I think that on the whole, most home practitioners of yoga are not scared away by the prospect of not having a teacher guide them, or by the inadequacies of their equipment (haven’t we all done some asanas sans mat or suitable yoga space?). Nor are they deterred by inflexibility or lack of strength or anything like that. I think the number one complaint that keeps home practitioners off the mat is a lack of time.
Like most other busy people, I take on way too much, committing to all kinds of things that I have no business committing to. This kind of crazy overcommitment contributes to my own personal perceived lack of time, that, and the fact that I’m often so exhausted by my myriad activities that I’d much rather collapse into a heap at the end of the day than make time to practice yoga. However, making time is the key to any successful (however you want to define successful) home practice. While it may seem like the world is spinning at a billion miles per second, it is really only our own perception of what is important that determines how we utilize time.
For me, time is precious. It’s rare and desirable, and I want more of it. So in order to create the time to devote to things I deem worthwhile (like yoga practice), I need to take stock of what is actually eating up this precious commodity. What can be reduced? What can be cut altogether? And where am I going to fit my yoga practice? Actually scheduling in time to practice makes it all the more likely that I’m actually going to make it to the mat on any given day.
As a teacher, student, wife, mother, and coach, I have a hard time remembering that I am also a yoga practitioner. However, that tiny yogic voice in my head reminds me every so often that making time for myself on the mat helps me comfortably wear all of my other “hats.” It’s time well spent, time that I’ll gladly use for myself. Even if it means waking up earlier, or cutting a responsibility (or two or three), making time for yoga just makes sense for me.
I can’t be too hard on myself, as I’ve spent the past three weeks putting out fires that inevitably pop up at the beginning of a school year, but I’m ready to rejoin the yogic community. And while time may always be an issue, I can always stop to take a moment, prioritize, and remember that the mat will always be ready when I am.