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July 5, 2011

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

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?

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