This is a letter I sent to yoga fundamentals students, May 27, 2020.
Hello Yoga Fundamentals Students!
This week’s theme is the Fundamentals of a Personal (or home) Yoga Practice.
establishing your home yoga practice
Finding consistency and sustainability means finding the enjoyment and repetition of the basics. Breath awareness, simple alignment, connecting to yourself and being in the present moment – we can take these tools throughout our day and lives and continue to build and refine them.
A quick mindful moment question – How have you practiced yoga outside of a typical in-studio class?
Since we all have had to practice social distancing (which really just means physical distancing) the landscape of yoga has changed dramatically. Studios and gyms have been closed, so people are having to find ways of practicing yoga on their own – via online classes or live classes. But there are times when you just really need all devices turned off so you can settle in for a yoga session. But – what to do, what to do?! Here are a few simple steps you can take for your self-guided practice:
nailing the basics
Practicing yoga doesn’t mean doing all the “glory” poses you might see out there on social media. A simple and disciplined approach that is balanced is better than an overly ambitious and/or sporadic practice. Less is more, so you can focus on quality over quantity. “Nailing the basics day in and day out” is a mantra I use for my personal training clients – which is a direct influence of my personal yoga philosophy!
take your time; be curious
Schedule and explore! Start with 1 x / week for 10 minutes and then build on from there. (Either frequency of sessions or increasing the time of the session, or both!) Only move on when you are ready to and not out of a need for “achievement.” We aren’t collectors of yoga poses, trying to “nail it.” Think instead: you’re just expanding out more to explore your body and it’s capacities. Be curious! Have fun!
honor your practice
Respect the time you’re dedicating to yourself. Block out the time on your calendar, show up for yourself, remove distractions or any obstacles so you can be fully on the mat. Have all props, ready. Set a timer if you’re limited on time. That way you won’t keep checking the clock.
read up on yoga things
Read and listen to blog posts or podcasts on yoga poses and yoga philosophy that translate well into everyday life. This will really help you stay inspired to practice and understand more of the WHY behind yoga.
take a moment before starting
Take a least a minute to sit quietly before and after practice. Or lie in savasana after practice. Including stillness helps to support a full yoga session that is truly dedicated to a humble, authentic experience.
Here are some common yoga categories of poses that you can include in your practice: standing poses, backbends, seated poses, twists, inversions, lying on the back.
find an anchor
Choose something that can help you return to to keep you in the present moment, in case the mind wanders. I like to use: the sounds around me, the sensation of the body connecting to the floor, the sensations of the breath and how it feels. Using an anchor point throughout the practice can really help you remain present.
Finally, listen and respond to the body, giving it what it truly needs.
See you next week!
RYT 500, NASM-CPTCollabFitness.com
“Thoughts are the sensations of the mind, just as sensations are the thoughts of the body. Each moment of your life is a moment of potential practice.”
-Dr. J. Lasater