So you’ve been enjoying practising yoga within a group once a week…
To truly benefit from your practise, is it time to start practising on you own more regularly? Here are some tips to help:
Same time same place every time
Start by deciding what time of the day suits you best to practice.
And stick to it. Traditionally yoga asanas are practised first thing in the morning (when the mind is at it’s quietest) but if this doesn’t suit your schedule or you body (morning is when most of us are at our stiffest) pick a time that works for you. It could be at lunch time or early evening when you get home from work. Do try and pick a time before meals rather than after. Yoga on a full tummy is not a good idea!
Then pick the place where you’ll practice. If possible choose a dedicated area in your home, a place without too much clutter. But all you really need is a space big enough for you to fit your yoga mat!
Same Sequence Each Time
To begin with it’s helpful to practice the same yoga postures each time – This will help you focus on your practice rather than thinking about what your going to do next. Write down what poses you’re going to do and have it to hand for the first few sessions.
Pick the yoga poses that you enjoy and make you feel great! It will be easier to make your practise a regular event if it’s something that you enjoy and look forward to.
Move In All Directions
When choosing which poses, do bear in mind that to create a a balanced practice, it helps to move the body in all directions – forwards, backwards, sidewise, twists and inversions. To begin with choose the asana your feel confident about practising.
Start in Quietness…. Finish There Too.
It’s really beneficial to start your practice in quietness. Start by closing your eyes and simply observing how you are feeling. Don’t rush this or skip this part of your routine. It helps to really tune in to how you’re feeling and to build self awareness. At the end take a few moments lying in Savasana.
Don’t give up!
Expect to miss a day or two when life gets in the way. Maybe during those extra busy periods in you life your yoga practice might just mean that you watch your reactions to situations or while waiting in a queue you close your eyes and observe your breath for a couple of moments or practice a few full yogic breaths while sitting in traffic. As Pearce-Hayden says “At its heart, a yoga practice is an intention to observe your actions and reactions. It doesn’t necessarily have to take a certain form”