Developing a home yoga practice

Why start a home practice? This year more than ever it has been really good to have a home practice. Having your own practice allows you to take ownership, changing it up and tailoring it to your own needs on any given day. Below are some of my tips for developing your own self practice.

Start small – Instead of aiming for an hour once a week start with a short practice that you can fit into your day a few times a week. Remember you can practice anywhere – you don’t need a special place.

Be realistic – Be honest with yourself about frequency and the length of time that you can practice for – if you’re realistic you will find it easier to stick with your practice.

Be open to exploring more about the areas of yoga that interest you – keep learning and reading (for more on my favourite books go here).

Explore living your yoga “off the mat”.

Remember it is your practice – do whatever feels good for you.

Sample Sequence:

Opening poses – Wake up muscle groups – include movements that gradually warm up the body and direct attention inwards, for example start with seated meditation and then do some poses to warm up the major muscle groups, hips, shoulders and spine.

Sun Salutations – Integrate breath with movement, generate warmth and invigorate the body. Depending on your energy you can vary the number of sun salutations you do.

Standing poses – Create strength, stamina and flexibility. Try to include at least four, for example Warror I, Warrior II and Reverse Warrior.

Backbends – Stretch the front of the body, strengthen the back of the body and balance the effect of time sitting in chairs, begin with prone backbends such as Cobra pose to prepare for supine poses such as Bridge.

Wind down – Twists – Relieve tension in the spine, hips and shoulders. Forward bends have a calming effect, e.g. head to knee pose, wide legged forward bend.

Closing postures – Complete your sequence by quieting the mind and relaxing the body, e.g.supported shoulder stand, legs up the wall, bound eagle pose, savasana. Don’t skip Savasana – give your mind and body a few moments to assimilate your practice.

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