Establishing a Home Practice

IMG_9605.JPG

Establishing a home practice is one of the most challenging aspects of practicing yoga regularly. While some people might enjoy keeping their practice in the studio under the watchful eye of a trained teacher, others may find that this is just not feasible for their current lifestyle, whether because of a strenuous work schedule, intense travel, or financial restraints.
I have had a home practice in my life ever since I began learning yoga. In fact, it’s how I got started with yoga, and I discovered a few things that might help you establish a home practice, too.


1. Separate skills from habit


Research shows that it takes 24 repetitions to make an activity or choice before it begins to not feel weird. That means that if you’re going to do yoga at home, you will have to do it 24 times before you can even think about not talking yourself out of it! That same research also shows us that you will have to roll out your mat at home for 200 times (that’s TWO HUNDRED!) before it feels automatic! So even if you don’t feel like doing yoga, get in the habit of rolling out the mat for at least 24 times before you even decide whether you can do this or not. Even if you set the timer for 10 minutes of child’s pose (it’s been THAT kind of a day!), go through the motions. You are training your brain to do something new (yoga in this place, at this time of day). The poses that you do or don’t do are not as important as the formation of a new habit.


2. Use props
 

Just as in the studio you are encouraged to use “props,” it’s OK to use them in establishing a home practice.....but I’m not talking about blocks or blankets or bolsters. The props in this portion of your practice are yoga videos. I began my yoga practice by meeting Jason Crandell on the mat every morning for his beginner morning yoga routine onYouTube. At that time in my life, I had NO money, 3 sons to feed, and 3 part-time jobs. If there was anyone on Earth that needed yoga, it was ME! I was determined to first establish a habit, then later I would find the money to get instruction. So every morning I had a yoga date with Jason. To this day, he is my favorite instructor in YogaGlo, and I can hear his voice in his blog posts and social media posts. Whether it’s a free YouTube video or a subscription service like Gaia or YogaGlo, set yourself up for success with the wonderful props when you feel your resolve failing.


3. Reward yourself
 

When you resolve to establish a new habit or routine, go ahead and set up a reward system, too. I promise, you’re going to need it before you’re 24 days in! For me (with part-time jobs and teenage sons to feed), shiny stickers on my calendar were my motivators. And then as I fell in love with my practice and began to love how my body felt after my dates with Jason, I began to reward myself with my own set of yoga blocks, or I signed myself up for a beginner series at the local studio. And the most important reward? On Day 25, put a big “X” on your calendar....a day of REST. Because rest is part of the yoga lifestyle, too.

susie fergus fort worth yoga


4. Redefine “home practice”
 

One of my early motivations for developing a home practice was the cost factor: after all, home yoga = free yoga. But there are other places where you can find free yoga, so take advantage of those! It’s not unusual to find a yoga teacher who offers their yoga classes in the park as a service to the neighborhood or community. When you attend a session on Free Day of Yoga (Labor Day weekend) or at Yoga in the Park, give yourself permission to count it as part of your home practice. After all, the point is to connect with your body and mind daily as part of a spiritual practice. And just like any other “significant other,” your practice benefits from the daily-ness of meeting yourself on the mat as much as your choices of Instagram-worthy poses.


5. Cut yourself some slack
 

“But what if I can’t do it for 24 days straight?” Anyone who has ever stopped eating sugar can tell you that there’s no value in “all or nothing.” You’re going to slip up, you’re going to oversleep, you’re going to get out of your routine. Life Happens! But each day is a new day....and if you choose to establish a yoga habit by rolling out your mat for a goal of 5 days out of 7, then you will meet your 24/200 goal at the time that is right for you! No matter how those shiny stickers are sprinkled on your calendar, they’ll look great, and you’ll feel the satisfaction of a home practice that is just the right fit for you.


Establishing a home practice isn’t so much about the poses you choose as it is about the daily choice you make to meet yourself on your mat. When establishing a new routine, give yourself grace to separate the content of the practice from the habit of it -- you’re sure to meet success that will pay dividends to your health and well-being!

Groove With the Music

Jenn Holmes Fort Worth Yoga

When it comes to building a playlist, it can be some serious business. Okay, maybe some serious fun business! For real though, when it came to building my first playlist for a public class, it felt somewhat daunting. I always stressed over playing music for a room of people, but then I realized I was creating the atmosphere and as long as what I chose wasn’t offensive, it might just help someone grow out of their zone or feel in their zone!

