My daily workout routine often includes several hours of dance, Pilates, and yoga each day. However, I was inspired by one of my yoga teachers, Wesley, to start doing a “Morning Practice.”
Although my morning practice sometimes happens in the afternoon or evening, I have made a habit of doing a daily self practice which I enjoy. Each practice is different and I often work on a fusion of Pilates, yoga, and strength training exercises. I mix up each workout depending on how my body feels and my personal workouts often influence my teaching.
Here are my tips for you for creating your own at-home self practice:
In order to develop a consistent routine, I recommend setting aside specific times to practice. Make an appointment as if you are going to see your Pilates instructor for a private lesson or you are going to take a yoga class. By setting a time, you are less likely to skip your practice when work, family, or other commitments can get in the way.
2 – Set an Intention
Perhaps you would like to build upper body strength or maybe you have tight hips. Create a routine where you can focus on whatever issues you have on a particular day. If you have goals to strengthen a certain area where you have a weakness, do exercises that will improve that area. If you are feeling under the weather one day, you may decide to do a restorative practice. A great aspect of a self at-home practice is that you can concentrate on your own individual needs.
We should challenge ourselves everyday! If you find that doing 10 push-ups is a piece of cake, perhaps you should do 2 sets of 10 and add more repetitions to each set when you get stronger. If you can easily hold a plank for 1-minute, you can place your legs/feet on an unstable surface like a stability ball to challenge your balance. Every routine does not have to leave you feeling exhausted and unable to walk, but you should always try to challenge yourself in some way in order to see improvement.
4 – Use a Prop
There are several small and affordable props that you can use at home. Magic circles, yoga blocks, therabands, and small dumbells can all be purchased for under $30 and take up minimal space. Props can be both fun and effective and are a great way to mix-up your routines. If you are unsure how to use props, lots of free information is available online but you should also ask a qualified teacher to make sure you are executing correct form to avoid injuries.
5 – Be Creative
Just as you should set an intention, switching up your routine is also important. If you focus on lower body exercises one day, try focusing on upper body the following day. If you use a magic circle in one practice, perhaps you should exercise with a theraband the day after. You can even be creative by changing your environment. Maybe you practice in your living room on Monday then workout on the rooftop of your building on Tuesday. Mixing things up will keep you engaged and make your daily practice enjoyable.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your at-home routines today!
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