Hi there yogis! It’s your resident Halsa Essentials Aromatherapy yoga teacher consultant, bringing you some information I have learned during these challenging times. Being at home so much has been interesting to say the least and home practice has become more and more popular so here are some tips and tricks I can share with you from my own experience. Take all of these suggestions, only using what works for you. This is meant to help you navigate home practice, not feel bad that you don't have one. Some home practices, for me, may look like ten minutes a day of breathwork.
1. Find A Space, All Your Own
This space doesn’t have to be a studio, or anything fancy. Think move the coffee table and get moving. Your space can be indoors, outdoors...some students have told me they are using closets and bathrooms. Great! It’s innovative! Having a space that is a little more private and clear of disturbance is great, but if like me you have four legged fur babies, that's a little hard. I say go with the flow. If your dog wants to down dog, laugh it off and keep moving! It’s very yogi of us to tune out the outside noise and focus our attention inward.
2. Choose A Time, and Try to Stick to It
Easier said than done, I know. We are inundated with Zoom calls, followed by ZOOM fatigue (how real is that?). Even just finding five minutes in your day to sit and breathe can significantly improve your parasympathetic nervous system response. Make time for yourself, but don't be upset if you have to wiggle your schedule around. Just get that practice in.
3. Your Practice, Set a Timer
If you are used to practicing 1-2 hours a day, fab!!! If you are a beginner and 10-20 minutes are enough for you, also fab!! You can build your endurance and practice over time, whether it's asana (or physical postures) or meditation (breath and contemplative work).Set a time or choose a program you know you are working on and build from there.
4. Turn Off the Phone, Electronics, UNPLUG!
This is your time. You should be holding space for yourself. Try to limit distractions. Dogs, Kitties, kids, partners. This is time for you. That email can wait I promise. Give yourself time and energy for a spacious practice without disruptions, it will make all the difference for the clarity and mental focus of your practice. Also, my own goal right now is to get my screen time down!
5. a Mat You Love
I have been a yogi for many years and I have practiced on many mats. I find mat choice very personal, but I will share my two favorites with you! You need to think of your mat as an investment. Yoga creates lower stress and better health, mentally and physically. If you can splurge on a mat you love. My two favorites are Liforme and the lululemon 5mm. Both have amazing stickability and last for years. Clean them with lemon juice and water to keep them for a long time.
6. Add Essential Oils To Your Practice
Working with Halsa Essentials Yoga Collection has taught me that essential oils can change your practice to a yoga, meditation, spa like, neurotransmitter heaven experience. I have the Yoga Bundle for every practice. I start with Mindful Meditation for seated pranayama, move onto Asana Fow on the backs of my hands and then Sweet Savasana at the end of practice. It turns my practice into a calming experience. After practice, I keep my oils handy on my desk. Working from home right now can be stressful, but I will grab Mindful Meditation, roll it on my wrists and take a few deep breaths to calm down. I have even been gifting these to my super stressed colleagues and mommy friends!
7. USE BLOCKS
Yogis! Why aren't we all using blocks? Foam, cork, or a stack of books. Blocks make your poses more accessible and can be the key to a safer practice. My favorite blocks are Manduka. Blocks have changed the alignment of my practice and transformed my poses. I hope you will consider adding them and maybe even a strap as well!
8. Commit to Your Practice
Your practice is for you. Commit to as many days as you can, knowing that everyday will look different. Be your own cheerleader or share your practice with a friend who may need inspiration!
9. Enjoy Yourself
Having fun, smiling, giggling, enjoying the work...will draw you back to it. If every moment of whatever exercise you are doing, you feel miserable, resentful, you will not want to do it again. Invite some ease into practice, take variations. Have a good time and let loose. If a pose isn't your favorite, dance a little til it’s over and move on!
10. Be Inspired By Your Practice
The benefits of yoga can go beyond what you experience on the mat. If you succeed at establishing a regular home yoga practice, you’ll be inspired to make healthier choices in your daily life. You’ll eat healthier foods, respect your body more, engage in more nourishing relationships, sleep better and feel amazing!
Please thank yourself for your decision to start a home yoga practice. All you really need is your body, and an open mind. The accessories can make practice more of a ritual, but you can start out with whatever you have! Be tender with any tendencies you may have, don't put yourself down for missing a day, or give up. Keep going, It’s one of the best things you can do for your health and your wellbeing.
As always I am happy to take questions on my Instagram, via DM, @hollyhalina or on my website hollyhalina.org (which also houses my virtual teaching schedule). See you on the mat! Namaste yogi friends!!