One thing I struggled with over the past years again and again: Having a home practice.
My Yoga mat and I seemed to work better together in the Yoga Studio than in my own living room.

The big change happened when I got pregnant. Normal classes became more and more difficult once my belly reached the size that my pregnancy was not a secret anymore. I signed up for a pre-natal course but needed more Yoga than once per week.

So I finally started very slowly my home practice. Which was a good thing, because after birth the situation did not get better. The big belly was gone but also the freedom. Home practice made it possible to integrate Yoga when I had time I could adapt it however I wanted.

Now, nearly two years later, it’s a normal routine for me – a life saver in busy days as a mum, yoga teacher, wife and office worker. Five important things have helped me a lot throughout this process.

  1. Easy Access: Place your Yoga mat somewhere in the apartment that it is not in the way but you can get easily hop on. All the things in your household you use often and regularly are in a spot that they are easy to access: Blow dryer under the bathroom sink, saucepan in the cabinet next to the oven, night time book on the night stand. You use it often, so you need it in a handy position. Let the same rule apply for your yoga mat. PLUS: it will be a little reminder, silently whispering that it wants to be used ?
  2. Every minute counts: I am not sure why a short practice for many people doesn’t count. I always teach my students in class that five minutes of Yoga is better than none. We do so many other things for a short length every day. Nobody would consider brushing their teeth once a week for 45 min instead of everyday twice for five minutes. Right?
  3. Start easy! Very often the biggest enemy of our practice at home is the couch and us being tired. So work with that and start your practice with poses laying down. No need to begin with Chaturanga. An easy supine twist for example could be a great opening asana. You will feel how you get slowly into the mood to do more.
  4. Do the things you like! We often feel that we must work really hard and we need to do everything we are not good at.  If that is your goal, I can understand that the couch often wins over your Yoga mat. This is not very inviting. Snuggling into my blanket or doing a hard core session of my “beloved” Navasana? I know what I would pick! So, do it the other way around. Do the things you like. You still have enough opportunity to do the other bits in classes in the studio.
  5. Your living room is not a Yoga studio and that is okay. Often, we want to create exactly the same feeling we have after a class in the Yoga studio. Say good bye to this approach. The feeling after a home practice will be different: You don’t have the group energy, no teacher mentoring you and perhaps not the nice equipment like belts, blankets and bolsters. But: the feeling you have after a home practice is NOT worse. You still worked with your breath, mind and body – and that without the group energy or the motivation of a teacher.  Just you! So, you should be proud of yourself.

So give it a try. Roll out your mat and start in a supine position. Let it be three minutes or half an hour.
A little bit of Yoga is better than none!