As a yoga instructor, I have students ranging from beginner to experienced practitioners. Across the board, every single student struggles to practice yoga in their home.
The most common struggles I hear from students are
Why is it so difficult to step onto your yoga mat at home?
I’ve learned that struggling to practice yoga at home often has nothing to do with a lack of strength or flexibility. It’s not from being “bad” at yoga.
Students struggle to practice yoga at home because they have unrealistic expectations for what their home yoga practice should look like.For beginners, they expect to see results instantaneously. For experienced practitioners, they expect it to feel the same as the yoga they do at their local studio.
In order to build a sustainable home yoga practice, it’s essential to be aware of the expectations holding you back and turn them into realistic, tangible goals to move you forward in your practice.
I’m going to outline the 3 steps I teach my students to build a consistent, sustainable home yoga practice.
1. Create a Space That You Want To Return To
You can’t expect yourself to come back to your yoga mat every single day if you don’t have a good space at home. Many people go to yoga studios because they are clean, uncluttered, inspiring, and have good energy.
You need to create this space at home.
You don’t have to create a home studio — just be mindful of the area you’re practicing yoga in your home. Even if it’s just a corner of your bedroom, take some time to make it nice. Add things that bring you joy such as candles, plants, essential oils, crystals, books. Set yourself up in a space that you enjoy spending time in!
If you don’t — spoiler alert — you won’t spend anytime there and swoosh there goes your home yoga practice.
2. Set Healthy, Sustainable Boundaries
In order to find consistency in your home practice you have to set some strict boundaries. Something to note: students tend to find more consistency in a studio setting than at home. The reason is that studios force you to adhere to their set boundaries.
Some examples of boundaries found at a yoga studio:
Without set boundaries in your home yoga space, you’ll be back to square one before you know it. Clean out your space of distractions. Try not to bring electronics or distractions into your space while you’re practicing and commit to practicing for a certain allotment of time.
A great way to hold yourself accountable while your in your space are following online videos and committing to the entire class.
3. Check-in With Yourself Periodically
Student’s feel this sense of blockage on their yoga mats because they hold themselves to unrealistic expectations every time they go to practice. It’s important to be aware of your energy level and check in with yourself.
If your expectation is to get an intense workout in every time you walk onto your mat, you’re going to be let down. That’s not realistic. Some days you might need meditation. Some days you might need relaxation.
Give yourself permission to hold any feelings or emotions on your yoga mat without expectation.
Check-in — what do you need today? And then move on from there. This will keep you coming back to your yoga mat day after day.