To celebrate Mindful Movement Week here at mindbodygreen, we’re sharing the many ways that fitness enthusiasts practice mind-body exercise.
Lauren Imparrato’s yoga classes are known for their attention to anatomy, sweat and tradition within the chaotic modern lives we lead, and are always paired with signature Music Mixes including genres like rock, salsa, jazz, hip-hop, and more. For more workouts from Lauren, please check out her video course, Nourish Your Mind, Body & Soul: A Holistic Yoga Plan For Feeling Your Absolute Best. And for even more info on all things fitness, check out our awesome video courses.
I started practicing yoga at home for the simplest of reasons: It was my only option.
You see, right after I discovered yoga, I had to move to London for work. I'd just given up running entirely to practice yoga seven days a week, and I'd never felt better. When I arrived in London though, I realized that my basement apartment did not have a yoga studio within 30 minutes of it, and my job had me working around the clock. I feared that I would be yoga-less, which signaled a major predicament for me. Sure, I could run along the Thames or in the parks, but I knew that it would never make me feel as good as yoga did. So I asked myself whether I could still keep yoga as part of my everyday routine.
Envisioning my life without yoga, I called my boyfriend back in NYC. He heard how immensely stressed out I was but simply said, "Figure it out." I wish he could have seen the resentful look on my face thousands of miles away. But you know what? He was right.
They key to starting a self-practice is, in fact, just figuring it out. I had been to enough yoga classes and had a good enough (muscular and mental) memory to recall more or less the general structure of the classes I was attending. So I did it, but not without some research as well as some trail and error. The end result was sweaty satisfaction. My practice may not have been perfect each time, but it was definitely close enough. And ultimately, it led me to become a yoga instructor.
Here are my tips for creating an inspirational yoga place for your at-home practice:
1. Treat your mat with care.
I'm not saying that your mat is holy, but it is the place upon which you will perform a powerful practice. Get a mat that you love. When you are done with it, clean it, roll it up or fold it nicely and put it away in a special place. Your mat will resemble your practice.
2. Pick a spot you love, but don’t get tied to it.
Every day has a different energy, as does every part of your home. Don’t just practice in one spot. Instead pick the place that's calling you on that particular day, even if it means moving the coffee table and couch to the side.
3. Relish in the light.
Consider the direction you're facing on your mat. Will you be facing toward the window at the blue sky or into your messy closet? Everything around you will affect your practice, so adjust accordingly.
4. Rock out.
Music is a huge aspect of everything because of its power to uplift and inspire us from the inside-out, just like yoga. Pick a playlist or album that you are feeling.
5. Be a diva.
If the place, music, or even outfit doesn’t work that day, take a minute to go and change it. Give yourself what you need to feel good.
Remember not to worry about messing up. Just have fun!