One question that I’m often asked is, “I love yoga but I want to be able to practice at home instead of going to a yoga studio all the time. What are some tips to start and maintain a home yoga practice?” It seems like a relatively simple thing to do, right? Just roll out your mat and start moving through yoga postures, right?
But for many (myself included), keeping up with a home yoga practice can be difficult and challenging. I’m convinced that one of the reasons that it can be difficult to practice at home is because we expect our home practice to look and feel like our practice in a yoga studio. But it’s not the same. It’s going to be different, and once we let go of this expectation, it might be easier for us to start building a home yoga practice.
Why is a home yoga practice important?
While going to classes at a yoga studio is always a treat, sometimes, you can’t make it to class. It might be because of your schedule or because you’re traveling or because of financial reasons. Building a home practice allows you to get on your mat while also deepening your connection to yoga.
You see, when you go to class at a studio, it’s easy to just zone out, let your teacher take over and not really pay attention to what’s going on around you. OK, maybe that’s just me. But getting on your mat at home is a different dynamic. You are in charge, not only for moving your body through your practice but getting yourself (and your mind) to your mat in the first place.
A home yoga practice is really a mental practice. More than anything, it’s often our thoughts that keep us off our mat. If we can master those thoughts and nurture our home practice, then we are working towards mastering out mind – which is what yoga is all about.
- What’s keeping your from getting on your mat?
- What’s driving you to your practice?
- What do you expect to happen when you get there?
And, if you’re a yoga teacher, it’s critical that you have a home practice. It’s key to maintaining your inspiration as a teacher and to developing creative sequences that feel good on the body (versus looks good on paper).