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Developing your own practice.

The benefits of creating a regular home practice are enormous. When we create time to do our own practice, we enter another dimension on our journey with yoga, and the ultimate journey of self discovery. Home practice can be a sacred time which we give to ourselves, creating a space between the demands and responsibilities of our everyday lives and what we know on a deeper level are our true goals and values.

When starting your own practice you need to be realistic and objective about your health level, energy and ability. If you have had a long illness, approaching middle age or a beginner, you will not wisely undertake the same kind of practice as someone who is fit, healthy, experienced and in their 20’s. You also need to consider your lifestyle and profession. The aim of any good yoga is to create a balance between the active and the passive, if you have a sedentary job then you will benefit with a more dynamic practice and if you have a very physically demanding and stressful lifestyle then a more restful, more restorative practice may be more beneficial.

Do not attempt to do any poses that you have not already been taught in class and remember it is not so much what we do but how we do it.

Tadasana {Mountain Pose} Feel the weight evenly balanced, the length that is possible in the spine. Feel the breath rising into the ribcage on the inhale and leaving on the exhale. Start to consciously lengthen, slow down and even out the rhythm of your breath to a comfortable, sustainable length for you.

Vrksasana {Tree Pose} Find an eye focus straight ahead of you, reach down and take your right ankle. Bring the right foot up to the inside edge of your left knee or thigh. Inhale and bring the palms together outfront then lift up beside the ears until pointing up, as you exhale bend the elbows. Breathe slow even breaths then repeat with the left side.

Adho Mukha Svanasana {Down Face Dog} Try to expand the gap between your shoulder blades at the back by rolling the armpits towards the front of the chest. Five slow even breaths in this pose.

Trikonasana {Triangle Pose} Standing at the front of the mat in Tadasana, turn to your right and then step your right foot out to the right so that you are facing the long edge of the mat. Turn the left foot in so that the big toe is turned towards the centre of the mat. turn the right foot so that the big toe points straight ahead. Extend the arms out to shoulder height as you inhale. Stretch out the right and lengthen the right waist so it is parallel to the floor. Take the right hand down onto the shin or ankle but only as far can without bending forward from the waist. Feel the breath moving in the spine, slow and even. Inhale up to standing, swivel your feet the other way to do the left side.