So, for one reason or another, you’ve decided not to go to your local studio to practice yoga. Maybe because you’re right in the middle of a global pandemic and well, your yoga studio has been closed indefinitely. Or maybe you’ve found this article after Coronapocolypse, but you still want an at home practice. Here are a few thoughts I have on the subject.
First of all, I will always and forever be a believer that in person interaction is superior. This is not to say that virtual interaction is a negative, it’s just not AS good as in person. Getting yourself in the car to get to the super zen studio, to work with your teacher who knows you and acknowledges you creates relational strength in your practice. As well as connecting with the same group of people, like a group of yoga hostages that have a shared experience of growth, creates accountability, encouragement and comfort. Spaces, people and experiences help build a beautiful and healthy yoga practice. Taking any or all of those out, creates something a little bit different. But that’s ok, you can take a few steps to come close to gaining the same studio benefits.
Here are a few ways you can get your home practice to feel like a studio practice.
- Create a sacred space – It’s easy when you’re at home to just throw your yoga mat on the ground in front of your computer anywhere. But take a moment to be intentional with your space. Even if it’s just a corner of a room, a closet area or maybe you do have a dedicated work out space, use decorations and props to make it special to you. I have a plant, my yoga mat and my favorite picture in my space. I also like to diffuse some lavender as I practice. Keep it simple, but intentional. Clutter creates stress, but a complete lack of anything leads to a dismal feeling in your space.
- Create a sacred time – Listen. I’m a mom of three boys, that runs a business with a home office and a full schedule of extracurriculars. I fully understand the challenges of finding time. But just like you would drive to the studio and create a physical time barrier to other happenings, set the same boundaries with yourself and your family.
- Put a “do not enter” sign on your door, turn your phone to do not disturb and act as if you were going to the studio.
- If you have kids, remind them how important your practice is, maybe ask how they like being disturbed during their Fortnite game and let them know this is your Fortnite time. (I learned this tip from my grandma – who used to tell me her soaps were her cartoon time – anyone else?) Ask your spouse to help keep kids away so you can be a better person when you’re done.
- No kids, no spouse? Sometimes that’s just as hard, because it’s easiest to cancel plans with yourself. You’re not going to get mad at you, so why not watch the 5th season of Friends one more time instead? Treat your at home practice with as much importance as any other appointment.
- Find an online studio that works for you – There’s really three major categories here with the level of commitment and engagement for you.
- YouTube, Vimeo or other streaming services. There are some AMAZING teachers on these services. BeachBody on Demand (no I’m not a coach) is where I really dug in to yoga first. It was safe, I could mess up, I learned the lingo and the instructors were amazing. These are all great options, but your streaming teacher doesn’t know your name, they don’t know your injuries and they can’t cheer you on as you finally nail that crow pose. They also don’t miss you when you don’t show up. Nor do your other class mates. There can be a bit of “community” around the streaming option. But it is typically relatively one sided and easy to not participate in.
- Facebook Live groups with streaming. This platform is a little better if you catch the classes live. You can interact with the teacher somewhat in real time and still feel like everyone in your group is there. You can set up times to take classes together or watch later. This is a fun alternative to just watching a playback of any teacher somewhere, because you probably know the teacher or can see more of their personality in this setting.
- Virtual classroom setting. This is by far my favorite option to a real life studio. Which is why we chose this as our platform during the stay home period. You can check in with your teacher before class by having an actual conversation with them. The teacher can still “teach to the class” and have some follow up time afterwards. You can usually still get the benefits of watching class afterwards if you don’t make it to class. I hope that we see this platform expand over the next few years. I really think it has some promise.
- Just Do It – Sort of like the Nike slogan, the best way to make a yoga practice happen at home is to get started. Just take your next step forward. Starting the process is going to create a momentum that will eventually be harder to not do, so just start. Start without a sacred space, without the perfect time and on whatever platform is easiest. Doing something, in this case, is better than doing nothing. Integrate the other pieces as you keep moving forward, one thing at a time.
You’ve got this. You know it’s important. You know it feels better when you practice. And you know you won’t regret it. So, with those four key points in mind, are you ready to have a killer at home practice? Let us know in the comments if there is anything else that you recommend for your at home practice.
And as always, Shine Bright my friends.