That’s the best part about music. It is different for everyone who hears it, feels it, experiences it! The same goes for yoga. Everyone has a different experience in their own body while they all may be taking the same class. So what could be better than creating your own playlist for your personal practice, your group class, your girls brunch - you name it! Creating something special with an end goal in mind feels so liberating once you do it!


How to build an awesome yoga playlist!


1. Theme is key


Whether it’s cozy night vibes, party rock or an entire playlist devoted to song about cats (I’ve done it and it rocked) - coming up with a theme or vibe for the playlist helps in curating the right kind of songs. This can help keep your tempo’s on track. Slowly building into those big upbeat songs and slowly making your way back to a low key sound. Coming from a background in music (nerd alert), I think of it in crescendos (<) and decrescendos (>). Pretty cool right?


2. Mix it up!


It’s fun to mix up different genres into the playlist in order to keep your listeners and practitioners on their toes. If you haven’t heard the songs fully before - make sure you do so that you know how one fades in to the other. Weird transitions aren’t the end of the world, but seamless transitions for the mood make your playlist keep going strong! Keep it new with fresh sounds in between songs of the moment.


3. Listen and Edit


Consider who is attending you class or gathering. Listen to what moves you, but edit out what doesn’t work. If I find something I like, but it doesn’t fit in with the vibe I’m working with, I will keep it on the back burner for later. Who knows when that one might come in handy!


4. Figure out your length


If you’re building a playlist for an outlined period of time, like a class, make sure you have a little time in the beginning to end to slowly ease in and out. I once made a playlist that was an hour for an hour and 15 minute class, that was definitely a learning curve! Check your times, and when i doubt - make it long or purposely short to let you students be okay with silence.


5. Let loose, it’s fun!


Above all else, listen to what moves you and makes you want to share with your audience. Music and yoga have two main things in common - they are food for the soul. So let your soul get full on what makes you happy and share that joy with people you care about!

Need a home practice playlist? Here's one of my favorites! 

Come find out what I’ve put on my playlist! Either in my weekly classes or at my special January class on Friday, January 26th - for a Funky Soul Flow! Let the music move you, loves!

Funky Soul Flow

Let's move and groove to some old soul and funk! This is a fun all-levels flow focusing on fun! This funky class will come with the sounds of legends as we flow through an invigorating practice that will awaken your inner god and goddess!

Happy Yogidays: Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide for Yoga

The holidays can be hard. The balance between gift giving and smart consumerism can be a challenge. Our best solution? Start small and mindful. You can usually find the best gift just around the corner or made by a "friends sister's daughter". Take all of that and add to the list that your recipient is super passionate about yoga (an activity that has very little material requirements) and it's easy to get stuck in gift card mode. We scoped out our favorite local Fort Worth and eco-conscious artisans and small businesses and put together our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Fort Worth Yogis. 

kasey bell essential oil rollers

1. Kasey Bell Yoga & Reiki.

Essential Oil Rollers, soaps, bath salts, or mat spray. These rollers are each made individually with dried herbs, Reiki infused crystals, and high grade essential oils. 

REE-defined Rare Earth Elements

2. REE-defined Rare Earth Elements

Shop from an assortment of wine classes, coasters, napkin rings, raw crystals, and so much more. These beautiful pieces are each hand picked and hand made with great care.

Catalyst Malas

3. Catalyst Malas

Each mala is made with semi precious stones and hand tied using a special mantra. No two are identical! Malas are fashionable, but also extremely useful in meditation. These are meant to be used, loved, and worn. 

Inner Fire Leggings

4. Inner Fire Leggings

Although not a local to Fort Worth, TX company, Inner Fire is eco friendly using fabric created from recycled water bottles and safe vibrant ink. We personally LOVE the new Winter Capsule Collection that just released.  

IMG_0447.JPG

5. Yolohayoga 

Yoloha Yoga’s cork mats are made from sustainable and ethically sourced cork and recycled rubber in a zero-waste process. Most importantly though they are non-slip especially when damp and they are beautiful! 

IMG_8555.JPG

6. Private Yoga Session

The BEST gift you can give your favorite yogi is something a little more luxurious. Give them the opportunity to practice 1 on 1 with their favorite Fort Worth teacher. Is there specific skills they've been wanting to learn, or are they interested in a Reiki session? Either way it will be an experience they won't soon forget!

Are you a yoga practitioner? What's on your wishlist this holiday season? Or what is the best gift you've recieved in the past?