Even teachers and students with decades on the mat can be daunted by the difficulties of maintaining and renewing a home practice. Illness, family obligations, boredom, travel, and that universal perception of a ‘lack of time’ - All these obstacles, and more, will inevitably appear.
This is the point at which you really learn to tune in and move at your own pace, listen and respond closely to your body and develop greater consistency and self- discipline in your yoga. You want your home practice to sustain itself-and you-over the long haul.
It will also satisfy you and thus help give you the impetus to practice again tomorrow. If you force yourself to practice because you think you should, because you didn't yesterday, or for any other more external reason, even the most technically polished poses will not answer your inner need for ease, balance and wholeness.
Two things are important in pulling it together….
1. Knowing experientially what the effects of practices are on you.
2. Tuning in.
You must first become aware of the effects of the individual poses on your body and mind. Then you will better understand where exactly to place each in practice.
A well-rounded sequence does not emphasize any particular area of your body. Instead, it attempts to move your spine in all directions and thus includes vertical stretching, inversion, forward bending, backward bends, twisting, as well as relaxation. This basic sequence should also attempt to equally increase balance, strength, and flexibility.
Another approach to varying your practice over time is to alternate between a basic, well-rounded practice and sessions that focus on a specific group of poses.
Each day's practice should in one sense be complete in itself, but it can also focus on a specific group of poses, a specific part of your body, or a specific energetic shift you would like to create.
Part 2 of 'How to Build Your Homepractice will be live soon.