Do you wish you had a home practice but feel like it’s just not for you?
Maybe you feel like you don’t have the time or you don’t know what to do at home by yourself on your mat.
Or maybe you feel like it just won’t be the same, so why bother?
Good news it, you’re not alone.
And the better news is, there’s likely an easy solution to your home practice obstacle.
I think a lot of people avoid home practice because there’s a conflict between their expectations and reality.
Specifically, lots of people want home practice to be the same as a yoga practice at a studio. And also, they instinctively know it’s not the same, so they expect it to be worse.
“But no one will give me a lavender-scented eye mask for savasana,” they say. “And I really love those lavender-scented eye masks.”
“And I won’t get physical adjustments or personalized alignment cues,” they say. “That’s what makes the yoga practice so good.”
“Plus, I feel most motivated when I’m in a big room, filled with people, all doing yoga and sweating with me,” they insist. “The energy is just so much better that way.”
And I get it.
I get all of it.
Also, if these are the only reasons you practice yoga or move your body — for the aromatherapy, the physical assists, the micromanaging alignment cues, and the big group energy — you might not really be doing it for the actual yoga.
I know that sounds a little harsh.
It’s also true.
And it’s keeping you from moving your body at home.
A home practice will always be different than practicing in a studio.
While I love taking a really good class with a really good teacher at a studio, I also love practicing and teaching at home.
I also think that most people have the wrong idea about home practice.
Just because a home practice is very different from a studio practice, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically bad.
A home practice requires a different level of commitment.
It’s not just a commitment to the practice, but a commitment to yourself.
Getting on my mat everyday is me choosing myself — dedicating time to my physical and mental health.
While I know this is personal to me, it has roots in habit science. (More on this in my upcoming FREE WORKSHOP)
The bigger issue is that lots of people have the wrong idea about what home practice actually is.
Here are a few reminders of what home practice can be:
5 minutes of sun salutations
5 minutes of savasana
10 poses in 10 minutes
A guided practice — a pre-recorded class you do from YouTube or a yoga membership
A guided practice — a live streamed class you do with a teacher on zoom, Facebook, or another platform
1 minute of cat/cow right after you roll out of bed
Your 5 favorite poses, done one right after the other
A dance party to your favorite song in between triangle pose on each side
A little stretching in the kitchen while food is in the oven
A little restorative at night after the kids fall asleep
3 random poses with no connection to one another whatsoever
Here’s the most awesome thing about home practice:
IT CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT
I know this is unsettling to some people who want explicit instructions, whether pose or alignment-based.
In this case I suggest trying a pre-recorded class from a teacher you love.
They teach you the class; you just have to unroll your mat.
This is home practice by virtue of the fact that you are doing it in your own home.
Coming up with your own sequence of poses is not a requirement for home practice.
This might be the trickiest barrier for most people.
It’s also one of the biggest home practice misunderstandings.
We have in our heads that a home practice means DIY sequencing. This is not the case.
If you feel comfortable stringing a bunch of poses together, cool. Have fun.
But if the idea of all of that open, unsequenced space on your mat freaks you out, you don’t have to go it alone.
There’s a world of online yoga and movement out there. Some of it might even be offered by teachers you know, like, and trust.
Just don’t let this be an excuse for why you don’t have a home practice.
It’s an easy obstacle to overcome.
Time is another biggie.
Home practice will almost always be shorter.
You won’t hold the poses as long, there are more distractions, you have a schedule you have to stick with… all of these factors will cause you to have a shorter practice than you would at a studio.
This is not inherently bad.
In fact, there is no scientific-reason why a longer class is better.
I’m not knocking long classes.
Just saying that shorter classes are not bad because they’re short.
And personally, I like the efficiency of a powerful, short practice.
Here’s the takeaway:
Whether or not you can make a home practice happen is more about figuring out how to level the difference between expectations and reality. If you can do that, the obstacles are easy to overcome. If you can’t, home practice will forever be out of reach, which is unfortunate.
Need any more convincing?
The secret to a successful home practice also requires an understanding of how habits are created, as well as the science and evidence based tools you can use to make them last.
If you want to learn more about that, join me for my upcoming workshop “How to Start and Sustain a Home Practice.”
The class will be recorded and the replay made available within a few hours.
If you attend, you’ll get some cool gifts from me!