LED lights on our "Yule" Lights walk on Monday
On my drive home today, all of a sudden I realized I needed a bit of a *plan* for my yoga practice while at home. Since this wouldn't be the first time I've brought my yoga mat with intentions of practicing, I have a few insights. I thought I'd share some of my strategies and thoughts on how to practice yoga while visiting parents and family and hopefully avoid the: "What ARE you doing??" look.
Pack. Yep, may seem silly, but I've brought my mat and forgotten my yoga clothes before. I also forgot my mat... Step one is to actually pack your yoga "stuff" so that when you open your luggage/bag you'll see it there... reminding you silently of how awesome yoga is. While we lived in BC, I could actually fit my yoga mat in my luggage.. so no yoga mat bag needed!
Mentally review your stay. It's likely that Christmas Eve, Christmas morning will be "out" for yoga practice. At my house we have traditions... and downward facing dog isn't one of them.
Think about a few days and times that might work to steal away some practice. File them away as "options" to keep open. For myself, I'm thinking Boxing Day, Christmas afternoon or Sunday morning.
Accept that out of three options, you might only practice once, and you will be darn proud that you did!
Think about "where" you will be practicing. I've tried to practice in my parents living room, while they surreptitiously stayed away... but that was weird. Mom was vacumming, I was staring at their TV, dad went down the hall to go to the bathroom... yep. Not exactly ideal.
Right now I'll be hanging out in the "office" which will function as bedroom, office and yoga room. Other options might be the spare room, a friend's house or a local studio.
Release expectations. Practicing away or at your parents house definitely is not the same as in a studio or at home. You definitely won't have the same space, but then as long as your mat fits, you are good to go. Swan dives can transform into arms out in front of you forward folds, or hands in prayer position fold. Perhaps some sequences from "Yoga Journal" or something from memory (like the sun sals) or one of The Joy of Yoga's sequences (which are awesome btw!)
Holiday practice is about releasing stress and reconnecting, so it doesn't have to be some crazy special sequence, it just has to do the trick. :)
Tell who you're staying with... I gotta say, it would be weird to just start practicing yoga while my mom was knocking on the door asking "Lisa, what are you doing in there???". I'll just let her know that I was hoping to get a short practice in during my visit and that it won't take away from "mom and daughter" time at all.
Let go. If you don't get actual asana practice in, don't worry about it. You can take a few moments each morning to sit with closed eyes and center. Take deep breaths if you feel old anger-frustrations arise. SING! Family is so beautiful and essential, enjoy your stay, however short or long, with love and laughter.
And if you get annoyed, take a few "yoga time outs" in your room. Go to the bathroom and do Lion Pose while staring yourself in the mirror and TRY not to laugh. I dare you.
article and photo copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com