I know especially with us being a university club where classes are cancelled during breaks such as this week’s reading week… it’s difficult to stay consistent with your practice. That doesn’t mean you wait until next week to start it up again. All you need is your mat and you’re all set!
Firstly, find out the style of practice you enjoy most. Do you prefer music? An instructor leading you through the poses? To be outside, or inside? With friends, or alone?
There are several apps, books, and videos on YouTube in where there is a more guided flow of movements you’d be used to in classes. But I know for me, it’s been extremely beneficial to create a yoga book in where I write down my favourite sequences and moves for different moods. We all plan on looking up those yoga videos and following along, but more often than not decide to do something else instead.
Depending on whether you’re seeking morning yoga, a stress releasing sequence, power, etc. you can create your personal yoga book accordingly. Although this may take some time, I’ve found it super helpful to bring along with me as a quick reminder of sequences I’ve been practicing in classes… also makes me more inclined to keep progressing in the moves. It’s really fun for all the creative minds! I’ve noticed in almost all the classes, the yoga instructors bring theirs along to class, even though we all know they have all done those sequences and poses more than enough times! Your yoga book can continue to progress as you progress and visuals are always helpful. I also find it helpful to create sequences of different lengths so even on those busy days you can fit a practice in! No need to spend hours on it if you haven’t the time… but pick up a $2 book and start writing poses or flows down and before you know it, you’ll have a quick reference for days where your favourite classes aren’t available.
This is just an idea for those who are thinking on doing yoga at home long term.
For those who need guidance on at home yoga here and there, I’m positive the internet will be your number one. There are several sequences with pictures depending on whether you’re looking for Hatha, Kundalini, Ashtanga, etc. And of course, videos make your job that much easier. I personally enjoy KinoYoga and Yoga With Adriene, just to name a couple.
BUT best part, I found this book of 608 Yoga Poses extremely helpful in giving me a leg up in my yoga book and a reminder of poses I need to work on… AND THE NAMES. We hear them all the time in class but to see it written down really helps! Here is an attachment of a book filled with pictures of yogi, Dharma Mittra, doing 608 poses!
For every at home practice you do, make sure to still take the time to set an intention, breath and take your time the same way an instructor would remind you to. Following your breath adds major focus in the meditative aspect, and I find doing yoga on your own also adds a greater connection to you with your body and movements as there isn’t the focus of others around you.
Try it out and don’t judge yourself too harshly the first time… it takes a while to become used to running your own practice but you may find it’s helpful in progression of poses when you can’t always make the classes.
(Pictures found: http://www.amazon.ca/Asanas-Yoga-Postures-Dharma-Mittra/dp/1577314026)