Not having an open space to practice
When I used to do some petsitting in my community, I would drop in to my clients’ homes to take care of their pets. I was often surprised how many people don’t even have an open space in any room of the house that can be used for stretching or any home exercise program.
You don’t need a space the size of a football field or even a small room to conduct your yoga routine, but it’s certainly more inviting if you have an inviting open space that you don’t have to recreate every time you practice.
Indecision about what poses to do in your practice
Luckily there are so many videos, books and magazines to use as inspiration for home practice. However, those choices can also be also be overwhelming and distraction. I have found Glo.com ($18/month) and Yoga with Adrienne to be great resources. And there are countless free videos on Youtube.
However, I’ve also spent way too much time scrolling through all the options before choosing something to practice. I try to be wary of this tendency to keep looking for the perfect routine and just make sure I settle on at least 15 or 20 minutes of something that’s a little bit interesting and new.
A rigid mindset that insists you have to practice for 60 - 90 minutes or it isn’t a REAL yoga practice
Many yoga teachers used to recommend 90 - 120 minutes per day, and sometimes even more. And certainly, practicing at that level will lead to rapid improvements in flexibility.
But this schedule isn’t practical for many people.
If you have the time and the determination to pull off long yoga routines, by all means go for it and enjoy. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that shorter practice sessions don’t count.
Yoga teachers consistently say that short practices repeated frequently are more transformative than long sessions once a week.
It’s natural to think that if a little is good, more is better. So a 2 hour yoga practice every day will be fantastic. But you have to take into account your entire life.
If we’re unconsciously stressing ourselves out and neglecting other aspects of our lives to meet a rigid requirement that every practice has to look a certain way, we might even offset some of the benefits of our practice!
Unrealistic expectations about the benefits of yoga
Some people feel a noticeable shift in their stress levels right away. For other people, the relaxation effect may creep up on you gradually. Both get you to the same destination.
It’s understandable to want to see results in a flash. But real change takes time. The fruits of good habits are sometimes subtle, popping up in random, unexpected ways like more relaxed conversations and less shoulder tension.
A belief that you have to be flexible to enjoy yoga
Nothing could be further from the truth! The purpose of yoga is to create greater ease in body, mind and spirit. There is no need whatsoever to be able to put your leg behind your head or even be able to touch your toes.
As the saying goes, “yoga isn’t about being able to touch your toes, it’s about what you learn on the way down” or in other words, it’s the journey, not the destination.
Many long time yogis have finally come to the realization that their stunning demonstrations of advanced yoga poses at the beach don’t always encourage non-yogis to take the plunge.
Quite the opposite. These images create a perception that yoga is extremely difficult and probably out of reach for many people.
When, in reality, people of all body types and all levels of flexibility can experience greater peace and freedom from a yoga practice that is tailored to them.
So consider whether any of these ideas are standing between you and a regular yoga practice. Try to temper an all or nothing mentality so you can find a rhythm that works for your life.