How do I motivate myself to meditate regularly?
Ideas to motivate yourself to practice alone at home
Unless you can afford an unaffordable unlimited subscription in a studio, a very regular practice of yoga takes place mainly at home. And it’s better to roll out your carpet for 15 to 30 minutes every day in your bedroom or living room, or every other day, than to put your feet on it only once or twice a week in the studio. By creating a routine and disciplining yourself frequently, you will transform your breathing, your body, and your mind. Not practicing punctually here and there.
But easier said than done! During my training in India, I lived in an Ashram. So I had a weekly schedule imposed. I was told when to practice (asana, pranayama, meditation), learn, eat, sleep. They took care of preparing me to eat, I did not have any shopping to do, no cleaning, no appointment to manage, no mail to answer in a hurry. I was a painter, without any unforeseen or obstacles.
At the Ashram, I woke up early in the morning (at 5am) to take a warm shower, drink, drink, drink, I tried to meditate in the shala (the practice room), I stretched out, then the teacher arrived and the sequence started at 6:30. My belly was completely empty, ideal for performing all kinds of asana. The session ended two hours later with the closing mantra.
When it was time to return to France, I was sure to pack some of these new habits into my suitcase. A month in India and I was disciplined, strong motivation unparalleled. Back home, I found a very different environment of the ashram, much less privileged – without group energy, without large bright room surrounded by palm trees, without guided sessions.
A double question came to me: How to motivate yourself and where to find a quiet space to practice? Especially when you live in a 45m2 crossing poorly arranged, where also live a spouse and a red cat who reigns there master …
Tip # 1
If you live as a couple, in a roommate, with children, learn to communicate! Unfortunately, this advice does not work with animals, huh. If yoga does you good, if it serves to maintain a balance in your life, if practice makes you happy, share your desire to do it more often at home – preferably at a fixed time (to create yourself habits well anchored) and in a place without noise, without passage, without distraction. If you do not have a room, negotiate a slot where you can occupy the place undisturbed by closing the door. Find and find compromises with your loved ones to practice in the best possible conditions, if you do not have the ideal setting.
Tip # 2
Set a niche, the easiest to release, and stick to it. Ritualizing the moments of your day can create natural alarms. Gradually, the body will claim this practice at a fixed time, as it claims to eat from noon (because we formatted it like that). How to find the right time? In the morning, in the evening?
Personally, I much prefer to practice at the beginning of the morning, fasting. I feel light, twists, inversions, backbends, forward folds are easier to execute. The warm-up too, because my body benefited at night from the heat of my big blanket and my plaids (yes, I’m very cold). Above all, I wake up feeling calm after a good night’s sleep. My mind is not yet parasitized by the unfolding and the events of the day. And most importantly, I am not yet caught in the tumult of multiple tasks to be done throughout the day. It’s a safe bet that if I do not start the day with a yoga session, I will not find the time and energy later.
“When does the morning begin?”, You say to me. For me, it starts at sunrise. I do not like to practice at night, so in winter, even if I’m up at 6:30 am, I’m waiting 8 hours to do my yoga session. In the summer, however, I start at 6:30 am. It’s because I have the chance to be freelance and organize myself my schedule.
And you ? You may have to leave home at 7:30 to go to work. See before. You may have children to wake up, to prepare, to drive to school. Can you get up at 5am to attack before your day’s work? Perhaps. But are you ready? … Not necessarily. I believe, this is only my opinion, that it is better in this case to be regular by promising to practice regularly at night rather than being inconstant by practicing early in the morning, but punctually, according to the motivation of the day.
Whatever your time, practice your stomach as empty as possible. In the morning, it will be fasting. If you are as gluttonous as me, the prospect of gulping down a big breakfast as a reward is a good motivation in itself. If you do your yoga in the evening, make sure you have not swallowed anything for at least 3 hours – just to have a light stomach, get your breath clear and avoid acid reflux.
Tip # 3
Create stimulating conditions that make you want to practice. We are sometimes tired, pissed off, depressed and the urge to unfold his carpet is not at the rendezvous. What if I slept another hour? What if I watched a TV show instead? What if I took a nap? What if I went out for a drink / coffee to cheer me up?
And if … the prospect of time devoted to oneself, to one’s well-being, to feeling one’s body, one’s breath and to empty one’s head, was so appealing, so beneficial, that you were not looking for excuses to avoid practice?
Personally, I like to unroll my carpet in a clean and tidy place. So, I’m not distracted. I like lighting a candle, creating an atmosphere, having a door that closes to isolate me. I like to surround myself with plants on which to pose my gaze in equilibrium postures … Everyone has to find these little details that will make the practice a unique moment of well-being during the day. A moment out of time, away from everyday life.
Some days, when I’m really not really in the mood for a yoga session, I’m still doing it. At first, nothing goes. I’m grumpy, I fall from all my balance postures, I feel like doing anything. And then, little by little, my breathing is more regular, my muscles relax, I appreciate being on my carpet and I come out of my happy session. The essential thing is to do good!
Hang in there! Try, it will never be in vain. Even if you feel next to your pumps. Congratulate yourself instead on being present, being on the carpet despite everything that could distract you.And do not panic, if you miss a session from time to time, no one will pull your ears. The key is to persevere over time.