How to Start a Home Yoga Practice (Part 1)

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Let's face it: even with the best of intentions, it’s hard to establish a home yoga practice. Making time for yourself in any form (like yoga or exercise) at home is tough. Life is busy, and many times exercising or practicing yoga gets bumped way down the priority list in the midst of never ending household to-dos. But making time for yourself is necessary to stay in balance.Like anything else in life, it helps to make it as easy as possible. Eliminate hurdles that often pop up to make your practice more inviting and accessible. Read on for some tips to help you… ​

• Set Up A Space
You’ll need a space large enough for you to roll out your mat. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just choose a place in your home that has the potential to be a peaceful zone for you. De-clutter it, clean it up, and make it an inviting and peaceful area that you want to be in. That can mean simply making an open space, or actually adding in some peaceful items like a diffuser, candles, or anything that is meaningful to you.• Eliminate ALL Distractions
You have to be ruthless here. Clutter is (again) the first step. You’ll be distracted every time you look up if there are tasks (like piles of laundry) and other reminders of things to do. Make your zone as clear as you can. Turn your phone off (gasp!!). Close the door so your pets can’t distract you. I promise you this— and I know from experience— your dog or cat will think it’s playtime and it is really hard to resist that.

• Start Small + Be Consistent = Routine
Don’t put pressure on yourself to have a marathon yoga session with a ton of expectations and jazzy sequencing. Just start with some basics that you know well. Try a 10-15 minute block of time. Implement this as a habit so that it will stick, and to do that you need consistency... and in order to have consistency, it needs to be a reasonable goal.

• Plan It
If you have trouble making the time for yoga at home, put it on your calendar. Maybe this is the Personal Trainer in me coming out, but actually write it down and honor that commitment to yourself.

• Figure Out What’s Missing
Music? A new mat? A candle? A cushion to sit on? What would make your space or your practice more meaningful? What would get you excited about your home practice? Here are some of my favorites: my favorite mat, favorite candle, the cushion I use daily for yoga and meditation, and my essential oils diffuser. Decorate your area if you want to. I love my vintage "Relax" sign that I got at an awesome local antiques store (The Oyster). It makes the whole room better! There are so many beautiful and calming ways to make your space your own. Here's a link to a Pinterest search for ideas on how to set it up and decorate it. 

• Guard Your Yoga Zone
I try really hard to keep my yoga zone free of other parts of my life. I know that’s not always possible, but try your best to keep it clear so that when the opportunity presents itself for you to practice, you can make it happen with minimal effort. Again, make it as easy as possible to step onto your mat distraction free.

• And The Biggest Obstacle I Hear People Mention…
"I don’t know what to do"… This is a roadblock to practicing yoga at home. If you go to the effort of scheduling time for yoga, setting up a space, rolling out your mat, and then you sit down and realize you have no idea what to do… well, that can be discouraging. Of course, it’s best to attend a class with a trained instructor you like. When life gets busy, however, sometimes you need to be able to do your own thing. Start simply with poses you know well and love. For example…

*begin by initiating mindful  breathing…
*then start gently, with poses like Cat and Cow….
*have a few rounds of Sun Salutations…
*then add in a couple poses that you can perform on your own…
*throw in a couple stretches when you are good and warm...
*rest at the end for a moment and soak it all up…
*-- and Ta-Da!-- yoga class at home.

Don't overcomplicate it. It's just yoga.
Love & Light.

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