Nobody ever regrets starting a home yoga practice. It can transform your life, your body and your mind. Yet it can also seem overwhelming. Where to start? What to do? Here are some practical tips to get you on the mat and into a home yoga practice. Forty Days of Yoga author Kara-Leah Grant explains how to practise every day – without leaving the house.
Get clear on why you want to practise yoga at home – what are the benefits for you? Is it because you know it will make your life feel more spacious? That it will calm your mind? Improve your flexibility? Make you a better teacher? Help you become more conscious? Take some time to write out the particular benefits that matter for you.
Collect all the resources you need to support your efforts. Think books, DVDs, online classes, magazine articles, a friend to practise with, a journal to write about your experience. Have those resources somewhere visible to remind you of your commitment to practise every day.
Work out where is best for you to do your yoga. In your bedroom? The lounge? The hallway? At the playground while the kids play? At the beach? Know where it is easy, and attractive, and enjoyable. And if you don’t have a space, claim a space, or make one!
Each morning when you wake up, mentally review your day and determine when you’re going to fit in your practice. Know that that’s the moment to roll out your mat. And always do your practice at the first possible opportunity, because it may be the only chance you get.
Give yourself permission to practise every day for just seven minutes. That’s it. Just get on your mat every day for seven minutes and do something. If you’re thinking that you have to do an hour, or half an hour, or even 20 minutes… it’s easy to feel the resistance of your mind. It can be hard to fit that much into an already busy day. However, everyone has seven minutes, and the mind doesn’t object to such a small amount of time. You’ll find that once you’re on your mat doing your yoga… it’s easy to stay longer.
Finally, keep it simple. Think sun salutations, Alternate Nostril Breathing, So Hum Meditation. You want just enough to get you on your mat, that’s all. In time, once you establish consistency, you can begin to build on your practice so it becomes more expansive. The biggest thing when you first start though is to just show up, day after day after day. The shorter and simpler the practice, the easier this is. Paradoxically, the impact and benefits of this are far more powerful than if you were to do a sporadic 90-minute practice every week or so. In time, your short, simple practice will naturally grow, because the practice is beginning to grow in you. That’s the magic of yoga.
Words: Kara-Leah Grant
Article from Breathe Issue 2. Buy the digital edition here