yoga seeds #25 – A home practice – 2/ What do I do?

There are many approaches to building a sequence, so the question is very legitimate! If you’re regularly attending someone’s class, your body has very probably already internalized some of their sequences. A possible approach is to just let your body lead you. It is likely that it remembers more than your mind. That’s how I started practising at home :) You could also decide beforehand what you’re going to do, based on how you feel or on a certain long-term focus that you’re working on. Start your session connecting to your breath, make it balanced by including the five movements of the spine -forward bend, backbend, side bend, twist and elongation (this one should be there transversally, in everything)- and finish lying down to relax and integrate (savasana). If you’re working on an asana, you can approach its component parts in the previous asanas, starting with the least challenging . I try to signpost my classes, so that you know what each thing is for. My intention is that, with time, you can play with these building blocks yourself and combine them in different ways. Give it a go! You might be surprised how much you’ve already in-corpo-rated.

Thanks to all my students at Yoga Hub Berlin, who inspire me with their practice.

Visit the Yoga Seeds index to go straight to what you’re looking for.

yoga seeds #22 – Home practice – 1/ Home!

Rebecca, who is the karma yogi at the reception desk on Saturdays suggested the other day that I address the topic of developing a home practice. A great idea! In fact so great and big, that I will be covering it in different posts, not necessarily one after the other.

I like to call it home practice, even if we are talking about practising in a hotel, on the beach or hidden in one of the many dead-end corridors of an airport (yes, I’ve done it!), because I like to think of my practice as coming home. Coming home as in returning to a place where you can be exactly how you are in the moment and give yourself whatever it is that you’re needing. I once heard that,

rolling out the mat is the most difficult asana

I know the feeling! So what I do is make this “asana” easier by meeting myself exactly where I am. If I’m all agitated and speedy, I don’t start with stillness, even though that’s where I ultimately need and want to go to. I would need too much effort to bring the speed down to zero all at once. So instead I start with something closer to my energy level (some rounds of no-pause sun salutations, cat-cows, or even dancing!) and let the deceleration offer itself. Likewise in the other direction. If I feel stagnant I will begin by lying down and doing very minimalistic things (twist the head to the sides for several breaths, rock in happy-baby pose, reclined twist fanning the arm that’s far from the legs on the floor like a wing…). I will repeat until I feel the wish to do something else and that slowly starts to pick the energy up – even if that means staying on the ground! To encourage yourself to roll out the mat, make it feel like home. Rather than thinking about what you “should” or “must” do, think about what will make you feel at home, exactly as you are there and then. And see where it takes you!

Do you have any specific questions about your home practice? Do send them to me here!

Thanks to all my students at Yoga Hub Berlin, who inspire me with their practice.

Visit the Yoga Seeds index to go straight to what you’re looking for.

in your own time

mf – algarve 2005

Beginnings and ends make us aware of change and time. Perhaps it’s the beginning of the new calendar year that has prompted me to focus on the tempo of my practice. If you’re looking for some ideas for your home practice, this could be it! In led classes, the tempo will be an average of what the teacher sets and what the whole group can do, but when you’re practising alone you’re free to choose your own timing – and this opens up some very juicy possibilities! Read on for some suggestions.


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