Nothing will ever replace a teacher’s guiding hand when it comes to yoga, but it can be very rewarding for students to do some solo work on their mat. A home yoga practice is an excellent way to listen to your body more closely, to establish a healthy routine capable of diffusing anger and managing stress, and to more fully integrate the poses and modifications learned in class into your practice.
Use these tips to set yourself up for success! And remember, it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, as long as you get back up at least one more time. Do your practice and all is coming.
- Start with a sequence. Learn the sun salutations from your favorite teacher, write down a sequence of poses in order, use a book, magazine or video for guidance. Check out the iYoga Premium App developed by Yoga One in collaboration with 3D4Medical! If you have a set sequence planned in advance, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
- Set a specific time aside. The beginning of the day and the end of the day are wise choices because you don’t have to cut anything out from your schedule. Pick a time, set an alarm (if you need it) and commit to being present for the allotted time. Even just 10-15 minutes – don’t bite off more than you can chew. Increase as desired.
- Isolate yourself from distractions. Turn off your cell phone and ask others not to disturb you while you are practicing. Life happens and distractions will come, but do your best to stay focused and you’ll increase your chances of success.
- Create a ritual. After practice, make yourself a cup of tea as a treat. Set up a special place in your home with a candle, incense or an icon. Allowing yourself a healthy treat and practicing in the same location each time activates the reward center of the brain and helps reinforce your new habit.
- Choose an affirmation. It can be as simple as internally repeating “peace” on your inhale and “love” on your exhale or as specific as “I am healthy because I choose to take care of myself.” Over time, affirmations and mantras become part of our internal dialogue and create shifts in long-established ways of thinking.
- Allow time for reflection. A brief period of journaling or silence (while making breakfast, brushing your teeth before bed) will ease your transition back into the world of activity and relationships. This pause gives you time to integrate the benefits of your practice into your body, life and mind.
Yoga and Laura had an on-again-off-again relationship from 2004 until 2009 when they decided to move in together and there’s been no looking back since. Passionate about both yoga and writing, Laura loves to introduce others to the joys and benefits of yoga and healthy living.