We all love reading about life hacks, but a lot of lifestyle advice is hard for many people to try without the initial perception that a serious sense of commitment or endless free time is needed in order to stick to new habits that can transform and empower life significantly.
When I began my home practice, more than 10 years ago, I had very little knowledge of what to do, or how my practice should be. In fact, all I remember is sneaking out of my babies room, to used his nap time, to roll down a towel to lay down on the floor and stretch my ever tired back and neck muscles that were almost crunched up in a knot by what it seem to be an eternal down gaze during breastfeeding and baby holding, all of this while listening to a recording of a guided yoga practice a friend of mine gave me once....Oh! those were the days!
Yup! that is right, it was back then, with very little time in my hands, where my home practice was born, and a whole chain reaction of events that changed my life forever!
Practicing on your own has incredible benefits, even if you are not always sure where to begin.
Creating a ritual is something you can do in your own home, Perhaps you have a morning ritual as simple (and profound) as drinking your coffee or tea out of a favorite mug in silence. Or maybe you take 10 minutes to write or take a walk during your lunch break at work.
Without a doubt your home practice is already a ritual, but thinking of your practice this way can make it a little more special. If you’re someone who’s struggled to maintain a consistent home practice, taking steps to turn your practice into a ritual can help to strengthen your excitement and desire to get on your mat more often.
Rituals are unique precisely because they are not part of the everyday life. It’s something special, distinguished from mundane tasks like washing the dishes and scanning through emails on autopilot. Ritual is infused with focus, intention and specificity. Viewing your practice as a ritual with a clear intention on space, mood and timing, can strengthen your ability to show up consistently for a regular and meaningful at home yoga practice.
HERE ARE MY TIPS ON HOW TO CREATE YOUR HOME SANCTUARY
1.CONSIDER YOUR SPACE
Choosing a dedicated area in your home to practice can also help you to create room in your psyche for the practice to take root. Choose or create a quiet, uncluttered space in your home for your practice, and stock it with the essential basic yoga props — mat, strap, blocks, blanket, bolster, etc. The space doesn’t have to be large, but it should be quiet, clean, open, and sacred. Even though it's more of a nonspace, all those practices have imbued it with a feeling that is really attractive to us. Even when we are dragging our feet, the aura of our regular practice site will make you more likely to visit it. When we are on our special spot, we will be fully immerse in our practice after only two breaths!
2. SET THE MOOD
Lighting a candle, burning oils or a stick of incense, playing soft music, and hanging art in your practice area are all wonderful ways to set the mood and remind yourself that you are partaking in something special and sacred. What scents set you at ease? If you’re not sure, stop by a local natural market and peruse the aromatherapy aisle to find an spray or oil you find invigorating and comforting. What sounds or music might help you center during your practice? Sometimes the smallest touches can make a big difference.
3. CARVE OUT SPACE FOR IT
Perhaps, the biggest challenge most of us encounter is finding time. However, in order for many of us to keep our practice, we must not allow ourselves to be swayed by the anxiety that nearly always pops up when we can't afford to take any time away from getting things done. Taking even a little bit of time to practice, grounds us and inspires us, so that when we return to the to-do list, we are more focused and productive.
Another effective way to separate your at-home yoga ritual from the rest of your day is to have a clear start and end to your practice. If you only have a specific time to practice, consider setting a timer so you don’t have to watch the clock while you’re on the mat. Think about chanting a single “Om” at the beginning and end to mark the opening and close of your practice. Perhaps you ring a bell, or take a few moments of seated meditation to complete your asana sequence. In other words, you don’t want to jump out of a warrior pose to check on dinner and never make it back to the mat. A firm starting and ending point will help to make that time separate and special from your daily routine.
4.LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
One of the best parts of a home yoga practice is that you can do whatever feels best to you. Instead of feeling pressured to stick with the rest of the class at a studio, if a pose doesn’t feel good, you can skip it. If your hips are feeling really tight, you can focus on hip openers. Your home yoga practice will really deepen your appreciation of yoga because you’ll start to learn how to make it fit your needs.
At home, it’s often easier to drop your ego. You don’t feel pressured to get into a pose just because all of the people around you are attempting it. You can find the pose that feels right to you in your body, letting go of what you think the pose should look like. You’ll start to focus more internally and less externally.
5. LET GOJust like at a yoga studio, the ultimate goal of your home yoga practice should be practicing living in the present moment. Sometimes being at home can remind us of all of the things we feel that we need to get done. Work to let go of those thoughts and worries. If you’re just letting your mind race around, you’re missing the point of your yoga practice.
Make it a point to keep your mental focus, no matter how many times you have to re-focus. Don’t feel bad about getting distracted. Instead, just bring your attention back to the present, to your breath and your body. Let your thoughts melt away so you can find true mindfulness, and so you can reap all of the mental benefits of your home yoga practice.
WHANT TO KNOW MORE?
How about joining us on Retreat, we will have three nights on stunning North Stradbroke Island, overlooking the sea, as we explore the fundamental principles of creating space, movement and meditation techniques. On this retreat you will learn all the tools to start (or extend!) your own personal practice. Practicing on your own has incredible benefits - sometimes we just need the permission to begin! You will leave this retreat with everything you need to establish your own 20min practice at home without the aid of a teacher or classes.
When? Thursday 24th to 27th of October 2019.
Where? The stunning Stradbroke Island.
Together we will enjoy the healing properties of nature, practice and develop tools and strategies tailored to help you to develop your own home practice and send you home feeling refreshed, re-energized and better able to deal with the everyday challenges of life!
"Your Soul will dance, your heart will laugh and your body will be in balance after 3 days of integral yoga and meditation practice!".