Do you enjoy the benefits of yoga, but struggle with practicing at home?
Maybe it's been hard for you to start your home yoga practice, or maybe you've struggled to maintain it. For many people (myself included), working out (in any form) - on your own AND at home - is difficult! You may not have a proper space or props, there are so many distractions, and there is often a lack of motivation.
Before COVID, I had never practiced yoga at home (except for when I would prepare my classes). I relied heavily on going to a studio and having the guidance of a seasoned teacher. But when yoga studios closed in March 2020, I was presented with a choice:
Over the last year and a half I have developed a few key habits that have really helped me keep up with my home yoga practice (and therefore keep my sanity 😆) and I'd like to share them with you.
HABIT #1: Leave your yoga mat rolled out where you plan to practice (don't put it away!)
So I know this may not seem super practical, especially if you are living in a small space and are used to your home looking a certain way (hint: this is an invitation to work on letting go of control 😉), but simply the act of seeing your mat on the floor will remind you to get on it and move your body!
I'll tell you a little story about how I learned that something so simple could be so effective. This summer my family and I spent 6 weeks in a cottage in Morin-Heights, QC. I had the choice of setting up my yoga space in the basement, or right next to our bed in the mezzanine. The basement option seemed like the logical choice, as it would permit me to be free(ish) of distractions from my family. But the basement was also dark and we weren't spending very much time down there. So I rolled out my yoga mat right next to our bed and didn't put it away for 6 weeks. The result? I woke up every morning with my mat staring me in the face; it was literally saying: "come sit on me". And so I would accept the invitation. Sometimes just for 10 min, or sometimes for a full practice. I have never been so consistent!
Habit 2: Choose WHEN you will practice, and write it down!
I HIGHLY recommend practicing in the morning, even if it means having to wake up a little earlier. From my personal experience, I've learned that if I don't practice first thing after waking up, I'll never do it, even if I have the best of intentions. Now I know that a morning practice may not be possible for every body, so if you already know that a different time of day works for you, go with it!
Now that you have decided when you will practice....write it down (on paper preferably)
This part is just as important (if not more important) than the 'when'. And the act of writing it down seems to be more effective than simply scheduling it into your electronic calendar.
This month I started using The Mastery Journal (to master productivity, discipline, and focus in 100 days). At the beginning of each page there is a prompt to write out my morning routine, including what time I wish to start and end by, and the tasks I would like to include. The key to this habit is doing it the night before, because as John Lee Dumas says: "we win tomorrow, today!".
I was amazed at how effective this simple act of no more than 3 minutes became! On the evenings where I would write out my morning routine I had a 100% success rate of actually implementing my plan (which was very new for me as I normally have a hard time with discipline and routine).
So here is something you can do right now to get one step closer to your consistent home yoga practice. Make sure to write your answers down!
Habit 3: Be part of an online yoga community
The truth is: starting and maintaining a home yoga practice is hard because most of the time you're doing it alone.
But what if you had a group to show up to?
What if, before your practice, you got to chat with the other humans, just like you?
Would that make it a little easier to show up each week?
In my 15 years of practicing yoga there have been 2 major things that have helped keep me on my path of living yoga:
When I try to do it alone, I loose my drive, every time. And this is why community has become the foundation of my yoga and coaching programs: because we ALL thrive with support.
I would love to help you find an online (or in person if you are in the Montreal area) yoga community where you feel at home! My Breathe with Lauren family consists mainly of womben at all stages of the Motherhood journey (so those TTC, pregnant people, and new and seasoned moms). I offer fertility yoga, prenatal yoga, postnatal yoga, birth doula services, as well as private and group fertility coaching programs.
But if you don’t fit into one of these categories, I can still point you towards the right community for you (as I have been around the yoga block many, many times). Please contact me at email@example.com. Bringing the mental and physical benefits of yoga to more people is my jam!
Lauren is a trained neuroscientist, who after a decade of teaching left her job to start her own business. Her struggle with migraines and anxiety is what brought Lauren to yoga, and kept her coming back as it became a medicine for both her body and mind. Today, Lauren is passionate about teaching meditation and yoga to a large audience as tools to develop more resilience and joy, with less anxiety and overwhelm. Lauren lives in Montreal with her husband and two children, Cedar and Oscar.