Christmas holidays, time for those two scary words: home practice (part two – suggestions).

So here we are, mid Christmas hols in Australia, relaxing, probably eating slightly more than we should, and alas, the yoga classes on offer are slim pickings. As I discussed in part one of this blog, home practice is the perfect remedy for this time of year, but for most, difficult to achieve.

From my personal experience, developing and maintaining a home practice is one of the hardest aspects of yoga, even as a yoga teacher. I can however, share a few things that I’ve found helpful.20141230-084444.jpg

As I mentioned in the previous blog, home practice is not just different in terms of the lack of guidance, it feels different as well. So right away, by simply acknowledging that home practice is a different beast than attending a class, you free yourself up from the need to make yoga at home anything like your regular class. That’s the best news, home practice has NO rules! You can take the time to delve into what feels most juicy in your own experience. You can move fluidly or hold postures for many breaths. You can do three postures and meditate for the rest of the time you have available. If you start practicing yoga and end up spontaneously dancing, that’s totally ok (this happens to me a lot).

What I really mean to say is that this is the perfect time to reflect on what aspects of yoga you really love, and start with those. If you love working up a sweat moving through fast vinyasa, start there. If you prefer gentle postures followed by a long pranayama (breathing) session, do that. It is essentially the love for whatever it is that keeps you going back to yoga classes that will drive your own personal practice.

Here are some more practical suggestions:

– Decide how much time you want to spend on your practice and stick to it (unless you have unlimited time and find yourself totally carried away in the moment!);
– If you can’t remember many postures, there are lots of online resources and short practices available in yoga magazines;
– Create a space that feels inspiring, whether that be a corner at home you can decorate with candles and play whatever music you like, or on the grass in the garden. You don’t even really need a mat for many postures! A friend of mine has been known to bust out an Ardha Chandrasana using kitchen pots as props!
– Keep in mind that no effort is wasted. Even a few minutes in gentle movement will improve your mobility, mental state, and connection with your body;
– Try to avoid using your positive intention to do some yoga at home as a way to beat yourself up for not doing enough over the holidays, they are supposed to be restful. If your yoga is sitting quietly for a few moments, then celebrate that as a yoga success.

20141230-084412.jpgStill don’t know where to start? Try standing up, stepping back from your chair and take a really simple Tree pose. Yes, stand on one leg, place your arms as you like. So there you are, doing yoga at home. Now feel into your body, what does it want to do next? On many days, that’s how it starts for me.

From my little yoga space at home, I’m wishing you happy holidays and a fruitful and juicy home practice 🙂

 

 

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