Just finished reading the article on Think Outside the Studio:Guide to Starting a Home Yoga Practice and would like to share some of the interesting points from it.
A good reason to have a home yoga practice is that you do not have to fight traffic to reach your class on time as twenty minutes of yoga at home is often more beneficial than driving, parking and paying to practice for an hour at a studio.
Comments from Rodney Yee, a 25-year yoga veteran on home yoga practice.
"Nothing replaces the home practice," "Listening is the practice of yoga; it's so important to go into your own body and ask it to be your teacher. It is a time when you can find your own rhythm. It is where the genuine knowledge arises. "Going to classes has many benefits, of course," he acknowledges, "but I have observed time and time again that it is when people start to practice at home that the real insights occur."
When I teach classes, I can tell just by watching who is practicing at home and who is not," says Yee. "People who are not practicing at home simply try to fit their bodies into my instructions as if they were following orders .... They are concerned mainly with whether they are doing it 'right.' But people who are practicing at home are inquisitive about instructions and test them out in their own bodies, asking themselves, 'How does this feel?'"
At home, you can to learn to listen to what your body needs that day, move at your own pace and develop intuition about what sequences or kinds of yoga poses you want and need to do most on any given day.
Rodney Yee also gave this piece of advice.
"As you practice your first poses on your own, try to cultivate an attitude of playfulness and acceptance," says Yee. "Being present during your practice means allowing yourself to be aware of whatever physical sensations, emotions and thoughts are currently arising. Be creative and spontaneous. If you approach your practice with a sense of curiosity, rather than self-judgment or competitiveness, you will find it easier to motivate yourself to practice — and you'll be more present when you do practice."
Having learned the importance of a home yoga practice, I am trying to build up my own home yoga practice as I am only going to private classes 2 days a week. I am still waiting for Be Yoga Sanctuary to open (heard from Azmi that the studio will only be opening in March 2009), I still need to go to a studio for an energetic workout. I have been doing a 30-minute routine before I go to bed. I normally do some hip and shoulder opening poses such as legs-up-the-wall pose, reclining big toe pose, reclining bound angle pose. I find that I am able to sleep much better after I do the yoga practice as these are restorative poses and help to calm the mind.
Click here to read an article on home practice from Yoga Journal.