Thursday, December 11, 2008

Creating an Inspired Home Practice

How would you describe your home practice? (or the home practice you want to have...) Is it fun? Exciting? Something you look forward to doing each day? Or is it something you feel you should do? The first step to creating an inspired practice is to make sure your reasons are coming from within, the deeper within the more inspired your practice will be. Whenever you feel a “should” come on, your motivation is coming from without. (I feel there is a subtle, and powerful, difference between motivation and inspiration. You can read more here.)

Yoga is so much more than simply a physical practice. You can use a yoga practice to develop yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, as well as physically. The most important step to take when you are considering beginning a home practice or changing the one you have is deciding why you want to practice. Be honest with yourself. If your reason comes from deep within, you will have an inspired practice, and you will be excited to get to your mat. Be sure it is what you want, not want you feel you should be doing! Your reasons can be anything from strengthening the core to getting off your anti-depressant medicine to relaxing your nervous system, to enlightenment. Whatever your reason, if it is truly yours, you will be much more likely to stick with the practice. Your reasons will keep you coming back to the mat.

Once you know why you want a practice, plan the poses around that intention. If you want to create more calm in your life, restorative, forward folds and longer Savasanas are appropriate. If you want to build stamina and core strength, standing poses and strength building poses are what you need. If you aren’t sure what poses will fit your intentions, email me. I am happy to direct you to the poses you want.

Then, to keep your inspiration, be open to changing the focus of your practice. Most likely, your reason will change periodically which will often change the focus of your practice. Flow with it and be flexible. And enjoy your inspired practice!


Flo said...

Home practice...such a difficult thing for me even though it is what I must doe (considering it is an hour drive to the closest studio that I love to practice at)
I travel there at least once a week to get the right instructions and adjustments.
However, developing a home practice has been an obstacle for me, just an iternal debate I guess.

The home practice I am trying to cultivate is a solid foundation to my day. I have a prettn insane job, I work from about 7:45 am until 6:00 in the evening with an hour commute each way.
So starting my day with yoga helps to build a foundation for a balanced day. If I get through my Asana Practice, some meditation and reading of the Sutras then I can continue my day a little more calm and come home to my husband for dinner and time together.
However, I find when I do not get my practice in everything is off balance and shifted (which has been lately due to exhaustion)
I started the yoga practice mainly for physical advancement, however, the spirtual foundation of the Ashtanga Yoga method has reall given me such a good positive foundation to help share love and light.
I need to find the best way to balance it all though...Yoga, Work, Sleep and my husband! :)

I am really enjoying your blog.
Om shanti

Laura said...

Flo, What dedication you have! To get up as early as you do for such a long day...congratulations. Exhaustion can be tricky. Find ways to fit in bits of yoga to your day at work. Doing down dog on your desk may not be necessary (you can see the photo of THAT one here: but you can do many things throughout your day to fit in the calming benefits of yoga poses. Also be sure that hour long ride in your car is inspired by listening to good things on CDS or tapes! So glad you enjoying reading the blog. Thanks for your comment!

Flo said...

Oh My! I think my boss would fall over if he walked in seeing me do down dog on my desk like that. But it would definitly be unforgetable!
I am going to download some new podcass to keep my commute light and uplifting; thanks for a great idea!!:)