How to start a home practice

Published: Oct 1, 2015 by Lucy Tennyson

One of the most common things I hear is how hard you all find it to practise at home. I totally understand how you feel –  I used to find it hard to get down to it too, and it’s only since I began teaching that it’s become part of my daily routine.

I hope that the short sequence described below will prompt some of you into getting started. Be realistic, perhaps try aiming for one (or two) 20 minute sessions a week, and set a time/day. ( I prefer mornings before breakfast and starting the day.)

Find a space for your mat, and even leave it there to remind you! Here is a suggestion, based on last week’s class. Begin lying down on your back, close your eyes, and follow the breath for a few moments, quietening and bringing your thoughts inward. It’s fine to play some gentle music.

Start with warming up the back by hugging in the knees. Remember the 12pm and 6pm positions? Inhale allowing the abdomen to rise and expand, lifting the back of the waist off the floor (pressing down into the floor at 12pm), and exhale, sinking the spine into the floor as you pull in the navel and squeeze out the air (6pm). Rock the pelvis back and forth like this giving the spine a gentle massage. Then try rotating round in a circle.

Add the arms, lifting them overhead on the inhale, and down on the exhale. Alternate the pelvic rocks with the arms, and then combine the two.

Remembering to use your yoga corset of internal muscles, you can then move onto bridge, lifting the hips off the floor on the inhale, and descending on the exhale. Continue with a lying twist, before rolling up to sitting.

Try exploring your spinal flexion/extension sitting on your heels, or on blocks, becoming aware of the role of the sitting bones in improving your posture.

From here we went on to sphinx, cobra, child, puppy and downward dog, all complementary postures that build on the breath awareness we have been developing.

One you feel nice and flexible, you can come to standing for mountain posture – by now you may feel ready for a balance such as tree, salute to the sun, or one or two of the standing postures we’ve done in class, before a few minutes total relaxation to finish. 


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