Tips for Improving Your Home Practice
You know that feeling that you get when you walk into your favorite yoga studio? The expansion, the power, the creativity, the inspiration…. I know, I know were all missing it. While the energy from the people you are practicing with are a huge part of that, the other part is the space itself and what it does for you, mentally. Here are a few tips for how you can recreate that same studio feeling at home no matter how big, small, noisy or uninspiring your space may feel!
Create a space that is sacred to you
Wherever you are practicing make sure it’s a place that you feel inspired by. Pick your favorite corner of the house. Place objects around you that bring you joy. Your favorite picture of yourself, that makes you feel like a goddess? Yes. A sacred object that a friend or family member gave you that sparks that little air of sentiment and grounding? definitely. Some beautiful crystals that elevate your mood? Sure! A collection of rocks you’ve picked up from your travels, bring ‘em! A book from your favorite author? In. Whatever it is that lights you up, surround yourself with it. It will help you feel that extra charge you need to push you through the extra layer of quiet that is home practice.
Bye- Bye Electronics
Get as far away from electronic devices as possible. I mean it. No practicing in the computer room. If you’re in a studio apartment, move all of your electronic to the bathroom for your practice or cover your desktop or TV with a sheet. That hum you feel when an electronic device is on is disruptive mentally and blocks that magic calming energy you’re trying to channel. So, for the time being put them away. “But, what am I going to stream on”??? Okay, okay, one device for streaming your video is acceptable, but no more than that.
Everyone’s opinion will slightly differ on this point, but to me there is no greater magic than practicing in natural light. Whether its night or day, get those light bulbs out of my face. In the morning, I open all of the shades so that that early morning light filters in and gently wakes me up as I stretch open. And at night, I feel so powerful surrounded by candles or a natural evening glow. But again, that’s just my suggestion, if you need lights turn ‘em on! Just make sure they’re soft and gentle. Whether your practice is an intense power flow or a gentle morning yin you’ll benefit from soft non-intrusive light.
Find a good soothing playlist
Simple advice: What kind of music do you like? Play it. Try to keep in mind the mood you’d like to set. If you’re wanting some energy play something energizing, if you’re needing some peace and calm, try something acoustic and slow. (Little tip - Sometimes a quiet sleepy somber playlist is a nice contrast to a power flow). I really love music with no or very few words when I’m practicing. Its all about the tones and the vibe, so whatever it is just making sure you’re really “feeling” it. Get out of your head.
Set a Mood
This is my favorite part. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE incense. I burn them as often as I can, but I am especially in love with the space they create when you burn them during practice. Same goes for candles. The combination of the two really create a sexy, peaceful, and intensely inspirational space for me. Is there any end to what you can do or any bad mood you can’t transform when you feel like that?
What are your favorite scents? Rub some of it on your pulse points. Want some invigoration? Try some citrus or peppermint. Want some peace? Try rose or lavender or eucalyptus. Want some inspiration? Try palo santo rosemary or sage. Whatever you are seeking to feel, seek out a scent that elicits that response in your brain and bring it with you to your mat.
Drown out outside noise
A lot of times an on-point playlist will help with this, but if you’re hearing your neighbor’s morning routine a little too loudly, or the trash man slamming that can down one decibel too high outside, it can be annoying and distracting. I find fans or white noise machines really helpful when you’re being pulled off the mat by some offensive sound. That constant soft noise will help you to get into the zone inside and away from the chaos outside.
If you didn’t already have a well-stocked prop closet before the pandemic, chances are you’ve been having a hard time finding well priced props to practice with at home.
Here’s a good list of subs when you just can’t find what you’re looking for on amazon.
Now more than ever, its easy to find an online class that really speaks to you. Chances are you’re favorite teachers are offering their regular classes via social media or an online platform, which can help keep a sense of familiarity in a very unfamiliar time, but if you’re new to yoga or just looking for an activity to keep your body moving and your mind sane, there is a host of places to look for classes that will help you with the basics too. Start small, feel what you feel, go to what you’re drawn to.