Tips for following through on a home practice

Standing forward fold with shoulder opener 1) Carve out 10 minutes every day A little a lot consistently is better than a lot a little.  Start with 10 minutes if that is all you can do, own that 10 minutes.  I wrote about this yesterday and I think it's the key to a home practice.

2) Be consistent.  Your body craves consistency and routine.  My dream has always been to have my home practice first thing in the morning.  It's what my favorite teacher does, it's what works for a lot of people, and I'm a morning person so you would think this would work for me, but the majority of the time it doesn't.   Right after work is normally a great time for me to practice.  It's the bridge between my Type A existence and my home life.  If I stop for 10, 15, 20 or even 30 minutes before I settle in, my evening at home or teaching at my studio goes a heck of a lot better than if i don't practice for at least 10 minutes.

Feet

3) Eliminate as many distractions as you can. You will never be able to eliminate all distractions.  You can do yourself a favor by eliminating as many as possible.  Turn your phone on airplane mode or turn it off altogether, if you live with others ask them to leave you be for your set amount of practice time.  If you live with animals put them in another room if you can (my dog barks at me If I segregate him to a different room so we compromise with him sitting quietly near by).

Max

3) Set a timer for your desired amount of practice time.  10 minutes, 30 minutes one hour doesn't matter.  This will eliminate the distraction of wondering how long you've been practicing for, or worrying about being late for something else.  This tip will also aid your meditation practice.

4)Boredom comes, it's ok, it's all part of the process. If you've been practicing consistently for a while you might already know and understand this.  Your practice will not reveal insights every day, it will not feel great every day.  Sometimes you come to the mat and you want to be anywhere but on the mat.  Sometimes you wonder if you are going to do the same old sun salutations every day.  You will feel uninspired and that is ok, it's all part of the process.  It's the commitment to getting on the mat that's important even if you spend your whole 10 minutes in legs up the wall.

5) Use tools if you feel uninspired We've all been there.  We don't feel like getting on the mat.  We might be out of ideas of what to do with our bodies.  This is a great time to put together a playlist for yourself, maybe turn on a yoga DVD from your favorite teacher or grab your favorite yoga book and try a sequence.

Having a personal practice will get you in-touch with yourself in ways that you can't access otherwise.  IF you are a yoga teacher you will not become a great yoga teacher unless you have a solid personal practice, I know this to be true from experience.  Use your personal practice as a place of opening and exploration.  Have fun, enjoy it and see where it takes you.