10 Inspiring Quotes About Building a Home Yoga Practice

Starting (and actually sticking with) any new habit can be incredibly challenging, and yoga is no exception, especially when it comes to practicing yoga at home.

I’m continuously amazed at how diligent I am at sticking to my yoga practice when I have set days and times that I go to a studio with other people…and how horrible I am at sticking to my practice at home by myself!

Why can it be so difficult to do something that makes me feel so good?

Have you ever found yourself asking this same question? Well don’t be too hard on yourself, even experienced and world-renowned yoga teachers struggle when it comes to their home yoga practice. In a recent interview with Teachasana, Elena Brower admitted that one of the biggest challenges she’s faced as a yoga teacher has been practicing yoga at home.

“It took over a decade to develop a steady home practice, and it was only when I began studying Kundalini yoga that I found a regular time for myself.”

- Elena Bower

What else are some of the world’s best-known yoga teachers saying when it comes establishing a consistent yoga practice?

Here are ten of my favorite quotes from top yoga teachers, which might just be what you need to get started with - and actually stick to - your home yoga practice.

1. Experiment first, then be consistent.

“Start where you are: Don't limit your experience with the idea that you need to meet some external goal. Let the internal and external training and churning and transformation happen authentically and in their own time. Show up: Stay present in your breath and be compassionate with yourself as you discover and play with your evolutionary edge. Be consistent: Establishing a practice is about finding a rhythm. Try practicing at different times of the day until you find the time where the rhythm of your daily energy naturally supports a steady practice.”

- Shiva Rea

2. Make your practice a conscious choice.

“One of the most dangerous words in the English language is “SHOULD.” We bury ourselves in shame and inadequacy when we listen to the “Should Bird” resting eagerly on our shoulder. Every time we use the word “should”, we are in effect saying that we are “wrong” and “not good enough.” As my Priestess, Ariel says, the “should bird” is “should-ing” all over us. The message is you were wrong, or you will be wrong if you don’t do whatever you think you “should” do.”

- Ashley Turner

3. Build a strong foundation by understanding basic techniques.

“In my dream world, students would know that there are techniques they need to understand before they approach a more challenging or fluid practice. That would mean either going to a very beginner-level class or an Iyengar class. For some students, that may feel too slow, but it’s providing the appropriate information that’s going to give them longevity in their practice.”

- Seane Corne

4. Start slow and discover your own inner teacher.

“Build a foundation with slower, more mild practices (like Hatha). Without a foundation, the rest of the structure cannot establish integrity and progress properly. Would you jump into a ten kilometer marathon without ever having done some form of training with running? NO! So why jump into an intermediate/advanced vinyasa class without first learning the basics (fundamental poses, elements of breathing, motor control and proprioceptive awareness, especially with deep stretching)? Most important, give yourself permission to find your inner teacher—external teachers offer a wealth of concepts, but this learning only has true value if it resonates with what your inner teacher expresses."

- Kreg Weiss

5. Start with the poses you really enjoy.

“A lot of students in their minds set themselves up for failure in their home practice because they think that it has to replicate or repeat the exact same experience as a yoga class. You want to just develop a simple routine that is warm and satisfying to you. Start with poses you love! Maybe that will create enough momentum that you will then diversify your practice at home, but at first, start with what you love.”

- Jason Crandell

6. Ditch the idea that you need a special mat, clothes, or place to practice yoga.

“I wish that everyone knew that you didn’t need a 3 x 7 sticky mat to practice yoga. You can practice anywhere you wish for any amount of time—you can practice while you are standing in line at the grocery store, waiting in traffic, in a parking lot, on top of a mountain--there are so many places you can practice, and the best part is, it’s contagious!”

