Written by Anne Marie Herring, RYT-500, Austin Private Yoga
Practicing yoga at home connects you to your center and nourishes your body and mind. However, creating a consistent routine can feel challenging. Thankfully, there are steps you can take so that the whole process is a lot easier.
Consider what a home practice means to you.
A home practice can include anything that connects you to your center, your place of stillness and compassion. That can look very different for you as compared to your neighbor, since it is built to support your specific needs and interests.
Some home practices include pranayama (controlled breathwork), meditation (guided or on your own), asana (physical expressions of yoga), reading yoga philosophy, or prayer (however you communicate with a higher power). Experiment with what you enjoy and get the most out of – there is no right or wrong here!
Ask yourself some questions about building a routine to feel centered.
Q: What helps me feel settled in my mind and my body?
This might include lighting incense, sitting with the sounds and feelings of your environment, offering gratitude to your highest self, or gentle movement on a yoga mat.
Guided meditation like in the Waking Up app, pranayama based on Richard Rosen’s The Yoga of Breath, and exploring physical movements guided by your intuition, are great ways to support your home practice.
Q: What time of day would I be able to consistently practice at home?
If there is a set time that can be met every day, great. If that needs to change depending on the day, that’s great too! Either way, choose a time for each day of the week where you can be with yourself.
For many people, practicing first thing in the morning fits well with their schedule. The quietude of the morning and the experience of self-care before anything else, can set you up to be more mindful and present throughout your day. Winding down your day with your home practice though can ease you into a restful night and deep sleep. You might even consider dividing your practice into a morning and a night routine!
Q: Could I keep my yoga mat rolled out in one particular place as a reminder of my practice?
Seeing your mat is a friendly way to communicate your intention to practice at home. It helps with accountability – each time you see your mat, you’re reminded of how good you feel when you take time to care for yourself.
Also, creating a space in your home to practice can encourage consistency, and your space will then further reinforce an environment where self-care is a priority.
Q: Can I commit to 30 days in a row of practicing? (YES!)
Building a routine means staying consistent to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve stuck to your plan, momentum carries you forward without as much effort. Know that the beginning is going to be the most challenging, but once you’re over that initial hump, it is smoother sailing from there on out. Experiencing the benefits of connecting to your center at home will continue to fuel you forward.
Let your home practice naturally evolve.
As you practice at home, you’ll find yourself naturally drawn to incorporate or change different aspects of your daily ritual. Follow the natural ebb and flow of your practice with curiosity. Notice how your intuition guides you to explore breathwork over philosophy reading, or gentle versus vigorous movement. Witnessing your journey is more important than arriving at the destination. There’s really nowhere else to go, but in!