Get Your Booty on the Mat: 5 Tips for Home Yoga Practice.

Via Anna Guest-Jelley
on Jul 5, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

Tonight! Or today. This morning. Or whenever.

That’s the beauty of a home practice, right? You can do it whenever works for you!

I started my practice at home—with a mat I got from my mom (who picked it up from goodness knows where) and a VHS tape. Yoga was a brand new concept to this Indiana gal, but I plugged away at it, awkwardly glancing up from my mat to the TV to see just what they hey-heck I was supposed to be doing.

Fast forward twelve years to today, and my practice is still very home-focused.  Now, don’t get me wrong; I love studying with teachers and vibing off the energy of a community.  But there’s something in the quiet of the morning, or an asana transition at the end of the work day, that really speaks to me.

As lovely as this sounds, though, it is still often really hard for me to get on my mat.  I mean, I’m talking really hard.  Like I’ve never been so eager to wash dishes before.  Or balance my checkbook.  Or nap.  Or fold laundry.  Or—hey—I don’t think I’ve checked Facebook in the last three minutes!

If you, like me, discover a new-found fondness for tedious chores or writing that email you’ve already put off for a month when it’s time for some home yoga practice, here are some tips to help you get your booty on that mat:

1. The Five Minute Rule: This is kind of like the five-second rule when you drop food on the floor, except with less germy risk.  When I’m really dragging my feet on practicing, I give myself permission to practice for just five minutes.  Sometimes I do a few sun salutations, sometimes I meditate, sometimes I do legs-up-the-wall.  It all depends on my mood at the moment.  After five minutes pass, if I still don’t want to practice, I don’t.  But I find that’s pretty rare; usually after five minutes, I’m up for more.

2. Keep Your Mat Rolled Out: Yes, this means my dogs use my mat more than I do, but I love those silly pups, so I’m okay with it.  I find that the ever-present reminder is helpful in an encouraging (and only slightly taunting) way.

3. Crank Up the Tunes: Get some fun music rolling–your favorite yoga playlist, something chill to unwind or dance music from the 90s (okay, maybe that’s just me).  Whatever your preference, some well-chosen tunes can be just the thing to get you into the flow of your practice.

4. Sweet Silence: On the other hand, sometimes all I want in my practice is sweet, blissful silence.  If this sounds like you, try closing the door to your practice space and shutting out as much noise as possible.  If silence isn’t possible and there are still noises around that you’d like to block out, consider turning on a white noise machine.

5. Connect with a Community: Many people are practicing yoga at home, and many of them are online (usually not at the same time, but hey—you never know).  Connecting with a community, like my upcoming online course 30 Days of Curvy Yoga with Marianne Elliott, is a great way to feel the support of a group while at home, crafting a practice that works for you.

How do you get your yoga on at home?


About Anna Guest-Jelley

Anna Guest-Jelley is an advocate for women’s rights by day, a yoga teacher by night, and a puppies’ mama all the time. She is making her way through life with joy, curves and all. Visit her at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.


15 Responses to “Get Your Booty on the Mat: 5 Tips for Home Yoga Practice.”

  1. tanya lee markul says:

    Nice Anna!! I typically try to get my yoga practice done in the morning (but not the Ashtangi 3:30AM or even 5:30AM)…I'm typically around 6AM. it was hard at first, but now that I've gotten into a groove, it's beautiful. The morning is a highly energetic time (and magical) and it starts my day wonderfully. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Tamara says:

    Love your 5 minute rule!

  3. I'm starting the 5 minute rule in my house too. Now I feel like if I can't dedicate at least 45 minutes why bother? Great post and even greater to see you here on Elephant Journal!

  4. Love that, Tanya Lee! I like practicing in the morning, too. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Thanks, Tamara! It's essential to my practice. Without that permission, I find I just feel too frustrated on some days to even try. It's like a "why bother?" kind of thing. With the permission, though, I feel like I can do it.

  6. tanya lee markul says:

    You're welcome!

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Assoc. Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  7. Yogini5 says:

    I start off every practice with seated pranayam, so I amend that to being a 10-or-15-minute rule … and that crosses over to many activities, like other exercise or household chores, etc.

    Now, if only I could cut the procrastination factor down, this could be a revolution!

  8. […] Lie down and place the legs up a wall and rest with your eyes closed for 5-10 minutes. Focus on lengthening the exhale to slow the body […]

  9. Oh, that's great! I love how you use that for other things, too. Thanks for your comment!

  10. tanya lee markul says:

    Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  11. Vero Barnes says:

    Thanks Anna, I'll definitely try this five minute rule! Great article 🙂 V.

  12. rani says:

    Wonderful article to get me started and get going with yoga! Thank you!!!

  13. Marybeth says:

    I'm going to start the 5 minute rule now, too. I love that idea! I have trouble getting myself on the mat, especially when my body is in a lot of pain. I belong to a gym and have beautiful yoga studios close to me but I love my little yoga room I have set up in my house the most. I have all the things I love, statues, crystal salt lamps, angel cards, etc. in my little room. I'm also addicted to yogaglo online, I get to practice with the most wonderful teachers!

  14. […] Get Your Booty on the Mat: 5 Tips for Home Yoga Practice. […]

  15. […] Get Your Booty on the Mat: 5 Tips for Home Yoga Practice. […]