avoid the studio with homebody yoga (flash giveaway + group project)It’s January and you know what that means: every yoga studio class is packed. For the whole month, or at least until the promise of New Year’s resolutions fades away. While it’s great that people are getting into yoga, the lack of space, at-times frenetic energy and long waits for the change room can get a little annoying for the year-round studio goer.… Read more


avoid the studio with homebody yoga (flash giveaway + group project)

It’s January and you know what that means: every yoga studio class is packed. For the whole month, or at least until the promise of New Year’s resolutions fades away. While it’s great that people are getting into yoga, the lack of space, at-times frenetic energy and long waits for the change room can get a little annoying for the year-round studio goer.

While I wait for the crowds to clear out of my neighbourhood studio, I’m using this opportunity to dig a little deeper into my home practice. To not only do it on a regular basis, but to ask the questions I usually avoid and create a space to come home to myself.

California-based yoga teacher Jay Fields (author of Teaching People, Not Poses) has a new book, which may be the perfect remedy for displaced regular studio practitioners. Homebody Yoga is a 28-day guide to reorienting your approach to a home yoga practice. Full of tips, prompts and exercises – but no designated sequences or alignment directions – the book helps us confront why we don’t practice and shift our inner resistance.


Y’all know I love a good 20-something-day challenge, and even though this one doesn’t include a meal plan or grocery shopping lists, I’m going to take it on. This time, I’m inviting others to join me, starting Wednesday, January 8.

Not only that, but I have five digital copies of Homebody Yoga to give away! All you have to do is leave a comment below and answer the following skill-testing question: What does your home yoga practice look like? (There are no wrong answers – washing dishes, childcare and watering plants all count as practice.)

Leave your response before 11pm EST Tuesday, January 7, so we can beam your digital copy and you can jump in the fun on Wednesday. If you miss the giveaway window, you can purchase your own copy (paper or digital) on Amazon.

Follow the adventure on Facebook and Twitter at #homebodyyoga. And if you miss the January 8 start date, you can still join in at any time. Just move the couch aside and clear some space on your living room floor.

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top 15 yoga blog posts of 2013

The best, most interesting, enlivening, challenging, mind-opening, confrontational and provocative yoga writing of 2013.
  1. My home practice usually involves a baby, a dog, and often looks like this: http://instagram.com/p/ficpCbAq_d/

  2. Just in time! I am dying to restart my home practice, which at the moment looks like a whirlwind of videos, pinterest pins, music down loads and post its all aimed towards designing the perfect class for my students. I have firmly resolved to reconnect with my home practice, as studio time is scarce lately.

  3. My home practice is perfect. Well, with a major caveat: It’s perfect for me! My room is always messy, the house is always noisy, the timing never feels like it quite works out…but when I finally take the time to unroll my mat, it is like a lifeboat in the midst of whatever the world felt like throwing at me that day or week. It is the darndest thing, one that I sometimes forget until I unroll that mat again. I couldn’t imagine a life without my own yoga practice at home, even when I seemingly forget, something makes me go back to it.

    (This looks like a really cool book! While of course I have my fingers crossed to win, thanks much for bringing it to our attention in the first place.)

  4. My home practice is a mix of meditation, walking with my dog and a bit of mat work. I struggle with my home practice and my perspective on it has changed over the years. I have softened or expanded what I think it should ‘look’ like which has helped.

    Looking forward to joining in to this challenge even if I don’t win a copy!

  5. observing my reactions, looking for their source.

  6. My yoga practice is me wincing guiltily at 5 AM, wondering if the foot I just thumped down on the mat was audible to the neighbors downstairs (probably not, but it’s reflex to worry), me doing very careful forward bends so I don’t bash my head on the computer desk, occasionally smacking the overhead lamp with my arms as I move through a sequence. In the evening, my practice is often interrupted by me leaping up when my computer makes the chat notification sound, wondering what my long-distance partner might be saying to me (someday I’ll remember to put the chat client on ‘away’ and turn the sounds off before getting on the mat!). My practice usually includes way too many to-do-list thoughts during savasana, things I forgot I needed to do until I lay down on the mat and then which rear their heads urgently!

  7. My home practice, my out-in-the-world practice, has to do with being aware of myself, my emotions, my body as it moves through the everyday, noticing the breath as I deal with different challenges, and returning. My practice off the mat has to do with a constant practice of coming back, returning again and again to those central tenets that matter, always exploring.

  8. i love Jay Fields! Sounds like a great book!

    My home practice looks scattered and covered with elf toys and furry paws. To carve out space for myself at our house is tough, I’d love to get the tips she suggests!

  9. I really enjoy my home practice. I use a lot of Yogadownloads.com’s shorter audio classes to get in yoga daily, with the occasion longer class or dvd when I have more time. My home practice often involves a cat lying on my yoga mat, but I still like practicing at home as I get more yoga in that way.

  10. I’m so excited to learn about this book! I’ve downloaded a ton of music in hopes of developing more of a home practice, but often I just end up doing a quick core workout (since that’s my main focus right now) and calling it a day. My cat really likes to lay on my mat, which is adorable but distracting…

  11. yoga in the dead of night or early morning, while all the kids (and husband) are asleep — just so I can get my savasana on. Always a little jarring when you come out of corpse and you’ve got a pair of eyes staring back at you.

