Many of us left our dream of an at-home yoga practice behind a long time ago. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to create the same atmosphere as a studio class and oftentimes circumstances are far less than ideal; kids, dogs, doorbells, dishes… these things do not make arriving on your mat easy. Even if you do make it, the distractions are often frustrating and take away from the overall purpose of your practice.
Then, *COVID-19 enters the chat*. Suddenly making your yoga practice work at home is essential. Not only are all the same distractions there as before but for many, even more chaos surrounds them at home with nowhere to really get away to. So, How do we create an at-home yoga practice that we love?
Start with Atmosphere
Setting the tone of your space can be transformative. No matter what your practice space looks like your state of mind is far more important. Start by wearing comfortable clothes that you can move freely in. Roll out your mat and wipe it down with your favorite mat spray or even just a wet cloth. Incorporate aromas by adding essential oils to a diffuser nearby, using an oil blend spray on the space around you or directly on you. Choose music that creates ambiance Classical, Instrumental, Mantra, electric guitar riffs the options are endless. Often incorporating a representation of the four elements can create a balanced tone (fire: candle, earth: crystal or essential oil, water: a glass or bottle of water, air: incense or a cleansing smoke). I am sure you’re getting the idea! Make this time of preparation for practice a special occasion, a ritual you look forward to.
Indifference to distraction
Hear me out! We come to our yoga practice to work through the thought patterns that keep us stagnant. Learning to still the mind as the world continues to bustle around you is an amazing gift. Our lives will never be completely free from distractions or inconveniences. Instead, we can practice managing our reactions to these things and liberate ourselves from the negative emotions that accompany them. So, if the puppy, kids, spouse, doorbell… and so on, change up the course of your best-laid plans, apply the same grace as you would to yourself in a studio-based class!
Guidance From Teachers you Love
Another element of attending studio classes that you may miss is instructor guidance. The spontaneity of not knowing exactly where the class is going to take you and the added bonus of cues and alignment reminders. One option is to tune in to Live Virtual Classes, where you log in for a scheduled class time. Attending live-streamed classes will keep you connected to the community and atmosphere of your favorite yoga studio.
Alternatively, for more those with a varying schedule, a great option is to use Video On Demand. With VOD you can search specific class lengths, types, and target areas on your own time! Both options can be streamed on your mobile device or computer to make focusing easier on your mat.
Not everyone has a set schedule that works for them daily. Some people thrive with a set daily routine, while others need the flexibility to make it work. First, identify which of the two you are and stop trying to thrive within a framework that does not suit you! For example, if you are trying to build a consistent practice while simultaneously trying to become a morning person, will your progress become derailed by sleeping in one morning? Be realistic and set goals that make it easy to succeed at first. Then, push yourself out of your comfort zone from there!
Building an at-home yoga practice has never been more important than it is right now. The pandemic has made attending in-person classes inaccessible to some. With tools such as live-streamed classes and our Video On Demand library, we shifted to meet each student where they are. This has also opened the door to the next step on our yoga journey. That is, to embody this practice and welcome yoga principles into everyday life. With the right atmosphere, the patience to overcome distraction, support from your favorite teachers, and the mindfulness of the framework that YOU will thrive in, you have a recipe for progress and success! Do not forget to have fun and make your at-home practice on your own!