Happy September and happy back-to-school time! It’s so wild to see the rise in class participants in my yoga classes as we head into September. It seems like no matter what kind of work we are engaged in we still carry that mentality of getting back into our regular routine once September rolls around. But truthfully, you can recommit to your yoga practice any time you want – you don’t have to wait for the back to school energy or the beginning of the new year to give you kick in the tush.
Recommitting to your practice could mean getting to class on a regular basis; it could mean finding an online class to do at home (yogaanytime, yogaglo, yoga international are some good online resources); it could also mean trusting in your body to guide you through a gentle or simple home practice that you design based on your needs.
My own yoga practice took on a much deeper meaning when I started practicing at home. Between poses that I remembered from classes I had taken, a couple of books that I had on yoga, Yoga Journal articles, and my own intuition, I was able to sustain – even deepen – my practice. Developing my own home practice taught me to listen more acutely to what my body actually needed, rather than rely on what my mind thought I should try or do. It also helped me to develop my awareness as I was responsible for my body as both the teacher and the student - there was no room to tune out - I had to be super tuned in to what I was doing, and why, and what I was experiencing so that I could keep myself safe.
Through my home practice I was able to develop a pre-audition and pre-performance practice that included asana, breathing, and visualization that guided me through many many auditions and performances. And, it supported me profoundly when my dad passed away. What a gift it was to get on my mat, and feel the feelings; to either feel the movement of my body and the movement of my breath with those feelings, or to simply be still with everything that was going on within me. And what an empowering revelation to me to know that I could choose what my practice might be based on how I was feeling.
Just like there is no one way to practice yoga, there is no one way to develop your own home practice. If you’ve been practicing a while you probably know several poses pretty well. You could pick your 3 favorite and do them 2-3 times a week. You could also think about how you want to feel at the end of your practice and work backwards: if you want to feel energized or open hearted, maybe you focus on opening your chest and doing some backbends; if you want to feel grounded, focus on standing poses with slower transitions and seated poses; if you want to feel quiet and calm and centered, you might focus on a more gentle practice that includes seated poses like forward bends, or more of a restorative practice, or simply lie down in savasana.
Your home practice need not be long or complicated, but it should be all about you…for you.
If you are curious about designing your own home practice and need support, shoot me an email and we can set up a free 20 minute phone call to chat about it. And if you do have your own home practice, share some of your favorite practices (asana, breathing, meditation or otherwise) on our Yoga Bliss Facebook page.
Happy back to school – happy back to practice!
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