When we first began lock-down I admit I had all these lofty goals. I was going to be a yoga content creating machine. Well, things rarely work out how we intend them to. Honestly, initially, I found myself floundering. Not just in creating, but also maintaining motivation. Then I figured out the missing link for me in how to find time for yoga. Now I’ve rediscovered that passion, and maybe you can too!
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After struggling with consistency in my yoga practice for a month, something finally clicked. Last week, I shared in my newsletter the secret sauce. I’d decided to do a 30-day yoga challenge on my nemesis poses, to get myself back on my mat. And subsequently, get myself back into a daily yoga practice. There is something motivating for me about working on something I suck at. After all most of us have nothing but time. Even those of us working from home have zero commutes now, so no excuses!
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How to find time for yoga
One of my yoga friends, Tina, recently shared with me that she was struggling to create a consistent yoga practice. So, I figured why not share some tips on how to find time for yoga at home. The things that have worked for me, and what I recommend for clients trying to build a home yoga practice.
Where are you currently spending time?
You’ve probably heard the saying “you don’t find the time, you make time”. Right now, none of us are getting manicures, pedicures, haircuts, commutes, school runs etc. Where is all that time going now? Be honest! If you’re not sure, use google calendar and fill in your activities every 30-60 minutes. I did this for a full week and was surprised how much time I was spending online checking the news (doomscrolling is a pandemic hobby!). Heck, grocery shopping takes 2 hours now with the wait time, and washing groceries! As you look at this list could your time be better spent? Could you sacrifice 30 minutes a day of your Seinfeld reruns to get on your mat? The answer is probably yes!
Schedule time for yoga
Ok, so you’ve identified that you’ve binge-watched the entire season of Carnival Row in 2 days (true story). So you know you do have free time, you’re perhaps just not spending the time wisely. Now what? Schedule the time!
As you find time for yoga it’s important to schedule it. Just like you would a doctor’s appointment. On Friday I spend a few minutes scheduling tasks/appointments for the following week. This is when I schedule my yoga time in my google calendar.
Set an alarm
Personally, I use the alarm function on my phone a lot. I have alarms set for all my yoga classes, clients, and personal yoga sessions. This ensures that if I get sidetracked or “in the zone” with something that I don’t forget I have to leave for class. While a yoga class is work for me, my own practice should be just as important! Sure, sometimes things come up. But for the most part, I can get on my mat for 15-30 minutes, and just do something! Having the alarm set means I switch away from what I was doing and enter my “yoga zone”.
Just start with 5 minutes
How many times have you skipped brushing your teeth? I’m gonna guess that not often right? Why? Because it’s a habit! However, I’m betting that there have been plenty of times that you’ve maybe not done the full 2 minutes brushing? Yeah… we’ve all done it. There may even be the rare occasion you have skipped brushing, because you’re in a crazy rush, and just swished mouthwash! But we do something, because it’s better than nothing!
If the adage that something is better than nothing works for things like teeth brushing then why not yoga? If all you have is five minutes, then just do five minutes. Sometimes you run a marathon, sometimes you run a mile. Both start the same. You just run. Just get into the habit of consistently showing up on your mat.
Find your “why”
One big question to ask yourself is “why is my yoga practice important to me?”. Do you want to improve a particular pose? Perhaps you just want to move? Maybe you feel stressed and need to relax. It’s possible you just need to be alone and get your “me time”. Yoga can be a form of self-care. You’d find time to go to the doctor, hairdresser, or therapist. Time on your yoga practice is time spent on yourself. It’s not selfish to want time for self-care. It’s one of the most selfless things we can do. Remember, you put your own oxygen mask on first! You’re worth it!
Leave your props out
Make things as easy and accessible as possible. Leave your yoga props out in plain sight. If you set your yoga mat out all the time, you’ll be more inclined to hop on it at a moment’s notice. Don’t believe me. Next time you reach for your phone ask yourself if you’re going to do something useful, or just reaching for it because it’s there. Chances are, just like brushing your teeth, it’s a habit. You have 5 minutes. You’re bored. And it too easy to just scroll social media. Instead, drop and give me zen!
Also remember, if push comes to shove that no props are NEEDED. If you have a carpet or rug, just get down on the floor. The worst that will happen is you’ll discover the floor needs vacuuming!
Do the same thing daily
One of the biggest obstacles to starting a home practice is not knowing what to do once on the mat. This is where yoga videos come in handy. But if you’re struggling to create a habit, remove the barrier and just do the same poses every day. While not ideal long term, when we’re building a habit I highly recommend it.
For many years, in my teens, I did the same Jane Fonda video every day. I’m still alive to tell the tale. Would I have benefitted from a more rounded schedule? Absolutely! But again, something is better than nothing. I had removed the excuses and just hit play to get started. Sometimes I did the whole thing. Sometimes I just did 20 minutes. Don’t overthink it.
Multitask yoga poses with daily habits
There is a lot of research saying that we cannot multitask. However, what it really means is that we cannot give our full attention to two things at once. But you can give a little attention to a couple of things. Remember something is better than nothing. Or in this case, half-assed is better than no-assed.
Want to watch a movie, or listen to a podcast, but also want to find time for yoga? Multitask! In a zoom conference call but also want to do yoga? Multitask. Both of these can be done on the floor, doing some seated yoga poses. One of the ways I find time for yoga is when answering emails on my phone. Or scrolling through social media. There are many opportunities throughout the day to practice yoga, if you stack them with daily habits. Brushing your teeth? Practice tree! Waiting for the kettle to boil, do half sun salutations. Something is better than nothing!
Make a calendar
There is something so satisfying about checking things off a list. At least for me. If the same applies to you I highly recommend printing off a calendar and checking the days off. I made one you can print HERE.
Seeing the progress of creating a habit can help us stay motivated. Commit to your goal, perhaps that’s just 5 minutes on your mat, then check off the days achieved.
The two day rule
So you’ve implemented all the things above. You scheduled your time in your calendar. Your yoga space is set up, and you’re checking off days on your calendar like a pro. Then it happens. You miss a day. For whatever reason, you struggle to find time to make that five-minute practice happen. In this case, I highly suggest implementing the two-day rule.
The two-day rule is that you can take one day off, but you can’t take consecutive days off. So if yesterday was your day off, today you HAVE to get some yoga done. Just get on your mat and do 5 minutes, at least. That’s the 2-day rule. I’ve personally implemented this and it’s been the biggest game-changer in a consistent home practice.
I hope that these tips help you find time for yoga at home. It can definitely be challenging some days, but so rewarding. If you’re looking for help creating a daily yoga practice, check out my 7 days of yoga challenge. Each day for a week you’ll get a new 15-20 minute video delivered to your inbox. The sessions are short, and sweet. Plus you’ll experience different styles of yoga. Sign up and start your yoga at home the easy way!
- What’s your biggest barrier finding time for yoga?
- Do you like to check things off a list?
- Where are you finding your time being spent lately?