If you’re looking to start and cultivate your own home yoga practice, but not sure how, I hope this encourages you!
As a mom to two small boys, finding time to make my way to the yoga studio to get in my beloved yoga practice requires all the stars to come into alignment, the wind to blow in just the right direction, and the smallest window of opportunity to open up just enough so I can wedge myself out between the bars. And since I’m also a yoga teacher, it’s kind of important that I maintain my own personal practice. Most yoga studios don’t offer onsite child care, and where yoga and child care do exist under the same roof is either in a gym environment where the yoga offered is typically not my flavor, or the cost of membership is beyond my yoga teacher salary. Luckily, yoga can literally be practiced just about anywhere, so I usually practice at home.
Right there in my foyer, I have my own little space to roll out my mat. Nothing fancy. Just a place for my mat and some props (if my kiddos haven’t run off with them to use for building racetracks, or whatever). I used to have a little devotional table where I kept some special knick knacks and books, but having a new, little walker around, I packed all that up for the time being.
When it comes to having a home yoga practice (or any type of home fitness regimen for that matter) one question I get asked most often is, how do I find the time with two little (and mischievous) boys. The answer to that is, “there is always time.” I’m not talking a plethora of time by any means, but there is always at least some time in every day to devote to practicing yoga. The trick is to make the time to do it a priority in the day and to recognize when the time has come and to take advantage of it.
One of the aspects of yoga philosophy is to let go of expectations, outcomes, or desires.
This is especially true for the at-home yogi. A home yoga practice will not look like the yoga at the studio, or even the gym. Instead of a cool playlist to practice to, it might be Daniel Tiger songs in the background. There’s likely to be a tiny yogi (or a fury yogi) running around on the yoga mat. By all means, invite them in! Kids & pets make the best yoga partners and teachers, and the kids in particular are going to pick up on some incredible life skills through their own yoga practice just by watching mommy. Doubtfully, the amount of time to practice will be enough to get a fully, complete practice with a nice, long, relaxing savanna (corpse pose) at the end. Be OK with that. Maybe all there’s time for is savasana. Be OK with that, too.
I had to get over myself when I would look at the clock and see that there was no way I could spend an hour to practice yoga, and think to myself, “What is even the point?” I had to let go of the idea of what my home yoga practice should look like and accept my home practice simply for what it does look like. If all I have time for is 5 minutes, that’s OK. If those five minutes turn into ten, great! I’ll take what I can get.
Some days, magic happens and I have enough time to find a streaming class on YogaGlo, my favorite online yoga studio and I have the luxury to be guided by a world renowned teacher. Often, I just do my own thing, either working on a sequence to teach to my own class, or remembering a particular sequence from a class I took previously. Sometimes it’s just a few rounds of traditional sun salutations, a specific sequence of postures (asanas). It might just be one single pose. Sometimes, I just sit in the car battling traffic on the freeway and breathe. Or I stop doing everything else that I’ve convinced myself is of the utmost importance and just sit on the floor with my boys, fully present, crashing monster trucks into my yoga blocks.
The important thing, just like the practice of yoga itself, is to honor the circumstances of that moment, both on and off the mat.
To be accepting of how the body, heart, and mind each show up. For me, motherhood is by far the most intense practice of yoga I have ever experienced. There are days when I feel so overwhelmed by all of it. But yoga helps me to take my mind off of the chaos and away from things that don’t serve me or my family’s best interest (oh, you know, like social media and TV), and to turn my attention inward and upward where the overwhelm and frustration disappear. Then I’m able to be present in the moments that matter most. In that space, the gratitude for my life as a wife and mother fills me up and humbles me.
Do you practice yoga or other types of fitness programs at home? I’d love to hear how you integrate it into your daily routine. Namaste mommas!