How to Start a Home Yoga Practice & Stick with It!
One thing that I keep hearing from clients is the struggle to stick with their self care & wellness plan. We all know we need to take care of our health, but sometimes it just gets hard, especially when we have so many other things to do for everyone else! It's easy to start, but how do you actually stick with it? This week, I am excited to share five tips to help you start a home yoga practice, and stick with it.
1. Have a Reason Why
A good place to start, is asking yourself some questions. Why do you want to start a home yoga practice? What changes or improvements you want to gain? What transformation are you hoping to see? It could be to improve your overall health. Maybe you want to lower your blood pressure, increase flexibility, or reduce stress. Perhaps you just want to do that awesome pose that one of your friends posted on Instagram. Whatever the reason, it is important to identify it, because that my friend, is what's going to help keep you motivated and get you on your mat each day. Even on the days when life is crazy and you just don't feel like it.
Once you have your reason why, write it down. Read it before you get on each day. You can even use it to write a few intentions or affirmations that you can say to yourself as you move through your practice. Identifying and connecting to your reason why is the first thing to do.
2. Schedule Your Sessions
The next thing to do is to look at your lifestyle and your schedule and see where you can fit your yoga in. Take a look at your day, what is your schedule like? Do you have any time that is wasted or empty moments where you could fit some short bouts of self-care in? Track how much time you have, and decide where in your day you can commit to your home practice regularly. Do you have a few 10 minute gaps throughout your day? Or maybe you have a chunk of 20- 30 minutes. Making space in your schedule where you can actually commit to doing it is essential.
Once you find time time that works for you, schedule it! Just like a dentist appointment or a lunch date with a dear friend, or a meeting with an important client. And then honor that appointment! Commit to keeping that time to consistently nurture yourself, so you can be your best self for everyone else.
3. Have a yoga plan
Now that you have a reason why, and you created space in your schedule, let's figure out what you're going to do! Another thing that really helps you is to have plan to start with. A good basic outline is to breathe, move, and relax. A five pose flow can also be a great way to integrate a short home practice to your daily routine. Another good way to start is with a simple flowing sequence like Sun Salutation, and then layer and other poses that you want to work on.
My home practice consists of breathing, moving, and relaxing. I always start with breathing exercises and focusing my attention inwards, and then I add in gentle movements to warm up the core & extremities. From there I move into my own version of the Sun salutation ( that I've adjusted for my own body). Next I layer in various standing postures, balance poses, and then head back down the floor for deeper stretching and a few minutes of relaxation. In my practice the individual poses change, but I have a general outline of what to do each day.
To get started on your own home practice, try starting with the basic Sun Salutation. Once you have your main flow, like a Sun Salutation, you can start adding poses and do what feels good for your body. The key is to listen to your body so you can learn what works best for you.
Some other suggestions are to try out different classes in your area. or different yoga videos online so you can find a style that works for you. You can even find some sequences in books, online, or work with a private yoga instructor who can customize a home sequence specifically for you.
So again to start a set sequence like a Sun Salutation, or even just five poses, and pay attention to how your body feels at you move.
4. Create a Home Yoga Space
Now that you know what to do, let's talk about where you're going to do it. Quite honestly all you really need is your yoga mat and just enough space to move your body. It can be in your living room, bedroom, back porch. Wherever you are comfortable and like to be.
I think I have used almost over my house for a home yoga space at some point in time. It's been in my living room, patio, bedroom, or even the kidsToy room depending on what is going on in the house that day.
You can always add other items to your space to make it the way you like it, if you prefer to have a dedicated yoga space
I like to keep my props handy in some bins. I keep yoga blocks, straps, balls, blankets, etc. It's also great to be close to a wall, couch, or chair for those times when you need some extra support!
5. Track Your Progress
One of my favorite tips to help you with your home your practice is to keep track of your progress. Kind of like a workout log. You can keep monitor of the style, pace, focus, challenges, and even your energy level. You could even start with just a simple journal or notebook, with the date, what you did, how you felt, and what you learned from that session
Monitoring your practice is such a great way to get a better picture of your practice, which can help you deepen your experience. Seeing your progress and development can also motivate you to get on your mat each day!
So there you have it. Five tips to help you get started with your home yoga practice and actually stick with it this time! I hope you found this helpful and are motivated to start your own home yoga practice now! Let me know which tip you find the most helpful!
Need some help getting started? Check out my Free Home YOGA Tool Kit which includes a short total body yoga video as well as a self assessment to help you discover your why and set you up for success, plus a daily journal sheet and a weekly progress tracking sheet.