5 steps to develop your personal yoga practice
1. You don’t care for one
When I started yoga 25 years ago, there was no thought of having my private yoga practice at home. Life was taking up far too much of my time. My priorities were definitely not related to yoga. For me, yoga at that time was a “workout” that helped me to be physically active in order to stay in shape. I practiced it everywhere, but never at home.
2. You are interested in one
Almost like a book that sits on the shelf – every now and then you pick it up and read through it because someone told you it would do you good to do so. Most of the time when people initiate their Yoga practice, it is because they take well-intentioned advice from someone: “Do yoga, it helps against stress” 😉.
First, it is a certain quote that arouses your interest. You look to see which chapter it belongs to and read the whole paragraph, the whole chapter. This in turn encourages you to read the next one. In Yoga it is usually one particular element out of the entire practice that fascinates you most, your so-called starting point: meditation, breathing awareness, or yoga poses.
You don’t put the book back on the shelf anymore. You start going to yoga classes regularly and you are aware of how well your mind and body are aligned.
3. You choose one
The book now sits on your living room table, even after you have finished reading it. Gradually you will be introduced to the other elements of a yoga practice, and will start to integrate them more and more. Attending yoga classes regularly becomes a constant in your life. You reflect and share what you have read with family and friends, and hope it touches others as well. Your yoga practice becomes a source of personal growth and transformation.
What does my personal practice look like?
It took me years to see and to practice Yoga as a whole. And by whole, I mean the several elements that yoga contains: from meditation, to breathing and Asana practice, to the study of the scriptures, the roots of yoga.
Incorporating a regular practice into my daily routine required discipline, especially in the beginning.
It was very tempting to prioritize other tasks and activities over my practice, which made it difficult to stick with it at first.
I tried things out and felt more drawn to one or the other. There were times when I neglected one part of my practice and deepened another.
Keeping the balance was and will always be my challenge. Instead of judging my Self, I accept the transformation that Yoga is offering me.
My Daily Practice :
Get up at 5.30/ 6.00 a.m.
Udhyana Bandha (Kryia – cleaning from Inside)
1 hour meditation (at sunrise)
15 min breathing exercises (pranayama)
1 hour Asana practice (depending on the weekday : standing poses, backbends, forward bends & twists, inversions)
“Little” Shavasana ( relaxation) – not my favorite posture 😉
+/- 1 hour of practice (depending on my work)
Sitting poses & legstretch
Navasanas (Boat poses)
Notes on behalf of my personal practice
I love to meditate at sunrise. At times, I light a candle.
I spend an hour sitting in meditation, but some days my thoughts are particularly resistant and it’s difficult to stay focused. However, I have learned that it’s okay to have days like this and to simply accept them for what they are.
I try to do two different breathing exercises (pranayama) each day and mix up the ones I know to prevent developing a preference for any one in particular. It’s important for me to switch things up regularly to keep my practice inspiring and transforming.☺️
Vijnana Yoga provides me with a training manual. I practise a different group of Asanas (poses) every day. This way I make sure that I exercise the whole body. This is also super important for me, as I quickly develop a certain preference for any one pose.
I can say that my yoga practice has developed from “non-existent” to “simply can’t imagine life without it”.
I look forward to hearing about your personal practice in the comments.👇
Let’s practice together. Check here my weekly class schedule.
All life is Yoga