Just Do It - Home Practice

Just do some yoga. 

I know that for a long time, when you practice at home, it doesn't feel the same as when you practice with your teacher; it's not as deeply satisfying, you're not sure that you're doing it right, you can't remember any of the poses or sequences, and you don't find that same sense of being at ease that you get at the end of a class with your teacher. 

I know because that is how it was for me: periods of regular home practice punctuated by weeks when I just didn't get to my mat; frustration with myself for not getting there and for not 'getting it right' when I was there.  And which poses to choose?  We are all different, but my thing was an attitude of it having to be all or nothing - I felt it had to be an hour long practice of strong poses, or it wasn't worth it.  The trouble was that with two young children and a husband and a full time job I couldn't find an hour for yoga and was often too tired (no wonder!) to embark on a vigorous sequence.  So I didn't practice.  And then I felt bad.

The truth is that whatever yoga you do is good for you; that no matter how short the practice, as long as it is regular, it will have a cumulative effect which is profound and transformative; in addition, whatever you do at home, however seemingly insignificant, however gentle the poses, will feed into your weekly practice with your teacher and make it stronger and deeper and more satisfying to you.

If you tend to procrastination, self-doubt or laziness, then just roll out your mat and do some cat/cow stretches, with a focus on your breath; just ten or so, no more.  It's enough.  Enough to bring you back to your breath and back to your body; enough to reset your day.

If you tend towards the inclination to work too hard/try too hard/if you feel somehow that what you do is not enough, do the same.  Let yourself off the hook and choose those two gentle movements so that you can move with your breath and come back into your body, so that you can take a moment's pause.  It's more than enough.

That will take less than five minutes: everybody has five minutes.

Sometimes you might find yourself adding a little more to your practice and other days you will not; either way is fine.  Take it for what it is and enjoy the benefits it will undoubtedly bring you.

'A year from now you may wish you had started today.'
Karen Lamb


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