“If you build it, they will come.”…Okay so that was true for the Field of Dreams folks, but it’s not always the case when it comes to creating a successful yoga home practice — or so I’ve heard from many aspiring yogis. They say making mat time a priority is tough, and many have asked me how I do it. I’ll tell you honestly, it’s not because I’m super disciplined. Heaven knows I’m NOT. But I do believe that self-care is essential, and my whole day suffers if I don’t take the time to center myself emotionally, physically, and mentally with my daily yoga practice. So here’s how I’ve managed to maintain a consistent yoga home practice.
- I Made Space
I have learned a hard lesson about plans: they don’t happen if you hope you’ll have time for them. They happen when you prepare for them, make space on your calendar, and even set an alarm to remind you. Do this until your yoga home practice becomes automatic. Another place to make space: on your floor. I keep a yoga mat rolled out at all times in a quiet spot, surrounded by candles, a standing mirror and a stack of yoga books for inspiration. This is my zen little spot, and it feels like a privilege to go there daily. But if you’re short on space, remember that yoga is not about what’s happening outside of your mat. It’s a journey inward, so don’t fret about the details if your decor is imperfect.
- I Started at My Own Level
You don’t know the Sanskrit names for your asanas. You have yet to master Flying Pigeon pose, and you have just one pair of yoga pants to your name. So effing what! We all begin somewhere, so start with what you know and build from there. You can start your yoga home practice with a library of poses, or just a few that you’ve mastered. It’s all about moving at your own pace, listening to your body, and tapping into that place that empowers you.
- I Cultivated Kindness
Yoga has made me flexible. I can touch my toes, rock a backbend, and drop into a split. But that’s not the point. Yoga is not about shaping your ass; it’s about getting your head out of it. So stop worrying about what you can’t do and what your body is not. Take the time to cultivate self-love and kindness. Be grateful for the strength you have, and don’t waste a second on your mat wishing you were something other than what you are right now. With practice comes progress.
- I Connected with My Breath
Where the breath goes, the body follows. But breathing is so universal that we often forget its power. As you engage in your yoga home practice, use your breath to connect to your body. Becoming aware of your breathing is a great way to silence the chatter in your mind as you turn from your turbulent thinking to study your oxygen intake. Paying attention to your breathing patterns is the cornerstone of mindfulness-based practices.
- I Became a Corpse
And by this I mean, I learned to love Corpse Pose. It’s one of the most difficult postures in all of yoga because it requires absolute stillness — something we busy moms with buzzing brains just can’t fathom. So if there were no other benefits to starting a yoga home practice, this one reason would be worth the effort: forgetting the flow — the flow of time, duty, and all the rest.
Make time for yoga. You’re worth it.