- Chelsey Gribbon

7. Approach your practice with openness and curiosity, rather than self-judgment or competitiveness.

"As you practice your first poses on your own, try to cultivate an attitude of playfulness and acceptance. Being present during your practice means allowing yourself to be aware of whatever physical sensations, emotions and thoughts are currently arising. Be creative and spontaneous. If you approach your practice with a sense of curiosity, rather than self-judgment or competitiveness, you will find it easier to motivate yourself to practice—and you'll be more present when you do practice...At home, you learn to listen to what your body needs that day, move at your own pace, and develop intuition about what sequences or kinds of yoga poses you want and need to do most on any given day."

- Rodney Yee

8. Allow for flexibility, in more than one sense of the word.

“I try to do something twice a day, sometimes it's just a little bit. The place that my life happens to be will determine its intensity—anything from restorative to high intensity vinyasa. I try to be true to myself each day and see what I'm moved to do. I don't have a mold or external blueprint that I follow, but in general I'm pulled toward vinyasa, heat-based movement, moving energy through my body. Rigid routines don't really work well for me. I like fluid practice instead. My style is based on being safe and opening the body from a place that is protecting the joint system. I do a lot of creative sequencing, and I teach people my philosophy, "To thine own self be true." You intuitively know what is right.”

- Baron Baptiste

9. Find a deeper sense of connection through reverence or ritual.

“The two most important elements of practice may be: consistency and reverence or ritual. These days I am fortunate enough to have a room in my home whose sole purpose is yoga and meditation. I enter it around the same time every day, about 5:30 A.M.--just as I have been doing for nearly thirty years. The teachings have long praised these quiet hours of the day, before sunrise, as the most productive time to practice. It’s also the time when the rest of my house is still asleep, which means no worldly duties will call or interrupt my practice--my process of remembering deep and abiding peace.

The first thing I do upon entering the room is light a flame and pay homage to it. The flame connects me to the source of life and the teachings. I think of my teacher(s), the teachings, and offer them my gratitude before I “do” anything. Once I establish that connection, I turn my awareness to my inner teacher to guide me as I move into postures and the whole of my practice.”

- Rod Stryker

10. Every time you fall off the bandwagon, jump back on!

“The critical element in meditation practice is beginning again. Everyone loses focus at times, everyone loses interest at times, and everyone gets distracted over and over again. What is essential, and also incredibly transforming, is realizing that we have the ability to begin again, without blaming or judging ourselves, without thinking we have failed, without losing heart, we can, and need to, constantly be beginning again.”

- Sharon Salzberg

Put It Into Practice

Which of these quotes most resonates with you?

Spend some time, right now, thinking about how you might be able to integrate this advice into your life to begin—or more consistently stick with—your home yoga practice.

Share what you come up with in the comments section so that we all might inspire and benefit from one another!

Join the Conversation

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nadiasalvaranii, posted on March 31, 2015

Hello and thanks for the article it is really inspiring! I'm starting my practices again after stopping classes for more than 4 years straight.But I still have this problem, I wish I could wake up early and practice because theearly morning is so peaceful and quiet but I work until 10:00 P.M every day, and it's hard for me to wake up this early I get very tired.I'm trying to establish my practice later in the day but these duties keed showing up and my practice stays behind.Do you have any advice you could give me?

brown.vanessa134, posted on March 28, 2015

I love home yoga, I have set up my sacred space and before I begin I put some lavender oil in my warming stone which allows me to begin my practice with all senses stimulated. I think mixing yoga and aromatherapy just enhanses your practice and is another benefit of practicing at home . Namaste

HeidiV@GTV, posted on March 29, 2015

@BROWN.VANESSA134 - Thank you so much for your comment. I am SO with you! Lavender is my oil of choice as well...it makes such a difference!

keiramcmillan, posted on March 26, 2015

This 14 day beginners yoga guide is exactly what I need..I used to practice yoga regularly 10 years ago and slowly fell away from it...I've been housebound and chronically ill for 2 1/2 years now and am stiff and out of shape, though I've lost 2 1/2 stone over the last year and a half through researching nutrition and transitioning to a high raw vegan lifestyle...As i rarely have energy, i find it so hard to stick with anything i begin, and found this 1st day very welcoming and the 10 quotes very encouraging, thank you Gaiam TV for these guide programmes, I'm feeling inspired and hopeful :)

