Three months ago I joined a yoga studio and it was one of the best investments in my post-grad life. I was a hesitant to dish out that much money each month ($75 for unlimited classes each month) but I convinced myself it was going to be worth it in the long run. Now, I go to a yoga class four or five times a week, so the membership pays off within the first week and a half.
One of the main reasons I was so wary of paying money to join a yoga studio was because I felt like yoga is something I could practice on my own at home without spending money. I had taken yoga classes before (four different long term classes with two different instructors) so I already had a foundational knowledge.
However, even after taking those four classes spread out over about five years, I was never able to keep up a consistent practice. Each class only met twice a week and it wasn’t consistent enough for me to stick with practicing yoga at home.
Now, I practice regularly at home and it’s because I hold myself accountable for going to a class.
By going to classes so often each week, I am forcing myself to carve out time in my busy day. Each class is about an hour and a half and I live between five to ten minutes away from the studio. It’s definitely a time commitment. But by paying for it in advance, I feel like I need to go to get my money’s worth.
Since I’m already practicing yoga so frequently, I can easily squeeze in an hour on the days I don’t go to the studio for a practice. Especially on weekdays, I schedule all of my practices at the same time, regardless of whether I’m at home or at the studio.
I also spend some time doing some homework each week. Whether it’s reading an article on yoga, or looking up a sequence, or learning about the origins of yoga, I spend just a few minutes each day reading up about what I’m practicing. For me, it’s important to understand yoga is so much more than just an exercise, and my practice extends off the mat. Holding myself accountable for learning more than just the postures makes me more motivated to try out what I’m learning in my daily life.
I also have set a lot of physical goals for myself. Right now, I’m working on holding crow pose for an extended period of time with ease and steady breathing. Having a physical goal urges me to practice at home more often, because it’s not a guarantee we’ll be doing crow in every class. By practicing this pose almost every day, I can feel myself holding it longer and longer.
This one may sound silly, but I also love having the freedom to wear what I want at home and I take advantage of it. Often at home I’ll only wear my sports bra, something I’m way too self-conscious to do in a yoga class. Part of practicing yoga is about honoring and loving your body, and it makes me feel good when I’m practicing postures at home and not worrying about how my clothes are fitting against my skin.
With the summer approaching, I’m suspending my membership at the studio for the next few months. I’m really bummed out about it because I loved the community I joined, but I’m confident I’ll keep up with my at home practice.
What are some ways you practice yoga at home and in your daily life? How do you hold yourself accountable?