Taking Refuge in the home practice....

As we mature on the yogic path, the home practice becomes an important part of our practice life.

During this busy time of year, you might find it harder to get to class, or you might find that you need the support of practice time in between classes, Your home practice can be a lovely way to expand and deepen your relationship to yoga and to yourself.

Many students share with me the feeling of really wanting to have a home practice, and yet feeling equally challenged in making that happen. There are several common issues that come up for students, inspiring the list of suggestions below.

1. Set aside a time, perhaps the same time every day, and schedule it as though it is a commitment or an appointment. Turn off phones and computers and let family members know that this is your personal, quiet time.

2. Set out your mat, and/or meditation cushion, to help remind you of your commitment. Decide on a practice "area" and keep it the same. It's a great idea to leave your mat and/or cushion right there as a reminder!

3. You can start off by using candles or music if these are things that will feel inviting for you.

4. Decide on a length of time that you want to practice, making sure that it is very manageable. 15--45 minutes is a great place to start.

5. Take extra care to invite yourself into the practice in a kind, encouraging way. If you are critical and judging towards yourself on the days that you don't make it to the mat when you had hoped you would, your commitment will die away very quickly.

6. Take care to maintain that kind, encouraging tone as you practice. Your gentle, patient presence during your home practice will help you to inspire you to return again and again.

7. Use your body sensations as a guide-- i.e. do the poses that really **feel** right to you. Try to use your body as your guide, not your head.

8. A few minutes is MUCH better than nothing.

Your home practice can be a wonderful time to connect deeply to yourself, and to offer yourself respite and refuge from the challenges of whatever is going on in your everyday life. Treat yourself very kindly in this. The more patient and kind you are, the more you will want to return to the mat again.


Here are is a suggested sequence for a home practice. Use it as a jumping off point and add the things as you go that feel right that day.

1. Sit and breathe for a few minutes.

2. Lay on your back and come into a gentle laying down twist. 5-8 breaths on each side.

3. Come to seated, and come into a badda konasana forward fold for 3-5 minutes.

4. Come onto your belly for sphinx for 3 minutes.

5. Come back to seated, for a straight legged forward fold for 3-5 minutes

6. Come into downward dog ( 5-10 breaths)

7. Come into a low lunge with the left foot forward and right knee down. In between sides, you can move through plank and either cobra or boat pose. Hold the lunge for 6- 8 breaths. Repeat on the other side with the right foot forward and the left knee down.

8. Repeat this same thing, only with Warrior 2 on each side, instead of lunge. Move through plank and either cobra or boat pose. Hold Warrior 2 for 6- 8 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

8. Come into pigeon (10-20 breaths each side)

9. Come onto your back for happy baby ( 5-10 breaths)

10. Rest.


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