Can't Commit to your Home Yoga Practice? Ways to START AND STAY COMMITTED
So you've started a home practice, but you feel stuck. It happens. Without guidance from a teacher giving you cues and moving you through your practice, it can be hard to just simply START. But don't worry, building sustainable habits takes time and patience. If you can relate, here are some tips to get you moving along:
SET AN INTENTION
Time and devotion are needed to cultivate a strong home practice and setting forth your best intention can help bring passion into the equation. Visualize your greatest self and one word that best embodies this self. Don't over think it or get caught up in anxiety, go with your first instinct. Maybe your intention is to simply observe your breath without attachment, witness your thoughts without judgement, or open yourself up to sensations without blocking them out, even if they are unpleasant and uncomfortable.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Ask yourself, what do YOU need from the practice today? How do you FEEL? Let this guide how your practice looks and feels.
"I'm feeling totally exhausted." Restorative Yoga
"I'm feeling anxious and disconnected." Yoga Nidra
"I'm feeling restless." Vinyasa Yoga
"I need energy." Kundalini Yoga
It's your practice and your body so make it a point to intentionally modify the practice how ever you need to. This means use props, blocks, bolsters, blankets, whatever you need to feel comfortable. Find a duration and intensity that works for you rather than one that wears you down and leaves you exhausted. However, still build the confidence to break boundaries and try new things (hard and scary, I know!)
If you are new to your yoga practice or need extra support and motivation don't be too shy to seek guidance from an experienced and trusted yoga teacher or a more experienced friend. Once you find a teacher, ask if they are available for 1:1 sessions. If not, attend a class and write down the sequence to practice at home. Ask for recommendations on authoritative yoga guidebooks to help you in your self-study.
Journey into the ancient teachings. There is a endless well of wisdom in yogic texts and lucky for us, many of them are available in translation. Try the classics such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, or Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. Inspiration can also be found in modern books on yoga and biographies of both classical and modern teachers.
Hold yourself accountable by involving a partner or friend. Practicing with a friend can also help you face the fear of being on the mat. While you're at it, play around with partner yoga or Acro-Yoga. Home practice doesn't have to be serious. Let loose, and have some fun with it.
Keep track of your practice by recording notes in a journal. A journal is an amazing tool to write down any thoughts you have before or after practice, along with discoveries, insights, and sequences. Make it a habit to journal about your practice. Explore how each posture feels, what techniques help you find a deeper connection to the posture? How long did you practice for? Write it down.
RENEW ALL EFFORTS
Commitment takes time.... so find it! Rather than just settling into your home practice where and whenever, give yourself a duration goal and set a timer. Home practices don't have to have the same intensity or be the same length as community or studio classes. Start off with a short practice and once you show up to a short 10 minute practice, increase the length and strengthen your commitment.
END WITH GRATITUDE
Thank yourself for taking the time out for yourself and for choosing YOU for even 10 minutes out of the day. A little practice is better than no practice and a little is all it takes to remind us of why we practice.
Related: YOGA BASICS: Starting a Sustainable 'Home Practice'
Don't give up, keep at it! It's ok to fall away from the practice, just get back in and start where you are if you've lost your way! Know that with patience and practice you can persevere and achieve anything. What are you doing to keep your home practice going? Share with us!