Cultivating an At-Home Practice

Last week was tough at work. I wasn’t able to make it to any of my usual classes. As a result, I resolved myself to start a stronger at-home practice. This past Monday morning I woke up with the intention of getting started and with my family still asleep, I rolled out my yoga mat in the living room and tried something new. I have practiced at home before, but I always used videos (mostly led my teachers with whom I have practiced in the real world). What I would like to do is get to a place where I can follow my own sequence. I am by no means trying to start from scratch. I have a book on Yoga Sequencing (as seen above) and used it as my guide. But even with that, it was hard. When it suggested starting with a Sun Salutation, repeating three times, was I meant to do it three times on each side? It seemed like a lot. But you wouldn’t do it twice on one side and only once on the other. And then when I was time to try some of the other postures, I had a hard time flowing smoothly from one to the other.

Later that morning, when I finally sat down in front of my computer, I found two blog posts about this very subject waiting for me in my inbox. Karma, no? From Contorted Strength, I learned that I am not the only one who finds it hard to get such a thing going. He also posted a photo of himself practicing at home along with an amazing video of a woman practicing while her family interrupts with questions about snacks and potty time. These are at-home practices I can relate to. I love pictures of perfect yoga postures in pristine locations but unless one of you has a winning lotto ticket you want to share, my practice is going to have to happen between a large stuffed dog and a pile of legos.

The second post was from Kristi Smith. If virtual encouragement is a thing, she inspires and helps me almost every day. I love reading her blog and I can always count on her for a funny comment or two on mine. This post, however, was more personal in nature. It reminded me that I have it pretty damned good. That should focus more on the fact that I was able to go to lunchtime yoga for a while, rather than the fact that I won’t be able to for the foreseeable future. I must be the change I want to see.

All that said, I would like something a little more prescribed than a random page I chose in a book. I have been considering Ashtanga for a while. Maybe I could take a class or two and then practice at home? Or maybe I need to just flip to a different page, give it a go and forgive myself if everything doesn’t fall immediately into place.

Namaste.

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10 thoughts on “Cultivating an At-Home Practice

  1. Before I comment on the home sequencing bit, I have to tell you that what you said about my blogging really moved me – thank you! I’m truly humbled…had to text my husband about it while at my kiddo’s hair appointment, lol! I’m glad you have found something in my posts that inspires you…it means a lot to hear that. I comment on yours because I love the realness it exudes. And, I honestly don’t even like donuts very much, but the fact that you do enough to blog frequently about them provides me with entertainment! Anyway…

    Home sequencing can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you get into your groove it’s great because you can really tailor your practice to meet your needs on a given day. The Stephens book you are reading in your pic is great. Also, since you are exploring teacher training, I’d really recommend one of his other books, Teaching Yoga. It has a section on how to structure different types of practices, which may be less daunting and/or easier to digest. Plus, it’s a required read for several teacher training programs.

    Finally, and just an FYI, if you want a really basic guide to constructing a home-based practice, you can get a freebie at my primary blog (http://kristismithyoga.com) – there’s a popup and also a widget in the sidebar to access it. It’s not dis-similar to some of Stephens’ recommendations, and has sample sequence that shouldn’t be difficult to change up, given where you are at with your yoga.

    Namaste, sefatia!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You deserve the praise! I love your blog and am sorry my ridiculously busy schedule doesn’t allow me to comment on it more often.

    What I need to do is decide on a sequence the night before so when I wake up at 6AM, I am ready to go. Thank you for your suggestions. I will certainly get his other book (especially since it looks like I’ll need it eventually anyway). I just really want it to build to something, not just be a series of postures that I like and can execute. But I’m hard on myself that way.

    Namaste to you as well – happy Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can we talk about something… my weekends suck! Backstory, not excuses (tired of making those) … but working mom of two kids. The weekdays I feel like I am just more disciplined, I have a short amount of time to get allot of things done so there is lots of structure and the kids are in bed around 8/830 and I have that half hour of yoga me time. The husband usually drops in just in time to see me laying in my Shavasana (and refuses to believe that Yoga is anything but) … the weekends however are so much less organized and way to much to do. Husband is around, the kids don’t sleep and the house is just loud. I have one of those revolving doors where family and friends just drop by ….

    I need tricks and tips to find myself time on the weekend. Or shall I just accept that the weekends aren’t for yoga? *sad face*

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    1. For me, weekends work only if I can get the yoga in early. It took a while to get him on board, but my husband is now used to me trotting off to Bikram for a 9AM class on Saturdays and Sundays. Do you have any studios close to your house? The studio I visit is only three blocks from my house which makes it SO MUCH easier. Do you like any other kind of exercise? Could you wake up before everyone else and go for a run or bike ride?

      Like

      1. I live in WestBubbfuk Suburbia — the closest Bikram class is a 45 minute drive. If I go its a 3 hour event.

        I think getting it out of my system first thing in the morning maybe the way to go. I don’t know if I can wake up before the kids – but they usually watch a good hour of cartoons … that may be the perfect little window.

        Thanks 🙂

        PS day 4 of the 30 day challenge and still loving it.

        Like

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