Tips to Building a Home Practice

Building a home practice is a great way to compliment your time spent in the studio, a meditation circle, or even a busy lifestyle; but it’s not always easy to do. There are so many articles that offer tips for building a home practice, and they may work for you, but I had difficulties with others tips. As any yogi knows, you can fall out of a pose but you have to get right back into it. As a yogi I’ve been doing that with many areas of my life, especially with my home practice. Many tips didn’t work for me, and I was left with creating or finding techniques of my very own; and I want to share these with you.

After trying out many tips online, talking with the Grove Team and other yogis; I’ve established a list of helpful and useful tips that have helped others and me build a home practice.

Set up a Sacred Space for your own practice

This tip has been helpful for other yogis, and even some of the Grove Team. You want to find a space in your home that will be just for you, and build an alter with things that are important to you. I used to keep crystals, sweetgrass, white sage, cedar, an abalone shell, a mala, and my third eye pinecones on my alter. During my practice I would burn incense, or start by cleansing the space with White Sage to set the mood. Some people really benefit from having a space of their own to turn to; however, this tip didn’t work for me, which leads into my second tip.

Set your Mat or Meditation Cushion in a Space you use Regularly

As the sacred space didn’t work for me, I had to come up with something else. This tip has served me well on many occasions. When I had a sacred space, it was out of the way and didn’t help me establish a regular practice. I set up my yoga mat in my living room and left it unrolled; as I spent a lot of time in my living room reading, writing, painting, watching TV, or gazing out the bay window at the lake. Seeing my mat lying on the living room floor inspired me to practice more; maybe first out of guilt but that was key for me in establishing a regular practice. With my mat in a space I was in a lot I found myself practicing two or more times a day, and seeing progress in my practice, body, and mind. Seeing your mat or meditation cushion regularly can inspire you to practice more, which is key to establishing your very own home practice.

Define your Practice – Available time to practice & the technique you’d like to focus on

I cannot stress this tip enough, it’s important to define your practice and what you’d like t achieve. I recommend writing down the times you have available to practice, and be completely honest with yourself here. Your next step will be to decide what you’d like to practice; and re-evaluate what you want to practice as necessary. Define your goals and techniques are essential to building a regular home practice; and they don’t have to be big goals. Remember to take the necessary steps and work your way to bigger goals.

For Example:

If your goal is to meditate for Sixty Minutes per day, and you’ve never meditated before; you’d want to start slowly. I would recommend starting with ten minutes per day for seven to fourteen days; and then increase your time by five minutes every other week until you’ve reached your goal of sixty minutes per day.

Keep a Journal – and write down reasons for not practicing

This is one of my favourite tips, as it teaches you more about yourself. I recommend keeping a journal next to your mat or meditation cushion, as you may be inspired after your practices; and it gives you a way to watch your progress. This is not the main reason that I recommend keeping a journal; it’s more about seeing the reasons you come up with for not practicing. If you find that you are unable to practice I recommend writing it down in the journal, and explaining why you are unable to practice. After thirty days of building your home practice you can go through your journal and note how you excelled and where you could improve in building your practice at home. This one was key to my home practice because I could see how my moods changed when I got on the mat, and notice the excuses I made to avoid practicing yoga or meditation. Here’s two outlines that will help make your journaling experience easier.

Example #1 - Daily Practice

How were you feeling prior to your practice?

How are you feeling after your practice?

How long did you practice for?

What techniques did you use?

What was successful about your practice?