Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yoga At Home

I attend a yoga class at the studio once a week. I feel that it’s unfair to my kids and my husband for me to go more often than that. So, I practice A LOT of yoga at home. Though it has many challenges, I find I almost (almost) prefer practicing yoga in the comfort of my own home. Namely because I can wear whatever/look however I want. Hell, I’ve done naked yoga in my home before on a hot July day (much to husband’s approval). I don’t care what my hair looks like or if I need to fart half-way through. I can practice any time of day I choose. It’s just me and my mat. Well, sorta.

There is one small (okay, two) factor. A little 5 year old, and a little two year old. They are very interested in my yoga practice, which is great. Except when I’m actually trying to practice yoga. My youngest thinks it’s super fun to crawl underneath me (and stay) when I’m practicing such poses as Downward Facing Dog or climb on my back while trying to perfect Cobra pose. Because I use yogaglo on my iPad, they find it nearly impossible not to touch the screen. As my legs begin to shake from holding a pose so long, I look at the screen to see how much longer I have to go and notice it’s been paused for the last 45 seconds.

So, my advice to you on how to enjoy your practice at home.
  • Do your practice when your kids are busy doing something else. Ie. Playing outside with Dad, sleeping or (my favorite) watching TV.
  • Use a mat. Even if you’re practicing on carpet. I didn’t use a mat at home for a long time, until I realized how much easier it is to get into, or deeper into, many poses with a sticky mat underneath me. I also love the feeling I get just by stepping onto my mat. Like, “Yup, this is where I want to be”.
  • Use props. One of the best investments I’ve ever made was on a yoga block. At home you have the luxury of having all sorts of props all around. Pillows, blankets, belts, even books. Props can help you get into poses you may never be able to get into otherwise. Think Hanumanasana with two blocks under your hands.
  • Always practice in the same spot. I would love to have my own yoga room with a mat floor and my own little meditative knickknacks on an altar, but it’s not possible in this house. Instead, I always use the same spot, so when I go there, my body immediately slips into ‘yoga mode’. Try to find a bright, happy place. Try not to practice in a cold, dark basement if you can.
  • Find a means to bring yoga to you. I used to just freestyle my practice at home, doing poses I remembered from class, etc. Then I changed to doing some practices from a magazine like Yoga Journal. I’ve done a few practices from TV and now I subscribe to and am able to choose the duration of my practice, the style and the level from hundreds of sweet classes all taught by big-time yoga instructors. Find what suits your style and your budget and get to it!
Well, the kids are at school, so I’m off to do a little yoga. Or maybe I should just watch Ellen … J

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