HeidiV@GTV, posted on March 26, 2015

@KEIRAMCMILLAN - Thank you so much for your comment. We are so happy you are here and have found some hope. Welcome to the community!

klynnegallagher, posted on February 18, 2015

I absolutely love the "should-bird" on my shoulder. When ever I find myself in a quandary (what type of practice (asana, restorative), do I want to meditate, what SHOULD I do?) I am going to ask my "should-bird", "Kelly, what do you feel like doing you?". Just because Kelly thinks she "should" do a weight-loss practice today (a few many treats have been consumed), her body is saying, "hmm, I may not have that in me today". So Kelly "should" take it easy. After consultation with her "should-bird", she has established that the word "should" has to be examined closely. The "should" with the negative connotation that if I don't there will be negative consequences is a self-defeating. What Kelly "should" do is whatever is going to help Kelly make inroads toward her truest self. (I have now created an image of a blue bird on my shoulder (with help from the song "Zip-pity Doo-Dah"-- My oh my what a wonderful day)). Thank you for the insightful advice.

jennifer541, posted on February 17, 2015

Go within...be in the moment....listen to your self for guidance on where you are now.

SBosch, posted on January 22, 2015

"Every time you fall off the bandwagon, jump back on!" My personal character defect is "perfectionism". So this particular quote reminds me to give myself permission not to be perfect, to give myself some love and compassion, and know that I can always "jump back on the bandwagon" with no judgment.

amy.keaten, posted on January 22, 2015

Beginning again truly resonates with me because I think it is the underlying theme of life. One door opens, another closes. A chapter ends, a new one starts - but there is something pretty awe inspiring knowing that we get that opportunity to begin once again - maybe not with the same thing, but something. I feel joy in the fact that while I may not always be there for yoga, it is always there for me, and for that matter, any of us that choose this path...and to be at the very beginning of it, well the adventure has just started :-) Namaste!

cherylcact, posted on January 19, 2015

I always get frustrated because I haven't been able to touch my toes in years and can do very few of the poses. Even the beginner classes kick my butt. But I know I'm not going to get any more flexible by sitting around, and as I turn 60, my lack of flexibility is becoming a real problem.

Just want to correct Kreg Weiss on his quote (as a former runner): there's no such thing as a ten kilometer marathon. A marathon is 26.2 miles (I've done many). A 10K is 6.2 miles, a great accomplishment but not quite a marathon. Still, both need to be approached as a beginner and worked up to, as I am doing with this yoga.

marystavrou, posted on January 20, 2015

Cheryl:

I am here to say...dont worry about touching your toes...most people who start yoga can't touch their toes.Instead focus on moving through the easiest Gaiam flows you can being mindful about how you feel and if you can breath as you move....that is the point of yoga...moving and feeling well with breath moving fully, easily. Modify what they are teaching you until it feels good.

As a 57 year old Yoga Teacher and practitioner everyone can do yoga...you just need to find the right teacher and/or poses that allow your body to move.

When attempting to"Touch your toes" bend your knees!!!! Never keep legs straight unless you have been at it a LONG time.

Here's a great article on the Forward fold a very important poses to do safely.
http://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-standing-forward-fold-in-yoga

Hope this helps.

Mary

vivdecourcy, posted on January 8, 2015

DAY 1 OF 14 - COMMITTMENT - IT FEELS SO GOOD - I CAN DO THIS - IF I FALL OFF I'LL BEGIN AGAIN AND KEEP GOING - ONLY WAY TO BEAT WRITER'S BACK PAIN. FEELING OF WELL BEING NOW. MISS COLLEEN'S GREAT CLASSES IN SAG HARBOR

missq9185, posted on January 7, 2015

Haven't "practiced" yoga in almost 9 months. Started yoga almost 2 yrs ago after 2 level spinal fusion. Was doing well but 9 months ago fell and broke my right ankle. Non weight bearing on right for 10 weeks than partial for 5 weeks. Placed havoc on my back. Tried to do meditation and breathing but fell into distraction and self pity.
Well...I am renewing and feeling positive. Will need to go slow and be mindful and listen to my body and mind. I am not ready to return to private classes as before and I am so thankful for gaiam tv for helping me start and continually inspiring me to not give up. I am here!

