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5 simple ways to get the most out of your home practice

A home yoga practice can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding rituals of your day. But time can be challenging, making it difficult to follow through on a practice commitment. Here are five simple considerations to support your personal home practice goals.

1. Know your intention. Ask yourself: Why do I practice? What is my intention? Do I have expectations? How do I feel when practicing? after practicing? Attempt to write your practice intention in a single phrase such as: I practice because Your intention does not need to be complicated or groundbreaking, it should be personal and meaningful — what it is that moves you to practice. And know that your intention will change as your life changes and as your yoga practice develops.

2. Be realistic. There are countless reasons not to practice: too tired, too busy, too much on your mind… the list goes on and on. But if it is really important to you, make practice a priority -- schedule it into your day.  In time, the benefits of your personal practice will resonate more strongly and reasons to practice will start to outweigh reasons not to practice.

3. Meet your inner teacher. We all have an inner guide or teacher.  Often that inner guide is too quiet to hear over our critical, analytical mind. Self-doubt is the enemy of your yoga practice. Trust and listen to yourself — your mood, your energy, your thoughts — without judgment. And listen daily…depending on what is happening on a given day, the asanas, pranayama, mantra, & meditation will adjust. Whatever you decide to do on a specific day, trust your inner teacher.

4. Keep it short, sweet and simple. It feels great to take an hour plus yoga class at the studio.  Don’t feel like your personal practice needs to be that long.  Practice for an amount of time that is repeatable, sustainable and enjoyable. If you only have 10 minutes, go for it, skipping the asana and focusing on prayanama. Don’t worry about planning an elaborate sequence. Pick a handful of postures you enjoy and that feel good in your body…then practice!

5. Stay focused...and breathe.  Breath is one of the greatest tools we have to connect with the present moment because the breath is always happening; pranayama is a wonderful way to achieve focus. Mantra, drishti and counting are also effective. Be patient: it can be challenging to focus in class led by an instructor let alone while you are in your own home surrounded by distractions and to-do’s. Keep bringing yourself back to the present moment, as often as you need to...and enjoy!

This chattra blog post was written by Jenna

Jenna is a yogini based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves teaching students of all ages.  She leads weekly public yoga classes for adults, kids and teens. Jenna has completed teacher trainings with YogaWorks and Wee Yogis. Jenna is grateful to practice and teach yoga as a means of self-discovery, inspiration, and healing.

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