As yogis, we know the benefits of meditation and yoga for our modern lives. These are powerful practices that can shift our perception, shift our perspective, change our life forever. They help us shake off stress and tension as we learn ways to take a slower pace, to develop an awareness we likely didn’t have before, so we can recognize and appreciate the lessons and the beauties of life as they come along.
The home practice is the essential to a yogi’s journey, it’s where the magic happens. The home practice is where we can explore the practices more deeply and make them personal. For me, my home practice is my soul-happy place, and I instantly feel a sense of calm and joy when I step onto my mat or sit on my meditation cushion.
But I know from experience that it’s not so easy to maintain a steady home practice. And it’s very easy to fall out of your routine. We know how good it is for us, life sometimes gets in the way, we have other things we’d prefer to do, or we just don’t feel like. We miss a few days, then a few more, and before you know it, we’ve lost the flow of the daily practice.
Over the summer…I have to admit it…I’ve fallen out of my daily practice. In fact, there were weeks when I didn’t practice at home at all. Yikes! And I’ve been feeling a bit guilty for letting it lapse. After all, my whole business is centred around my home yoga and meditation practice! How could I possibly fall out of my own practice routine!?!
And then I remember that there’s a time for everything. And it’s OK to begin again.
Every day is a new beginning, the start of a new adventure, where endless possibilities can unfold.
When it comes to your yoga and meditation practice, you can simply take a deep breath…and begin again.
I’ve been practicing gently again, everyday, getting back into my daily routine, and feeling really good because of it. I am reminded once again of how beneficial yoga and meditation always are for me, they are my source of joy, peace, balance, and my wellspring of creativity and inspiration.
If, like me, your practice has lapsed and you need a boost to get re-started, here’s what I’ve found to be the easiest way back into a regular home yoga and meditation practice, they are MY 5 BEST TIPS TO RE-START YOUR HOME PRACTICE.
1. FIND A QUIET PLACE, A HOME FOR YOUR PRACTICE
It’s much easier to build a regular yoga and meditation practice when you have a dedicated place in your home to practice, a space that will enhance and inspire your practice and where everything you need is laid out and ready for you. I'm lucky to have space enough in my home to leave my yoga mat and props ready to use, my meditation cushions tucked into my favourite window nook. I find that my meditation cushions are like a little sacred place, my personal haven from everyday chaos, and I always feel instantly more peaceful whenever I sit there. And that motivates me to get on my cushion each morning, and sometimes again at the end of the day.
Find a place in your own 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.
2. SAME TIME EVERY DAY, AND BE CONSISTENT
Being consistent is key to building a routine that becomes a habit. You will find it easier to establish or to re-establish your home practice if you find the time that fits best with your lifestyle. For me, the best time to practice is usually when I first wake up. But each of us lives to a different rhythm so find what works for you.
Know that it’s ok if the best time to practice shifts for you; perhaps the morning is best in the summer, but the evening is better in the winter. Being aware of this need to shift will help you to stay consistent. And then show up at that same time. Daily. For any amount of time that you can.
3. JUST A FEW MINUTES IS ALL YOU NEED
If your daily practice has lapsed, I find that getting back to it is easier if you begin again with just a few minutes of meditation and a few yoga poses. Any amount of time you can dedicate to yoga and/or meditation is perfect. Just do something everyday. Even 1 or 2 minutes counts as practice!
Right now, I’m heading first to my meditation cushions - this is what feels best for me right now. Then I may do few yoga poses instead of a more complete practice. Sometimes I just do one pose, and that’s still yoga. And it’s enough to wake up my body and put me into the right state of mind and heart.
You could try one of these mini practices:
The mini morning practice
While you wait for your morning tea to steep or your coffee to percolate, do a single standing pose such as Tree Pose, Warrior I or ii, Triangle Pose or Mountain Pose. Wake your body up to the sensations of movement - no judgement, just notice. Then take your cup to a quiet spot, close your eyes, notice the sensations of the cup in your hand, the scent and the colour of the tea/coffee, the steam on your face, the taste. Simply focus on the sensations of your experience for 2 minutes or so. Then take a dip breath, and you are ready to get on with your day. That’s it! You’ve just done a mini yoga and meditation practice in the time it takes to prepare and drink your morning tea.
The mini mindfulness meditation you can do anywhere
Try this Sound Awareness meditation: Close your eyes and first focus a few moments on the sensations of your breath flowing in and out of your nostrils. Then expand your awareness to your ears, really open them up and listen to all the sounds available. Be careful not to start thinking about the sounds, don’t label or judge them. Just notice them. Just listen. For as long as you like. This is a super easy meditation to do when you need to re-start your practice.
The simple act of smiling as you practice will automatically give it a joyful tone, make you feel happy to be there, and you will be more motivated to come back tomorrow.
5. PRACTICE KINDNESS AND COMPASSION FOR YOURSELF
This is the most important tip! Be kind and gentle with yourself. Your home practice is precious personal time you have carved out for yourself. Be dedicated to building your routine, enjoy whatever time you have to practice today. And don't be hard on yourself if your practice has lapsed, if you miss a day or two, or can only practice for a few minutes. And always give yourself a big hug of gratitude for showing up to practice.
MORE HUM RESOURCES TO INSPIRE YOUR PRACTICE
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