hmwiarda, posted on January 7, 2015

How wonderful of you! We all fall prey to distraction and self-pity, but our ability to pick up and try again is where our great strength shines through. Praise yourself for continuing to persevere through a very trying ordeal. My mantra also turned out to be "I am here!"
Namaste.

margaretrose, posted on December 9, 2014

This is what I hear often now within myself. To come to my mat for the first time, every time.

westphas, posted on November 28, 2014

This is the comment that resonated the most for me, and not only on practice level. I fall prey to the should bird more often than I care to admit. Maybe this comment should be posted on the wall in my house so I can remind myself that once in a while I don't have to do what I feel I "should".

malinda.kopec, posted on January 23, 2015

I love that...I did not realize what I was doing to myself when I'd say "I should". I think I'm going to replace those words with "I can". This way it's a choice, I can 'practice' or I can 'choose not to practice' The words I can are so positive. This is a liberating thought! I 'get to' practice Yoga! I love to practice, I don't know why it's so hard to get on the mat sometimes. But I am so delighted I joined gaiamtv, what a wonderful resource! I feel like I have fresh eyes.

rbrubacker, posted on November 10, 2014

Rod Stryker's comment about beginning each day with a quiet ritual, before the busyness of everything interrupts our good intentions, felt the most right to me, although several others, such as non-judging and finding your own inner teacher also sank home. The AM used to be my time to practice, then life circumstances changed and so did my commitment and I still struggle to reclaim a time that is just for my yoga soul but this gives me hope.
Miigwetch (Native American thank you!)

malinda.kopec, posted on January 23, 2015

I love the ritualistic process. I often burn incense while practicing, now I am always going to. It will be the beginning of the process. Being thankful for the time and ability to be ABLE to practice, it is a privilege, not a should :)

Aprilmay408, posted on November 5, 2014

2. Make Your Practice A Conscious Choice. I relate to feeling self-judgement. A lot. Feeling as if I am not enough, good enough, strong enough if I cannot sustain myself through a 45 minute basic practice. There was a time that I could and I looked forward to it each day. I remember the sense of self-goodness when I could complete an entire class without pausing, without modifying or using props. I am back to both of those, even laying prostate on the floor midway through and hearing my inner critic say, "Who are you kidding...you are too out of shape, too old, not enough." These are words similar to ones I believed for years in an abusive relationship and I overcame them, proved them wrong. My life is peaceful now, but my body is still in turmoil. Yoga is giving me a renewed sense of connection with my inner self. The one that believes I can be and am enough. Namaste.

malinda.kopec, posted on January 23, 2015

I used to have a very strong and dedicated practice. I got sick and ended up gaining 80 pounds!! It makes me dread practice because I'm competing...with myself! I have to keep reminding myself that Yoga is a non-competitive activity, lol! Let's both take a breath and take it from where we are 'now'....we grew our practice before, we can grow it again. :) Namaste!

terralarjl, posted on October 21, 2014

I have recently realized the need to begin again at the beginning. Mother of 2, self employed, massage therapist/yoga instructor.. This is my life. I'm able to help others realize where they are at and take the time to give to themselves, yet I have not been able to do that for myself. After having surgery 1 yr ago for a hip injury I expected to jump right back into my practice, maybe a little slower then were I was at before, but pretty much exactly where I left off. Not only could my body no longer hold the poses , my brain could not calm to try and work into the pose again, yet I know yoga and meditation is the only thing that will help bring me back to center. So this advanced yogi of 15 years is starting over from the beginning.. I'm putting out of my mind the "where I should be at after this long", and realizing that this is where I am at. I have got out all my old books on yoga and am starting over. It truly is refreshing to give yourself the respect of understanding where you are at. I am getting such a different perspective this time through my lessons. So many times in life we wish that we could get a second chance, a due over, You can if you give yourself one. But aside your preconceived notions of where you "should" be and relish where you are. Once you do you can truly see the beauty of your life and yourself. Thank you for helping me along my path of re self discovery.
Namaste
Terralar

