I’m a casual yoga-er, but when I meet people who are serious about yoga, they’re always talking about their “practice.” Basically, if you’re really into it, you don’t need to wait for a convenient class or a new episode from your favourite YouTube yoga channel. You work on what you want, where you want, on your own terms. If you’re joining our December yoga challenge, now might be a good time to build your own home practice.
Set a Time and Place
As with any habit, knowing the time and place you’ll do a yoga session can help you to make it actually happen. Do you have a yoga mat and accessories and a perfect place to put them? Do you like to do yoga in the morning when you’re fresh, or in the evening to relax?
If you want to work yoga into your day (or week) consistently, find a place for it to fit. Arrange your day so that you always have 20 minutes free before breakfast, let’s say.
Give Yourself Plans and Structure
First, start thinking about what you like about the yoga classes you’ve already done. Do you love sun salutation sequences, where you start standing up, work your way down to the ground, and rise again (and again)? Or would you rather spend time on standing poses or balances, slowly working into the pose and giving yourself many chances to get it just right?
You don’t need to know at the start exactly where your yoga session will take you. It’s OK to begin with familiar moves and follow your instincts. That said, it can help to think of certain moves or sequences as ideal for warming up (maybe some cat/cow or slow sun salutations) and others as nice for the end of the session (inversions and corpse pose are common choices).
Yoga Journal has a guide to what poses go best in each part of the workout. Once you have a few in mind — and no, it’s not cheating to bring a notebook with you to the mat — you can build a flow on the fly by choosing your favourite moves from each section.
If you hate downward dogs, don’t do any. If you love attempting tricky balance poses like crow, surround yourself with pillows and go for it. You’re on your own, and you can decide what works best for you.
You can play your own music while you work out, go as fast or as slow as you like, or even throw on a yoga video when you don’t feel like planning out your own routine. The time is yours — enjoy it.