Are you one of the millions of people who work from home? As gas prices rise, traffic worsens, and technology advances, working from home is now much more common than it was several years ago. But for some of us, working at home can not only be somewhat isolating, but it can also make it challenging to stick to a daily routine. Days start early, end late, and activities such as our yoga practice tend to fall by the wayside. But with a little planning and discipline, this doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips to keep up with your yoga practice when you work from home.
1. Start the day with yoga. Set your yoga mat out the night before, so that you don’t have any distractions. If you are not in the midst of a 40-day sadhana, such as The Illuminated Path, the current 40-Day Global Sadhana, it’s a good idea to decide the night before what you will be doing in your morning practice—a kriya, some sun salutations, a meditation, or a mixture of all of these. If you want, turn on a DVD to lead you through your practice; the Radiant Yoga Body DVDs provide a great mixture of stretching and meditation to get you going in the morning. Sometimes having to decide WHAT to do is enough to distract us from actually doing it, so have everything ready to go for when you wake up!
2. If the early morning doesn’t work for you, see if you can build a break into your schedule to practice, and stick with it. Many yoga studios offer daytime classes that are perfect for people who work from home, or carve out half an hour during a low time in the day during which you can leave the computer, turn off the phone and just dedicate the time to yourself. If you were at an office, you would probably take a lunch break, so don’t cheat yourself at home! There are many wonderful kriyas that can be done in 30 minutes or less, which still leaves you time for lunch. Focus on kriyas that work the hips and legs, especially if you tend to sit in front of a computer for a long time and need to get the blood flowing. For example, try Challenge the Ego in You from Self-Knowledge. Not only will this give you a mental break, but they will also leave you feeling energized and more productive!
3. Maybe you don’t have space in your home for a yoga practice. No worries—sit and meditate! Even 11 minutes of breathing or chanting can rejuvenate you and center you for the rest of your day. There are a number of great workday meditations in Physical Wisdom, such as Eliminate Tension and Stress, and Techniques to Fight Fatigue. Or take a chant break, choosing a mantra that you really enjoy. A couple of my favorites are Nirinajan Kaur’s Sa Re Sa Sa from Prem Siri and Jai-Jagdeesh’s Aad Guray Nameh, both of which leave me feeling very uplifted. Instead of filling up your coffee cup for a jolt, let yourself vibrate with the sound current.
4. Close out your workday with a meditation. When working from home, it can be hard to know how to end the workday. There’s always one more email to answer or a final revision to a report. But it’s important to set limits for yourself, and a guided meditation is a perfect way to transition from the workday back to the home life. You may not have a physical journey from the office to the home, but a guided meditation will help move you from one part of your day to the next.
If you set your intention to build your practice into the day, it will happen. It may take some time to create the discipline, but don’t give up if you miss a day. Just remember to thank yourself for making the commitment to keep up!