Classes, workshops and retreats are wonderful and should never be stopped as they are where you continue to learn, grow and receive support and guidance from your teachers and yoga community, but there is something magical about rolling out your mat and following your own inner guidance, breath and flow.
Find a space in your home
If you have a space big enough to sit, stand or kneel in, you have a yoga space! It does not need to be like a yoga studio, wafting incense and adorned with deities, but it needs to be somewhere you will not be interrupted, as it will become your sanctuary or sacred space. The space beside your bed, the hall, or the living room can be perfect yoga spaces. Use a mat and blanket that is kept especially for your practice.
Start simplyStart by doing a few activation movements every day. Put on some lively music, and make your warm up movements fun and flowing – activations can release accumulated tension and tiredness at the end of a stressful day or a long drive, and can also warm up the body at the beginning of the day. Good activations to try are: standing swinging twist and ‘step and swing’ stretch. Here is a link to a short activation sequence – 5 mins Activation
Energy Block Release (EBR) sequences are great at releasing energy we absorb from our daily interactions, and are a great way to allow your energy to flow at the start of your yoga session, or enjoy an EBR as a complete practice – most can be done in 15 or 20 minutes. Here is a link to EBR1 for you to do – 10 mins EBR 1
A complete practice
For a complete Dru yoga practice, include some activations, an EBR sequence, a posture and a relaxation. You might want to add a short meditation or breathing exercise. For a shorter practice, combine activations with an EBR. Written guides, Dru CDs, DVDs,YouTube clips and the Dru Online studio are great sources of ideas and help you tailor your yoga to the time you have available. For FREE online classes, visit the ‘classes’ section of my website.
Choose your perfect time
Not every one likes to get up before dawn to do 12 rounds of Sun salutations! I certainly don’t! Maybe 10 minutes before breakfast is a good time for you, or it may be that an afternoon yoga session is more suited to your lifestyle and work pattern, such as before your evening meal. There is no right or wrong time to do your yoga – do what feels right for you! Though always avoid doing yoga on a full stomach (leave at least 2-3 hours after eating) and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Having a shower or bath first can help awaken both mind and body.
Maybe keep a diary/journal describing how you feel and what is happening during your yoga. Have a positive attitude to your practice and make it your friend. Trying something new, or a different style of yoga to your normal practice can give us new insight into what works well for us, and maybe areas we need to work more on. Try a workshop or retreat and a variety of teachers to find what you enjoy. You may surprise yourself!
Remember the yoga teachings of the Yamas – and ahimsa or non-violence. This means being kind to yourself, as well as others. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t fit a yoga session in every day. Find a balance in your life. Exercise, sleep and eat well. Pace yourself. Do what you can, when you can. Give yourself a break and do something completely different. Take time to be out in nature. Each day do something that nurtures you physically, emotionally and mentally. Yoga is not all about being on your mat! Spend time doing things you enjoy! Be imaginative – can you encorporate yoga into your everyday activities? Eating a meal being mindful of the intention as you prepare the food for a loved one, or savour the tasty ingredients (Anna yoga)? Maybe do 5 minutes of stretching before breakfast, or a few twists in your office chair. If you feel ill, give yourself a break, and take time to recover.