Starting (or reinvigorating) a Home Practice

As the weather turns cooler and COVID numbers rise, shifting your practice into your home may be just what you need.  Many of us turn to yoga for the nourishing sense of community.  Just because your practice moves online doesn’t mean the community feel goes away!  Here are some tips to help you stay connected to your practice, your teachers, your community, all the while helping you connect within.

  • Many studios have created online options.  Practicing with your beloved, trusted teachers can help you find greater continuity with your practice.  The familiarity of voice, cadence, even how a teacher cues postures will bring the consistency you crave.
  • What better serves your needs – practicing in real time or having access to a library of classes so you can select a class anytime you like?  Both have benefits!
  • If you’re practicing in real time, and the teacher gives you the option, put your video ON. It will help you feel more connected and keep you engaged. I promise you will not be the first student with a wandering toddler, cat who won’t move off your mat or piles of laundry behind you. It’s a HOME practice – we get it!
  • If you’re choosing from a library of classes, consider – what length of class do you need?  What style?  Is there a specific teacher you’re been wanting to try?  Most video libraries have sort features that help you more quickly find a practice that works for you.  Be sure to ‘favorite’ ones you like, so you can access them again!  You want to be able to quickly find a class for you – not spend all of your time searching for the “perfect” class.
  • Some teachers like to do a community check in, seek requests for specific areas of the body, or ask how you’re feeling energetically.  Remember, your teacher is seeking to connect with you just as much as you’re seeking to connect with them!  If given the option, unmute yourself or put your comments in the chat.  Contributing to the conversation will help you feel more connected.
  • Consider your home practice space.  You can unroll your mat anywhere, but how you do it can make all the difference.  Start your practice with intention, consider lighting a candle, bring a plant or other offerings to create your own altar.  The reverence you bring to setting up your space will bring a deeper meaning to your practice.
  • Find an accountability buddy. This isn’t news, but it truly can make a difference. (Hint: I found my accountability buddy by posting on social media and asking who was with me!)
  • Schedule your class – on your calendar.  With more flexible schedules, especially if you’re working from home, there can be a tendency to delay your practice, thinking you’ll get to it later.  Committing to class at a specific time, even if you’re pulling up a video, will help you build consistency. 
  • Still feeling stuck?  Reach out to your trusted teachers or studio owners – they’ll likely be very happy to direct you to classes that will be a fit for you!  Just as you would chat with someone at the front desk about which classes to try, it’s our responsibility (and gift!) to support you on your yogic journey!

Kerri Hanlon is co-founder and creator of the Adaptive Yoga Program at Yoga Home in Conshohocken, a Best of Philly Yoga Studio.  She is a contributor to CBSPhilly and shares her experiences about living with and grieving a child with disabilities so others know they’re not alone.  Her practices are available through Yoga Home’s online studio.

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