Developing a Home Practice

Now that we have a vast spectrum of possible poses and practices, it is now time to create a blueprint or structure that allows us to make yoga a part of our everyday life. In the beginning it takes a lot of discipline to overcome the habit of ‘not practicing’. We need to find a time and place where our full attention is on establishing the habit of practicing.

If you are a total beginner, you will find the support of a weekly class very helpful, if that is possible. Many beginning students only go to class because there is the fear of ‘doing it wrong’ without a teacher present, or because the teacher provides the energy. So begin simply. Don’t ask more of yourself than is reasonable. As you become comfortable, you will find your practice time increasing.

If you are working parent, or someone with a very busy daily schedule, five to ten minutes a day, every day, will be better in the long run than an hour once a week. Even a minute here and there will be nurturing, especially if in that minute you can slow down, feel your breath, drop any tension you may feel, and take a few slow deep breaths. While at work, or engaged in life, these mini breaks will be like seedlings that will grow into strong, flowering plants. If you have more free time, do as much as feels comfortable. Practice will challenge you in many surprising ways as it is not just the body that is waking up.

Practice Level 1: 15 minutes
Find a comfortable position, sitting or standing and relax your breath. Let the breathing flow and really feel where in the body there is sensation. Relax your arms, shoulders and neck. If you are sitting, feel your sitting bones on the chair or seat. If you are standing, feel your feet firmly in contact with the floor, relax your knees, as if you were skiing or surfing, and let your body move gently on its own. It will sway and/or rotate back and forth as it seeks out balance.