Yoga classes are often the first part of a yoga practice, and they can be an important anchor for the practice and source of community. But practicing at home can be a powerful way to supplement your classes, to keep your body’s and your mind’s momentum moving toward greater flexibility and health.
Here are 7 suggestions from Kim, Fay, Laura, Kate, and Mid, to help keep your yoga practice rolling between classes. .
* I like to keep in mind that I really do have wisdom in my body. Each morning as I am waiting for my coffee, I sit on the floor with my feet together and knees apart. I fold over into a Yin (surrendering) posture called butterfly, I let my upper body fold over my lower body and close my eyes and just breath. I stay for a few minutes and center myself for the day. I try and just notice what is happening in the moment. After this pose I may do another few and end with a nice down dog. All of this takes just a few minutes and it really makes my day become embodied….Kim
* Don’t try to do too much. If you can remember 2 or 3 poses that you can do, instead of trying to do everything and then becoming discouraged because you didn’t get a whole practice in. Knock out a down dog, do a twist in your office chair, or lean over the kitchen counter. Just do a little! Don’t do nothing just because you can’t get a whole practice in!. ...Fay
* Look up, at the trees, at the sky. Just bring yourself back to the present moment, by looking up. When I do this, it interrupts the chatter of my mind. …Fay
* Even when you’re not on your yoga mat, follow your exhales to the end. Paying close attention to them triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, so that your mind and body relax and become more focused. This helps me during the week to maintain the level of awareness I have during a yoga class. If I can keep that level of awareness in my day to day life it helps my practice on the mat (and it actually makes me easier to get along with! :>). It even helps skiing…when I follow my exhales I become more focused on the terrain. ….Kate
* Allow yourself the least intimidating amount of time whatever is realistic for you. Set your cell phone clock alarm for just a few minutes and when it’s up, feel good that you’ve honored your commitment . …Laura
* Fit just a sliver of space or time into your daily routine – a minute of seated breathing in your favorite chair after you get up, child’s pose before getting into bed. As an experiment, make this daily sliver a part of your life for a while, and see what happens. Don’t sweat it if you miss a day or so. Persistence is what pays, not perfection. …Mid
* Surf the web for yoga videos you can follow along with. Don’t feel badly if you don’t practice it right away. You’ll learn something by searching, and the videos you find will still be there when you’re ready to do a home practice. Yoga Journal’s YouTube channel is a good place to start, and I also like iHanuman and YogaGlo…Mid