Whether you are a yoga teacher or a student of yoga, establishing a home practice can be a challenge, but it is the perfect way to deepen your personal practice. It takes that ability to self motivate with persistence, but in time your practice will become a habit you just can't live without.
A home practice helps us focus and train our bodies and our minds. Some days we may be easily distracted. Maybe today we'd like to try a handstand, but first there's that mess on the table to straighten up, right? Or perhaps the mind keeps wandering to that never ending to-do list. In time, you realize some things can wait or may not even be worth mentally entertaining at all.
A home practice is a chance to truly tune in and listen to ourselves and what our body needs and wants in that particular moment on that particular day. We can hold our poses longer or spend more time perfecting our alignment which helps us to go further in our overall practice at home and later benefits us in class. Your practice doesn’t have to be complicated or like your teacher's or like someone else's practice. It’s enough to have just you and your yoga mat and a few quiet minutes in which to slow down, breathe, relax, and feel your body move and expand.
Life is a journey and yoga is the practice of self care and a journey to oneself. It's wise to lessen expectations and be kind to yourself. The benefits of yoga are not measured by length of time or perfection in the poses. Maybe today we can dedicate a full hour or maybe only 20 minutes. Let it be. It's more about our intention and our dedication and tapping into a knowing that we can handle yoga's (and life's) challenges with grace and ease. Each time we make the effort we're always grateful we did. The benefit for ourselves becomes the benefit for others, for we have loved ourselves in those moments, we have gained a few more millimeters closer in a pose and we have moved and stretched our body open so that we may receive and are able to give and live more fully in our lives. The breath and blood flow in a calm and steady rhythm within us.
We are relaxed and grounded. We are alive. And it feels divine.
About the Author
Karen Ramsey McCabe completed her Vinyasa yoga teacher training at Montezuma Yoga in 2009. She's a mother, dancer, graphic artist, co-owner of Anamaya Resort and is now flexing her wings as a writer. She takes her personal life experiences as lessons to learn for inspiration and growth. She loves yoga, travel, spending time in nature, eating healthy and playing with her daughter. She is currently working on her first children's book.