Monday, March 22, 2010

DIY Revelation – Starting a Yoga Personal Practice

I have practiced yoga since 2001, so 8 or 9 years off and on. Off mostly when my babies were born and then on again when I returned to work. But this winter I just couldn't get into the class.

My brain was moving too quickly and I needed to modify or skip so many of the poses that the class became, for me, disjointed and unfulfilling. The class failed to meet my needs anymore. So I stopped going.
And stopped moving.
Not moving is bad when you sit in a chair barely moving all day anyway.
My body started to feel stiff and still and I knew I had to do SOMETHING. Anything.

Suddenly, one day it dawned on me that I already knew everything I needed to practice yoga on my own. Call it a DIY revelation. After 9ish years of practicing, I had learned a thing or two. So I did a little research and came up with a plan and have been practicing in my little office twice (more or less) a week for a couple of months now. I thought it might be beneficial to share the journey a little. Because starting a yoga practice on your own is easier than you think (though I do think you should take classes to begin, yoga can’t be learned by reading about it).

I have always practiced ashtanga yoga and I always enjoyed the classes that most closely followed the traditional ashtanga series. I don’t know why it took so long to figure out that all I had to do in my own private practice was to use that series as a starting point and then branch out from there. Easy. Before I figured that out I would meander from pose to pose, not exactly knowing what I would do next. Finding my foundation was key to a good personal yoga practice. I can deviate from there, but at least I have something to start with.

In my next post I’ll tell you about what poses make up my personal practice, and then I have a third post in mind with tips and hints to get you started and keep you going.
And don’t be shy posting a comment – I love to dig deeper.

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