Updated: Aug 19, 2020
I have been looking forward to bringing you this post because our home individual practice stays our most valuable mental and physical strengthening tool at all times of our life . At the beginning it takes a lot on us to building up a daily routine and stick with it ! But over time you will realize that it is going to bring a lot of easiness in your daily life. You will discover that clearing your mind before day start and opening up all layers of your body is as important as taking a shower and drinking your favorite morning coffee or tea. Yoga is about self-care!
I am going to share a few tips but if it is not working for you don’t sweat it and simply adjust the way you want. It might take a few days before you find your perfect place and environment but trust me after a short while it will be the best medicine against fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, back pain, laziness, digestion-issues, insomnia… It is costless but priceless, weightless but weight loss and you can bring it everywhere you go!
1. Get yourself a good mat
I know I said that it is costless, but this investment is necessary and if you take a good mat if will last for a while. A good mat is thick, comfortable and non-slippery. How can you enjoy your practice if your hands are sliding in downward dog or if your bones are hurting in boat pose! You can find on the website of YogaBliss a range of yoga mats I have designed purposely, but of course you might choose another brand.
2. Music and environment
Music is optional and can really help create the space and the environment for your practice. Music is an art and its purpose is to help us release and open up to deeper awareness. If you follow the rhythm of the music it can also guide your moves. Slowly your practice will evolve and be different every day. You can set your own music or follow spotify “Clementinedeforton” I have a few playlists and I also love Snatam Kaur and Ajeet Kaur.
Candles, living plants, incens can also create this sacred space for your practice. All depends on what you feel good with.
You need a small space for your mat and 1m around each side so you are not restricted in your moves. Placing your mat close to a wall can also help support your practice with specific stretches and some inversion. I will share a “Wall Practice” in a future video!
Practice in a comfortable environment where you are not too warm or too cold. Your practice should also depends on the weather: Active when you are cold and lighter when it is hot.
Get comfortable clothes so you can move freely. A friend of mine once said about a brand “their clothes are so nice it make me want to practice everyday” ! yoga is about contentment and happiness and being free from resistance. If this makes you happy and enjoy your practice then go for it. Remember being free is not having any attachment and processivity with material life and toxic relationships. So don’t make it a passion! I can share a few brands I like to wear but you can just wear anything you like as long as you can seat and move freely : VayuMudra, Ripple Yoga wear, Alo yoga and if you want to pamper yourself go with the exquisite Eres activewear.
Schedule it ! don’t wait to see if you have time in your day to do your practice because you might find some very good excuses for not doing it. Mind has this faculty to believe that taking care of us is not the priority. Start with it or schedule it!
Stay off your phone and start by breathing deeply with closed eyes. Inhale though nose in 5 counts and exhale through nose in 10 counts. (in 4 and ex 8 if you prefer). Do it 5 to 10 times to prepare your mind. From there you can be guided for a meditation or a pranayama practice (alternate nostrils breathing and kapalbhati are good energy cleansers) or for a physical asana practice. Follow your instincts and wishes.
6. Asana practice
> Warm up
You will be happier with your practice if you have a good stretch before and it will prevent injuries. Always start with warming up the body, ankles, wrists, knees, neck, shoulders, back, side torso, hamstrings.
> Understand your practice and give it a full dimension
Yoga is about self-care so you will have a complete practice if you activate all your body systems:
- Stretching all layers tendons, ligaments, muscles will help blood flow circulates better.
- Moving your belly will help with all digestive related issue, it will also activate endocrine glands responsible for your immunity and health in general.
- Stretching your chest will activate and increase your breathing capacity and help a lot asthma people.
- Stretching and strengthening hamstring, gluteus, back and shoulders will save your back from pain if you breathe consistently and practice with discipline.
- Breathe through the nose and with your belly will help stay focus in a pose. It will activate your power of concentration, calm your mind and increase the stretch / strength associated with the pose.
> Your practice should include:
- Back strength / front stretch (cobra- camel – wheel)
- Back stretch / core strength (forward fold)
- Side bend asymmetric pose (triangle pose, side angle extended)
- Balancing (tree – crow)
- Inversion (shoulder stand, headstand) for cardiovascular and endocrine capacity, mind focus, digestive capacity… queen and king of the poses!
- Hips opening (pigeon, wide legs forward bend)
- Shoulders stretch and strength (side plank with 1 knee down if needed, poppy stretch)
Depending on your personality you can act on a goal and set some challenges !