Establishing a home practice, not always as easy as it sounds

No matter who you are, keeping up a home yoga practice can be difficult at times. Heck, even our Yoga Teacher Trainees struggle with it sometimes! We showed our YTT’s this article on 10 Tips and Tricks to Establishing a Regular Home Yoga practice and asked them what they thought. For short, the ten tips are:

  1. Let go of all expectations
  2. Give yourself permission to just roll out your mat and breathe
  3. Set an intention
  4. Warm up
  5. Standing poses, seated poses, backbends, twists and savasana
  6. Enjoy being able to take time in postures
  7. Don’t be constrained about how you think postures should look
  8. Be playful, and light, and joyous
  9. Make your daily home practice the one must-do of your day
  10. Be kind to yourself and always, always, always get back on the mat

For the next couple weeks we will be featuring their reflections on these ten steps. This week we have a reflection from M. Sheridan:

Yoga practice is something I can carry with me, from the good feeling of having had a great morning practice, to how I interact with people throughout the day. When I put off a practice, either mental or physical, I’ve noticed I try and double up the next time I have a chance. But I enjoy this practice twice as less since it’s full of the self-pressure to ‘always do better’. This pattern creates a strong focus of shaming and bullying to my past self. Reading the “10 Tips & Tricks […]’ by Kara-Leah Grant was wonderful. The first tip: ‘Let go of all expectations. All of them’ took a little bit of weight off my shoulders. Weight I didn’t know was there. I approached my mat with a Beginners Mind and told myself, ‘Stop brain! Akash’, breathed, and let my body move to where it wanted to be. It was a flowing, graceful practice with little thought, just movement and breath. I noticed more weight was gone. My eyes and thoughts were closed to the outside world. This practice allowed me to feel a quiet calm, which is the furthest I’ve come with regards to meditation. I first started yoga to ease my anxiety and it works miracles when my thoughts are at ease. Now, instead of thinking ‘I need to do my yoga’, I shake the weight off my shoulders and think ‘I can’t wait to do my yoga’. That simple change in thought has allowed my practice to be lighthearted and fun, instead of being ‘an exercise routine’ or ‘homework’. I have a difficult time with self-forgiveness. I feel I should always know better, since it’s my own life. But, take it as it comes. What more can you do?

We’d love to hear from you too! What do you struggle with when trying to do a home practice? Do you have any techniques that you use to help you practice regularly?

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One thought on “Establishing a home practice, not always as easy as it sounds

  1. Lindsay says:

    This is great! I personally have been using the S.M.A.R.T goal setting model to reconnect with my practice. If you are not familiar S.M.A.R.T stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely. This has helped me put into perspective the more concrete and measurable benefits that I get from a daily practice. Let me give you an example:
    I am able to say that I want to experience a groundedness in my body (Specific goal). I know I’m having this experience because I can feel my breath freely in my belly and feet firmly on the ground (Measurable). This is Attainable because I can do it anywhere at anytime! The goal of experiencing groundedness is Realistic because I can give myself that experience of checking in every morning (Timely).
    I think that often as yoga practitioners we have lofty notions of how we want to feel because of our practice but we don’t know how to measure those experiences, hence why people have a hard time sticking to or developing a home practice. The S.M.A.R.T goals have helped me to quantify those speculations into real experiences.
    Check out this post for more info: http://topachievement.com/smart.html

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