How to start a home practice

Daily home practice helps you to replenish the energy you spend while out living your life. This helps to reduce stress and increase your feelings of vitality.

Home practice is the core of your practice. It helps you to understand deeply how your body works and what you need to be nourished. Do more of what you love from class, or set out to make friends with a pose that you struggle with. Take questions and insights back to your group class and ask your teacher for support and guidance. For most of us, 1-3 group classes or online videos per week is more than enough, along with your regular home practice.

But how to start?

There are endless so-called “good reasons” not to start your home practice. I’m sure you have your own list. It can be overwhelming to attempt yoga at home. Even the simple act of starting an online video can be an insurmountable obstacle.

But give yourself a break. Home practice doesn’t have to be like group classes. In fact, it shouldn’t be.

Daily home practice is your opportunity to do things that nourish your body. Its personal. It is the work that will give you the most benefit in your yoga practice.

Make a plan:

Prepare a small space for yoga before you go to bed. Set a boundary with your house-mates and claim the time for yourself.

Wake up and go to that space. Get dressed if you want.

(Underwear is fine.)

Remember one thing from your group class practice and start doing it. Or, just start moving your body in some weird and wonderful way.

Keep going until you feel ready to stop.

The key to success:

It doesn’t matter what your practice is. It doesn’t matter if it is just one deep breath, or a half remembered sun salutation, or a meditation. It doesn’t matter if your home practice is 90 minutes or 9 seconds. It doesn’t matter if you get the sequence wrong. There is no perfect, prescribed sequence.

All that matters is that you regularly do something with mindful focus and then give gratitude to yourself for your effort. Even if you have trouble focusing some days, it still counts.

Mindfulness is like a muscle. It requires daily training, which has cumulative benefits.

(That means that the more you do it, the more benefits you get.)

Over time you will build a habit and it will become easier to get on the mat every morning. Recall is a powerful learning technique, and you will soon be surprised at how much of the sequences you start to remember. With time and discipline you will have created a personal daily practice that you look forward to.

I wish you good practicing.

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