Let’s face it: We CAN’T MAKE TIME. One of our biggest challenges in prioritizing self-care is ‘making’ the time. Something else is NOT getting your attention during yoga or other self-care. It’s fair to say though, that when we are taking care of ourselves and feeling our best, our work and other aspects of our lives share the benefit.
Yoga is the ultimate self care, because it’s designed to strengthen, relieve and revive: Body, mind and spirit.
I want to share a few tips for either starting or reviving your yoga practice at home. Practicing at home is the perfect compliment to attending regular classes, boosting flexibility, strength, and other personal goals through a consistent effort.
#1 Prepare a space. You don’t have to have or create a ‘yoga room’, but at least have a cleared corner in a bedroom or living space that is cozy. Choose to make it more inviting with decorations, or simply leave it uncluttered and easy to dive into and move around.
#2 Set a timer. Don’t set your goal for a full hour at first. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and commit to moving, stretching or sitting and breathing for 15 min. THEN you can clean, cook dinner, or make breakfast without worrying about ‘what you’re not getting done’.
#3 Train your family (and pets?) to respect this space. This is what I tell my 5 year old son: “I am going to do yoga now. What are you going to do to stay busy while I do yoga?” I am not available while on my mat: Not for phone calls, snacks or anything else besides a fire alarm. After a while, your family may welcome this time, particularly when your’e feeling exasperated or overwhelmed. (As in, “Mom, maybe you should do some yoga…” )
#4 Just move. It’s great if you can remember a few favorite yoga poses, but at first, just move. Take 3-5 minutes to center, and start to move. Yoga will happen. Yoga may also choose to use a video or stream a practice from YouTube, just be prepared to adapt the poses, and try to choose a video that matches your level of practice and energy level. For instance, if you’re seeking relaxation, stay away from a “vinyasa” style or “power” practice.
#5 Prepare to accept setbacks. Don’t turn your yoga (or lack thereof) into punishment. If you set a goal for 15 minutes on weekdays, don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen every day this week. Re-assess, revisit steps 1-4, and start again. It’s a PRACTICE, and practice creates presence, not perfection.
Hope to see you on the mat! Audra