Practicing Yoga at Home

Practicing yoga at home at home can be difficult we all know that. And even if we think of the judging glances of fellow practitioners or the raised eyebrow of the instructor we still prefer a group class because finding motivation at home is just tough. Dedication is there, we feel it, but this mysterious motivation is rather elusive.

How can we find, or even better say, maintain motivation for a home practice? I keep asking the question where motivation comes from in the first place.

For some it is the challenge of various poses, or perhaps the idea of losing weight / get fitter / stay healthy, but also the being told that we should not do something fires most of us, or the more connecting feeling that somewhere else someone in the world is doing exactly the same thing right now, and of course
the voice in our heads “if I don’t practice that day I will regret it later”...

To be honest I think no one can motivate anyone to do anything. All a person can do for another is provide them with incentives to motivate themselves. In a class we learn the basics by mainly following instructions that inspires while at home we explore, wonder etc and this is where understanding is born, a real break through that actually changes us which grants further motivation.

Our thoughts and intention create our reality. Creating a better you, healing yourself to be able to serve your community and the world better is possible through constantly motivating yourself by setting an intention using your attention. The path to your intention is paved with many distractions, wherein you
become a better you by overcoming them.

Practicing yoga at home is a bit like cooking for yourself. Let’s say you are a pretty good cook. You have cooked some amazing dishes for your friends who really think you are a star. And you know too that you are a closet chef but when it’s just you at home you still eat a handful of cereal out of the box for dinner. Just the thought of cooking a meal at home fills you with shame and leads you to whatever distraction is closest at hand. If you want a real meal, you’ll go to a restaurant or a pizza place.

This is precisely how many people relate to their yoga practice. Yes, it’s life changing and they’re committed to their practice at the studio, but they miss that it’s ultimately about integrating it into their life at home and taking ownership of their own practice and thus their own life. The real obstacle is not that we don’t know enough about the poses or that we don’t have a good enough place to practice. The real obstacle is that it’s hard to show up by yourself, as yourself, to yourself. Without guidance and external feedback we seem to be at loss.

So why is it so important then to have a home practice? What’s wrong with going to a class? There is nothing wrong with it. It is a necessary means to the goal.

Ultimately the practice needs to make us more fully ourselves and if it constantly needs external aid that keeps us remember and inspire of who we really are then it is not real, it is neither independent nor sustainable.

There must come a time when we need to take all that we have learnt from others and become our own teacher, our own friend on the path. Keeping community and still seek out from time to time is fine but if we entirely outsource our growth and development that’s somehow inherently and sadly limited.

There is an innate difference between eating in a restaurant and cooking for ourselves at home. At home we are really faced with what we know and we mix in intuition with our skill and create things we have never been taught about. We learn to give ourselves exactly what we need.

So, roll out your mat today at home. Become your own teacher. Go on your own journey. Make the discoveries about yourself that you can’t make when you’re being guided. You think going to yoga classes has changed your life? Wait until you taste your home practice.

Few tips that may help you:
1. Make space for your practice in your life. Commit time to your practice but don’t become rigid.
2. Make space for your practice at home. Let’s say a quiet corner of your room would do that you keep clean and sacred, even if only in your mind.
3. Roll out your mat and stand on it... breathe.
4. Start moving slowly, taste your moves and let it flow intuitively. It will show you ways to shift your awareness out of a feeling of constriction to a place of e x p a n s i v e n e s s ... by listening to yourself and exploring what you need with a sense of curiosity and creativity.
5. Be accountable. Engage a good friend and ask to check in with you about your practice
6. Utilise the Yoga in Daily Life System to guide and support your practice. See it > here.