. Let it be uniquely and personally meaningful.
Create an altar. As you clean and look around your room look for objects or flowers, and arrange them in a beautiful place in your space of practice. You’re welcome to keep adding to the altar as you find things in nature or are gifted things from loved ones.Tadah! Now as you come to your mat each day, you can infuse your altar with your intuition and intention.
Alters our ancient tools of transformation, and act as a focus point for ritual, reflection and contemplation and a serve as reminder of your intentions, wishes, prayers and gratitudes for that which is the highest good within you.
4) Amazing Resources are all around. Use them!
There is so much inspiration all around – from yoga classes and community centers, to podcasts, online videos, yoga books, movies, documentaries and more. You can take online classes, read blog, visit Yoga website.
I love being a student and often will go to classes for a little tune-up.
Working with a great teacher can be a total game changer. Find someone whose style you resonate with and start to going to some of their classes. This will help bring attention to areas of your practice that need assistance, and it will also provide you with new inspiration and motivation for your daily home practice.
Tip: Some of the online resources I like to use when I am travelling are YogaGlo / See Hear Be Now / Yogadownload.com – all of which offer free trial memberships and classes with great, experienced teachers.
With Infinite Love & Endless Gratitude