Part 2 on Building a Home Practice.  There are many ways to practice; here are just a few suggestions on figuring out “what” to practice:

  • Pick 2-3 poses to work on (your favorites, or ones that you’d benefit from, or my favorite: some combination of the two)
  • Write down a handful of poses after class, practice them at home for that week or that month
  • Online sequences on yoga journal, http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/home_practice
    https://yogainternational.com/topic/practice
  • Videos: library; online: myyogaonline.com, yogaglo.com, youtube videos, others
  • Books: Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar, many others
  • Or simply add yoga to other exercise – sun salutations as a warmup works great for many exercises.  And/or do a couple yoga poses for post-exercise stretching/cooldown (or practice afterward just to benefit from having your muscles warmed up already)

It’s OK to try poses you’ve never done before in a class, but pay close attention to how you feel – especially if you experience pain that’s ‘sharp,’ or any feeling in a joint such as knee or shoulder, then come out.  If you have questions about a pose, ask your teacher. Some poses are better to learn with a teacher: any inversions or ‘upside down’ poses, any poses where you are weight bearing on shoulders, neck or head – please try these with an experienced teacher first.

Consider adding a moment of closed eyes and deep breath to the start and end of your practice (even if that’s just 2 poses) – this simple gesture can create a little space for your practice and allow you to mentally arrive on your mat.

There are many many ways to practice, so try one for a bit, then mix it up.  And feel free to ask your teacher, s/he is very likely willing to work with you on questions and to have suggestions on how to build your home practice.

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