Self-Practice / Taking that next step
This morning’s insight whilst practicing yoga in my sunny garden ; The importance of ‘taking that next step’.
Taking that next step to a self- practice. Self-practice meaning taking what you learn from your teacher, your weekly class, and practicing by yourself, at home, in the garden, in the park, down the beach. Wherever you find yourself, at that time, when you have time! We’ll come to that obstacle in a moment! If you are lucky enough to have the weather for outside practice, then this would be the ideal spot. A place where we have plenty of space and only the distractions of nature.
Perfect. However, life doesn’t always deliver this way. Some happily find a corner in their house to lay their mat out. If your house is full of chaos, unclutter the chaos as much as you can, and then once on your mat, switch off to the chaos. Either way, we get to experience 2 completely different settings, which will offer 2 completely different experiences. This doesn’t matter, in that, no yoga practice is ever the same anyway. So, lack of space, or nowhere to practice, isn’t a valid excuse anymore! I write about this because, as a yoga teacher, I often hear student voicing reasons they can’t practice away from class.
The next common reason is usually about the lack of time to practice. Now this fascinates me the most, since, how much time are we talking about? Quite often when we set ourselves goals, we have a tendency of setting them way too high. This alone is enough to put anyone off. I’m sure many have heard the ‘small steps’ cliché. This truly is the only place to begin. I suggest setting aside 5 minutes to begin with, without the added pressure of – it has to be every day. So, 5 minute 3 days a week. Not much really is it!? 5 minutes to sit comfortable in Sukasana (comfortable seated crossed leg position) and consciously breathe (consciously meaning, mindfully). Students of my classes will be more than aware of this. We more often than not, use Mindful breathing to begin each class. After some time, a few days or weeks, maybe then begin to add 3-5 Sun Salutations to the mix. Again, something many student attending a weekly class will understand.
Concluding with a 2-3 minute savasana (laying down, relaxation). Here we are looking at a total of maybe 15 minutes practice. Times that by 3, and we’ve got 45 minutes a week. I believe we all have that amount of time to spare. Many of us could possibly spare a few more minutes, adding some traditional standing postures into the Self- Practice Yoga recipe. Trust me when I say, it’ll all grow organically, if we set an achievable intention.
A really good reason to start taking that “next step” today, is so that you get to experience the delight in PRACTICING AT YOUR OWN PACE – Away from that, wonderful class setting, where the teacher leads you at a certain pace, and sometimes you may find yourself trying extra hard to keep up with it all, and your fellow students.
A self-practice will become SO delicious, that you will guide yourself through, at a pace that suits you at that particular time. You’ll begin to become more aware of the processes, especially the fluid flow of the breath. Your ability to turn your attention inwards (Pratyahara-withdrawal of the senses) may heighten. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter. We’re not judging. One thing that I will happy place my bottom dollar on is, the class setting experience will change, and you will begin to experience a different journey altogether. If you don’t, then I’ll give you your money back 😉 – Namaste Kx