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By Mariska Cowie

THU JUN 04, 2020

This hour long video here is one of many(ish) videos up on my youtube channel that I filmed for the COVID lockdown situation. I quite enjoy doing these videos. This one is nice and basic and just gets you moving around in your body. I hope to do more filming soon. Its been a few weeks now! Sometimes practicing at home can be challenging because of all the distractions and you're not held accountable for even completing it when you find yourself wandering off. I get it. I do that too when I practice at home. I'll tell you a typical home practice scenario for me. . .

I get my mat rolled out, get a large glass of water, and turn the heat on (in winter). I then find an online class and do it....but sometimes, when its challenging, I pause the video and find myself wandering to the cupboard for some liquorice or chocolate or corn chips, or whatever, might chuck some laundry in, and then go back to my class. Often, I'm dealing my demanding son who is just yelling at me to do something for him while he's watching a movie so I can fit in time to practice. Makes for a lot of pausing the video, but when I commit to that chunk of time, I'm committed to it!
If it feels like I need to get out more energy, I might pause it and just do some extra pushups or handstands if I feel like it. The thing about being an energetic person is that I need to get all this energy out, but at the same time, I am actually cultivating more energy back. So Its a great cycle of getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. .
If I am less energetic than I was expecting, and everything feels too hard, I might just modify and make it easier. Put my knees down on the floor for chatarunga, or linger longer in poses while the video is still happening. It's fine, I'll catch up on the second side. .
Another good thing about home practice is that you can completely let out those farts you try to hold in class... Not great when you're practicing in your own stench, but also, not embarrassing.
So to sum it up, Practicing at home is great because you can really freestyle when you learn what your body really loves and needs. But going to a real class with a real vibe can be nicer sometimes because you're actually accountable for being present. You can be way lazier at home. The mindset about home practice is that you have to develop some type of discipline or boundary about how its going to happen, but within that, there should be freedom. Freedom inside of discipline. Have you tried that approach? It sometimes means you really push yourself and go to your edge, and sometimes it means you take it easy. Scolding or punishing yourself or being a drill sergeant on yourself is not beneficial. The intuition of enjoying movement is in your body. Some people need specific things in place, like being in the morning, on an empty stomach, in a particular spot. I admire that, but I am random. I don't care what time of day, just as long as I get some of the day for it. I don't mind if I have a full stomach or not, or what room its in, but it just can't be cold. What are your preferences? .

This is why it is so powerful to spend a moment before you practice to Check In with yourself. Breathe. Tune in. Why are you there? Why did you roll out your mat? What are you hoping to achieve? Dive into your mentality, see what you need, and then work with that. It's self-therapy when you take those moments before you begin..
I'll say one more thing. If you got a nice box of chocolate, how would you eat it? Slowly, and savour it? Or mindlessly stuff it into your mouth, gobble them all and then feel guilty about it? The physical practice is like a box of fine chocolate, meant for being savoured and enjoyed and to serve your well-being. If you smash through your body with no awareness on your form or how you feel, and you just make yourself get it done because you told yourself you're supposed to do it, what are you really gaining from that session? Let me know how you go!