hOMe practice…how to BEgin

Jan 16, 2015

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get as a yoga teacher:

Do you have any rebeccamendations for starting a home asana and meditation practice?

Whether it is a student moving away, someone who travels a lot, or someone simply looking to take his or her practice to a new level, for me it’s a beautiful question to be asked. The root of this question means the student wants more: more than the weekly, or bi-weekly private or studio class, more than any class a teacher can lead them through. They are beginning to cultivate their own inner teacher and to take ownership of their practice. To me this is a wonderful thing, because once you want more in your practice, you do more, and you truly begin to feel the wisdom your practice brings to every moment of your living.

Don’t get me wrong—having a teacher and guide for the journey of your practice is paramount to developing a conscious life through your yoga. If you practice yoga and meditation for any significant portion of your life, you may end up finding even more than one teacher to guide you. But at some point, you will begin to explore and practice on your own. Here we begin with your very own “how-to” list for getting your asana on at hOMe.

Starting out this way is great for the student who easily scratches the scheduled time to practice in favor of ________ (anything else, fill in the blank), and should help to get you started.

Dr. Soule’s Rx

For two weeks, starting tomorrow morning, do the following:

  • Get out of bed, in your pajamas, your birthday suit—whatever you slept in—and stand up to Tadasana, your mountain pose.
  • Take three sun breaths (half sun salutations), and begin to cultivate ujjayi pranayama, synchronizing your breath to the movements.
  • Make your way to your hands and knees, (by lowering down to hands and knees or by stepping back into plank from your forward fold/uttanasana) and do three to six slow, easy cat/cow vinyasas on your breath.
  • Move into downward-facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) and hold for 6-10 ujjayii breaths.
  • Step forward to half forward fold (ardha uttanasana), fold on the exhale, and inhale up to mountain pose, tadasana.

About Rebecca Soule

Rebecca Cheeks Soule, PhD is a New York City based yoga and meditation teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience. She also leads yoga, adventure and lifestyle retreats worldwide.

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