Constant practice alone is the secret of success.
My 3 Favourite Ways to Fall in Love with Home Practice
The reason why I have dedicated over 8 years of my life to creating transformational yoga retreats is because I strongly believe in how retreats can help people start their yoga journey and fall in love with yoga, elevate where they are at if they are already practising yoga, or supercharge people's lives when they are ready for the immensely transformational effect that going on a yoga journey with a group of like-minded individuals can have on their lives.
But ultimately, yoga retreats remind you of HOW GREAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO FEEL. And this comes from our consistent yoga practice that you commit to when you come to the retreat. My biggest hope with the work that I do, is that you return home feeling amazing and inspired to create a regular practice at home. In the end of the day, it's your everyday effort - even if it seems negligibly tiny - that will move mountains and create a lasting change.
And even though many of us already know that home practice is really good for us, time and time again I get approached by the students who tell me they are struggling in their effort to establish an ongoing yoga practice. They run out of inspiration, ideas of what to do on the mat, they lose their drive and focus.
So the question is: how do you create a home practice that is going to not only continue for many years to come, but also spark joy, playfulness and fun when you do it, or even when you are just anticipating your next rendezvous with your mat? One of the things I have spent many months creating, is this resource for home practice, which is meant to support you when you are starting to practice at home. However, I have some more thoughts on the subject I'd like to share on how to fall in love with your home practice.
1. Find Your WHY
Maybe that's the most important component. WHY do you want to establish your home practice to begin with? I am not talking about the fact that you know yoga has a positive impact on your health and makes you feel good, I am asking what is your deeper reason?
Why would you want to wake up before your alarm or before your kids and get on your mat? Because you're gonna sweat and struggle and feel bad about being un-fit? Because you just like to punish yourself? It makes no sense, does it?
You have to find a deeper meaning in your practice if you want for it to actually happen.
For me as personally my morning yoga practice is a way to balance out my brain and body chemistry so that the rest of my day - and the rest of my life - flows beautifully. What I mean by that is that yoga and meditation practice help us manage the fluctuations in our minds and bodies by helping us balance internal chemistry. This brings mental clarity so we can remember our higher purpose and raise above the mundane to see the bigger picture. This brings freedom from cravings and foods/activities/addictions that bring immediate reward, and focus on what really matters. This helps to be able to handle the highs and lows of life with equanimity and grace knowing that "this too shall pass". For this, I would rise early in the morning or find time before sleep. This is a completely different level of motivation.
Besides that, my home practice is enjoyable and fun, and I can honestly say that 99% of the time, I'm in love with it (the 1% is when I'm needing to give myself a little push, still). And it's not because I've been practicing for 2 decades, rather because I decided that this is how I'd like my home practice to be, and then made it so. You are perfectly capable of it too by the way.
I invite you to find your own reasons, the true reasons deeper than losing weight or keeping it at bay, because without it your home practice is going to just remain on a very superficial level, until one day you decide to figure out WHY you deserve better than that.
2. Find Your WAY of Practicing
Does a morning class supercharge your day or you are just feeling grumpy for the rest of the day because you had to wake up way too early to make it happen? Does an evening practice feel better instead when your body already feels warmed up and you are ready to flow? Do you feel better practicing alone, or do you find it more fun to practice with a yogi friend or your partner? Do you like using a yoga video or a guided meditation for inspiration or prefer to just create the sequences yourself as you go?
For the change to last, you have to find what works best for you. Create your very own sacred space and time, and dedicate it 100% to your practice. Ditch the excuses and block the practice time as if it was a super important meeting. Create a time frame that is enjoyable. Create a complete setup so that you want to come back to your own yoga sanctuary again and again. Commit to this one-on-one with yourself, even if it means having to sometimes honestly confront your fears, limiting beliefs and frustrations (you are human by the way, and it's ok to have these feelings - just a reminder) before you can process them and move beyond what's holding you back.
And remember: your practice doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be there. One of the most fulfilling things in life for a human being is not perfection, but the experience of growth and evolution. And if you stick with your practice, it's a given.
3. Roll out Your Yoga Mat!
The simplest thing ever. Just do it. That's my best tip.
And if you ever need someone to give your practice a serious boost, I'm always here for you. Yoga retreats make excellent gifts, they create unforgettable holidays, self-discovery journeys and are great places to meet new people who, just like you, are searching for more depth and meaning in life. So I invite you to re-establish your home practice if you've been out of it for a while, charging it with it's ever-important WHYs, and giving yourself to fall in love with it. And whenever it's a good timing for you, come join me on the mat somewhere in the Swiss Alps or Moroccan desert.
Until our next yoga adventure!