Establishing your own personal yoga practice as a yogi is one of the most beneficial things that I would consider something of a rite of passage for a true professional. By the time you decide to set up your personal practice, you will have learned to develop better frequency and consistency in your practice, listen and respond to your body, and move at your own pace. This guide sets out the benefits of having a personal yoga practice as well as how to set it up. Read on for more:
Your own practice means that you do not have a strict routine as you can do as little or as much you want. You get to decide what’s best for you depending on your schedule or personality. For instance, if you have a long lunch break, then perhaps mid-day is the best time for your yoga, or if you are a morning person you could decide to have your morning routines soon as you wake up. With your own routine, you do not have to set massive goals as you could decide on anything from an hour a day or just five minutes.
You can Get Indulgent and Creative
With a home practice, it is possible to get creative and have your daily dose of yoga without needing to follow a routine. Since it’s up to you, you can decide to just sit and breath for five minutes, or have a ten-minute session of slow breathing and stretching as long as you make it a meditative and mindful experience.
Moreover, creativity is not only for those days when you are not feeling like having a normal routine. With your own practice, you can listen, explore, and experiment with different asanas and taking in all the nuances which may be hard to do in a group setting.
Self-knowledge and Self Help
Having the opportunity to practice on your own makes it easy to self-sooth and self-regulate. When you are practicing yoga on your own, you can pay more attention to how your body and mind reacts to the asanas and change and adapt for better effect. The more you practice on your own, the better you will know what works emotionally, physically, and mentally, thus making your sessions more effective.
Regular practice at home means that you can practice more often on poses that you like. Since you have the opportunity for regular practice, you can build on what you did in the previous session rather than have to go forward if you were in a regular class session. The consistent practice means you can grow very fast, particularly if you decide to be systematic in your learning.
Now that you know the benefits of having a home yoga practice this is how you set it up:
Create a Space
One of the biggest obstacles people usually have is finding the space to set up, given that many believe that yoga requires privacy, solitude, and some space. However, this is not always the case as you can have a great practice session anywhere in your house as long as you get the space to throw your mat on the floor. As for quiet and solitude, what matters is not the physical space but rather the mind space, which you can easily create with awareness and breathing exercises. Some experiments you could try out to increase awareness include having an image, some incense, music, and a few candles.
Just like anything in life, you have to prepare ahead if you want your home yoga practice to be successful. However, this will require relatively less hassle. Some things you could do to prepare include:
– Doing your school work early, laundry, grocery shopping or anything that may interfere with your schedules.
– As for the yoga itself, you need to pick out your outfits the night/day before, have your mats rolled out, and write down the poses that you will be performing.
Set a Time Frame
Given that there is no one to tell you when to stop or how long to go for, you need a way to regulate your practice. I have always found that the best way to do this is by setting a timer so that I can enjoy and relax into the asana without having to look up to the clock or check my watch. Given how intuitive our smartphones are, you can easily set timers for when to change into a Savasana and when to stop. Smartphones are also great for timing practice sessions as they have a variety of gentle tones that will be a good fit for your personal yoga practice.
Choose Poses You Love
One of the best ways to build a consistent home practice is by going for poses that you can do well and love. Start with five or six poses that you feel like doing anytime anywhere you roll out your mat, and incorporate these into your home practice while working your way onto more complex poses. The simpler these are, the more enjoyment and satisfaction you will get from your practice. The key is to find a fine balance between what you are good at and what you want to get good at.
How to Keep Your Motivation
Anyone can set up a yoga practice, but keeping at it is the bigger challenge. Here is how you should do it:
1. If you intend to practice early in the morning, you will have to sleep fifteen minutes earlier so that you can get your seven hours of sleep and do your yoga before starting your day.
2. If there is any activity that does not add any value, it would serve you to cross it out of your calendar so that it does not interfere with your practice.
3. Have an accountability partner who you practice with so that you can encourage each other to hit the mat even on days when you do not feel like it.