Solo Practice Problems? Just do it!

I’ve had a lot of company in my practice lately. I’ve had a lot of teachers in my practice lately. I’ve had a lot of time for my practice lately. I’ve been pretty lucky.

But this weekend, upstate with the BHH (and enjoying it thoroughly by the way, not to say it’s not a great thing), I found myself facing my mat solo. I got one day with a good friend and some good gab, but then Monday morning rolled around and I found myself thinking “wouldn’t it be nice to just read the paper and drink coffee? So what if I have a 5 day week, right?”

The problem with that is the trend it sets. Alone and unmotivated? It’s ok, just don’t practice. Bad habit to start. Plus, life throws days off at me without me taking them on purpose. I don’t want to pile on the extras. And finally, I have weekends with the in-laws, boat trips with nothing but a rocking dock for a studio and seagulls for company coming up. What will I do then if I haven’t re-established my solo practice?

Yup. Today was a day to get on the mat.

I told myself this: “You only have to get on, start, and not leave the mat till you decide you’re not doing any more.”

As in, I didn’t have to do my extra-long practice to the finish, but I did have to stay there and keep steadily practicing until I decided it was enough, without leaving to do laundry or make the BHH breakfast or check my email.

Then I said: “1, 2, 3, go.”

An hour and a half later: practice complete. Ok, I didn’t have the full on bhakti/sweat fest I might get in some of the studios I frequent. I didn’t do my handstands and “tics” and extra-credit backbending. But I did do a “real” practice. I tried most of my new fancy poses. And I got some movement on an old friend that’s been plaguing me a long time.

And here’s the thing, it was a REAL practice. And I did stay on my mat. And I set myself up to procrastinate less next time. So it was nearly half as long as a “studio” practice, so what?

I didn’t have to drive anywhere, plus I got to make my BHH breakfast, after which I indulged in the hugest, sweetest, most decadent smoothie of all time. And by the way, Peg Mulqueen, damn those coconut chips! I think I will have to buy smaller bags or only buy them when I know I will share.

Sweet Rewards Smoothie

Others have made variations of this. It’s not like I invented the wheel. But this is my perfected version. And, if you want to up the nutrition (rather than just indulge in the deliciousness) you could add a scoop of plant-based protein powder and/or handful of greens.

1 Banana (peeled and frozen)
3/4 Cup Almond or other non-dairy milk
1 Tblsp. Cacao Powder
1-2 Tblsp. Peanut or Sunflower Butter
½ Packet Decaf Instant French Roast from Starbucks (or 1-2 tsp quality decaf coffee/espresso powder)
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
Stevia to taste
Salt (pinch)
Ice (I use a lot. I like volume over density, but do what you like)

Directions: Blend well. Top generously. I like coconut chips, toasted almonds, cacao nibs, rawnola, drizzles of peanut or sunflower butter, extra coffee powder, but be creative!