Sticking with a Home Practice

by Ashley O.

We’ve all been there. Finally, you arrive on your mat, and have gathered the energy to move, but then the phone rings.

Instead of being present with your breath in triangle pose, you find yourself back on your phone, with a kid or pet on your back, and wandering into the kitchen in search of a snack.

Step 1: Start Small

Honestly, creating a home practice routine can be tough in and of itself with all the temptation and distraction around the house, not to mention the added emotion of a pandemic.

I find the best success with home practice is when I promise myself to stick to the first 15 minutes of class. It is small promise but this commitment makes a difference for my mindset.

Choosing to stay for the beginning of class helps you navigate whether the distractions truly need your attention, and also invites you to give yourself permission to adapt if necessary after those first few minutes.

Step 2: Acknowledge When Reality is Different than Your Expectation

For me, the hardest part of my home practice is finding the space (physically and emotionally) with a preschooler and two dogs running around. Home practice doesn't look or feel like I expect a Yoga practice to look and feel. But I have to give the practice a chance to show up for me before I call it quits.

Just like when you are in the studio, some days you show up and things don’t start off like you wish. But, by the end of the class you are always happy you stayed, even if it was in child's pose the entire time.

Step 3: Turn off the analysis

There is something about this practice that opens to the magic inside, but it rarely comes easily. Whether you show up for ten minutes or sixty, you’ll be amazed at where your breath takes you. Unearthing pieces of you that needed some movement and space to shine. Your body and breath work miracles for you in every moment. You don’t need to know everything about how your body does what it does. You just need to give it a little grace and support, and then get out of the way.

Ultimately remember that home practice if for you! Don't rob yourself of a great experience by pursuing a picture perfect home practice. Instead connect to what you feel, and take the “shoulds” out of your vocabulary. What if the goal where simply to enjoy where you are one minute at time?

Show up for the journey and let your practice take really good care of you.

Ashley O. is a yoga teacher who also wears many hats off the mat including wife, mother, designer and all around source of light and love in her community of Northern Virginia where she resides with her husband, kiddo, and two dogs. Ashley's classes draw upon her years of experience in athletics and education, and are infused with her kind personality as she compassionately shares her own insights about yoga with her students, inviting them to find their own personal connection too. Hop into one of Ashley's classes at Honest Soul Yoga studios or online with Practice Everywhere. You will be so glad you did.

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