  12. My home practice (which currently is my only practice sadly, due to budget reasons) looks a lot like 30-45min practice w Yogaglo… which I am struggling to replace due to all the patent issues, along with lots and lots of cat cuddles. My yoga practice is their favourite time to cuddle… 🙂

  13. My home practice is morning meditation and asana. I get into the groove of doing this and it is life changing! Then I get out and wonder why?!?! I am moving this week so my place is a mess but I need it more than ever! All the space I need is that for my mat. Let’s do this #homebodyyoga

  14. Ha! a senile Basset Hound, a pesky feral cat, two pre-teen boys who roll their eyes whenever I unroll my mat (my yoga space is shared with their TV/video game space), a new husband whose idea of zen is a closely matched football game in which his chosen team avails… My home practice needs a major mat-lift. This is just the thing to motivate me to rise above the pandemonium and to begin (again) a daily practice. And I really <3 yoga in my pajamas!

  15. As it happens to some, I tend to teach yoga more often then I practice myself. Sometimes it makes me feel like a fraud, and I feel ashamed, but then I remember that yoga is not just about Asana. However, the connection that asana gave me is what had me at “hello”. I’ve been searching for a place where I can practice and just feel like a student again, which I have found. I also recently have given up some teaching gigs to make space for my own practice, to try and find a comfortable healthy balance between work and personal time. So, I’ve made the room to go to one class per week at a studio, but it’s not enough. I need to get on my mat more often, and that means doing it at home…I can’t say I have kids, or husband, or anything else that gets in my way… I’m just in my own way. And I’d love to explore how I can break through that resistance. xoxo

  16. Such a great idea! I’m going to start tomorrow. Dedication is key.

    My home practice includes my two cats clawing at my mat, jumping on my lap and general meandering of my asanas. I’m always include them in cat/cow postures 😉

  17. My home practice usually involves my four year old nephew. Assisted handstands are his favorite.

  18. I am planning on clearing out a space in our home office…I don’t know how’s that going to work out…I rarely practice at home, but would love to…mostly I spontaneously drop into a downward dog, out of nowhere I’ll feel the call and I drop everything, cleaning the dishes, paying the bills…and I breath and I stretch for as long as it feels right. Well, I do continue breathing even when I go back to my day, you know what I mean.

  19. My home practice is rolling out my mat every day, and going from there 🙂 connect with the breath, maybe do some sun salutes, maybe just lie down and take a reclining twist. As long as I’m connecting with my breath I feel like I’ve practiced!

    This book sounds great! Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  20. I’m loving yin yoga by the fireplace this time of year, but I would LOVE to learn more!

  21. My home practice is squishing cats when I chaturanga, mostly.

  22. I started practicing at home this year for a number of reasons and I have come to cherish it. It’s got me practicing every day, which makes a big difference in my practice overall. I practice about 30-45 minutes in the morning because it’s the time of day where the practice makes the biggest difference for me, even though I don’t have very long. It usually consists of sun salutations, standing poses and a couple of restoratives. I’m always amazed at the good these short sessions do, and they help me go deeper and feel more confident in group settings.

  23. My home practice is like me… variable! In every way. It can go from a few sun salutations to a full out 90min practice. My quiet place is in my office where I can see the sun rise every morning (very inspiring). This is where I practice. Of late I’ve been trying out different yoga videos and some live online classes (fun stuff!). More than anything I’m embracing the fact that my home practice doesn’t really have to look like anything (I’ve got a slight aversion to routine…and rules). It can be anything from a few minutes of breathing to a strong and sweaty vinyasa flow to a comfortable and quiet seat on my mat (or anywhere else). Letting go of the need for structure (of any kind) gives me the freedom to practice everyday (every minute) no matter where I am. And for me… that works! 🙂

  24. My home practice is clearing a space on the living room floor and trying not to look at all the school books beckoning from the desk! 🙂 I would love to win and have some new tips to try!

  25. My daily practice consists of 30 minutes of asana, 5-10 minutes of pranayama and 30 minutes of Japa mantra

  26. my home practice looks like this:

    empty mat.
    me: i should practice.
    me: i’m going to practice at 4:30.
    4:30 rolls around…
    me: whoops, maybe 6.
    me: maybe 7.

  27. My home practice changes all the time. Sometimes it includes asana practice, but realistically mostly not. I think my real home practice is doing my best to offer compassion to everyone around me. And moving on from failure, as realistically this is part of my regular practice too!

  28. My home practice involves me and my cats. My cat pookie especially loves to come to visit me when I am doing yoga. It is distracting but in a good way it reminds me how to value the good things in life. I love the softness of her fur and her purring.

  29. My home practice involves two toddlers and one cat. Always a challenge, always with a smile.

  30. My home practice is a little bit hilarious, with at least one of my children and at least one of my digs attempting to join me. Savasana, to my children, means time to lay on the mat with mama and get snuggles. But I never quit trying…

  31. thanks for entering, everyone! the 5 winners have been notified. but the fun is only beginning – follow #homebodyyoga on twitter and facebook to participate in the practice.

    you can also pick up your own copy of Homebody Yoga here: http://tinyurl.com/k2cjgtz

    • Where? How? Why? Am I missing out (I dont twitter)? I bought the book and am loving it – but I was eagerly anticipating some ‘daily mat’ banter! …

  32. I LOVE all these comments! Thank you to everyone who participated. My cat is so happy to know that she is not alone in being the true yoga master of the house. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to the next 28 days together!

  33. My home practice consists of daily yoga nidra, breath work (currently studying Dr. Andrew Weil) and some form of asana (sometimes a long practice, sometimes legs up the wall, sometimes tree pose while cooking dinner).

    I seem to be hibernating – even though it’s summer – or perhaps I’m becoming more and more of a hermit but after doing yoga for several years, I am now mostly preferring to practice on my own rather than in the classroom.