terralarjl, posted on October 21, 2014

I have recently realized the need to begin again at the beginning. Mother of 2, self employed, massage therapist/yoga instructor.. This is my life. I'm able to help others realize where they are at and take the time to give to themselves, yet I have not been able to do that for myself. After having surgery 1 yr ago for a hip injury I expected to jump right back into my practice, maybe a little slower then were I was at before, but pretty much exactly where I left off. Not only could my body no longer hold the poses , my brain could not calm to try and work into the pose again, yet I know yoga and meditation is the only thing that will help bring me back to center. So this advanced yogi of 15 years is starting over from the beginning.. I'm putting out of my mind the "where I should be at after this long", and realizing that this is where I am at. I have got out all my old books on yoga and am starting over. It truly is refreshing to give yourself the respect of understanding where you are at. I am getting such a different perspective this time through my lessons. So many times in life we wish that we could get a second chance, a due over, You can if you give yourself one. But aside your preconceived notions of where you "should" be and relish where you are. Once you do you can truly see the beauty of your life and yourself. Thank you for helping me along my path of re self discovery.
Namaste
Terralar

wijismama, posted on October 20, 2014

This came at the perfect time. I just turned 43 and my goal is to become the healthy person physically that I always strive to be. I have about 100 pounds to loose. I spent my whole weekend cooking healthy wonderful foods - but when it came time to exercise, I just couldn't motivate. So I woke up this morning with so much anger and frustration. Now I know I just need to start slow - each morning a little bit more - and this time next year I will have a regular practice if I can be consistent. No more shoulds.....not more anger and judgement.....just doing what feels right and keep going back to it.

Tanya07, posted on October 16, 2014

10. SHARON SALZBERG - EVERY TIME YOU FALL OFF THE BANDWAGON, JUMP BACK ON!
“The critical element in meditation practice is beginning again. Everyone loses focus at times, everyone loses interest at times, and everyone gets distracted over and over again. What is essential, and also incredibly transforming, is realizing that we have the ability to begin again, without blaming or judging ourselves, without thinking we have failed, without losing heart, we can, and need to, constantly be beginning again.”

This quote is really resonating with me right now! I've had a solid steady practice for 3 and a bit years now, it has been a journey up until this point that I have learned self acceptance, and that yoga is a safe place for me to be in my body. However in the last few months my practice has taken a backseat, and now i find coming back to it I've been really harsh with myself and not giving myself the time and love i know a yoga practice takes. So thats why I'm doing this 14 day challenge, hopefully to remember why i started in the first place :) to any of you brand new to yoga, always remember this practice will always create a safe, accepting, loving place for you to be who you are!

Wandamichellez, posted on October 15, 2014

being present in the moment and accepting of what you can do for yourself at that moment, not what you 'should' or how you 'should' do something is what I really need to work on. I enjoyed Nico's practice today. i am not a total beginner but i learned new things from him and i think what he says about being in the present , not yesterday or tomorrow, is something that resonated with me.Thank you. one day at a time. we'll get there.

alewis, posted on October 15, 2014

In general, I love practicing yoga; however, I get turned around with seeing the advertisements with the extremely fit models doing poses that are way too advanced. Then I start thinking that maybe I need to do strength training so that I can be strong enough to do those poses. And what about cardio? This is when discouragement sets in as I don't want a bunch of routines; just a yoga practice that I can stick to daily. The other thing that is discouraging for me are the 1+hour practices. They are fine on off days, but not on the days I work.

Anyhow, I truly did enjoy Day 1's practice and have made the decision to "get out of my head" and just let go and be in the present (where I'm comfortable).

