Once you get started, you will discover that your home yoga and meditation practice is precious self-care time - we all need it every day! And it’s a source of peace, joy and enlightenment. It does not have to be complicated to be effective and powerful. On the contrary, simplicity can often be most powerful. I know, it may be intimidating to get started and to trust your inner teacher. So my intention here is to make it EASY for you, to inspire and empower you with ideas from my own explorations to get you started on your journey towards a home practice that is personal, enjoyable, meaningful, motivating and inspiring. Soon it will become second nature, and will feel so great that you will not be able to get through your day without your daily practice.
This is a practice for life, not separate from it. You CAN do it, every day.
Being consistent is key to building a routine that becomes a habit. Find the time that fits best with your lifestyle. Many people prefer to practice first thing in the morning before the day starts, before the digital distractions begin, while the mind is clear and rested. It might mean getting up a little bit earlier than usual, earlier than the others in your household. Some people prefer their daily practice before going to bed, as a way to unwind and relax after a busy day. If that’s the case, try not to do any vigorous yoga that might keep you awake.
If we think we have to practice for 60 minutes every day, we will usually find lots of reasons to not do it! When you have the time and desire to practice for 30, 60 or even 90 minutes, that’s really great. But most of us don't have that much time each day. So if you feel resistance to your daily practice, just take 10 or 15 minutes. Even 5 if that’s all you have. The length of your practice is less important than building the habit by doing it everyday. To get inspired, check out our fast and easy Intention Based Practices HERE (each can be done in 5-10 minutes).
If you are tired or you don’t feel like practicing, or you just can't find the time, still show up, just sit on your meditation cushion for a few moments of peaceful reflection, or try a single-pose practice. It can take as little as 1 minute! And you can do it anywhere. To feel confident, try Warrior 2 (above left, do both sides). To feel balanced, try Tree Pose (above centre, do both sides). To feel abundant, go for a gorgeous Goddess Pose (such as Jennifer's fun version above right).
Nothing is more distracting than the communications coming in through your devices. If you have your device near you through your practice, you will continually be pulling your attention away from the moment, your breath, your body. You also will continue to be led instead of finding your inner guide. Take the time to read through the content you want to practice and visualize yourself doing it. Watch the video if there is one without trying to follow it – just really pay attention. You may want to make a few notes or use stick-figure drawings to indicate what you want to practice. Then, turn off your device and trust that what you remember is enough for today. This might mean starting with less, which is good. If you practice one or two poses each time, and you develop a personal connection with them, before you know it you will have a number of different poses you can play with.
When you are practicing at home, there is absolutely nobody to see what you do, what you look like. It’s the most perfect place to experiment, to figure out what type of practice you like and what inspires you to practice. Explore each pose, seeing how they feel, trusting that your body will be your guide. Explore a few moments of meditation along with your yoga practice. Just go for it!
There is always something new to learn about yoga, meditation and mindfulness. There is an almost endless supply of insightful and inspiring books where you can 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.
We don't have to have to have the perfect place or the perfect time. We don't have to have the perfect clothes or equipment. We don't have to have perfect silence for meditation - we live in a vibrant, noisy world; embrace the sounds as part of your awareness, part of your present moment. The important part is just to practice. In fact you can practice a few minutes of meditation or a micro yoga practice, anywhere and anytime throughout your day. Take every pause in your day as an opportunity to practice by tuning in to the present moment and just observing it.
Yes, it’s important to set your goals and intentions, declare them, ask for them, work towards them with positive energy. But let go of any attachment to specific results. By letting go expectations, you free yourself to focus and enjoy each and every moment, to find more joy. Trust the process, trust yourself. This was the hardest lesson for me - but I learned that letting go is freedom.
Your home practice is precious personal time you have carved out for yourself in your day. Make the most of it, be dedicated and diligent about building your practice routine, but don’t be hard on yourself up if you miss a day or can only practice for a few minutes. Be kind and gentle with yourself as you practice. And always give yourself a big hug of gratitude for showing up on your mat and/or cushion.