The most important thing I've discovered about yoga and meditation is the power of the home practice. My home practice has been a very rich source of happiness, peace and inspiration for me.
A few years ago, I moved from New York City with it's vibrant yoga culture back home to Canada to a small town three hours from Toronto (talk about culture shock!) where there was no yoga studio at all, and only a few classes a week at the community centre. Creating a home practice was actually the only choice for me to grow my practice.
It was a very enriching time, full of surprises, as I reinvented my life to find more fulfillment, serenity and satisfaction. Yoga became my guide and my way back from all the useless toxic stress I had been living with for so long, meditation is where I found my answers. Mindfulness was my way out of my head and back to my heart, it grounded me in the present moment, heightened all my senses giving me an unexpected perspective on my world. My home practice became my therapy, and my practice space became my safe haven... breathing space... sanctuary.
I know from experience that creating a home yoga and meditation practice can be as challenging as it is rewarding. It requires constant inspiration and dedication to build a sustainable personal practice at home. But I assure you that you will be rewarded with more joy, creativity and clarity, less stress and better sleep. And the more you get on your cushion or mat each day, the more results you will see.
Maybe you’ve thought about starting a home practice, but you think you don’t have the time, or you don’t know what to do or where to start. Or maybe you've have tried it, but couldn’t quite manage to keep it going. If any of this sounds familiar, this post is for you.
I'm so convinced of the power of the home practice that I've created a free guide to help you Kickstart Your Home Practice. It's full of inspiration and loads of ideas to get started today. Get it HERE.
And these are my top 10 tips to help you build a daily yoga and meditation routine that is easy, enjoyable, personal. Your own source of joy, peace and inspiration.
- See things differently - Put aside everything you think you know about yoga, meditation and mindfulness and look at them from a new perspective, with an attitude of openness and curiosity, a keen desire to learn. In this way, with a beginner’s mind, you will be open to see and feel what best resonates with you, to find the building blocks of an enjoyable, sustainable practice.
- Yoga + Meditation - Yoga and meditation are practices that complement and enhance each other. So instead of just focusing on one or the other, merge the two into one beautiful and fulfilling practice. Each one in a different way helps to build mindfulness, to stay more present to each moment. Taking a mindful, contemplative approach to your yoga will enable you develop both body and breath awareness, and to experience the postures from the inside out. Yoga postures will prepare your body and mind to be restful and ready to sit in meditation. The perfect combination.
- Same time every day - Being consistent is key to building a routine that becomes a habit. You will find it easier to establish your home practice if you find the time that fits best with your lifestyle, and then show up at that same time. Daily. Start with just a few minutes, each day.
- Create your sanctuary- One of the keys to a successful and consistent home practice is to have a dedicated space in your home that you can retreat to for yoga and meditation. A space that will enhance and inspire your practice, where everything you need is laid out and ready for you. Everything in your sacred space, from the colour of the walls to the furniture and the meaningful items you place in it, will contribute to creating a calming, supportive and protective atmosphere. So that you can focus on your yoga and meditation, avoid distractions, and be comfortable in a space that is completely YOU - no matter how big or small it is. Find a place in your home where you can be quiet, calm and undisturbed, a spot that will feel like home for your practice. You may be fortunate to have an entire room available. If not, find a space a corner of your bedroom, study or living room where you can leave your yoga mat unrolled and your meditation cushion ready to use.
- Get the right essential tools- Props and tools can greatly enhance your yoga and meditation practice. If you choose with care, you will use and love your props for years. Prefer props that are high quality, made by eco-conscious and socially-conscious companies. Choose beautiful fabrics, textures and colours that will contribute to the harmony of your sanctuary. If you are like me, you took time and care to decorate your home - so why shouldn't your yoga props and your meditation cushions be just as beautiful? The following is a list of my 6 must-have props:
yoga mat (I have two mats, one always stays in my sanctuary, pristine, and one goes out to classes with me)
meditation cushion set (choosing the right cushions will make your meditation so much easier!)
bolster (perfect for restorative yoga poses)
- warm meditation shawl or blanket (absolutely essential)
Learn more about props in this post, 6 Essential Yoga Props to Empower Your Practice.
And of course I invite you to discover our own thoughtfully created collection of eco-conscious, ethically made practice essentials, just click HERE.
- Empower your practice with rituals - rituals can add depth and distinction, texture and richness, making your practice more meaningful and enjoyable. Simple rituals such as lighting some incense or setting your intention are easy and effective ways to empower your your practice with rituals. Create your own rituals to make your home practice a sacred space, in your heart, your home, your day.
- Explore using teaching resources designed for at-home practice - Once you have enough experience you will likely want to design your own yoga sequences and meditate on your own. But at any stage of your practice you may feel more comfortable being led through, and there are many resources available for you to use. Here are a few examples, and know there are lots of other options to explore. Try several to find what works best for you.
- Online yoga and meditation classes - The following are paid subscription websites, there are many others, online yoga videos are a huge thing, but these are the most popular. They offer high quality classes and can help you build a routine that is right for you right now. The cost is approximately $10-$20 per month, and you to try them out for free: Gaia, Glo, Yoga International, Yoga Vibes.
- You can always try You Tube, but the quality of instruction can be a hit & miss. To ensure good instruction, search for teachers you know or have heard good things about.
- Meditation apps - There are more and more meditation apps offering instruction and guided meditations, and they are usually paid subscription based. Many, like my favourites below, offer a good amount of free content without having to pay to subscribe. Try 10% Happier, Insight Timer, Mindbliss, Headspace.
- Enrich your home practice with external experiences - Classes, workshops, retreats are all fabulous places to learn, to meet new teachers, to get new ideas that you can take with you into your home practice. Try as many different studios, styles and teachers as you can.
- Stay curious - There is always something new to learn about yoga, meditation and mindfulness. There is an almost endless supply of insightful and inspiring books to discover something new. So make reading a part of your daily home practice: read just a few pages or search for an inspiring poem or quote.
- Try something new every day - These ancient practices are both simple and complex, with so many layers, multiple styles, techniques and ideas for you to discover. So mix it up and try something new everyday. In this way, through trial and error, you will build a rewarding and engaging personal practice that will will motivate you to get to the mat or cushion each day.
Don't forget to download your free guide, Kickstart Your Home Practice. Get it HERE. You'll soon be on your way to blissing out.
And enjoy your home practice journey!