I Want A Home Practice, Really, I Do

Establishing a home yoga practice has been a challenge for me.  It is something that I want to do and need to do.  Being consistent with going to yoga classes at a yoga studio is one thing, but living your yoga every day on and off the mat is a whole other beast.  I am not quite sure why I am met with my own resistance when it comes to establishing a home practice.  I don’t really have too many excuses.  I have several places in my house where I can practice.  When I have practiced at home, I like to do so in my living room in front of the picture window where I get a lot of sunlight.  I made a special yoga music playlist with favorites from Cassandra Wilson and Sade.  But, the home practice doesn’t stick.  I may do it for a week or so, and then I’m done.  I look at my yoga mat leaning against the wall, collecting dust.  So, what is holding me back?

I have issues letting go.  With home practice, you lead the practice.  You determine what sequence you’ll follow and what poses you’ll do.  You decide when you begin and when you end.  You are in control.  Well, in control in the sense that you have to know how to let go.  You have to want to let go and find your flow, your natural rhythm.  That is difficult for me.  I find that I am working against myself when I practice at home.  I have a hard time quieting my mind and all of the distractions from the world around me.

As a yoga teacher, I know it will be important that I maintain a home practice.  It is essential.  How can I teach someone else yoga if I can’t even practice with myself?  It’s like what I say about teaching writing–you can’t teach writing if you yourself are not a writer.  All of the yoga blogs I follow have posts about starting and maintaining a home practice (see the Elephant Journal, Kripalu, and Yoga Journal for starters) and they all give the same advice.  The most challenging advice for me is to “just begin”.  Ultimately, you just have to begin.  It doesn’t matter if you practice for 7 minutes–what matters most is that you begin and begin again.

I’d also add that home practice is more about the mental and emotional and less about the physical for me.  What I mean is that I am not challenged by the physical practice.  In my case, they are the mental games that I play with myself that deter me from a consistent practice.  I am going to stop being so hard on myself because I did not practice at home today.  Each day is a new day to begin.  As the warrior pose teaches, don’t look back, just forward.  And, as my girl Erykah Badu sang, let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go…

7 thoughts on “I Want A Home Practice, Really, I Do”

  1. I find this entry inspiring as our New Year resolution is to have a Yoga date every Friday together. I worry that Curtis doesn’t work out so he is willing to commit to this date, once a week, because he understands the importance of caring for oneself. The biggest obstacle is that we presently don’t have or know of a studio that works for us. We have decided to start this ritual together at home. We will begin our home practice the first Friday of January. We are both relatively new at it. I hope to read this blog every week and find the ways you have overcome whatever prevents you from practicing at home to adopt as motivation for our weekly practice.

    1. this is great! There will definitely be frequent updates about my journey, so I hope that we can keep each other encouraged and hold one another accountable. Make sure you follow my blog so you can get the regular posts =)

  2. I love this post. The getting started part is always a challenge of mine, especially as the body and personal schedule have to adjust to new forms of exercise and making the necessary life changes. But my main challenge is one of personal commitment to self and a home practice really highlights one honoring self and having others respect your process, so I definitely appreciate your wisdom and will follow the journey as I commit to my own.

  3. This advice about letting go, and doing what you can THAT day, rather than focusing on what you could’ve done in the past speaks directly to my soul. Keep on keepin on!

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