In honor of National Yoga Month, Travaasa Austin’s Yoga Instructor Susan Anderson shares tips for getting motivated to practice yoga at home. 

Traditional yoga practice originated in India emphasizing intention to increase self-awareness and harness individual health and power utilizing breathing techniques, postures, meditation and visualization prescribed from teacher (guru) to student. In our western culture, we’ve created class time yoga at yoga-based studios, which can be an exciting, motivating and an inspiring environment. This gives one a good platform to grow into an individual yoga practice. For many reasons – time, efficiency, to be more quiet, the freedom to move intuitively, to better feel yoga practice as prayer and more comfort in the home – many individuals feel called to step into a ritual of a personal home yoga practice.

The hardest thing about doing yoga in the home is the actual motivation to do it! The next hardest thing, once you are actually doing the practice, is cultivating the discipline not to get distracted by things in and around your home (phone calls, dust balls, pets or children wanting your attention). The third most difficult thing about being at home is having the inner will power to do a balanced sequence of postures and to hold those postures for a good count, or long enough.

Here are some quick tips to overcome these three hard things.

Get motivated by playing music that inspires you to move. You can also set the mood by lighting some candles, burning incense setting some sacred objects on a mini alter space, or some type of active ritual to create a nice space.

Ensure that you will not have any outside distractions. Turn your phone off! Make an active mental commitment to the amount of time you will dedicate to simply being on the mat (not even moving to pick up a dust ball that you may spy under the couch).

Lastly, it can be extremely helpful to have a pen and paper next to you. Before you actually start your movement practice, begin with you eyes closed focusing on your breath to center and connect with yourself. When you do feel to open your eyes, you can let your intuition guide you to write down the postures you want to practice, the amount of time you want to hold those postures, and the number of repetitions of that posture or sequence you will practice. This way you hold yourself accountable.

And, as always, you will feel so good during the time in yoga practice, but especially afterwards!