I love being home. I do enjoy being out and mingling with society. But, I just love being home. My house is my sanctuary, my place of rest, safety and rejuvenation. It's roomy, cozy and filled with love and jubilant energy from my two sweet dogs and husband. Absolutely everything I love is there. In my home, I am not questioned or judged. The walls know me.
Starting a home practice requires two things: dedication and space. Dedication doesn't mean a strict or rigid schedule, it just means regular practice. And regular practice means a more refined and personal yoga practice for yourself. Having a space to practice is important too. I am lucky to have a small room to myself, but I realize not everyone has a whole room free to use for just yoga. Just find a small space to keep your mat, and maybe even personalize it a little bit with some yoga books, magazines or even a couple candles (out of the way of children or dogs of course).
Beginning a Home Practice
Taking a few yoga classes and getting some professional instruction is a must-do before taking yoga seriously at home. It's important to make sure your home practice is safe and sustainable. You will learn safe alignment in good yoga classes. I still take classes regularly, and it's essential to my education and development as a yogi. However, I've realized the value of taking my yoga practice home.
Yoga is not a one-size-fits all. The way I've discovered how yoga best fits me, is by creating my own personal practice through trial and error. This may be intimidating at first. "I don't know what I'm doing." "Where do I start?", "How do I structure a routine?" I started out with a pen and paper, drafting out my routines, actually writing them down with bullet points and taping it to the wall. I'd practice with that structure for a while, but then find myself branching off into different poses or movements that felt appropriate. Ultimately, I barely made it half-way through my scripted routine without veering off into yoga la la land. But that was exactly what I needed to move forward.
Bring what you learned in class to your home mat. At home, I feel there is a larger space for freedom, authenticity, more room for mistakes, and greater opportunities to create. It also allows a rare chance to become reacquainted with yourself...perhaps discovering things you're really good at or (in more cases than not) coming face to face with your ego (tumbles, face plants, etc!). A home practice is a place for discovery and growth. I find being home allows me to access my courage a little easier. You know how yoga teachers are always talking about finding your edge? Do you really go to your edge in class? I don't. Well, you will at home, and you'll find your edge fast. To me, that's the best part. Just don't injure yourself at home. There is a fine line between going to the edge and going too far. Practice safe edge-finding!
At home, it really is just you and your mat. What happens there stays there! No one needs to know exactly how you really figured out that handstands are not a good thing to try before warming up. I have a hole in the wall from one of my first home practices. I pushed my ego way to hard, but in the safety of my own home. You learn fast, and you will probably become modest and more respectful of the practice. That little hole in the wall taught me a lot, and seeing it always a good reminder of patience and safety.
I hope this post encourages you to take up a home practice. Remember not to be too hard on yourself. Even a five minute practice counts :)
I'd love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences!
Hello, I'm Julie.
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