RaenaeW@GTV, posted on October 16, 2014

It's very important to listen to your body during yoga! I am learning new things every day through the Yoga Fundamentals for Beginners guide. I think we should use this guide as an opportunity to find out styles that work well with our bodies. My Yoga has a great tool to sort through our videos by styles, teachers and even time frames. I hope we both can find practices to work on throughout the weeks, months and years ahead. Namaste.

blueheron, posted on October 15, 2014

I say "Bravo" for showing up at my mat today. I always enjoy my practice but I have seen my efforts thwarted often by trying to do things perfectly. Sometimes I have felt that doing less than an hour practice is not worth the effort so I sometimes have skipped it whereas just doing ten minutes would have been more beneficial than aiming for "all or nothing". I would never be so hard on others but have not shown this respect to myself. I will try not to "should" on myself anymore . At 60 and being a grandmother, I know little eyes are watching so I owe it to them and me to lighten up.

Subulux, posted on October 15, 2014

I have started now after so many days. And I have learnt that instead of starting from where I left off almost a year ago - it is best to start from the beginning and add a few minutes of practise and a few seconds of hold every day. Hop of stay with the practise that I begun today in earnest.

jerseyweeds, posted on October 14, 2014

I am new to yoga but have found that taking a few minutes or even seconds throughout the day has helped me to find small successes. Ex, I practice squatting and then standing every time I feed my kitties or hunt for something in the fridge.

yogagrammie, posted on October 14, 2014

I have had a home practice for the last 4 years. I haven't had a studio in my little rural town so I have learned through dvds and MYO and now Gaiamtv. I have made time in my busy life (night shift nurse) to spend on my mat and in meditation. It isn't always easy and I slack from time to time but I know my practice is important to me. I read and watch instructional videos all the time to learn proper alignment sequencing. That is so important to me since I don't have an actual hands on teacher.

jkrieg, posted on October 15, 2014

I have also taught myself over the last year, just as you have. Gaiamtv has added so much to my practice, as I continue learning basic technique. The Day 1 video was fantastic for alignment tips and technique. Consistency has been my key...the more I practice yoga, the deeper my practice goes.

onemelodious, posted on October 14, 2014

I have done yoga the same as you. Two years ago I made a yoga room to practice in and I love myyoga and now Gaiam TV. I love not feeling like I have to go anywhere and I can pick what I want to do and not what someone else wants. I love the freedom of having a home practice. I love my yoga time. :)

Suzibowles, posted on October 14, 2014

Wow what juicy information all round. Thankyou for sharing this it is most useful. I have been managing to get up at 5am daily to practise yoga and meditation before my baby awakes. The odd time when she may awake I will complete the practise in the evening. The rituals and intention of the practise is a beautiful reminder. Great practise and opportunity to review correct poses. Thankyou so much.

MSdT, posted on June 4, 2013

"To thine own self be true." I had to learn to follow my inner teacher, to listen on the day on what it is that my body needs. Sometimes following the teacher during a class, seems "off" or rushed. I used to be critical towards myself, saying, " You need to work harder, try harder!" But now I know following my own pace, opening up to the poses and the energy within, is the only way to travel.

yogadrienne, posted on May 27, 2013

@BlissBabe Thanks, happy you enjoyed it! And definitely great advice! As I mentioned, it's so much easier for me to stick to a practice in a studio, but as a teacher, I've realized how important it is to stick to a home practice. I compiled this info just as much for me as for others! ;)

BlissAngel, posted on May 27, 2013

Thank you for this inspiring list! I think the most important thing that any student or teacher of yoga should focus on is a daily personal practice. I know some really good yoga teachers who don't take the time out for a personal practice, but are teaching 5-6 classes a week. I just wanted to add a little something that I'm sure most teachers know already, but teaching and practicing yoga are not the same. I must stress the fact that yoga teachers must also have a personal practice outside of teaching. I feel that it's more important for the teachers to actually model this behavior as their students will surely be of benefit from this. Great tips all wrapped up in one article,- love it! Have a blessed day and Namaste~

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