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Firing up your home yoga practice this autumn

01/10/20 (6 Minute Read)

View Author Info: Katy Harrison Yoga 

About The Author: Katy Harrison Yoga

Katy is a yoga teacher based in Galway offering online classes for people all over the world. Practicing a uniquely Irish style of yoga, Katy incorporates Celtic mythology, poetry, and music into her classes which are designed to be as inclusive as possible, even for those who have never before set foot on a yoga mat.

Has your yoga practice began to suffer with the curveball life has thrown us in 2020? Has your motivation decreased? Did you start all guns blazing at the beginning of September and already, two weeks in, you’re lacking any desire to even step on your mat?

 

If this all sounds familiar, I can assure you that you’re not the only one who feels the same. I have decided to share with you some ways I find that help to motivate me to get moving as the autumn months roll in, the weather begins to get cooler, and the temptation to ‘Netflix and Chill’ by the fire seems far more enticing than anything else. 

 

Short and sweet 

Keep your practice short. Facing into a 90 minute practice at home isn’t for the faint hearted. I myself like to keep my home practice between 20-60 minutes depending on how that particular day is going or how busy I am. I personally find it really difficult to motivate myself to do any more than that when I am at home. The realities of life at home start to creep in, the emails pinging in the background, the chats happening out in the hallway, the smell of breakfast seeping in through the door. Often we feel that there is no point in a 10/20 minute practice but a short practice can be enough. Little and often, if it is done correctly, is when results will start to show both on and off your mat. Consistency is key. 

 

Setting up your space 

The set-up of your space can really determine your motivation for a yoga practice. In the summer it’s nice to set up outside in the sunshine. In the Autumn, I like to make sure I have a nice warm inviting corner that I know will make me feel warm, calm, and energised after my practice. I usually make sure I have the area decluttered, I dim the lights, put some candles around the room, turn on my diffuser with some beautiful smelling essential oils (some of my favourites during the colder months are clove oil, ginger, juniper berry, marjoram and rosemary to stimulate and warm the body), and I always like to practice to some nice music which calms me but also motivates me to get moving. 

 

Take it slowly, to warm up and avoid any injuries

I don’t know about you but I am starting to feel that wintry chill in the air, and I’m not sure if I love it or if I hate it. However, when it is cold it may take your body that little bit longer to warm up. So take it easy, be careful and be kind to yourself. Start slow, and move slowly until the heat starts to build. Injuries can happen if you are not warmed up properly, so adding that extra little bit of time and effort into the warm up can really enhance the rest of your practice. No one wants to get injured!

 

Ujjayi breath 

Ujjayi breath is a breathing technique that is a great way to regulate the heat in the body as it warms you from the inside. It can be a great way to start your winter/autumn practice. Simply begin to breathe gently through your mouth as if you are warming your hands or fogging a mirror, and then keep that tone in your throat and close your mouth. Maintain an evenness in the flow of inhales and exhales, with a gentle pause at the top of the inhale and at the bottom of the exhales. It helps to count in your mind the inhales and exhales so they are balanced and even. It is a warming breath, gives feedback to monitor your postures and is done in all the postures except Savasana. This pranayama or breathing practice will not only build heat within you but also will allow you to feel increasingly calm and sooth you into a state of ease and delight. 

 

Add Sun Salutations into your practice

More than anyone, I hate the cold and adding sun salutations to my practice through a flow helps get me through the coldest months keeping me nice and warm and toasty throughout my practice. Flowing through some sun salutations will generate tapas (heat) in the body which is not only warming you up to avoid injury but also the internal heat will allow your body to feel more relaxed and calm. 

 

Try an online live class for accountability 

We can all admit that doing a YouTube video is fantastic, until you start to get a bit lazy and start to sit out of certain poses (which, yes of course is called for when your body needs it). But sometimes it is just because we start to lack motivation, we face into the second half of a practice and the evening glass of wine or Gin and Tonic calls to us instead. Taking advantage of all the new online yoga classes that are now available are invaluable for our own accountability. It’s also fun to try out lots of different types of classes in the comfort of your own home where no one can see you. Our determination to finish a class is much stronger when we have a live teacher teaching us and more often than not we will actually finish the entire class. Leave your video on for extra motivation! If you’re looking for a teacher, come my way... check out my profile HERE

 

The power of tea

Being Irish, I understand the sheer power of tea. It helps in every situation whether you’re happy, or however you feel, it works!! During the autumn and Winter months when it comes to my meditation practice I like to add some steaming hot tea or even some yummy cacao. It not only warms my belly and my hands but it also makes me smile (That’s what we’re aiming for right? ) Weaving tea into your meditation has many benefits along with keeping you warm. You will feel an increased sense of calm, a decrease in any stress and anxiety you’re feeling and you will also get all the health benefits of the tea that you’re drinking. Pick one that suits the time of day and  how you’re feeling that day. Some of my favourites in Winter are Chai, Lemon and Ginger, Tulsi, or Rooibos tea. 

 

Savasana

This is where the perks of being at home really kick in. You can treat yourself to a warm woolly jumper, a big blanket, an eye mask and even a lovely snuggly pair of woolly socks. This is also your chance to stay here as long as you please, the class doesn’t have to end when you’re at home. You have no one disturbing you as they get up to leave the class so take advantage of this, allow yourself at least 5 minutes to really revel in this time of self -love and self-care and absorb the effects of the practice.

 

Conclusion 

So there are my tips for firing up your Autumn and Winter practice this year. At the end of the day, make sure your enjoying yourself, take a break when you need it, and most of all keep safe and keep washing your hands.

 

Grá agus Solas, 

Katy