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!
Disclaimer: Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission on purchases made through those links. Thanks for the support.
After struggling with consistency in my yoga practice for a month at the something finally clicked. Last week, I shared in my newsletter the secret. I’d begun a 30 day yoga challenge on my nemesis poses, to get myself back on my mat. And to 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 commute now so no excuses!
How to find time for yoga
One of my yoga friends, Tina, recently shared with me that she was struggling creating a consistent yoga practice. So I figured why not share some tips on how to find time for yoga at home. Things that have worked for me, and what I recommend for clients trying to build a home yoga practice.
What are you spending your time on?
You don’t find time for yoga, you make time! 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 at home much time I was spending online checking the news. 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?
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 have identified you have time to practice, 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 doctors appointment. On Friday I spend a few minutes scheduling tasks/appointments for the following week 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 side tracked 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? 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 maybe even times you’ve skipped brushing because you’re in a crazy rush and just swished mouthwash! Just me?
Remember the adage that something, is better than nothing! If all you have is 5 minutes, then do it. Sometimes you run a marathon, sometimes you run a mile. Both start the same. You just run. Just get into the habit of 5 minutes 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’re moving less, and 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 is 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!
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 out all the time you’ll be more inclined to hop on it at a moments 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 cos it’s there. Chances are it’s a habit. You have 5 minutes. You’re bored. And it easy to just scroll social media. 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, but if you’re struggling to create a habit remove the barrier and just do the same thing everyday. 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 and 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.
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 minimum of 5 minutes on your mat, and check off the days achieved.
The two day rule
So you’re implemented all the things above. You scheduled your time in your calendar. The yoga space is set and you’re checking off days like a pro… then it happens. You miss a day. For whatever reason you struggle to find time today to make that five minute practice happen. I highly suggest implementing the two day rule.
The two day rule is that you can take one day off, but not more than one. 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.
So, I hope that helps you find time for yoga at home. It can be challenging some days. But, it’s also so rewarding.
- 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?