As the sun comes down, a young woman does yoga in her home

Setting Up Your Home Practice Into the Colder Months

As the snow comes down and the sun moves further away, it is easy for this dark, cold time to affect our mood. Not to mention the year we’ve been through; we may find ourselves feeling immobilized and unmotivated. Developing a steady routine of checking in with ourselves and a functional home practice can positively affect our body and mind


Yoga can inspire and cultivate joy even in the short days of winter. The great thing about checking in with our bodies with yoga asana is we simply have to set the time aside, and show up. Whatever happens in that time we’ve set aside, we are encouraged to witness and accept, without judgement. We hold and love ourselves through different poses, from different perspectives, each day, reflecting and cleansing the body with our awareness. The work is a labour of love, it’s easy… It’s said the hardest part about yoga is actually getting on the mat. 


So how do we convince ourselves to sit our butts down and do it? While I’m sure there are many approaches, and I encourage you to explore routines and methods that speak to you. I have compiled a list of steps to get myself to sit with my body today, and today, and today, in the mornings, before I start my day.




First, temperature. It is hard to peel ourselves out of our nested beds in the mornings, let alone feel keen to move and activate our bodies in a cold room when we awaken. Our muscles contract and become brittle in cold temperature as a way to try to warm us up. We could even become susceptible to injury if we attempt stretching in the cold. Turning on a space heater in my home practice or an electric blanket gives me something to initiate the space when I get up to use the washroom in the morning. Even lighting a candle or setting a mug of boiled water near your home practice area can make the space more inviting. While I wait for the space to soften and warm up, I like to feel warm running water on my skin. I will do some dishes from the night before, and afterwards wash my face and brush my teeth.


Choose Comfortable Clothing


Next, wear what’s comfy! I think it’s easy for us to fall victim to market ploys and fashion fads, for whatever apparel we choose to wear. It’s the same for our yoga practice. When I began my yoga journey I couldn’t imagine doing yoga in my pyjamas… it just was not possible for me. I needed to have the tight stretchy pants for class. What I’ve found now is that every article of clothing comes with it’s own upsides and downsides and lessons for you and your home practice! It’s true! The tight pants make me want to move fast, while I’m forced to move slower with loose fitting clothing, to avoid getting fabric caught. I also feel like I have more access to my body in loose clothes that do not form and shape, but I like that I can see what’s going on in my body more in the form-fitted apparel. 

I encourage you to explore (and even practice without clothes) depending on how you feel. Try not to feel overwhelmed with choices and have fun, especially if you have the privilege of time alone with yourself.


Choose Scents That Bring You Joy


Third is smells! It can be difficult to transform your everyday room into a sacred practice space every day. That’s what this list is for. Aromatherapy is real. A fresh scent can really transport us to a new world, and can be an excellent grounding tool to remind us that we are in a space of love and intention. Whether it’s a scented candle, essential oils, incense sticks or burning dried herbs, I believe inviting your scent receptors to your cleansing check-in yoga party is an excellent way to set up your space and maintain a lovely and ensuring mood for your class and morning (if attending a public class, please be mindful of their scent policies)


Have Props and Equipment Close By


Fourth is props and equipment. The yoga lineages are varied, and because of this we have separate schools of thought that may promote different ideas. I think it’s common for us to believe, especially when starting out, that a practice without props makes the practitioner more advanced. As many yogis discover after some time of sustained practice, I have found that introducing props can truly facilitate our transformation, and make our practice feel great! I think of it as a “yes” to the practice. For me, investing and utilizing these products has helped me bring my yoga practice into the physical world. The more that we can begin to synthesize our material egoic understanding of the world, with our formless meditative Self, the easier it becomes to come back to our practice, and to the now. I myself begin to lose the yoga practice when I feel like it is not a choice I am making: when it feels like a cultural obligation to go to your yoga class then it hinders us from feeling empowered. Maybe reaching for the blocks, using the wall, chairs, or whatever else helps you move into your body can remind us to embrace our bodies and legitimize our journey with it. 


A Little Mess Is Okay


Lastly, don’t be afraid to get messy. One of the things we cultivate in yoga asana is purity. By cleansing the body, we remove stagnation, revealing our foundational essence which is pure and good. If we’re cleaning the inside, we will want a sense of goodness and cleanliness to be reflected on the outside. Move things around, often, to ensure things don’t feel stagnant, and that everything is in use. Let your space, especially your yoga space, get messy. Light the candles, take out the couch cushions, unfold the blankets, LIVE! You deserve it. A nest is a pure space, for as long as it is in use. Be honest and clear with yourself about what you are using your time for and how your space is reflecting that time. Especially if you are socially distancing or spending a lot of your time in one place (working from home). Change it up! And often!


Every day is going to be different. And some days it can be more challenging  to get yourself on the mat. We can come up with hundreds of excuses for why not to, but those are always future thoughts. Return to the now and you’ve already arrived. I believe these steps can help to assure ourselves that we are in the right place and to continue to feel good in our bodies and change the world. I hope you have found these tips helpful to create this home practice for you to connect with mind and soul.positively affect

Written by Jaclyn Ambridge, Registered Yoga Teacher. As a yoga teacher, Jaclyn hopes to empower others with her sweet and steady asana practice to use as a tool for cultivating peace and harmony, and strengthen our dynamic connection to the present moment.

Disclaimer – Everything shared is for informative purposes only. It is not intended for assessment, diagnosis or treatment purposes. If you feel there needs to be further investigation, please seek out a qualified health care professional for a proper assessment.

1 thought on “Setting Up Your Home Practice Into the Colder Months”

  1. Thanks for the tips Jaclyn! I loooove getting close to my heater in the morning in fleece PJ’s for my first few movements. I also find dim lighting to be a huge help! xo

Comments are closed.