Getting yourself to a 90-minute yoga class isn't easy. I always appreciate when my teachers remind the group that getting there is the hardest part. It’s true. Personally, I can think of any excuse in the world to skip class.
It’s not that I don’t love my yoga practice. That feeling during Savasana after a vigorous, sweaty class is total bliss.
The fact is, not everyone can squeeze in one to two hours in a day for yoga. But in all honesty, it’s pretty hard to motivate to do any of it at home too.
Here are a few easy tips to get started on rolling out your mat on your living room floor:
1. Leave the pressure out of it!
An “at-home practice” does not mean setting a stop watch and moving through five A’s, five B’s, a bunch of standing poses, abdominal work, inversions, backbends, floor work and a 20-minute Savasana! Do what feels right and give your body just what it needs. Waking up and doing some sun salutations will feel really good, even if that’s all you have time for.
We put so much pressure on ourselves (myself included) that it’s not really “yoga” unless we’re in a class and it’s exactly 90-minutes long. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Any amount is enough if that’s what your body is telling you it needs that day.
2. Workshop on your own.
This is something I have started doing, and it’s actually really fun! On the days I don’t go to class, I’ll usually get outside and do some cardio. Recently, when I get home, I roll out my mat and do some abdominal work, warming up my core to go upside down.
I realized long ago I’m never going to hold a handstand in the center of the room if I spend the five minutes we get in class to practice it against the wall. This is a very difficult pose and needs some one-on-one time. Just me and my handstand! I’ve also been doing this with Pincha Mayurasana (forearm balance), and I can’t tell you how much they’ve improved. Just a few extra minutes when I’m alone at home is making a big difference. Next on my list is arm balances – another thing we don’t spend a lot of time on in class (nor should we; yoga is, of course, about much more than holding some crazy arm balance whose name I still can’t pronounce).
3. Sit in silence.
For thousands of years before there were poses and handstands and vinyasa flow, yoga was all about sitting quietly in meditation. If you can take a few minutes at home to just sit in total silence, you're actually doing yoga – and to me, you're doing the hardest kind. So take some time, put your phone on silent, and be observant of your breath.
Yoga is what you make of it. Some days we have all the time and energy in the world and sometimes we simply don’t. It doesn’t mean you can’t sneak it into your life on a daily basis.