Twelve days ago I made myself a promise, a commitment, to practice yoga for 40 days straight – and hopefully beyond – as I build my own home yoga practice.
At the end of last term, I decided not to return to my regular yoga class. As much as I loved it and know that I need to include some regular ‘me time’, our family budget is pretty tight at the moment and the yoga class timetable doesn’t always suit my needs right now. I often feel like I’m racing against the clock and stressed out getting to class, which kind of defeats the purpose of why I go to yoga in the first place.
Instead, I made a decision to work on my own yoga practice in the comfort of my own home.
To start with, I bought a book called Forty Days of Yoga by Kara-Leah Grant after a recommendation from my yoga teacher and embarked on my own self-taught yoga journey.
The book provided a series of worksheets to help work through my thoughts and feelings about yoga and why I want to practice it, as well as what has been holding me back from consistently practising and ways to remove or work around these blocks. It helped me reveal times in my day that I can fit in yoga and reminded me that I don’t need to be on the mat for a solid hour to get the benefits from yoga.
Right now, I’m finding the best time for my yoga practice is straight after Miss 2 goes down for her afternoon nap. The house is nice and quiet and I really look forward to this time for myself. Since working through my feelings about what has been blocking my path to a consistent yoga practice, it’s amazing how my mindset has changed so quickly and I’m already making it more of a priority in my life.
Before working through this process, I always felt I needed to tackle my long to do list first only to get frustrated for then not having the time to fit in any yoga. Now I have moved yoga to a higher spot on the list so I am motivated to get more done in the morning before my daughter’s nap knowing that I want to fit in my yoga time. Then once I have finished my practice, I tend to feel fresher and more motivated to continue on with the rest of my day.
But you always need a back-up plan (because I know if I miss a day that my 40 day countdown resets to zero and I have to start all over again), so if for any reason I can’t complete my yoga practice in the afternoon (like yesterday when I had a crazy day and felt like I was constantly chasing my own tail), then I roll out the mat after Miss 2 goes to sleep at night to ease into the end of my day.
On day one I started with a short 10 minute practice using one of my favourite online yoga channels – Yoga With Adriene. I have dabbled on and off in establishing a home yoga practice in the past, but never as consistently as this … and never for 11 (let alone 40!)) days straight.
I have continued to use one of these videos each day to get me started as I still feel the need to be guided in some way through my home practice. The great thing is that there are so many videos to choose from that there’s always something to suit my mood on any particular day.
Usually I have been sticking to videos about 20-25 minutes in length, then adding on a short guided meditation (right now I enjoy using the Insight Timer app, but there are many other options out there) or perhaps changing or adding on a few more yoga postures that I feel my body needs on any given day and I’m already familiar with from yoga class.
I find as my confidence grows I am doing more of this and I hope one day I’ll be able to lead myself through my own yoga practice from start to finish.
Day 12 today … so far so good! Wish me luck for the next 28 days ahead. Namaste x
Do you love yoga? Ever taken part in a yoga challenge? Wish to join me?