Even with the best intentions it can still be difficult to motivate yourself to roll out your mat and complete a session without the guidance and support of a teacher. When in your home surroundings rather than a studio it can be difficult to stay focused and allow yourself the time for your practice. I am often full of good intentions but then get side-tracked once I step onto the mat. Over time I’ve worked out strategies to help me stay focused when doing yoga at home – this is what works best for me:
SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE
Messages flashing up on your phone can prove impossible to ignore and can easily distract you from your downward dogs. It’s best to switch off your phone or put it somewhere out of sight – there are very few things that can’t wait 30 minutes and detaching from your phone every once in a while is a healthy habit to get in to anyway. If like me you use your phone for music, then switch it onto aeroplane mode. It seems obvious, but ditching the phone really does make a massive difference to your focus, concentration and enjoyment of the session.
It’s important to have a clear space on which to lay your mat. Although you don’t need a huge space, it’s nice to have room around your mat so that you don’t feel hemmed in. If your space is limited make sure that the surrounding areas are neat and tidy. An unmade bed or clothes on the floor really prevent me from concentrating so I always make sure my room is tidy before I begin.
Good intentions are much easier to keep if they’ve been scheduled in. I find that doing yoga first thing in the morning or last thing at night works best as it doesn’t eat into the day and is easier to schedule in. Practising in the morning sets you up well for the day and yoga before bed is a great way to unwind and switch off. Whatever time suits you best, just make sure that you’ve penciled it into your diary and treat it like any other commitment that you’ve made.
FIND GOOD MUSIC
Some people like upbeat music when practising yoga, whilst others prefer more calming, instrumental music. I side with the latter, but of course it all comes down to personal preference. I always listen to ‘Islands’ but Ludovico Einaudi. I’ve been listening to it for years and still haven’t got sick of it. Finding a playlist that you like will create a good atmosphere and help you to stay focused.
It’s all about the atmosphere so dim the lights, light a candle or get the incense burning. Anything that transforms the room from an everyday living space into your ‘home studio’ will definitely help. I love a scented candle and once it’s lit I find it much easier to stay on the mat.
USE ONLINE VIDEOS
If you still struggle to go it alone at home, try using online videos. There are tons of resources online, so just hunt around until you find a teacher that you like. I used to use Yoga Glo which has hundreds of different classes and teachers to choose from. It can take a while to find something that’s right for you, but will be worth the effort in the long run.