Yoga at home…
Students often tell me that they need to come to a class to actually do any yoga, they struggle to find motivation to practice at home. While that’s great for class numbers, it doesn’t always serve the student in allowing them to reap the many benefits that a regular yoga practice has to offer. Yoga means ‘union’, commonly understood as the union of mind, body and soul. Therefore having a personal yoga practice outside your regular class has many rewards- more asana (movement) and pranayama (breath) practice, more exploration of your own body and mind, without the distraction of other students, convenience to practice at any time, and anywhere you can. Some of the physical results of more yoga include improved strength, flexibility and fitness, increased blood flow, and oxygen flow throughout the body. Emotional and spiritual benefits include increased calmness and mindfulness, less stress leading to less suffering and even physical benefits such as improved sleep. You will gain a better connection between the mind and body, allowing you to improve your understanding and management of your emotions/thoughts/fears, and nourish yourself by looking deep within and understanding exactly what you need at any particular time.
So then, is it possible to create your own yoga practice?
I tell my students to just start somewhere, with a movement, with a breath. This is how I began my own journey to a regular yoga practice. I was introduced to yoga over ten years ago now, and for the first few years my practice involved attending either one to two classes of yoga per week. At one point, I used to struggle to attend more than one yoga class per week. My teacher at the time (and still my teacher now might I add) was pretty influential on me developing my home practice. I was in a stressful work environment and had increasingly been feeling I needed more nourishment (ie more rest and sleep!) that I knew a more regular yoga practice could give me. By this stage I had been practicing for at least 5 years and knew quite a bit about a yoga practice, I also learned from each weeks class and took some of that inspiration into my home- often by simply repeating the sequence of some of the asana’s I had learnt that week.
Just start somewhere….
My first step in beginning a home practice was to set up my own space. It was just in my spare room. Then, I picked a time that I knew I would do it- first thing in the morning (I am one of those morning people!), and begun with a simple sun salutation- short and sweet, about 10 mins or so. Other tools I utilised were you tube video’s and some yoga DVD’s as a prompt to follow when I felt tired or lacked motivation. After a while my home practice got longer and longer, included more than one day per week and started to really compliment my regular weekly class. I felt amazing and motivated. I enjoyed the freedom I had of learning from my teacher (and other sources) and then adapting this to my own body. I gained a deeper understanding and connection with self that has stayed with me and continues to this day. It is what prompted me to teach others. Yoga is what keeps me balanced through the journey that is life. These days, as a yogi mum I am grateful that yoga is there when I need it and at the time I need it. I don’t always have the time for a leisurely practice- but I have a space at my home and private yoga retreat (Soulful Yoga Studio) in Alligator Creek, Townsville QLD, and I just start with what I need on that particular day. I find it essential to my sanity!
You can achieve this too, all you need to do is start. Here is a link to a home practice video on my Soulful Yogi Mumma Channel on You Tube…
Be patient and just practice, that is all you need to do. It is as simple as the famous quote from Pattabhi Jois…. ‘do your practice and all is coming.’ Goodluck and Namaste ox