PRACTICING AT HOME IS HARD

By Kayla Stanistreet

05/15/2021

A simple yet effective way to promote an at-home yoga practice is to literally make physical space. Create a designated spot in your home where you intend to practice. If possible, keep that space clear of furniture and non-yoga related stuff at all times so that your space is ready to practice. Have a guest bedroom but rarely have guests? Prioritize it as a yoga space that can be transformed into a guest bedroom when actually needed. Pro-tip for smaller spaces: get rid of your coffee table or get a smaller one!

Most importantly, keep your yoga gear easily accessible right next to your yoga spot. I keep my bolster, mat, foam roller and two blocks right in my living room in a cute wicker basket. It is a visual reminder to practice often and it is easy for me to access when I want to which is surprisingly important. It may seem easy enough to go into your closet and get your yoga mat, but I know from experience that I’m way more likely to practice when I remove every possible obstacle, no matter how small. Having my equipment out in plain sight also gives my living room a zen feel which fits my décor and sets the mood for yoga.

Consider what else is going to set the mood for yoga. Perhaps some essential oils from salti yoga, a salt lamp or a plant will spruce up your space and make you feel good about simply being in it. Having a wireless speaker is a great idea whether you are wanting to just listen to a Salti Yoga Online practice, off-screen or want to listen to your favourite salti yoga playlists on spotify.



Make Space In Your Life

“The trouble is, you think you have time.”  –Buddha

Making actual time to practice yoga is probably the biggest obstacle most of us face. Not because we don’t have time, rather because it’s easy to prioritize other things. The most important thing of all in cultivating a regular personal yoga or meditation practice is to show up. No matter what. It does not matter for how long or what you do in that time, just do it. It can help if you schedule it in your calendar or write it on your to-do list like you would with anything else that you need to remember.

I recommend setting the bar low and committing to five minutes/day. You might find that it often leads to a longer practice, but sometimes it doesn’t and that’s okay too. Five minutes of yoga and/or meditation every day can still change your life. Five minutes is sometimes all it takes to shift our mindset and our mood which has lasting effects that will spill over into the rest of your day and your interactions with other people.



Trust That You Know What To Do

Practicing at home is hard. Even with abundant access to so many youtube channels and online subscription platforms where you can now practice with yoga teachers around the globe, often for free, why do many of us find ourselves not wanting to do it? If you find yourself resistant to practicing online, you are not alone.

A huge benefit of practicing yoga is the opportunity to disconnect from our various devices and screens (which we’re all spending way more time on these days), and connect to ourselves, so it’s no wonder that some of us actually find practicing yoga online to be antithetical. I deeply miss going to yoga classes in person where I would designate at least an hour to my practice without the distraction of my phone or other stuff at home and let the teacher’s voice guide me through a thoughtful sequence. There is no replacement for walking through the doors to my yoga studio and instantly feeling at ease by the ambient music, the soft lighting, the smell of essential oils and a warm welcome from the teacher who can actually see me. With that experience being unavailable due to the pandemic, the next best thing is to practice at home. Here are some tried and true ways to help you cultivate a regular practice at home so that you can continue to benefit from the physical, mental and life-affirming benefits of yoga.


Make Space In Your Home

You might think that you don’t know what to do, particularly if you’re not a yoga teacher, but you do! You just need to train yourself to listen. Your body knows. If you can tap into that, you shouldn’t need to necessarily think about sequencing at all. Here are some basic sequencing guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Always begin with some form of centering. i.e. orient yourself in space, create an intention, connect to your breath, etc.
  • Only do things that feel good. If you try something and it doesn’t feel good, that doesn’t mean you suck at sequencing. Learn from it – try something else and remember what worked for next time.
  • Movements should start gentle and gradually progress in intensity (that is, if you feel like doing intense poses at all).
  • Practice balance in your body by repeating asymmetrical poses in both ways. This doesn’t mean you have to immediately do tree pose on the other side before you do anything else in between, but make sure you do it eventually in the same sitting.
  • Opposing movements complement each other. Follow extension with flexion just as you would inhale with exhale.
  • Put yourself in a neutral position often (e.g. savasana or mountain pose), especially after an intense pose. This allows your body to reset for a second before rushing into a counter pose which could lead to injury.
  • Give yourself space to rest & let things sink in throughout your practice. Go slow.
  • Movements should then wind down and practice should always, always, always end in stillness.


Keep in mind that the only truly bad movement is a movement you do too often. Since repetitive motion is a leading cause of injury, variety in your movement is so good for your body. So mix it up and trust what feels right for you. Remember that the best thing you can do for yourself is show up. Now is a good time!