In the last chapter of my book The Holding Space Practice, I talk about H.O.M.E. practice. HOME could stand for Honest Open Mindful Energy, but I also really mean practicing at home. When it comes to a yoga practice, practicing alone at home can be challenging on various levels.
An at-home solo asana practice has many perks and dificulties. One of the biggest challenges is simply getting to your mat and making yourself start.
I got a text this week from my friend Quinn. She is mother to ten children (the oldest is 13). That information gives you context for our text interchange. With her permission, I am letting you in on our conversation. Perhaps it will help you with your own home practice.
Q: Any ideas on how to commit to doing solo yoga more consistently?
Have you read How Yoga Works? That motivated me. Watching videos of people doing yoga can help me too. Going to a teacher at least once a week also helps me.
Q: Ha! Teacher once a week! I like that one. I did read it. I think it is a great book!
What is the thing you most want healed?
Q: My foot? It is better. Not 100 percent though.
Who is the person in your life you wish could be relieved of pain? Not just physical pain. Any kind of pain.
Q: (she names one of her children)
If all you had to do is get on your yoga mat 5 days a week and do a minimal practice for the next week and report to me that you did it… and pray for both your foot and that child as you begin and end your practice… could you find time and energy to do that?
I will look for your text(s) and go from there.
Q: Ha. The pressure is on!
We call it accountability and it can help if you want it to. I believe this practice heals. Asking for help to motivate was more than half the battle.
Q: True that. I know you aren’t normally sarcastic, but it is fun to imagine maybe you were a bit sarcastic on that last message.
Nope. Straightforward truth on that one. I really believe every word of it.
Q: I know you do. Thank you!
Q: Day 1 is a success!
Q: I think I figured something out! Yoga is the physical expression of prayer!
If your mind is unified to your true self and God while you practice asana, that is a very true statement. Bravo! Great insight and discovery!
Q: I kinda knew that all along, but was resisting because it sometimes brings up painful things. Why is that? Like it felt safe in a group, but not on my own.
When you practice alone, you aren’t distracted by other people’s energy. You come face to face with your true self, so it can be scary for a while. It is a special time to practice unconditional love and forgiveness for self. That is the true mechanism of healing. The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual practice is creating a “container” that is able to hold and store more and more unconditional love.
This conversation is specifically about yoga asana practice but could be applied to other practices you might struggle to get to consistently. (“Other” practices might include things like consistent prayer, study of sacred text, doing the Holding Space Practice exercises etc.) Accountability with a friend or mentor can help. (email me if you are interested in a HSP mentor!)
Here is a quote by a very wise yogi- A.G.Mohan of India. Ponder it in relation to whatever your practice.