Creating an at-home yoga practice can be the best thing that you can do for your wellness.
Little did I know the power that it would give me when I started the journey back in 2008, but my daily yoga practice has been my life preserver through the tumultuous waters of life. I truly do not know what I would do without my daily at-home yoga practice. In fact I so deeply believe in the power of an at-home yoga practice, that it is the reason that I created my online yoga studio, My Happy Path.
A practice done at home on a consistent basis not only makes it easier to stay true to a daily routine, but it also allows a person to go deeper into the experience, with the lack of people and other disturbances present in studio classes. It also allows for a creation of connection to self that isn’t possible when utilizing a public space for yoga.
But there are a few aspects to creating a daily practice at home that should be kept in mind.
Here are 14 things I like my clients to stay aware of as they create and maintain that daily gift to self…here’s to your happiest, healthiest you!
~ Be kind to yourself. This is a time for you and is about listening to what your body needs that day…not what the teacher says. This is the time to practice truly listening to your unique needs.
~ If possible, try to create a regular time each day that give to your practice. It can be as little as two minutes, but doing those two minutes at the same time of the day, each day, does wonders for the inner psyche.
~ Choose a clean, flat, well-ventilated space, where you can practice undisturbed. Do not practice in direct sunlight or after having been in the hot sun for several hours.
~ Eliminate extra effort. Work the muscles necessary to hold the pose, but notice and relax any tension in the eyes, tongue, jaw, neck, throat, shoulders, and abdomen. Again…listen to your body.
~ Never assume anything! Look and adjust.
~ Go as far into the stretch as you can while maintaining correct alignment. It is ALWAYS much more beneficial to do the pose with correct alignment than to sacrifice the structure so that you appear to be stretching further. Work on the “edge” of your’ stretch, that is, feeling lots of sensation, but no pain. If you are complacent, changes will not occur. If you are overly ambitious, you may injure yourself.
~ If you feel an uncontrollable pain, slowly leave the pose, examine and adjust the pose to lessen the stretch. If you unable to relieve a persistent pain, seek the advice of your therapist or teacher.
~ You probably will notice that one side of your body does not respond as quickly as the other side. It is often helps to do a pose twice on your stiffer or weaker side since needs more care and attention to promote balance development. The poses you resist and avoid doing are likely to be the ones you need the most. In the beginning, it may be better to repeat a posture 3 times rather than holding for a longer time.
~ Build your knowledge and strength in the basic poses, especially the standing poses, before attempting more challenging poses.
~ One does not require props to practice yoga. However, in any location, there are usually many creative aids improve alignment and balance. The occasional use of a full-length mirror can be helpful but it must perpendicular to the floor and come down to the floor otherwise the view will be distorted.
~ Be curious and open to new experiences. Be willing to take a risk. Appreciate constructive criticism.
~ Expand your, knowledge of yoga by attending special workshops and reading some of the fine books that are available.
~ Be patient, compassionate, persistent and energetic. But at the same time, gentle and non-violent.
~ During menses, women should not practice inversions. This is a time for quiet, supported supine and forward bending poses.
For more detailed recommendations, please refer to Yoga: A Gem for Women by Geeta S. Iyengar.