Yoga and I have been seriously dating for about 6 years now. When she came into my life I was vulnerable, deeply hurt, and disappointed by my long-term relationship with the weight room and hardcore cardio. It began with some casual flirting, and a few dates, but when yoga gave me and my body the attention we so desperately needed she began to slowly enter my heart.
Yoga accepted me—all of me—for who I was, no matter what I looked like or what workout wear I had on, or how I was feeling. I thought “perhaps, this is what true love, wellness, movement, and exercise should feel like.” Yoga was satisfying all of my senses all at the same time. My blood would pump through me, I would sweat, feel myself getting stronger, while simultaneously relaxing my mind and releasing stress. The spiritual clarity and openness I would feel at the end of each class was always the icing on the cake, or (if we are going to stick with this analogy) the blissful calm after incredible morning sex!
I wanted yoga and I to go somewhere and be something. A long term… even life-long commitment. Deep down I always knew that I did. I could picture it, feel the future energy beating through the room. And now, for years I have been bringing the joy yoga has given me to my clients. I’ve shared the tools and principles of self-compassion, breathing through discomfort, radical self-acceptance, moving with joy, and non-attachment. It’s safe to say yoga has been whispering in my ear for many years, especially as my coaching practice has grown and become my true north. But in late January she yelled at me (in the middle of what could only be described as a full-blown anxiety attack). “Teach Yoga!” she said. And so, as I tend to do, and never regret… I listened.
I decided to enroll in an intensive 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training this coming summer. Let’s face it. Taking a month away from your business is nothing short of terrifying. But what has become even more frightening is continuing to ignore the whisper, the nudge, the knowing… my intuition. So here I go—not only in an effort to deepen my practice and to shift my energy into a completely new space, but also to be able to privately train, teach, and guide my clients and future students in a broader, more impactful, and richer way.
I currently have a strong practice and feel comfortable on my mat in all class levels and styles. However, I am now working on strengthening my capacity to sit, breathe, and move with myself individually. Not in a class setting but in my home–as the curriculum of this program entails nearly three hours of yoga a day. Jeesh!
At first it was a struggle to find the motivation in my apartment, and to get grounded, centered, and into the sacred space that I instantaneously shift into whenever I enter a yoga studio. But with a few changes, and after establishing a consistent routine I am getting the hang of it and, perhaps, even enjoying it a little bit more. And so I wanted to share these simple tips with you. Three things that have helped me become consistent with my home yoga practice.
Try these if you have been trying to create a yoga or meditation practice at home but have been struggling with inspiration to move with yourself. Even just sitting quietly and creating the time and space for yourself can make all the difference!
1) Create a sacred space in your home:I am aware that this seems obvious to most but, I am telling you, designating a space in your home (no matter how small) is super important for getting your body and mind ready to slow down and focus on your practice. For me, I lay down my mat in front of a small glass table in my apartment. On the table is my oil diffuser (I diffuse Frankincense & Lavender). I light a candle. And, using sage, I do a two-minute smudging of my yoga mat and the space surrounding it. I feel instantly grounded.
2) Make it doable:I encourage you to start small, even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day. I really had to switch my mindset from trying to do an hour class in my home, to just flowing for 30 minutes here and there. It doesn’t matter how long the experience but how present you are when you are in it. Focus on consistency. It helps to try and make a routine in which you are able to practice at the same time every day. For me, I practice in the afternoon. I am lucky enough to be able to come home for lunch most days, and this time has now become not only more productive, but more nourishing.
3) Use a guide: When beginning a new physical, mental or spiritual endeavor having a teacher, guide, guru, or coach is extremely important. I still YouTube guided mediations all the time and I have been meditating for years. It’s comforting not to feel alone and to experience shared energy even if you are only connected through a virtual medium… Energy is Energy! I am completely in love with my YogaGlo subscription. You can pick your style, duration, teacher, etc. and find whatever your body needs in that moment. Some other great ones are Gaia, The Yoga Collective, My Yoga Works and, of course, YouTube.
I hope this helps inspire you to think and practice outside of the box–sit with yourself, your thoughts–and love yourself just a little bit more without having to leave your home.