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Setting up your home practice

Setting up your home practice

by Leslie Davis

I recently watched a short video on how to set up a home yoga practice with one of my favorite yoga teachers, Kira Sloane. You can view the video on Yoga Anytime: 9 Tips for Your Home Yoga Practice.  (This post is not sponsored by Yoga Anytime.)

There are so many gems in here. This video is short, simple and beyond inspiring! I’ve recently started practicing yoga at home and Kira’s clear instructions helped me get focused. I was looking for practical, tangible advice on how to set up a home yoga practice. I got that in spades, plus an insight into the interconnectedness of the tools she shared, and that they can be applied to any discipline. I love how Kira keeps her tips simple, positive and heart-centered. These instructions can be applied to any practice you want to develop and deepen at home—meditation, drawing, piano, singing, sewing, reading—whatever moves you to express yourself and delve into your own self-care practice.

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Kira’s 9 Tips for Your Home Yoga Practice:
Watch the video for helpful details on each step.

  1. Accept your own resistance
  2. Establish your purpose
  3. Small practices matter
  4. Plan your practice
  5. Make a record
  6. Interact with your teachers
  7. Include your friends
  8. Post it – Share it!*
  9. Be gentle and kind with yourself

Kira’s video touched my deep desire to commit to a daily writing practice—something I’ve been toying with and cleverly avoiding for some time. Now I have the tools I need and a clear focus. I’ve begun creating my space, scheduling time, and recording my findings. Accepting my resistance has been an ongoing dance for me and #6, 7, 8 and 9 are the things that help me face and accept my resistance, and most importantly, to move beyond it and just start.

“Research has shown that we’re 50% more likely to accomplish something if we’re writing about it.” — Kira Sloane

I find this to be so true. When I’m journaling or note-taking about my meditation or writing practice, I find a richness and fulfillment that inspires me to keep showing up on the cushion, on the mat, and picking up the pen or sitting down to type at my laptop. For me, writing is a way to connect to my inner self and deepen my mindfulness, concentration and insights. I savor the alone time and the insights that flow freely when I’m journaling or writing an email or letter.

*Even though I do love social media, I’m also a big fan of sharing in more traditional ways such as writing an email or letter to a friend or picking up the phone. Even a private text exchange to share an insight or report on progress often appeals to me more than a social media post.  For me #7 and #8 are interconnected. I enjoy including friends in my practice whether it’s to join together in an activity, or to share about the journey as it unfolds. I tend to be an introverted loner much of the week, so these steps are very important to me and my success. For my sitting meditation practice, sitting with a weekly sangha strengthens my practice in countless unexpected ways.

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Keep it Simple and Just Start

I like stuff. I love all the props, supplies, tools, etc. so keeping it simple is a tough one for me. I enjoy the “getting ready” process so much. It’s like how young children spend a lot of their playtime “setting up to play house” and never get around to the actual business of “playing house”. It’s so much fun to set things up!

After many many failed attempts at starting by preparing to start, I can confidently say that keeping it simple creates the best results. The fewer distractions the better when it comes to getting started. Nowadays I allow myself time to prepare, putter about, and gather materials, but in a different time slot than the one I schedule for my practice. When I sit down to write, I force myself to just write. I open a document or a journal and begin. No prep necessary. Just dive in. It’s the same with my home meditation and yoga practice—no sifting through 40 videos before I choose the perfect one to actually participate in! I allow myself a separate session for the sifting, analyzing and bookmarking for future use. And the time to practice is to do just that—practice.

I’m definitely not 100% successful on this 100% of the time, but keeping it simple forces me to meet my creativity eye-to-eye and forces me into the present moment. And I love that space.

I hope you find this useful. I’m inspired. I’m also challenged because I want to work on a daily yoga + stretching practice, writing practice, meditation practice, art practice, AND reading practice all at once. What are you working on?

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5 thoughts on “Setting up your home practice”

  • Ha! I laughed as I read about your “getting ready” practice. I’ve noticed the same distractions in myself…the call to purchase a new notebook even though I have a growing collection of empty and partially used ones! I love the suggestions in the list and your invitation to set aside dedicated practice time and reserve the “getting ready” part for another time. Sounds simple but our own resistance can be so strong.
    I bow to your insight and commitment to grow your practices in the areas that nourish your heart, mind, and creative soul. I feel inspired by all that you have shared and feel ready to commit to my own sitting and writing practices. Thank you!!

    • Thank you, Arbor! Yes, I find that if I allow myself lots of space for the “set up” aka procrastination, I am more focused when I begin my practice. And, I am still practicing all of these skills and have much to master. Today I found myself procrastinating on a writing project by working on a different writing project! I enjoyed a good laugh at myself when I realized what I was doing. Onward!

  • What a wonderful REAL approach to this. I find it difficult myself, I like #9 because I am very guilty of this when I haven’t meditated or yoga or really anything in my day I set out to do. Thanks dharma mamas for a great post.

    Krystal

    • Thanks for stopping by our blog, Krysta! I hope you can be gentle with yourself as you carve out time for your practice. I hope you clicked through to Yoga Anytime and watched Kira’s video. So gentle and inspiring. xx

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