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Three Obstacles To Working Out At Home + How To Overcome Them

In Yoga Teacher Training programs, much emphasis is placed on individual practice. My teacher was of the opinion that a home practice makes for 90% of a Yogi's journey. Needless to say, then, developing a regular home practice was a goal I set for myself. I have now been a proud workout-at-home kinda person for over four years. It’s not always smooth-sailing, in that I have phases where I work out for five days straight, and phases where I work out only once in two weeks. That said, I have seldom considered joining a class to get that pump of motivation, discipline and space - the three ingredients I have come to identify as necessary for a home practice. Here’s how I cope with the lack of these three essentials: 


Lack of motivation: 

Here’s a trade secret not many will tell you: It’s almost impossible, and frankly, quite unjustified, to expect yourself to be motivated to begin a workout routine all by yourself. As a beginner, without any formal training in health and fitness, you wouldn’t even know where to begin. While there is an abundance of online workout videos, and many people who are starting out with a fitness regime choose to go by these videos, these can get pretty boring pretty quickly. The key to self-motivation is to attain knowledge about the body in general, and yours in particular, and for this, you must start out under the guidance of a good teacher. A good teacher is not simply someone who has a pool of knowledge, but also someone who is invested in making you self-sustaining and building the habit and not just muscles. This approach of spending maybe two to three months learning about your body, its mechanisms and what kind of movement works best for it, is the first step to cultivating an inner locus of motivation. Once you have a foundation of knowledge that you know works for you, you will be motivated to improve upon it. 


Lack of discipline: 

Between family, friends, work and much-needed down time, how does one set aside time for a workout? For many of us, it may seem like another chore to add to our already full to-do list. But, once the habit forms, it’s really no different than brushing your teeth every morning. It becomes automatic to begin a workout, and beginning one is really the hardest part. The same goes with discipline - this should not be the goal. Rather, the goal should be to form a habit. There are two key points to remember when trying to form any new habit: One, it takes time, so it is always worth it to power through the first 4 to 12 weeks. It may help to keep a calendar with a countdown to the first 28 days, then the second, and then the third, and before you know it, 28 days will become lifestyle. Two, being mindful about how you feel after a workout, and at the end of the first week, and the first month, with become a source of motivation, and motivation is what begets discipline. Discipline is not a virtue one needs to directly aim for. Discipline should be something that comes as a byproduct of something that we either enjoy, or does us good. Finally, discipline is no more and no less than routine. 


Lack of space

I began my yoga journey with the idea that it is a sacred practice, and demands a sacred space - separate from where you sleep, eat, or work. Some of us may have a spare room we can convert into that sacred space, but many of us don’t have that privilege. I don’t. I workout where I sleep, eat, and work - in my bedroom. I have had to go through a perspective shift to embrace this by redefining what that “sacred space” means. It doesn’t stand for an external setup. It is an inner space you nurture and can access for 30 minutes a day. 

 

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