For the past few months, I’ve had a hard time getting to the studio to take yoga classes — my husband works during the day and often has evening meetings or out-of-town trips that preclude me from practicing with my yoga peeps. Because yoga helps me stay strong and flexible — both mentally and physically — I’ve therefore found it essential to maintain a consistent home practice when I can’t make it to a class. When I tell people this, I often hear of some the challenges people face in establishing or maintaining a home practice. I thought I’d share a few of challenges I’ve experienced, and how I’ve addressed them.
Challenge: I get too distracted by all the things I have to do.
Solution:Try dedicating a room or a space in a room to your practice. I find that if the area is clean and tidy, I don’t get as distracted. Ditto for when I wake up early and practice before my mind has had time to wind up to its full frenzy.
Challenge: I feel unmotivated or I always want to hang out in savasana.
Solutions: A few things have helped me through those times I just don’t feel like practicing. First, I like to set a time frame for my practice, usually an hour. Then, I keep a phone/clock nearby so I can see my progress. Having the defined time goal makes it easier for me to keep moving and to hold myself accountable to my practice. Another thing I like to do is flow to a playlist. I’ll have slower songs at the beginning as I’m warming up, fast-paced songs for the more vigorous poses, and slow songs again for the floor stretches and savasana. I get so soothed by the music that I forget my to-do lists or that I didn’t want to practice.
Challenge: I don’t don’t know how to create my own sequences or I’m bored with the sequences I’ve been doing.
Solution: When the sequencing muse doesn’t strike on a particular day, cue up a yoga video from YouTube or CodyApp to get the juices flowing.
Challenge (and blessing!!): I have kids.
Solution: Try practicing before they wake up, after they go to bed for the night, during nap time, or when they are playing or watching a movie (if they’re older). I much prefer practicing when my three kids are asleep, but it doesn’t always work out that way; sometimes I have to snag a 45-minute practice when they’re awake. I’ll close the door or keep it ajar, and while they might occasionally peek in to see what I’m doing, overall, they respect my time and practice as something that is important to me. Part of that is because I don’t leave the room to tend to needs or settle arguments they can solve themselves. (And if you’re thinking I have calm children, you’d be wrong — they have lots of energy, are in constant motion.They just know that mommy needs yoga!) It took us a while to get to this point, but know that it may be in the realm of possibility for you as your kids get older. And give yourself a little grace — you may only grab 10 minutes of practice or focused breathing and that’s okay! Even a little yoga can be beneficial.