Want to Start your Own Daily Yoga Practice?
October 13th, 2010 by admin
The benefits of doing our own practice are only revealed when you “get on your mat”. The simple act of contemplating this can often reveal key pieces to help self understanding. This naturally leads to a deeper connection with yourself, the world and other people. Connection is what it is all about really. Connection with yourself is where it all starts.
In this article, I present some ideas that may help you to “get on your mat”.
When to practice
This is an individual choice. It depends on your daily schedule. Early morning provides a good opportunity to set you up for a connected start for the rest of the day. However, having said that, if you do shift work that requires you to start early in the morning, you may prefer to schedule in your practice at the end of your work. Probably best to experiment with this and find the time that suits you most.
Length of Practice
Decide on the time that you have available and the time that you want to commit to your practice. If it is daunting, choose a short time, for example, 5 or 10 minutes a day. If you are practicing in the morning, this simply requires you to get out of bed 5 to 10 minutes earlier! Check out your ENSO Pearl clock to see the time you start, and decide that you will not get off your mat until 5/10 minutes (or however long your have decided) have elapsed.
What do I do on my mat?
- Apart from the basic principles of alignment and ease, there is no right or wrong way to doing yoga. Your yoga might look like a dance; you might be completely at rest throughout your practice; you might follow your body to lead you through a series of traditional yoga poses or you may choose a sitting meditation.
- The important thing is to “get on your mat”.
- You do not need to have an idea of what you are going to do in your practice before you get on your mat. You may remember one or more poses from your yoga class or a yoga book. Choose one, two or three poses that you particularly enjoy. This is a good way to start your practice.
- You may have noticed that certain poses/movements that you have done in your yoga class, are challenging or tricky. This is another indication of what you can do in your practice that might be useful.
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Complete Spinal curls (see Donna Farhi’s book below for detail) - Consider how you feel at the time. Are you feeling energized or tired? Adapt your yoga practice to suit you – as you are at the time. Our daily lives are often very busy and frantic. One way to deal with this is to use your yoga practice to rest and restore your energy reserves. There are many great restorative poses including lying with your legs up the wall, childs pose. If you are still not sure what to do, then one great pose to do is Cat pose. As well as the traditional cat pose, where you arch and dip your back in rhythm with your breath, there are many variations to Cat pose. It is as simple as being on all fours and moving your body as you feel.. This includes sideways movements, movements of the leg, shifting your weight from limb to limb). The list is endless and only limited by your imagination!
- If this is where you stop, then wonderful! Congratulate yourself on having “got on your mat”… and enjoy moving into your day knowing that you have moved your body, in particular your spine, which can only benefit your health and well being today.
- If you have more time, then follow your body. Keep asking yourself “How do I feel now? What does my body/mind want/need to support itself?
Review and notice
- Take the time to notice how you feel after you have practiced yoga. Notice how your day goes, your physical comfort and experiment with increasing the length of time you spend on your mat.
For principles of yoga, detailed explanation of individual postures (asanas) and suggested sequences, see Donna Farhi’s book “Yoga, Mind, Body & Spirit – A Return to Wholeness”.