Overcoming the 3 most common yoga challenges we face in our home practice


I really wanted to call this blog post, how to have your cake and eat it too. But SEO didn’t like that title, so i’ve popped it in here as a sub title:)

I want to share with you the most common yoga challenges this community comes up against with their Iyengar yoga practice and some tips and ideas overcome challenges.

There are many challenges to maintaining a daily Iyengar yoga practice and I have organised these hurdles into 3 categories.

  1. The challenge of getting on the mat in the first instance

  2. The challenges presented by our physical bodies

  3. The challenges that arise when you are on the mat

I am no stranger to these challenges, but I have found a few tricks that help to overcome them and I’m keen to share them with you.

1. The Challenges of getting on the mat include:

  • Making time

  • Being disciplined

  • Prioritising time

  • Too tired, lazy or unmotivated

  • Hungry or just eaten

  • Space and environment

  • Lacking the confidence to start, to know what to do or if you are doing it right

My 3 Tips are:

  • Set an intention for your practice, knowing why you are doing it, is going to make it easier to be disciplined.

  • Look at your schedule and plan a time each day that will be uninterrupted (or least interrupted) and free from meal times.

  • Confidence and ability will come with practice, just roll at the mat and do it.

2. The Challenges of the god given body include:

Whether you are born with a condition, the body has developed conditions due to lifestyle or you have injuries from an accident or illness, we are forced to stare them in the face when we practice yoga. There is no ignoring them, actually, that is the beauty of yoga, it forces us to hold a mirror and see what is happening.

I have had my fair share of injuries and know how frustrating it can be to not do something you could once do or to be up the back of the studio in a permanently modified pose.

My 3 Tips are:

  • Acknowledgment and acceptance of the condition/injury are necessary for making progress. The sooner we accept the situation as a learning opportunity the sooner we will make progress in our yoga.

  • Include in your daily practice a small routine of exercises/warm-ups or asana that you know improve the condition

  • Check in with your body, and practice with mindfulness, awareness, and intelligence.

3. The Challenges when you are on the mat include:

  • Distractions

  • Not being able to focus

  • Practicing alone which can lead to laziness

  • Creating sequences that are challenging

  • Including more advanced asana

  • Holding asana for long timing

  • Worry about doing it right

My 3 Tips are:

  • Make sure your phone is on airplane mode

  • Have a weekly/monthly plan that includes goals & challenging poses, it will help you to stay focused in the practice

  • Variety in the sequences you practice will keep you alert on the mat

Click here for more support on planning your practice and creating sequences.

Watch the video training below for the full version of Overcoming Challenges in our Practice.