You might have every intention to practice yoga at home. However it can be hard to follow through on this sometimes. A home practice has many advantages. It gives you the freedom to access the benefits of yoga whenever and wherever you want to. This convenience can then facilitate more frequent practice. Once a routine is developed, you then have a powerful tool for cultivating a healthy body and mind. So why can a home practice be hard to establish and maintain? This article explores five common obstacles to a home yoga practice and guides you with tips and strategies to overcome them.
Obstacle 1: Procrastination
This obstacle will often come disguised as a different, seemingly unrelated obstacle that on the surface appears very important. It will often finally reveal itself only after an exhaustive list of domestic or work-related chores have been completed. By this stage the yoga moment has often passed.
Simple. Get on your mat. Once you are on your mat the hard work is done. A few poses into your practice and the familiar momentum of yoga carries you along. I have personally found over the years that I have put off starting a practice session many times. However stopping a session once it has begun has been extremely rare. Once you have commenced, you get more of a true sense of how your mood and energy levels actually are. Your practice can then be adapted accordingly.
If you want to do yoga first thing in the morning, get your mat and any extra equipment set up the night before. Once you wake up you are ready to go – head straight to your mat.
Obstacle 2: Nowhere to Practice
This is potentially a harder problem to resolve depending on your living space. The best-case scenario is that you have a section of your house or apartment that can be set aside permanently and used specifically for your yoga practice. However, for many people this may not be an option.
If this is the case you may need to use some creativity. Clear wall space is important. To get it you may need to temporarily remove a picture from a wall. Space around your mat is also needed. Consider moving furniture whilst you do your practice. For example, sliding a table or armchair out of the way, or rolling up a rug. You might need to do certain poses in one section of a room and other poses in a different section of a room.
Make whatever practice area you have into a clean and special place where you like to spend your time.
Obstacle 3: No Time to Practice
Yoga can easily be placed in that category of things that we would like to do if only we had more time. Upon reflection this problem can often overlap with the previous problem. It may be a sense of feeling as if there is not enough space in your life. If this is the case then do not underestimate the connection between the creation of space inside a yoga pose and the creation of space outside of a yoga pose.
Rather than burdening your life with another demand that cannot be sustained, start off small. Practice is a habit, and momentum is everything. It is better to practice everyday for 15 minutes than once a week for two hours.
See your yoga time as an investment. Spending an hour or so on yourself, doing things for yourself and feeling healthy, focused and stress-free is going to make you more productive in all areas of your life.
Obstacle 4: No Equipment
A practice can seem daunting if you are not familiar with using yoga equipment. However you need not be put off, as this is the easiest problem to overcome.
Treat yourself to some good quality purpose-built equipment. You will find a range of options on the internet. You may also know of a local supplier. Good yoga mats are relatively inexpensive. Avoid getting a mat that is too thick. It will make balance more difficult and will probably be hard to fold up. Once you have a mat the next step will be purchasing two blocks and a belt. This is relatively inexpensive and will open up a lager range of poses and sequences. Eventually you may want to consider buying a yoga chair, a bolster and blankets.
In the early stages, instead of buying a bolster and blankets, domestic pillows, cushions and blankets will be fine.
Obstacle 5: Uncertainty About How and What to Practice
This is the obstacle where most home practices come unstuck. It is really common to feel unsure about what poses to work with, and how to fit them into a sequence. Even students with many years of experience will struggle with this problem. Practicing poses in the wrong sequence can leave you feeling unbalanced and sometimes it can even lead to injuries.
The extensive library of YogaSelection classes provides you with the structure for an effective home practice. Each class is carefully planned and sequenced so that you can access the benefits of yoga without placing undue strain or stress on your body. Use this resource to unlock all the benefits that yoga can offer.
A good sequence will include poses that cut through sluggishness at the start of a practice. Energetic and stimulating asanas such as handstand, forearm balance and sun salutes are a great way to begin any practice. As a general principle, active poses are included before passive ones. Calming poses such as forward bends and supported restorative poses are best left until the end. It would not be a good idea to be outside your comfort zone for the whole sequence. Equally, it would not be good to be within your comfort zone the whole time. Experiment and find the right balance.
Home yoga practice is all about momentum and consistency. As a home practice matures it gradually demands less effort to maintain. Initially you will need to invest energy, as with most things in life that are worthwhile. Don’t expect a sudden transition from not having a home practice to all of a sudden practicing every day. Sudden changes in yoga are often not as stable and enduring as changes that occur incrementally over time.
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