How to Establish Your Home Yoga Practice: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Try Jason Crandell's New Twist on Twists

Looking back, I realised I had expectations that were not being met. I expected to have a yoga practice just like at the studio, the same physical practice, the same ambiance, the same nourished feeling. Allow yourself to hold space for yourself, review how you feel before and after practice. Basically, drop the expectations of what you think a practice looks and feels like.

A practice can consist of breathing techniques only, asana only holding and stretching postures , meditation only or a combo of all! A practice can be interrupted by a dog or a screaming child. In fact, this would test how quickly you can return to your practice state of mind after tending to them. This would enhance your meditation skills!

How to Start an At-Home Yoga Practice

You can practice to heavy metal or any music of your choice really. Also can be translated to, how do you handle life when everything is not going as planned. Start with a check in — sit or lay down and feel into your mind and body, where may need extra attention today. Do you need a longer meditation practice? Move onto stirring up the heat within the body sun salutations, standing and balance postures.

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Meditation integrate and neutralise the energies, concentration on breath travelling in and out of the body. We can lock in a private session and I can give you specific stretches that you can develop on certain areas of the body.

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If you are wanting to develop more advanced postures you will need particular areas of the body strengthened or perhaps more mobile to be able to open up there. Do you prefer to practice intuitively on the mat, listen to the body and feel what it needs for that day? Standing poses create strength, stamina, and flexibility throughout the entire body.

They work the major muscle groups, such as the quadriceps, gluteals, hamstrings, and core. Standing poses often precede backbends, twists, and forward bends in a sequence because they are so efficient at preparing your body for these poses. The Approach: It's a good idea to include at least four standing postures in each sequence.

There are various ways to organize the order of the postures you choose, but a tried and true method is to select poses whose actions complement each other. Another method is to tailor the standing poses in relation to the postures you will be doing later. For example, if you want to focus on twists in your practice, you could choose to do standing postures that include twists, like Revolved Triangle Pose and Parivrtta Parsvakonasana Revolved Side Angle Pose.

Getting upside down is a key element of a well-rounded practice. Adho Mukha Vrksasana Handstand , Forearm Balance, and Salamba Sirsasana Headstand stretch and strengthen the upper-body and facilitate circulation in the upper extremities.

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These poses are stimulating to the nervous system and are physically demanding; thus they can be the energetic peak of your practice. While Shoulderstand is an inversion, it is a much less vigorous and less heating pose, so in this sequence it is practiced at the end with the closing postures. The Approach: If you're not familiar with these inversions, it's important to learn them under the guidance of an experienced teacher before practicing them at home.

Depending on your time, strength, and comfort level, you can repeat Handstand and Forearm Balance a few times. If you're practicing Headstand, do it once per practice and stay as long as you are comfortable. Along with inversions, backbends form the peak of the intensity curve in this sequence, since these are demanding postures that require a strong degree of effort.

Backbends stretch the front of the body, strengthen the back of the body, and balance the effects of time spent sitting in chairs. Most people find backbending postures stimulating, so you might choose to emphasize backbends in your practice if you want a burst of physical and mental energy. Since prone postures strengthen and warm your spinal muscles, they are good preparation for supine face-up poses, such as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana Bridge Pose , which create a greater range of movement in the shoulders, spine, and hips.

It's a good idea to repeat each pose two or three times, since most bodies will require a few rounds to open completely. Twists relieve tension in the spine, hips, and shoulders, and they gently stretch your hips and shoulders. These poses usually produce a balanced energetic tone that is closer to the grounding quality of forward bends than the stimulating nature of backbends. Placing them between backbends and forward bends in a sequence helps the spine to transition between these two extremes. The Approach: Twists encompass a broad spectrum of postures, including reclined, seated, standing, and inverted variations.

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In a well-balanced sequence like the one below, it is nice to include two to four twists. If you include standing twists like Revolved Triangle Pose or Revolved Side Angle Pose, do them first; standing twists are good preparation for seated twists.

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When you practice seated twists, begin with a mild, accessible twist like Bharadvajasana Bharadvaja's Twist before proceeding to more intense twists like Marichyasana III Marichi's Pose. If you're looking for a long, slow, soothing twist that will settle your energy and relax your nervous system, you might choose to practice a reclined twist here. Forward bends typically have a calming effect on the mind, emotions, and nerves, which is why they're often practiced toward the end of a sequence.

These postures facilitate deep relaxation by stretching the muscles of the back and decreasing the stimulation of the sensory organs. The Approach: When choosing forward bends, it's ideal to pick at least one posture that stretches the hamstrings, like Janu Sirsasana Head-of-the-Knee Pose , and one that opens the outer hips, like Cross-Legged Forward Bend. This will promote greater balance in your body by creating more range of movement in both regions.

Settle in to both postures for 8 to 10 slow, smooth, relaxed breaths.

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  4. Closing postures complete a sequence by quieting the mind and relaxing the body. While opening postures focus on waking up the body and generating momentum for the practice to come, the closing postures help you surrender and absorb the practice. The Approach: To get the full benefit, you'll want to spend at least 6 to 10 minutes total in these calming postures. There are four basic types of closing postures: Salamba Sarvangasana Supported Shoulderstand , restorative poses, seated meditation, and Savasana Corpse Pose. You don't have to include each type in a single sequence though if you did Headstand earlier, it's a good idea to include Shoulderstand as a closing posture since the two poses complement each other.

    And whether you include any other closing postures in your sequence, ending your practice by lying quietly in Savasana is a must. Strengthen the intensity of your practice. You may want to strengthen the intensity of your practice as you become comfortable with your routine. This can be done easily by holding each pose a little longer and by challenging yourself to sink deeper into challenging poses.

    Poses that involve lunges or squats can be taken a bit lower. You can increase the speed of transitions between asanas to create more intensity.

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    4. Increase the frequency of your practice. One of the best ways to deepen your yoga practice is to increase the number of days you practice. You can safely build up to days per week. Integrate new goals. If you started doing yoga with a single goal—to become healthy or to find a mindful way to de-stress—try integrating another purpose into your practice. If you have been focusing on either the body or the mind, try to start focusing on the body and the mind together. You may want to add chanting or meditation to your practice to help you focus more deeply on your practice.

      Attend an intermediate or advanced yoga class. Checking in with an instructor in a class once you're ready to move from beginner to intermediate home practice can be the best way to be sure that you are practicing yoga correctly. Ensuring that you are doing each pose correctly can help prevent any strain or stress in your body.

      Be patient and stick with it. Yoga has countless benefits and with a regular practice you can reap them. Keep in mind that yoga is not about whether or not you can do a particular pose exactly like the person on a video or in a picture. It's about the journey towards the pose, enlightenment, or whatever your goal is. Keep an open mind and heart at all times. The best place to do yoga is in an open space with a lot of fresh air to breathe.

      A terrace is a good place to do yoga--much better than a closed room. Yes No. Not Helpful 2 Helpful I am years-old. Do yoga with parents or just download videos or yoga apps. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Will beginner yoga practice without a trainer cause any breathing problems? Yoga is not strenuous. It calms the heart and lungs. Just breathe in, counting "one one thousand, two one thousand" and breathe out to "three one thousand, four one thousand. Not Helpful 5 Helpful If you don't know yoga, the best idea is joining classes, but seeing videos can also help you.

      Not Helpful 3 Helpful Not Helpful 0 Helpful 4. You should buy a yoga mat. Iif you can't do that, then do yoga without one or use a thick blanket. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 7. A general rule of thumb is to try it in the morning before work, or the evening before before.