Developing a Home Practice


ELEMENTS OF A PRACTICE

BACKGROUND
Our yoga practice is not just about the outer appearance and what others see, i.e. how flexible we are, or how long we can hold a posture i.e. the physical aspect. More important is how we feel the postures and the breath. Being present in them, being in our practice. The purpose is to find out about ourselves. Asana or posture means to sit, stay or to be established in a position. It is said to have the qualities of sthira (steadiness and alertness) and sukha (comfort and ease). So all these aspects should be incorporated. Better to do one or two postures giving them a great deal of attention & quality, than to do several postures in a hurry with little presence.
WHEN AND WHERE
•    Have a regular time & place. Keep that area clean & tidy
•    Make it special – light a candle or make a prayer or dedication

DESIGNING A SESSION
•    Begin where you are. Check in with yourself first. Notice how you are mentally, emotionally and physically & what you might need / what you need to take care of. If you are feeling low, avoid forward bends, tired use lying, restorative postures etc,.
•    If you’re feeling stiff, warm up and loosen the whole body at the start of a session eg using a standing dynamic Tai-Chi twist
•    Begin gently with the simplest poses – asanas that bend the body forward naturally, e.g. mountain pose, knees to chest, cat,dog, child, roll in and out of a standing forward bend
•    Do not start with demanding postures such as strong twists, inversions or backbends
•    Make sure you know a counterpose before you practice an asana
•    Use dynamic movements first to prepare & lessen risk of creating new areas of tension
•    When you hold the posture your breath is a good guide, do not strain
•    Practice the counterpose following the main asana
•    Make sure the counterpose is simpler than the main asana
•    Rest between postures when you feel tired or out of breath, go into stillness
Julie Stannard BWY Dip                                     Bibliograpphy: The Heart of Yoga TKV Desikachar

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