It’s great to go to a yoga class and feel the benefits of great postures, breath work, meditation, relaxation etc. But how often can you realistically get to class? Probably not more than once or twice a week – and then there are those weeks when life gets in the way and you can’t even get to class. Unsurprisingly to really see the benefits of a yoga practise you need to do it as often as possible – certainly at least 3 or 4 times a week. This isn’t as unachievable as it sounds because a Yoga practice could mean 10 minutes before you shower in the morning doing some sun salutations to get yourself set up for the day or 20 minutes breath work and meditation before you go to bed help you relax and have a lovely sleep at the end of the day.
Like many things that we don’t get round to doing there needs to be an element of planning to ensure you make practising yoga at home an easy, convenient and desirable thing to do. Here are 6 tips to help you achieve this:
- Create a yoga space – find somewhere in your home where you can dedicate to a yoga practice and ideally leave your mat there, unrolled and ready for action! This space may be part of your bedroom, a spare room or even a corner of the lounge – just make sure the area is warm and quiet. Personalise your space with any yoga props, candles, cushions, throws, blankets, an oil burner, fairy lights etc. Let it become your little oasis where you can ‘just be’.
- Start with 10 minutes a day – set your alarm, plan it into your daily routine, whatever you need to do for that 10 minutes but try and do it everyday. Get into the habit of dedicating that time to you and your practice. You might even find that you want to go longer than 10 minutes once you have started.
- Start Simple – you don’t have to try and replicate your one hour yoga class. Just do one or two of the postures to begin with. The sun salutations are always great to do as they quickly get heat into the body and mobilise almost every part of the body. Always remember to dedicate the last few minutes to Shavasana (relaxation) as this is when your body absorbs all the benefits of the practise and leaves you feeling energised yet relaxed. You can add more postures to your practise overtime.
- Switch off – turn off the TV, the mobile, move away from the tablet and enjoy 10 minutes not connected to the world and where no one can disturb you. Those messages, emails and texts will all be there for you to deal with later – and yoga should give you the mental and physical strength to deal with it all in a better and more efficient way.
- Accept what happens on the mat – Don’t worry if your practise doesn’t quite go to plan. You may relish the idea of 40 minutes of uninterrupted yoga but the reality is that the postman calls, the dog starts barking, you suddenly remember something you must do today mid-Shavasana. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Accept that you had 5 minutes of yoga which is better than nothing at all. Even accept that if you didn’t feel like doing any yoga – that’s absolutely ok. It just wasn’t right for you today. If you can accept that your yoga might not be the zen perfection you had in mind then you’re one step closer to a happier home practice.
- Be creative where you do yoga – yoga does not always have to be done on a mat! Think about how you can incorporate it into everyday activities such as standing in Tree Pose when you’re cleaning your teeth or sitting cross-legged on the floor while you’re watching tv. You can even incorporate some calming breathing exercises while sitting in traffic!
Wishing you all a happy home practice!