I have never been motivated enough to follow any kind of home workout regime. Even being at the gym wasn’t truly effective unless I was in a fitness class and I had an instructor cheering me on, and a group of people I had to keep up with surrounding me. In a lot of ways, becoming a flow instructor had a lot to do with motivating myself to get to the gym and do my workout–you can’t really stand on stage with 20 pairs of eyes looking up at you and not put your all into your practice. Plus, you have to actually show up.
Obviously, my circumstances have changed and I no longer instruct Body Flow; I’ve been on mat leave on and off for the last five years, and I don’t have the freedom to come and go to the studio as I please. I also didn’t want to spend all my free hours at night sitting on the couch, which I actually did for many months after Ophelia was born. I knew I needed to make some changes. The bottom line is that I was feeling lazy and sluggish.
In September, Instagram influencer Yoga Girl put on a challenge of #yogaeverydamnday. This wasn’t a challenge that focused on a daily pose, or with any kind of goal in mind but to get on the mat (or to bring yoga into your day off the mat). It could be a 5 minute meditation or a 75 minute sweaty power flow. 20 minutes of yin or taking a deep breath when the kids were driving you mad. And this challenge changed the way I practiced yoga completely.
I had been thinking of yoga as SOMETHING ELSE I had to do, something else I had to fit into my day (or feel guilty about skipping), because I thought I needed to be so disciplined that anything but an hour long power was not good enough. It deflated me and disconnected me to my practice. I barely got on my mat at all. But this message of yoga taking so many forms reminded me there are 8 limbs in yoga, not just the physical practice or asana, and that I am a yogi. I just was missing some parts of it. So I practiced every damn day that month, and pretty much every damn day since then. This is how.
First off, although I have plenty of experience and training, I wasn’t in a place to be creatively spitting out my own sequences. I needed inspiration, and trust me there is a lot of help out there online. I personally used oneoeight.com; I had become a member the year prior and used it maybe a couple of times a month but now this tool became my yoga saviour. There are other resources such as gaia.com, omstars.com, the Cody App and more, you just need to find the one that speaks to you. At any rate, oneoeight and its world renowned instructors provided me with hours upon hours of physical practice and meditations. Classes there range from mere minutes to over an hour, at all levels and in various styles. I was able to establish my home practice because I had this tool on my side. Sometimes you need support–it is out there!
Finding a space to practice is another thing. I have tons of space in the basement, but it is full of toys and never feels like the place to clear my head. My bedroom is peaceful, but I don’t want to worry about waking the girls while I move. So I took this nook–I literally had a foot of floor space surrounding each edge of my mat–in the guest bedroom. The tiniest nook in the house I’m pretty sure, but I honestly loved it. I always felt connected there. The only problem was that I would hit the walls or the bed transitioning. So when Dev started finishing up our mudroom I picked a calm paint colour and started planning my new practice spot. This room really is quite large, and now I practice with plenty of space to turn on the mat and stretch out in all directions. There is even space for a floor plant. I miss my old nook, but I appreciate my new one!
The reality is, Life is stressful. Life is full, and blessings are all around, but it is also stressful. Yoga and meditation are tools that allow us to stay grounded, they help teach us to respond with calm and to find opportunities to be grateful where we might otherwise not be. There is no perfection, and I can lose my shit, but truly finding space to tune into your body and your mind HELPS. It helps a lot. Like, I think I would maybe be a crazy person if I didn’t have that something to keep me mindful? I feel like now, with little people, little time, and very little chance to get out to yoga class, my yoga practice is more important than ever. This is why I am so grateful I have found my home practice. It is accessible to you, too. It is available for everyone who chooses it. Just carve out a corner of your home, roll out your mat, and see what happens.