Even when you have the best intentions for your yoga workouts at home (which you obviously do), trying to complete your fitness routine in the comfort of your own living space can present its own set of challenges. Sure, at-home exercise is about as convenient as it gets, but what happens when your kids need something while you’re on the mat? Or when your laptop is tempting you to focus on work instead? Or when your TV — chock full of all the shows you want to binge on Netflix and Hulu — is making you feel not-so-motivated to work out?
The point is that doing yoga workouts at home can require a little extra boundary-setting.
With some boundaries in place, your at-home exercise routines can be extremely effective. Working on your fitness this way might be a new habit, but if you make boundaries part of that new habit, you’ll be sure to feel the benefits for your physical and mental health.
Before we get into our tips for boundary-setting, here’s some expert insight that might motivate you to stop using your kids and family demands as an excuse for not working out. According to Harvard Health, children who see their parents being active when they are young are more likely to pursue healthy habits of their own over time. Right off the bat, that should encourage all the parents out there to think about their yoga workouts at home a little differently. It’s better for your kids in the long run to see you making fitness a priority, so how can you work your routine differently to make that happen?
It all comes down to one word: boundaries. Say it with us now.
Check out our seven tips to help you limit distractions and set solid boundaries for your yoga workouts at home…
1. Get your loved ones involved.
While we’re on the subject of kiddos and the importance of them seeing you move your bod for their own long-term health, let’s just get one thing out of the way: you’re never going to be able to prevent kid-related distractions 100 percent of the time. The rest of our tips can help you set the boundaries necessary to limit them, but if you think you’ll finally start exercising more consistently when your kids are able to totally entertain and take care of themselves while you hit your yoga mat on a regular basis, it’s going to be a longggg time before you’re able to actually do yoga workouts at home.
They say if you can’t beat ’em, you should join ’em… and if you feel like your kids’ demands are beating your workout motivation, why not let them join you?
Invite your littles to be part of your yoga workout at home! They’ll love being part of a grown-up activity with you and will probably have a lot of fun watching an online yoga class (these have tons of health benefits!). Plus, it will get them moving for a bit.
This counts as a boundary because it’s a choice you can actively make to ensure that your workout is a non-negotiable part of your household routine. You just might have a little buddy (or a few!) along for the ride.
2. Schedule it.
If family commitments and competing demands tend to interfere with your best intentions for a yoga workout at home, it might be time to assert the importance of those workouts. Sometimes, this is as simple as making a date with yourself and communicating that date to anyone in your life who you’re seeking these boundaries with — family members, partners, friends, etc.
Decide at the beginning of the week when you might like to complete your at-home fitness session, then add that time block to any shared family calendars. You might also consider posting your workout time blocks on the refrigerator or in other central family areas. When you schedule your exercise time as appointments, you demonstrate to your loved ones that you’re taking that exercise time seriously. They’ll (hopefully) be less likely to put demands on you during those blocks and can plan effectively for themselves, as well.
Plus, scheduling your yoga workouts at home might help you stay more accountable to them, too! Figuring out how often it feels good to do yoga for you is an important step in boundary-setting.
3. Find a dedicated space.
Maybe what you need to really take your at-home workouts to the next level is a literal physical boundary… like a door or a separate room! Find a space in your home where you can set up your mat and any other props and make it yours. This is another indication that you are taking your exercise regimen seriously. Over time, your loved ones will learn to respect it — and, more importantly, to respect the time you spend there.
If it’s not feasible for you to set up your at-home yoga area in a dedicated room, you can get creative with establishing these physical boundaries. Work out in a corner of the TV room that’s out of the eye line of anyone sitting on the couch. Set your mat outside for some outdoor yoga while everyone else is inside! If you have little kids, you can even make it a game by marking out a workout area with some masking tape on the floor of a high-traffic area and challenging them not to step inside!
4. Share your goals.
If you feel like your loved ones aren’t consistently respectful of your workout time, maybe it’s time that you communicate to them why that workout time is so important to you. That way, when you ask them to give you the time and space to finish your yoga workouts at home, they’ll be able to think big-picture and encourage you to reach your goals.
This might also be a great time for you to check-in with yourself about what those goals really are! There are seemingly endless benefits to exercise, but it might be helpful for you to hone in on one or two that resonate with you. Per Medline, working out can do everything from supporting weight management and protecting bones to preventing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. The list goes on!
5. Get yourself in the zone.
Maybe what’s gotten in the way of effective home workouts for you in the past hasn’t been other people, but your own ability to get in a fitness mindset on home turf! Looks like you need to set some boundaries with yourself, bulldogger. Who knew?
Think about what kinds of rituals would help you transition from your normal at-home routines to your at-home workout. It may be a specific playlist, a certain outfit, or a quick jog around the block. Whatever it is, it should signal to your brain that it’s time to tune out other distractions and focus on moving your body.
6. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
We think there are a lot of awesome things about social media, but we would offer this one warning: if there are fitness or influencer accounts you follow that make you feel icky about your own body or fitness level, please mute or unfollow them… now. This kind of content can get in your head and stick with you while you’re trying to do your yoga workouts at home, even if you don’t realize it. It may even convince you to quit before you even begin — and we all know that’s not going to work.
7. Put the phone away!
Now that you’ve set some boundaries in place to eliminate the in-person distractions that can interfere with your yoga workouts at home, it’s time to eliminate the distractions that can interfere from a distance… most of which are all in the palm of your hand — on your phone!
Yep, this is the part of the post where we encourage you to put that thing away for the length of your exercise session (unless, of course, you’re using it to stream an online class, in which case you should mute all other notifications!). All of those emails, texts, calls, and Instagram likes will still be there once you’ve gotten your sweat on.
Boundaries are set and you’re ready to go! Check out these classes!
No-phone image: @marjanblan/Unsplash