As an advocate for individual yoga practices, I often come across people who have convinced themselves that practicing yoga on their own, in their homes, isn't for them. Aside from the usual doubts we confront in life and on our yoga mat, we also run up against misconceptions, especially about yoga, that sometimes define our willingness to try. Below are three common excuses that may be preventing you from establishing and sustaining an at-home yoga practice.
Excuse 1: My yoga practice is not advanced enough.
An at-home yoga practice can be a solution for yogis not being challenged efficiently in group yoga classes, but for most people it’s a great starting point. It’s a place to set a strong base and create a foundation for a sustainable yoga practice. It’s even accessible for new yogis who are looking to work through some physical limitations once they've started to learn under a qualified teacher.
Fact: Take a few yoga poses home and work on them in the morning or before you go to bed. Think child’s pose, cat and cow, downward facing dog, and standing forward fold. When it’s time, start experimenting with sun salutations.
Excuse 2: I don’t have time.
Everyone goes through phases of time shortages. In these times, it can be difficult to fit in a group-led yoga class, and even more difficult to think of finding the time to work on a self-practice. The joy of an at-home yoga practice is that you can refine your practice and distill it down, when needed, to include the most potent yoga poses and tailor the length of the practice so you can follow through with your other commitments.
Fact: Schedule your yoga practice in like you would any other commitment. Study the effects of practicing at different points in your day and week, and find the best time for you to meet yourself on the mat.
Excuse 3: I need a group setting to hold me accountable.
Have you ever arrived into child’s pose on your yoga mat in a yoga studio, only to realize that now you actually have to do the yoga? The external accountability of group yoga classes can’t be denied, but you can cultivate accountability from within.
Fact: Find a teacher who's perfect for you and your goals. Allow the teacher to create a system that you can find accountability in. Over time you may end up needing to check in less and less, but use the frameworks of this relationship and teaching as the foundation of your practice.
Establishing an at-home yoga practice can present us with doubts about our abilities, intentions, and will-power. Notice if these myths, or others, resonate with you and how you can begin to turn the conversation around and work towards creating a sustainable yoga practice that caters to your needs and wants. You deserve an at-home yoga practice that you love.