It is so important to make sure that our home practice is just as sequenced as your practice at a studio/gym. I have students ask me all the time how to practice at home. It is easy, but it does require a bit of focus and dedication. So here are some helpful tips I think can get any yogi on track.
1. Make sure the space is free and clear of clutter! Mental and physical clutter. Do not have the TV going. Do not answer your cell phone! Wherever the space is making sure it is welcoming and inviting to your practice. Make sure to have everything you need with you. (i.e., strap, block, blanket, mat) Think of your entire practice as an essay. You have the introduction, the body or meat, and then the closing, you want to make sure you have done all the necessary prep work before starting.
2. Set your Intention! No matter where you practice, you need to set your Intention. What brought you to the mat today? What would you like to get or give today? What do you need to become a better person on and off the mat? Whatever the reason for rolling out your mat, set a promise to make it through that practice. When we set a goal, we work hard to reach it. If we just start from nowhere, we will never make it anywhere.
3. Start with the basics!!!! SUN SALUTATION (Surya Namaskar) of course. Maybe you are not ready to build your very own sequences, that is okay. The best place to start is with the start of it all. Surya Namaskar is the start of every class, in every style! The instructor may tweak a few here is and there is but for the most part it is here that the body first meets the mat.
4. Peak pose! We all have an asana (pose) that we want to master, or just be able to handle. With every practice unless you are doing Ashtanga, you can pick a pose to focus on. Maybe today you are into Lord of the Dance pose, make sure that after your Sun Salutations that you start a build up to your peak pose. Go through a variety of asanas that will assist you to get into the peak of your practice. You must know these build up poses to get to the peak (unless you are using a video for aid). This is usually of body or meat of your practice.
5. Close your practice! No matter how long you practice, you must close it. Start with a cool down. Poses that allow the body to melt into the earth. Connect back with the quiet of you breathe and start to really release and relax into Savasana (Corpse Pose). Embrace this pose for at least 4 minutes. Once you have really enjoyed and refreshed yourself after the practice, reconnect back with the breath, the air fulling your lungs, and reactive your toes, fingers, & eyes. Roll over into a fetal position and rise up into any sitting position that is welcoming to your body at that time. Close with another recognition of your intention set. Inhale a sense of peace for your practice and your body. Smile your alive!
This is just a helpful tip to start or maintain a beautiful home practice!
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