When I start to talk to people about creating a “personal yoga practice” they tend to look at me like I have suddenly grown a third eye in my forehead or perhaps my sixth chakra has simply become visible. They usually say something like “well I go to yoga class a couple of times a week” or “I don’t have an hour everyday to do yoga” But your personal practice isn’t supposed to be like your yoga class. It’s well…personal.For most of the people I know their personal practice Is done at home when they are alone and takes between ten minutes and a half an hour. For most people it entails everything from corpse pose to handstands. My own personal practice is constantly changing. When I feel tense or overly stressed I will often just practice my breathing, setting aside five or ten minutes of quiet time in my day to focus. When I feel frustrated or wired I do ten or fifteen minutes of sun salutations.But remember what you do is completely up to you; this is your yoga practice.
My regular daily practice is pretty simple; I do ten minutes of postures I hate. For the most part I hate these postures because I suck at them. These are the asanas (poses) that I feel stupid doing in class because I can’t ever seem to get them right. By doing these postures I work on my weaknesses and inevitably I slowly start to get better at them, well most of the time anyway. Then I do ten minutes of postures I love. I love these postures because I’m good at them or because they make me feel good. They come easy to me and when I do them I feel successful or my body feels great after doing them. I like to finish with these asanas or postures because it leaves a good taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. By doing postures that I both love and hate I feel like I create balance in my practice and my life. It also insures that I get at least a short workout almost every day.
I almost never do more than twenty minutes mostly because that’s about all the time I can spare. But by carving out this little bit of me time almost every day I reinforce the importance of yoga in my life and I like that. Your practice can also venture into one of the other seven limbs of yoga which are often ignored in most yoga classes (yes Dorothy, when you learn about the eight limbs of yoga you may find you’re not in Kansas anymore). Whatever you decide to do in your personal practice there is no right or wrong just what you do and how it makes you feel. Unlike class this revolves around you and your needs and that’s what makes it special.