I just finished a home practice and I feel absolutely amazing. This particular practice was not 100% solo. I was guided by Sadi Nardini online. I learned a lot, I am inspired, I found new sticky spots in my body but also found new strength and space. I felt liberated as I moved my body around in untraditional ways- it felt like colouring outside of the lines. More on the subject of moving outside of yourself in an upcoming Blog Post.
On the subject of a home practice I do believe I have much to say. Now don't get me wrong, I hope you keep coming to my classes and all of your favourite classes as you integrate yourself into this amazing community. But let it be known you are missing something magical when you can't experience any of this in the company of no one but yourself, and maybe your laptop. As un-yogic as some of you might perceive it to be to have your laptop or podcast playing in front of you while you practice, I suggest getting over it. Thought it's merely one approach to this level of practice so many of us fear.
Sometimes during class, I see students in certain poses where it is obvious they could benefit from visiting more frequently than they can visit the studio, so I say find 5 minutes at home and just take this pose. That's it. Just this pose. Before I finish my sentence I can already hear their thoughts. 'Sure, like that's ever going to happen. Perhaps in and around the time I finally learn to knit or take that carpentry course I've been coveting I will sneak into Pigeon pose also and then my life will be complete. Or maybe at the end of the day when I am so tired I want to collapse and I indeed do, I can form pigeon pose with my aching body quickly before I lose all consciousness."
Or you could 'get out of your own way' and make the time. Instead of glancing at your instagram, facebook or twitter feed, do a yoga pose or 5 Sun Salutations. It's like planting a seed, each additional pose you add to it is like watering that seed and what are you left with? A blossoming home practice that I promise you will become uncompromisable.
So simply put, here are my home practice tips.
- Do something. That's right. Anything. A sun Salutation. Then a Warrior Two and then maybe Reverse Warrior. Then a Flow. Then why not do it on the other side because that makes sense right? Did you just do a whole bunch of poses on one side and now you can't remember them and you feel like a failure? Nonsense. Move freely. Do what you can. No one is watching. Your body is better off missing a pose on one side than having not practiced at all. It's no big deal.
- Choose a body part. Are your Hamstrings feeling tight? Lay on your back and use your strap, belt, towel, anything resembling these items to stretch each leg. Maybe a couple of flows. Throw in a standing forward fold here, a standing forward fold there, a wide legged standing forward fold, a seated forward fold. This could be 5 minutes it could be 15. Just move into it, find the sticky spots, linger there, breath there, surrender, observe. Lay in Savasana even for 5 breaths. Feel it. You've just completed a home practice.
- Who are your favourite teachers? Do they have videos online? Press play and do the video. Not sure who you like? All the more exciting, explore. Geography cannot limit you now, you are on the world wide web. Sometimes I like to do a class taught by an instructor from a Country overseas. There is flavour and culture to be experienced through foreign instruction. It's inspiring. I also have a membership to YogaGlo which has thousands of classes. There is a free 14 day trial. It's a must. Other options include My Yoga Online or simply try You Tube. I also have two videos posted on You Tube.
- Create an atmosphere. Don't lose yourself in this step. If you are able to create enough space to move in then just start there. If you fixate here before getting started, you likely will never start but maybe one day have this beautiful yoga space that you've not even approached beyond it's creation. As your practice builds, you can allow all of your props and materials to gravitate to one corner. Then maybe you get some bolsters or meditation cushions and those are there now too. Maybe candles or ipod speakers, or inspiring pictures.
- Turn your phone off or on silent and put it in another room. When you get started it might seem unbearable to think of missing a call or a text. This will be disruptive. And trust me, as you loose yourself in your practice and your phone rings you'll regret the decision to keep it near and the wrath is now had toward the caller. Poor friend.
- Set an alarm if time is critical. Yes, permission granted to keep the phone near but your calls are silenced. The alarm is so that when you get into the juiciest Savasana OF YOUR LIFE, you can drift into Yoga Nidra (yoga sleep) knowing that you'll be pulled out in time to get to dinner, or your appointment etc. If your setting an alarm simply so that you don't 'waste' too much time in Savasana, then you haven't had a Savasana like this. In your home, deeply connected with yourself, comfortable to accidentally snore or make weird sounds, floating somewhere between consciousness and the unconscious.
I hope this helps to break down some of the walls you've built between you and your home practice. I am happy to answer any questions for you, draft you a sequence if you let me know what you are looking for, or we can even have a Skype lesson to get started! This isn't just my job, it's what I love to do so please don't be hesitant to reach out to me! E mail me at email@example.com. Also Sign up for my Newsletter on my homepage. This is more about keeping in touch than it is about filling your mailbox with junk. I want a method of contacting all of the awesome Yogi's that cross my path.
Now get to it!