Summer is here and yoga schools have less classes or no classes at all so they can have their holidays. But what is going to happen with your practice?
It is really useful to allow your body to rest but is also a good opportunity to establish a self practice at home. In the first few years of practicing yoga you usually have the feeling of absolutely needing the teacher, and this is right, but self practice at home has other benefits and it is good to be done. Almost from the beginning i encourage my students to start this process, even a short practice of 5 minutes from what they have learned, for example the sun salutations are a full practice by itself.
People that practice yoga know that the hardest part is to place your mat on the floor. To make the decision to start. But if you finally do it the result will pay you back, physically and mentally.
There are some tips that will help you start:
1) Create your own sacred space.
First of all you have to decide where you will practice, choose the spot and decorate it! The space must be inspiring for you and inviting you to practice, so spend some time with the details that will make your enviroment more beautiful. For example i really like to have flowers. Decide the spot that you will place your mat and to which direction you will look, you can put some candles or incense sticks, or you can choose the music you want to listen, or put a painting that you like, or even a gift from a friend that loves you and has his positive energy. If you use props place them near you so you won’t be looking for them when you are practicing. Keep the space clean and tidy. It is the sacred space that will host your future practices, your daily date with yourself. Take care of it as it deserves it!
2) Put the practice on schedule.
Decide what time exactly you will practice, as if you were going to the yoga studio and you know the exact time of the day that you have a class. If you don’t commit to a schedule you will probably all the time leave it for later. Find a time that is suitable and also your body likes, for example don’t torture yourself with early morning practices if you know that they don’t suit you. It is perfect to be able to choose the most suitable time of the day for you!
3) Organize your practice.
If you are practicing ashtanga things are easier because you already have a plan, there are already specific series of postures, but if you don’t you should define what you will practice, a number of asanas with a specific order. Sun salutations is always a good way to start and then some asana that you like and some that you dislike. As your practice goes on this list will change through the flow of the practice, because your body knows much more things than you think. Of course you can always take advices from your teacher, ask him to help you with what is suitable for you to start!
4) Time to practice.
This is the hardest part for most of the people. Everything is ready, and you, are you ready? Thoughts lke “i will start in a bit, i have time, there is a work that needs to be done or today i am tired” is these that you have to work with. We all face them i must say… Don’t sabotage yourself! Place your mat on the floor and say i will take only one breath, it won’t be just one i can assure you! Once you step on the mat and start breathing concioussly slowly your body will start to flow and your mind will follow, just place the mat on the floor!!!
5) Sales are over.
This is a situation that is so much fun if you observe it. With all my friends or students that i have discussed it they think of the same things. So you start practicing and it goes like this ” i will only do the sun salutations” you finish them and you say “ok a little bit more, or maybe i will stop, or maybe just another posture” and this dialogue can continue through your whole practice… and now the real yoga begins! Observe it and face it! Be conciouss for the repeated patterns that take place on your mind and observe them like you are someone else, another person. Do as much of your practice you can that day but stop the bargain. You can!
6) Share it with a friend.
Encourage a friend to do the same. So like this you will have persuade another person to do something good for himself and you will have company. You can share your everyday experiences, exchange questions, and encourage each other. Sharing is always beautyful!
Practicing at home is an amazing tool, it is always there for you, and is a huge mirror of yourself. There that there is nobody to push you, to pamper you, to add some pressure… There that you are only with your own energy, there you really start to listen and feel, you really tune in.. Yoga is like learning to speak a foreign language and of course you need someone to teach you, to guide you, but you must learn to speak by yourself, only you can hear you trully! Have a good practice!