You don’t need a dedicated space. You don’t need incense or candles. You don’t need sitar music or a chanting soundtrack. You don’t even need a yoga mat. All you need is a little knowledge and the initiative to make a home yoga practice that works for you.

I’ve been practicing yoga for over 15 years and teaching for 7, so I have a lot of poses to draw from, but as I say in my classes, “You could choose to do Child’s Pose for 30 minutes and you’d still be practicing yoga.”

Make Time
If you can’t commit to an hour at the same time everyday, that’s okay! Start with 5 minutes when you wake up by doing a couple Sun Salutations or a Pranayama exercise. Not a morning person? Try a balancing pose like Legs Up The Wall or a seated twist before you go to bed.

Sun Salutation
I urge you to learn this simple sequence. A Sun Salutation is a series of poses that flow into each other with the rhythm of your breath. Each one takes less than a minute and you can do as little or as many as you like.

You can find tons of tutorials online, but ABC of Yoga is always a good place to start.

Clear Your Mind
Listen to the sound of your own breath. Notice the texture, the tone, the heat and the rhythm. Focusing on an even inhale and exhale will help to clear your mind. Stopping the mental chatter will allow you to be more present.

Take a Private Lesson
There is an abundance of insightful yoga instructors in Hamilton who offer private yoga sessions. The cost is usually $50 - $100 per hour. Tell your instructor what your goals are and ask for a personalized home yoga practice sequence. A single one-on-one lesson can teach you what poses work best for you, Pranayama (breathing techniques) or give you a deeper understanding of Sun Salutations.

When exploring new poses, find a balance between effort and ease. If a pose seems strenuous, don’t go as deep or try a modification with blocks or straps. Alternately, if a pose is too easy perhaps you can bend your knee a little deeper or reach your arms back further. Feel your muscles working while keeping your breath calm.

Have Fun
Find a few poses that you enjoy and make you feel good. Add your own dance move between postures or create your own sequence. Smile. Laugh. Fall out of poses and get back up to try again. Just remember to have fun and not to take it so seriously… it’s just yoga!

Looking for more help?

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December 07, 2013 — Shelley Gordon

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