January 13, 2011

How to Do Yoga When You’re Stuck at Home.

The Art of Snowga.

It’s day 13 of my #365yoga journey, and my elves have a snow day after the glorious dumping of 2′ of the white stuff in my yard.

I am thrilled and so excited to go out and build forts and snowmen and play. However I am already trying to figure out how to get my yoga on with them home, and most of the classes around me are canceled.  Forty-nine of the fifty US states have snow cover right now, so I’m guessing I might not be alone in this challenge: how to do yoga when you’re stuck at home.

So here’s a primer, some tips I use and hopefully we’ll all be able to make the space to do at least one today:

1.) Create a sacred space where you can move without distractions. You don’t need a whole living room or a studio to practice your yoga.  Create a space in your home that is uniquely yours:  somewhere you can be quiet and move without interruptions.  Make your yoga practice area sacred by bringing in things that are special to you whether that’s a statue of Ganesh you got at Kripalu or an amazing playlist that resonates with you.  There are no restrictions to the location or size of the practice space, so go and be where you can breathe and move.

2.) Your practice doesn’t have to be epic. Nowhere does it say that “yoga” is defined as a specific amount of time on the mat.  Do not feel like you cannot get your yoga in because you are required to do 1.5 hours!  Even a few rounds Surya Namaskar A can qualify as getting your yoga at home.  Some mornings I wake up and have absolutely no time to do a more traditional practice and my yoga consists of some forward folds and sun salutations.  In other words, do not avoid yoga because you cannot get a “full” practice in during your day.

3.) Breathing, reading and stretching can be your yoga. Let’s face it:  some days doing a full practice, or even some sun salutations will not work for you.  Maybe you are sick or too busy or have dogs/cats/kids crawling all over you.  Don’t sweat it:  breathe!   Nadi Shodhana can be done anywhere and is very relaxing.  Reading about yoga or even just standing in Vrksasana while you fold laundry can bring a little bit of yoga into your day.

4.) Do it with your kids: Bring your kids into the act and get them moving with you. Your children need to move as much as you do, especially on days when the weather outside does not allow for adventures.  Stretch with the munchkins and you both will feel better. Yoga in my school has wonderful suggestions about how to get kids engaged in a yoga practice that are fun and inspiring.

5.) If all else fails:  go outside and SNOWGA: That’s right:  you can do yoga in the snow!  Grab a camera, grab a friend, grab your kids and go bust your yogic moves in the snow.  Always wanted to try Bakasana but were scared to fall on your face?  Do it in the snow and have that fluffy cushion to catch you.  ( That’s exactly what happened two seconds after that picture to the left was taken!!) Yoga is important and wonderful but it doesn’t always have to be serious.  So enjoy the wonders of outside while breaking into a little snowasana and share the pictures with your friends.

Keep it flexible and open and you’ll find yoga everywhere.  Home is where the yoga is.

Have any other tips I’ve forgotten? How do you find your yoga at home?

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