It's a new day. You've just rolled out of bed at 11am (what day is it?) and begin to mull over rolling out your Yoga mat... but you don't know where to start, or even how to start! What is this magic they call 'self-practice' anyway?
Let's clear things up a little bit. Yoga at the studio is going to look a whole lot different to Yoga at home. At the studio you have 60-90 minutes of quiet, designated Yoga time, lead by a professional teacher who is always nearby to lend you a hand, should you want it. You have the luxury of using the studio props and being shown how to use said props. You also have the unspoken social expectations of joining the general flow and direction of the class (ie not loudly performing The Macarena when everybody else is in Savasana) and being held accountable by the other persons in the room. There's the sweet smell of incense. The peaceful vibe and the beautiful, spacious floor to roll around on.
Home might look a lot different to this!
Enter; screaming babies, jabbering partners, hoovering parents, excitable pets, doorbells ringing, uneven floor, no space to move, no space to breathe...
All this is okay. It's normal. This is why we go to a studio right? Except when we can't... So here's a few tips for Yoga at home, in isolation!
1. Sacred Space. Make a little dedicated corner in your house for Yoga and wellbeing practices. No this cannot be the bath. Make it look special with plants, fairy lights and candles. Cleanse it with incense or sage. Don't let the cat sleep there or the baby tear all the leaves off your favourite peace lily. This is your special space. Not only will maintaining this space make motivating a regular Yoga routine easier as it's beauty will attract you, but it will also provide you the vital headspace you need for those precious moments on the mat and away from the claustrophobia of quarantine.
2. Start Small. Building up a self-practice doesn't have to manifest as 108 sun salutations at 4am followed by 2 hours of pranayama and meditation. Start with a ten-minute stretch and a five-minute meditation to begin with. Sun salutations are amazing for waking the body up, but go with what feels good! Your body is so intelligent and will let you know what it needs. Start as small as you need and grow from there. You can always add more on!
3. Be Consistent. Consistency is so much more important than length of practice. Try 10-15 minutes everyday for a week first and build from there. The consistency comes in the arriving on the mat everyday. Not necessarily at the same time (but it helps!) and not necessarily the same practice (try varying styles) but all the same arriving and giving yourself the space and time to breathe, without judgement or expectation.
4. Join an Online Yoga community! This one is important. If you've been practicing with a studio or teacher, try seeing if they're offering classes online. That way you support your community and receive the support in return. You can join our classes HERE. If you're comfortable and able to, have your webcam on during a live practice. This helps with motivation, distraction and being held accountable for your practice. It also helps you feel more connected, which we all need a bit more of right now! You can join the Sunshine community right HERE.
5. Be Kind To Yourself. Don't punish yourself for looking at your phone instead of joining meditation. Don't put yourself down for 'losing' the super-tricky pose you had nearly nailed before we were all locked up. Yoga is a gentle and progressive incline over our lives. It is a necessary tool for living well and staying sane, especially during times of crisis. Allow your practice to grow like a beautiful lotus flower and guide you further into love.