Starting a Home Yoga Practice-Part 3

Today is all about sequencing your home yoga practice! And when it comes to how you want to yoga, you can’t mess it up! Ok … maybe you can if you try to stand on your head after drinking a smoothie, or you try to come in to a deep back bend like wheel first thing in the morning. Then you actually can mess it up. So, first things first, LISTEN to your body. And start thinking of your yoga practice more like a meditation practice. Yoga is physical and it can have some benefits of exercise, but it is not exercise. If you want an amazing workout, hit the streets with your running shoes or lift some weights at the gym. Start to think of your yoga practice as a wellness practice, for the entire body, a holistic practice. Now we can get started :)

How Much Time Do You Have to Practice?

Establish right away how long your practice will be. Then set a timer and put your phone away. If you are using your phone for music, put it on do not disturb and leave it on the other side of the room. How long you want to practice is entirely up to you! One practice is not better than the other because it is longer. Let is be sustainable. Do you have 5 min? Great! Do you have 60 min? Great! Choose an amount of time that feels good to you. Don’t rush it. If all you have is 7 minutes, do 7 minutes. Any yoga is better than no yoga. And if all you do is 3 min of seated meditation or a 3 min savasana, so be it!

Set Yourself Up For Success

Have all your props and goodies right next to you. Dress in layers if you need to. Have a blanket close by, and a water bottle. Light candles, get your incense going, and create your own mini sanctuary. Make sure you have everything you need, then step on to your mat. Think of your mat as your sacred space. Once you step on to your mat, your breath will change. Your mind will start to shift. If you create this anchor for yourself, it will increase the yoga magic. So have everything you need first before you get started. Oh, and maybe take a trip to the bathroom to go pee too. Nothing worse than having to pee 10 minutes in to your practice! Especially if it’s morning and you’ve just had some water, juice, or tea :)

Set Your Own Pace

Your practice can include anything you like. Try to form your sequence so it makes sense. You wouldn’t go from lying on your back to doing standing balances! Or you wouldn’t start with deep twists, you’d ease in to it until you felt ready. Rule of thumb for your practice, breathe to move. Start with your breath. This can be seated, standing, or lying down. Start to breathe first, establish a pattern of rhythm with your breath, and then start moving. Take as much time as you need to settle in to your breath, settle in to your mat, and arrive at your practice.

Move Intuitively

Most yoga classes are sequenced in a fairly classic way. You start down, work your way up to standing, move your way back down, and rest in savasana, possibly followed by seated meditation (I highly recommend this!).

What you do is entirely up to you. You can start standing and move right in to sun salutations. You can start on your back, do some stretches and twists, and make your way up to seated. You can do an entire practice on your mat and not stand up at all. Or you can do a mix. Start small. Little stretches and twists are a nice way to warm up. Then get bigger, with sun salutations. Make up your own sun salutations, why not! Remember, you can’t mess it up (within reason!). Stay with your breath. Let your body just start to move. If you need a tutorial on how to do a pose, look it up online. Yoga Journal has an entire yoga asana encyclopedia online. You can also find YouTube videos for just about every yoga pose out there. Do your research to set yourself up for success.

When you are ready to wind down your practice, do just that. Wind down in whatever way feels good. You can stretch, move through dynamic stretches, or do postures that are done low on your mat. There are no rules except the ones that feel good to you! If you want to do happy baby at the beginning of your practice instead of the end, go for it. If you want to do some low lunges at the end of your practice, go for it (these are usually integrated in the warm up or part of sun salutations, but they don’t have to be!). Move intuitively. This is what I LOVE about home practice the most. You just get to move. Make sure you are breathing first and foremost.

Just Start

Hop on your mat and get to practicing. Two minutes a day, if that’s all you have, is where you will start. Maybe you have 20 minutes one day and 50 another day. Go for it! Set yourself up to feel good instead of being hard on yourself. You DO NOT have to practice every day to be a yogi. You get to set the pace and consistency of your practice. No one else has a say in this. It’s YOUR practice, so enjoy it!

I can’t wait for you to get started!