SPONSORED: Secrets of a Successful Home Yoga Practice
Kat Farrants, founder of Movement for Modern Life, shares her tips for transforming your practice outside of the studio
It’s no secret that practising yoga at home every single day isn’t easy. I’ve practised yoga now for around 26 years, but for the first ten years, I did zero home practice. Why? Honestly, the reason was probably that, for me, in my heart of hearts, yoga was some kind of ‘performance’. And before the days of social media, what was the point of putting on a performance that nobody could see?!
But everything changed for me when I had a nasty accident. After that, my yoga was forced to change – it became deeper, slower, more breath-work led. I moved to the countryside and I couldn’t find the world-class teachers who I’d been lucky enough to practise with when I’d lived in London, so I started to practise yoga at home.
That was when online yoga was limited to mostly skinny, shiny American women cheer leading, so I set about starting my own video-based yoga business. Seven years ago, Movement for Modern Life was born; a UK online yoga platform featuring the world-class teachers I knew and loved, as well as others I later discovered.
I’ve practised pretty much only at home for the last 8 years; I don’t go to studios at all, though I do go on a retreat once or twice a year. Throughout this time, there are some things that I’ve discovered from my home yoga practice, which may well help for those of you who are just starting your home yoga journey.
Practise discipline. When it’s not like ‘class starts at 10am’, when it’s ‘you choose’, you get to be in control! But that also means that you need discipline. It’s not a question of having this as an innate gift; it’s a question of a muscle that needs to be exercised. Because discipline is like a muscle, and as with any muscle, you don’t just start with a marathon on day one. Many of us are accustomed to doing yoga because the teacher tells us to. But isn't the idea of yoga to take responsibility? There is no better yoga than the yoga of knowing that you can trust yourself to do the right thing for yourself, even if it’s hard. Start slowly: try ten minutes a day, and find a time that works well for you so that you can stick to it.
Ask yourself 'why?' Why do you do this? Why is home practice the best thing you can do? Personally, the reason I love home practice instead of going to a studio is because all bodies are different. Raise your hands to the air, inhale expansiveness and joy. Well, try feeling that joy with broken ribs, or after surgery, or when you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. When there’s no option for going to class, and you can’t do the things that you used to pride yourself in – that’s when you realise we’re all different. We’re not just different from each other, either; we’re different from ourselves day to day. When you practise at home, you have the opportunity to customise your practice, to do what makes you feel vibrant and healthy on any given day. One day that might be a really soft yin class, another day that’s a steady hatha, and perhaps another day it’s a fast flow. The point is, you take responsibility for your own body, your own feeling.
Take the journey. A home yoga practice really is a journey into yourself, into coming inward, into looking deeper into how you are feeling that day and what your body needs. At this rather strange time when we’re being asked to connect to our ‘home’ in a new way, it seems only right that our yoga practice reflects our homecoming, and is a way of perhaps, finally stopping the comparison of other bodies in the studio, of not just doing what is convenient, what you are ‘told’ to do, but of stepping up, taking responsibility and coming home to making your yoga a practice for your lifelong wellbeing.
Kat Farrants is the founder of Movement for Modern Life, the ‘Netflix of Yoga’, founded in 2013 and featuring over 1,300 classes, courses and challenges with the world’s top teachers. Her mission is to take us all on a journey to live a happier, healthier and more sustainable life. She is offering readers a 30% discount off your first subscription to Movement for Modern Life. Just use the code HEALTHWELLBEING on checkout and you’ll get your 30% discount as well as your free 14-day trial.