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short, sweet, simple: 3 tips for a lasting home yoga or meditation practice

Change can be challenging. Maintaining commitments over the long haul can be even harder. Re-framing change into small steps can help commitments stick for sustaining impact.  If you've been thinking about starting a home yoga or meditation practice but feeling challenged with consistency, here are three simple tips to make your efforts easier, and lasting.

Seated forward fold with chattra zabuton floor cushion and raised oval bolster for a headrest.
  1. Keep it short, keep it consistent. Commit to the minimum!  Ten, five, even three minutes is a great place to begin.  Pick a time that works for you...perhaps when there is quiet in your busy home, at the end of a hectic day, between schedule appointments.  Whatever time, it has to fit into your day.  Then no excuses:  do the minimum at the time you've assigned.  And if you have time to do more, great; if not, don't worry. And now congratulate yourself for doing your practice and move on. Often times we will feel so good about what we've done, no matter how small, that we end up practicing for much longer than the minimum. And even if you don't hit your minimum, it's still fine, you've shown up to begin building the habit of getting on your mat or sitting on your meditation cushion. Now do it again tomorrow!
  2. Make it sweet. What's enjoyable and satisfying to YOU?  What do you need in this moment?  Take some time to connect inward; notice how you feel; ask yourself what you truly need at this moment. If you feel like meditating, meditate, if you feel like stretching, stretch, if you feel like laying there, lay there. You are much more likely to keep doing something that you actually enjoy. 
  3. Keep it simple. We often think we need to do a whole yoga class from start to finish to get the benefits of the practice. This is a false notion. Try not to overthink your self-reserved time on the mat:  pick a couple of poses, take some deep breaths, rest. Don’t over-complicate the practice, and remember that in its essence, yoga is the process and state of self-discovery. So do whatever you feel helps you slow down, tune in, and be present. 
Seated in meditation in our zaisu meditation chair

You've begun.  Well done. Take a moment from time to time to honor and celebrate your effort on your path to a lasting home yoga or meditation practice. Enjoy.


San Francisco Bay Area-based Jenna Maryn Mitchell teaches public yoga classes and workshops and leads retreats internationally. Her teaching style is mindful, empowering, and lighthearted. Her energizing classes emphasize alignment and form to build strength, increase flexibility, and develop more functional movement patterns while emphasizing breath to encourage focus, relieve stress and facilitate deeper states of meditation. Yoga, Jenna testifies, has forever changed her life for the better and she is eternally grateful to be able to share this ancient science of healing and self-discovery.  Find her on Instgram @jennamarynyoga

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