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March 10, 2017

Recently, I saw a hilarious viral video about “home yoga practice.” The central premise was that even the most centered and yogi among us ends up checking their email, eating a snack, or answering the door during our dedicated yoga time.

Such is the challenge of the home practice. In a studio, there are no distractions. At home, there are 1,000. So how do you avoid them?

Dedicate a private space

When you have children and other people in your house (as most of us do), the hardest part of trying to practice at home is distraction from others. So get away from that. Go into the basement. Or your bedroom.

Have real props at the ready

One of the biggest differences between a home and studio practice is the props. Invest in a good mat, a set of blocks, a yoga blanket, and a bolster, so when the time comes to practice, everything is easy and accessible to use.

Set the ambiance

In yoga teacher training, at least 3-4 hours of a 200 hour certification course is spent on how to set the “mood.” It matters. Keep the lighting soft. Buy some non-flame candles (or use real candles if you can use them safely). Light some incense for a nice smell. Just these small gestures can bring your mind into a yogic space and will allow you to free yourself from distraction.

Start with a meditation

When we practice at home, sometimes we are tempted to jump right into our practice. We want to work on handstands and there is no one around to judge us, so quick, plant those hands and let’s fly! But this is the wrong way to approach it. Ease in. Start like you would in any class, at a seated position at the front of your mat. Clear your head. Breathe. Chant. Don’t sell your practice short just because you are not in a studio. Clearing the mind helps to keep us present and makes us a lot less likely to see those dishes in the sink that need to be done.

Make sure you have the time

You wouldn’t go to a yoga class if you only had a half hour for an hour long class, right? Well don’t sell yourself short at home, either. If you want an hour practice, makes sure you have 65 minutes clear. Then put your clock away and practice. Set the timer if you need to, but don’t check it again until your time is up.


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