Sometimes life gets in the way and you can’t make it to the studio. Whatever the circumstances, there is always a way to stay loyal to your yoga or Pilates routine. The following is a simple guide that will give you some tips on how to set aside 20-30 minutes at home when you can’t make it to the studio.
Pencil it in
It is important to schedule your home practice session so it becomes a part of your to-do list. Choose a time when you are least affected by life’s little distractions.
It is also necessary to start your home practice on time. If you usually do yoga or Pilates at 9am, use the same discipline it takes to get to the yoga studio on time, and start your routine in a timely fashion at home.
Designate a space
Set the stage in one small area of your house to create the perfect sanctuary for your practice. Think outside the box. If your hallway, bathroom, or front entry provides the best space, use it. Just be sure and pick a spot in your house that is quiet, has natural lighting, and provides adequate space. Clear out any unnecessary clutter such as a stack of magazines or a pile of shoes, within two to four feet around your yoga mat.
Getting started is the biggest challenge. There are a million distractions that can keep us from taking care of our bodies, but once we get started, those deterrents will fade away.
Find something that gets you excited about practicing. If playing music sparks your motivation, turn up the volume!
When you are doing yoga or Pilates at home, remember to warm up. Taking a few extra minutes to prepare your body for deeper poses or more challenging ab work will make a huge difference in the way your body will feel.
A great way to begin your yoga or Pilates routine is to start in child’s pose. Scan your body with your internal gaze and notice how you feel. By listening to your body, you can hone in on exactly what you need, and then go from there.
Once you have a clear concept of your body’s needs, oblige. For a tight back, loosen up with some cat-cows. For stiff calves and hamstrings, pedal out your feet in downward dog. If you are feeling weak in your upper body, stay in plank pose for a few extra breaths, or do some pushups! Remember to find a balance. For example, if you work your abs for 10 minutes, be sure and do exercises that will strengthen your lower back.
Pick one passive pose for your hips, shoulders, or legs, such as pigeon, cow face pose, or seated forward bend, and hold for three minutes. You will be surprised at the effect those three minutes will have on your muscle tone and flexibility, not to mention your patience and tenacity.
The whole purpose of relaxing after class is to allow the assimilation of those positive changes that take place in mind and body. Skipping it means those subtle changes might go unnoticed, or worse, be unappreciated.
Bonus Tip: time your session
If you decided to do a little yoga or Pilates at home for only as long as you felt like it, chances are you’d end up going straight into final relaxation (aka, a nap) after the first five minutes. 🙂
Choose your desired duration, and then set a timer. Keep going until you hear the buzzer, and then rest.