Here in Egypt, summers can be tricky for yoga practice.Many of our students have moved for the summer to places like the North Coast or along the Red Sea, or are busily shuttling between Cairo for the working week and away to the beaches for the weekend. In our case, here in Mysore Zamalek, our program is closed for August. Summer routines can be famously routine-less in these parts. What to do when we don’t have the usual support for our self-practice? This year, I’l have been self-practicing for 15 years, most of it without a home shala or a regular teacher. I understand the challenges; it can really be tough and there will no doubt be dips and peaks to one’s practice. Here are some tried and tested tips:
Set Realistic Goals
Be honest about what you can manage. Your yoga practice can also be flexible and bend with the changes and challenges in your life. If you cannot do your full practice, then do less. Adjust your expectations so that they can be realistically met.
Pair Up, Find a Yoga Partner
There is truly strength in numbers. Find a friend or a family member who would like to commit to the same minimum amount of time that you would like to be practicing. Make dates, remind each other of your goals, encourage each other to simply keep on practicing.
Set Up a Regular Routine
Finding the same time can help you stick to a healthy routine. If you have pockets of time in the morning, practice in the morning. If afternoons work best, then afternoons are best. If you can practice 3x a week, try to set a schedule for these days.
Assign yourself a special practice space in your home, where you can lay your mat down the night before. Or simply get your things ready, clothes, mat and all for you the following practice date. Small acts like this remind us of our intention to practice.
Sometimes you will have to move your practice time, or maybe your practice location, other times you might have to do a shorter practice or switch a practice day. Don’t sweat it, practice teaches us different forms of flexibility and, often times, off the mat!
Have fun. Practice with a light heart. Don’t allow yourself to get stressed about practice, seek it out with a healthy outlook and you will surely want to meet it easily each time.
Take a Class, Any Class
Really can’t practice on your own? Then take any class that’s available and works with your schedule. Yes, even if you’re a die-hard ashtangi. We take support wherever we can. And any yoga is better than none.
Wherever you are in your summer holiday practice, stay cool and simply do your best! And for our folks here in Mysore Zamalek: don’t worry, classes will start in a month, and the support will be there for you. Nothing is truly lost so long as you return to your mat. See you there!
Classes will resume Monday, September 5. Our regular schedule is Monday to Thursday Mysore-self practice 7:30-10:30am and Friday led class 8am and 9:30am. Mysore Zamalek is at Nūn Center, 4 Shafik Mansour, Zamalek, Cairo. Book your spot by emailing email@example.com