Because damn, it's expensive! Luckily, I live in a place where you can find great yoga for just a few dollars. But one of the issues I've had with going to a studio for my practice, as much as I love it, is that it eats up nearly half a day. I usually leave 45 minutes to an hour before class (since I have to rely on public transit), usually classes are 90 minutes (plus they often go over a few minutes). Then it's 45 or so minutes back home. That's two and a half to three hours!
I have done some basic practicing at home and have discovered that even 20-30 minutes is a wonderful addition to my day. Don't know what to do? I can help you here! Here's the first in a series of what I hope is many home yoga practices you can use. You can follow the sequence exactly, or just use it to make up your own practice. You'll need to know a little about yoga to follow along, but if you have any questions, please post in the comments!
Get set up
- Begin in a cross-legged position, firmly feeling both sitting bones pressing into the floor, a block (if you have it) or a firm pillow.
- Lengthen your inhales and exhales.
- Before you start moving, think about using the entire breath for each movement. You might move fairly slowly, but you should be moving almost continuously.
Short warm up (5 minutes)
- Seated twist, maintain each side for 3-5 slow breaths
- Move to hands and knees and go through cat/cow for 3-5 slow breaths
- Step back into plank and press back into downward facing dog. On an inhale return to plank, on the exhale push back to downward facing dog. Repeat 3 times.
- From down dog, step your feet between your hands and forward fold, hanging your head heavily toward the floor. Embrace gravity!
- On an inhale, deeply bend your knees and roll to a stand.
Practice (15 minutes)
Sun Salutation A - repeat 5 times, holding downward facing dog for 5 full breaths
Sun Salutation B - repeat 3 times, holding the final downward facing dog for 5 full breaths
Focus on slowing your movement enough so that you reach the end of the movement at the same time you complete your inhale or exhale.
End (5 minutes)
Don't skip this part! At the very minimum, sit quietly with your eyes closed for a minute or two.
I'm challenging myself to practice this sequence at least 3 times in the next week. Want to join me?