Day 25: Develop a Personal Yoga Practice...on the 30 Day Yoga Journey

Miss a day, or just joining: TABLE OF CONTENTS
“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Day 25 Activities:
1) Mantra meditation
2) Minimum 30 minutes of calorie burning
3) Write down everything you eat and sketch your Balance Chart
4) Continue to remain aware of your speech patterns
5) Cut Cords
6) NEW: Develop Your Personal Yoga Practice

To feel confident and comfortable practicing hatha (physical) yoga on your own (i.e. not in a class setting and without a DVD to guide you) can be one of the most gratifying gifts of yoga. I was fortunate to have teachers who encouraged me to practice on my own and to really learn to listen to my body.

I'd like to share with you a method to begin formulating your personal practice. It can vary from day to day. Use these tips as guidance not as instructions.
The most important element of your practice is that it serve you, at this moment.
Please don't feel as though there is any right or wrong way to practice. My suggestions are based on a balanced practice - meaning integrating postures that ensure your spine moves through each its ranges of motion. Other philosophies may focus on one family of asana for each practice (e.g. an entire practice devoted to back bends).

For further reading, I recommend my all time favorite yoga book, The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice. The book offers great sequences and explains in much more detail about the posture families.

Ready to start?

Some people like to write out their practice in advance, others get on the mat and see what evolves. Some like music, some do not. Experiment and don't be surprised if your needs shift from practice to practice.

Centering: Each practice begins with the concept of vinyasa krama - starting where you are. So take a moment to notice your energy level and how your body is feeling. Spend a few quite minutes tuning into what you're feeling at the movement and breathing smoothly. This often called centering.

Warm up: Begin to your body by moving the joints in your body. Turn your head side to side, round and arch your spine, circle your ankles and wrists, bend and straighten legs, roll your shoulders....and all other parts of your body that feel like they need to move. Warm up movements can be done lying down, sitting or standing, depending on your energy level. Remember to breathe!

Select 1-5 postures from each of the following asana (posture) families:

Forward bends - see examples
Good for - calming, relaxation, slowing down a revved up mind, protecting and soothing your heart, stretching the spine and hamstrings

Back bends - see examples
Good for - energizing, opening your heart, expanding your capacity to welcome in new experiences

Twists - see examples
Good for - cleansing emotional and physical waste, detoxifying, ridding your body of stale energy, invigorating your mind, facilitating digestion

Side Stretches - see examples
Good for activating your personal power, making space for new energy and power, increasing personal and mental fortitude

Savasana - audio example
The most important posture! Always make time for at minimum a 5 minute savasana. This is when our body, mind, and soul recharge.

Sample Balanced Yoga Practice - 35 Minute MP3

Download this 35 minute audio MP3 example of a balanced practice (download in 2 parts). This practice is in the vinyasa (flow) tradition. Often vinyasa is called Power Yoga because it can move quickly and includes a number of strong active postures.

Vinyasa, doesn't have to be fast, and can also be quite relaxing - this particular practice is a moderate speed and doesn't contain a lot of instruction on specific postures. So if you are newer to yoga or this style, please don't be discouraged. Many people find it easier to learn this style by watching.

This DVD is good for learning Vinyasa: Seane Corn: Vinyasa Flow Yoga - Uniting Movement And Breath - Session One

To learn Sun Salutations, refer to Day 18.

Edun 300X250

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