Let’s get real. Practicing at home is not the same as practicing inside of the studio.
Am I right? There is a high dependability on ourselves to get on our mat and get a full practice that our body desires. There are no heat panels, no high fives and no teachers looking at you to make sure you stay in the pose.
We do offer zoom practices that gives us more interaction, but there is still a high level of self-accountability during the practice. I mean, you can turn the screen off if you really want to answer that nagging text that is coming through your phone. Please don’t tell our teachers that you are doing that!!!
It is different practicing at home AND I will challenge that this time that we have to practice on our own will make us even better studio practitioners. When do you ever fully depend on yourself to do things? Do you let yourself off the hook easier than you do others? I know I do.
This leads me to some tips that I have found that have helped me become the master of my home practice. I am excited to share them with you.
Give Support, Get Support
Just like in the studio, we recommend a little help from your friends (aka blocks and straps) to reach the peak of each pose and to create true north alignment throughout your practice. We have blocks and straps for sale through the studio. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order and set up a pick up time. As a blog reader, you get 15% off your order. You can also get creative in your house and use water bottles, canned vegetables or books for blocks. For a yoga strap, try a tote, reusable grocery bag or a dog leash!
Build an Inner Fire
I know we miss the heat panels and the guaranteed-dripping-wet-wringing-your-yogitoes-out practice that Free To Be offers. I am here to tell you that you CAN create heat at home! Hug the pit of your belly in and up, and focus on your core to fire up your practice. Stay committed to ujjayi breath. The friction of the air passing through the lungs and throat generates internal body heat. It is similar to a massage for the internal organs; as the core becomes warm from the inside, the body becomes prepared for the asana practice. You can also crank the heat up in your house or turn off the AC. Honestly, in NOLA, outside = sweaty practice. No heat panels required.
Give up What You Must
Does this dialogue sound familiar? I don’t have enough time. My kids need me. The dogs are barking. My house is a mess. I should be doing something else. It’s not hot enough in here. Honestly, this conversation is on repeat when I start practicing. But I have learned to let them go. All the things that need to get done in your house, or my house, will always be there. Give up what you must and get on your mat! Did you know that by moving your body it can actually lead to more productivity to get back to those things with a more focused attention? 10 minutes, 20 minutes or an hour - any time on the mat is time well spent. Our virtual hub gives you access to many class lengths (between 20 and 75 minutes) that can fit in your schedule.
This really is an opportunity for us to tune into ourselves at home. If practicing without music gives you the best experience at home, tune into your body and breath. AND if you miss the music offered by some studio classes, you can pop a speaker in your home studio space and you can be your own at home yoga DJ! I have a Sonos setup where I practice so I can stream all my favorite FTB teachers' playlists directly from Spotify. Pump up the jams to find the play and possibility in your practice.
Get an Accountability Buddy
Yes, it really is that simple. Ask a Free To Be friend to hold you accountable to practicing a certain number of days a week. Do a challenge with them. Or better yet, sign up for a FTB zoom class on MindBody to hold yourself accountable to your newly mastered at home practice. I have also used my calendar as an accountability buddy. Each Sunday, I schedule my practices in my calendar and on MindBody. These are non-negotiable times with myself.
And there you have it. These are my 5 Tips To Mastering Your Home Practice. I hope these help. You don’t have to tackle them all. Maybe focus on one thing each day to see if it helps you move to your new level of mastery on the mat.
Your turn! Do you have any tips that have worked for you over the last 11 weeks to become a master of your own home practice? We want to hear from you!!!
Co-owner of Free To Be Power Yoga
P.S. If you are looking to deepen your practice or become a yoga teacher, we have announced our Fall 2020 200 Hour Teacher Training program that will (fingers crossed) be in person AND/OR online if needed. We are prepared for anything. Sign up today for early bird pricing!