A consistent home practice? In this current global climate?! L-O-flipping-L.
(My exact thought as I’m typing this post with one hand)
Yes you read that right.
About a month ago I somehow managed to shatter a glass with the minuscule amount of strength in my left hand. Should probably lay off the gym for a while. All jokes aside though my physical yoga practice has come to a complete halt as I focus on healing and rehabilitating my hand. Initially this was really hard for me to accept that I wouldn’t be able to practice as I’ve been before. It took time but I’ve grown to appreciate the teachings that have unfolded as a result of my injury.
I continue to practice though my yoga looks a little different than most. Currently for me it’s all about mindfulness. Not taking it day by day but rather moment by moment. Ever aware of the fluctuating sensations and emotions within myself. Making good use of sudden bursts of energy but also honoring my body when it’s tapped out. Being okay with writing a whole day off but having the grace to approach tomorrow with fresh eyes.
Perhaps your obstacle isn’t physical injury. Maybe it’s the pile of laundry or dishes that could be done later but your brain insists must be done right mow. Maybe your space doesn’t feel right. Maybe you don’t feel right. Maybe it’s simply the mental hurdle of getting down to practicing. I know it may seem nearly impossible for some right now. If you happen to be one of those people take a deep breath. Remember that your practice doesn’t have to be a full 90 minute sweat sesh. Even 5 minutes of meditation is better than none at all. We all begin somewhere.
One of the most important aspects of your yoga practice is the space you create for yourself.
Not just the physical setting but your mental state as well. Go into each practice as if its your first time ever. No expectations, no timeline. We frequently are asked to set an intention for our practice. This intention is by no means rigid and can be modified to serve your needs for that particular day. Let yourself show up honestly. If you’re having a rough day some easy restorative postures may best suit you or possibly flowing with the guidance of your breath. Whatever it may be that you need you have my entire permission to do you boo (just don’t go hurting yourself on me).
I’ve put together some tips and suggestions to help you not only create your home practice but to also sustain it.
Drop Your Expectations
All. Of. Them. You don’t need them.
They only tether you to the outcome of your practice and further the stigma that your worth is directly related to how much you do or achieve. Let your practice be a haven, sanctuary, home away from home. Somewhere you can come to again and again with no strings attached. Feel free to feel. To explore. To fall. To get back up. To breakdown. To breakthrough. Our connection to the divine lies within this surrender.
Welcome Distractions with Open Arms
This is one of the most crucial aspects of yoga that I feel never gets brought up.
It plays off of releasing expectations. We can get this idea in our mind of our “ideal” yoga practice. Complete silence, candles and Palo Santo everywhere, total bliss. However this lovely ideal scenario is not always what our practice ends up being. Typically it’s like how the hell am I supposed to align my zen chakra if my child won’t quit screaming?
We tend to believe that distraction is an obstacle to our practice when it actually is our greatest tool. Notice your relationship to the distraction. Do you get upset? Do you allow your mind to be consumed by it? Do you believe that the distraction is out to undermine your warrior like focus? Whatever it is you notice just be aware of it, no need to get all judgey on yourself. The distractions serve as an opportunity for us to return to our center, stillness, essence.
So the next time your mind wanders let it, see what shows up. But know that you have the power to guide yourself back to your breath, back to this present moment.
Create Your Space
One of the more subtle aspects of practice is the very space in which we hold for ourselves.
The kind of space we create sets the tone for our yoga practice. Everything from the way in which you roll your mat out to the state of your mind matters. It’s important to take time before practice to center yourself. Clear clutter and make sure you have enough room to move. Have water or any beverage available as well as any desired props. If you enjoy incense/sage/palo santo feel free to burn them or light some candles for soft lighting. Choose music that sets the kind of vibe you’re looking for but don’t be afraid to mix it up from your usual yoga playlist. Yours truly gets her asana on to some old school hip hop and I encourage you to try it at least once. Live a little!
A gentle reminder that it’s okay if your yoga space isn’t picture perfect. It’s also okay if your practice isn’t perfect. Know you can walk away at any time and come back when you’re ready.
I hope these suggestions were helpful. If there’s something not mentioned in this post you’re having trouble with feel free to reach out via email or Instagram and I’ll do my best to provide insight.
Take care and be well dear ones.