Last month I taught a workshop at Chi-Town Shakti about developing a home yoga practice and next month on Saturday, July 16th I’m sharing the same workshop (just slightly improved!) at Namaskar. Sign up here.
In the process of creating the workshop and diving into my own home practice I came up with a few tips and I hope they can help you. Tips, tricks, and perspectives can be helpful, but also know that your home practice will come together with time on your mat. There’s no replacement for trying things out to see what sticks and what fails.
Nonetheless, a few things to keep in mind:
- Home practice is different from going to a class. Not better, not worse, just different. You will be more successful if you think about it as a whole different activity, not just a back up when you can’t go to class. The type of self-directed home practice I’m talking about is also different from doing a podcast or a yoga DVD, although those things can be lovely too.
- Remember, a home practice moves at your pace. You get to check in regularly. How
many times have you heard a teacher talk about the impact/effects of a pose? Backbends are invigorating! Forward folds are relaxing! Side bends create more room for breath. This is your time to see if that’s true for you.
- Know your limits, practice carefully as you get to know yourself, and you’re unlikely to hurt yourself.Unless you have reason to believe you’re at a high risk of injury, don’t stress too much. Especially if you . . .
- Schedule a few 1:1 sessions with a trusted teacher as you get your home practice going. It can be an opportunity to ask about poses to include, alignment you’re unsure about, or just get advice on how to stay engaged.
- Pick at least one thing to be the same every session. It could be an having an object nearby like candles or crystals, using the same music, practicing at the same time of day, or for the same duration, or practicing the same asana, mantra, pranayama each time. My point is that your practice doesn’t need to be 100% identical every time you practice, but one touchstone can be helpful.
- Use a timer for your practice so you don’t need to check your phone or the clock throughout your practice. I have an app on my phone call “Meditation Timer” that lets me set a prep time (which I use for meditation), meditation time (which I use for asana), and rest time (savasana).