Yoga At Home: Where I Come Alive
The one thing I find most beautiful and liberating about yoga is that I don’t need any fancy equipment or a designated building or field to practice.
Being back home means it's currently not possible for me to attend a yoga class, and the nearest studio is a 30 min drive from my home.
So, I decided to start practising yoga at home and continue to deepen my own personal relationship with yoga. I save on time, energy and money. Twenty minutes of yoga at home is often more beneficial than driving 30 min into town, trying to find parking and paying R500 a month to practice for an hour 3 times a week at a studio.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy taking yoga classes but also nothing replaces my intimate home practices as they have helped me go into my own body and ask it to be my teacher. It is a time when I can find my own rhythm. It is where my inner self-comes alive.
Going to classes has many benefits, of course, but I have observed that it is when I started practising at home that my real breakthrough occurred.
So, below is things that have helped me have an effective home Yoga practice.
My 15 min minimum daily practice commitment
I’ve made a promise to myself that I will do a 15-minute daily practice. It’s my time and I can choose my practice time - just that - anything more is bonus time! I usually start small (baby steps!); this way I have stuck to my commitment and feel positive about each practice rather than guilty if I don’t have a lot of time or energy that day.
Finding an area for my yoga practice
Most people have an extra room they can devote to their yoga practice, however, I don’t and due to that, I have to be more flexible and creative about the space where I want to practice. I usually try to find a peaceful and quiet area around the house or outside our yard, with as much space around me as possible.
I’ve learned I can do yoga anywhere as long as I have enough space around without the risk of bumping into tables, chairs, etc. I've practised in the yard with my dog there, running around playing with her ball. Not ideal, but I still get my practice in, which is the most important message of this article.
So be creative and get on your mat no matter what! Create the best space you can and enjoy your practice!
Sticking with a set sequence.
I practice almost the same poses every day because it's a powerful way for me to keep consistent with my practice. This repetition has offered me a clear vantage point from where I can watch my poses improve and my core strength increases.
Taking the time to sit and be still.
I always include time in my practice just to BE – to breathe and to be present with myself. Finding stillness in my practice has helped me feel very nourished and peaceful, and has motivated me to want to practice with more consistency! Just three minutes of conscious deep breathing can work wonders! Also practising meditation has helped me build my ability to concentrate.
Enjoying my practice!
Practising at home means I don't overdo it; if I can’t enjoy my yoga practice, I know I will never keep at it. It should be something I look forward to doing. So I usually try different styles of yoga or YouTube classes if I start to feel like yoga is becoming a chore.
For the past weeks, I’ve been back from Bali, my home yoga practice has been uplifting and consistent. Most of the time my practice lasts thirty to forty minutes. Occasionally on a good day, I spend an hour practising my follow with 15 minutes of meditation. On some days, I have a clear plan as to what I want to practice, but usually, I have no idea what poses I will incorporate until I start my practice. I still don’t know if I do the downward dog better today than I did a year ago when I started taking yoga seriously, but I do have a better understanding of my body movements and strength.
Lastly, I have to confess that practising yoga at home has given me the much-needed space and time to experience myself without the pressures of feeling like I’m not flexible enough. I can hear my thoughts and see how my body responded to them. While I will attend classes whenever I can and look forward to working with teachers, practising at home has allowed me to take full responsibility for my own practice and to make it my own.