So, lately I haven’t been able to make it to the yoga studio as much as I would like. Life has been a little crazy lately and it’s been hard! We got our new puppy last weekend and we’ve been busy getting ready for him for weeks before that.
Having an eight week old puppy is seriously taking up all of our time. We wake up in the morning and play with him and help him go to the bathroom. I come home during lunch and play with him some more. When I get home from work, I let him out of his crate and I feel bad leaving when he’s been in his kennel all day! I had been going to yoga after work for months now so it’s hard not having time to go anymore. It seems silly to pay $100+ per month for yoga when I can only make it one time a week.
I figured this would happen, so I have been doing some research on how to create yoga sequences at home. I’m hoping to be able to practice in the morning or when I get home from work in our living room, that way I can keep an eye on the puppy.
The most common misconception about an at home practice is thinking that it should have the same intensity as a regular class. What I read from the Yoga International website really made sense:
“It’s a lot like cooking,” says Crandell. “Sure, you could make restaurant-caliber food for every meal, but a piece of peanut butter toast now and then will also sustain you quite nicely.”
In other words, it doesn’t have to be much or too fancy, as long as you DO it!
There’s three hurdles that we face when trying to exercise at home– fear, complacency and busyness. But an at home practice can help us in many ways. It’s great for self-knowledge– helps us self soothe. The more we practice, the better we’ll get at self-help. We’ll be able to choose poses that help us feel better physically and emotionally.
Choose poses to suite your mood or needs.
The good thing about practicing at home is that you can create your own sequence according to how you’re feeling mentally or physically. If you’re wide awake and full of energy for the day, you can pick vigorous, high energy poses. If you’re tired or anxious, you can choose more restorative poses. Yoga should be used to take care of your immediate needs, because its all about the present moment.
Set an intention.
Use your yoga time effectively by concentrating on an intention. Do you want to relax? Do you want to practice on a specific pose? Stretch a certain body part? Let emotions come up and let go of them with each move.
Choose poses you love.
Take notice what poses you really enjoy during a yoga class at the studio. Chances are you’ll be able to think of three or four poses that really improve your mood. Start with these and you’ll be likely to add more once you get started.
Pick a quiet, well lit spot.
It’s important to practice yoga at home in a well lit, warm, quiet spot in your home with the least amount of distractions as possible. If the weather’s nice (maybe next spring?) practice outside on your porch or even in the grass to be closer to nature.
Move in all directions.
Choose poses that let you move forwards, backwards, to each side, and some twisting poses. Make sure you hit all sides of your body for a complete practice. If you do a pose on one side, be sure to repeat it on the other.
Carve out time.
Even ten or fifteen minutes of yoga can make a huge difference. You don’t need to practice for a full hour. Customize your at home practice to your specific time restrictions. That’s the beauty of creating an at home practice!
Be on the lookout for a post about the tools I’ll be using for my at home practice, and I’m even thinking about starting a yoga pose series!
Do you have an at home yoga practice? What are your best tips?