Personal Practice

For many yoga students, the idea of starting a personal home practice is quite intimidating.  Though it’s hard to know where to start, working on your own may be just the thing to take your practice to the next level.

A personal practice doesn’t need to be anything complicated.  The idea isn’t to replicate the public classes you generally attend; rather, the key is to meet yourself wherever you’re at.  If you’ve had a long day at the office, a few restorative poses may be in order.  If morning drowsiness is an issue for you, several rounds of sun salutations before work could be helpful.  You might design your practice around an area of tightness in your body, or do a few asanas before and after your favorite sport.  A nighttime practice session could be designed to help fight insomnia.  Your home practice doesn’t have to be long – even five to fifteen minutes can be beneficial, especially with consistency.  A longer practice time is great if you have the luxury, but don’t beat yourself up over it if you don’t.

Ideally, it’s recommended that you find a quiet space in your home where you can be alone without any distractions.  If you’re laughing at the absurdity of that idea, use what you’ve got.  Practice with your kids, with your dog, in the yard, in the pool, in a corner at the gym – just practice!  No props are necessary, but it is helpful to invest in a mat, block, strap, blanket, and bolster.  Of course, you can also substitute household items when needed.  If you’re at a loss for ideas to begin with, there is an abundance of resources that can help.  Many yoga books contain pre-arranged sequences.  Yoga magazines and websites offer tips, too.  And sometimes studios offer workshops designed to help students get started with a home practice; if you can’t find one nearby, suggest the idea to your local studio.

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