Building a Home Practice


If you’re new to practicing at home it may be difficult to even know where to start. Developing and maintaining a home practice takes patience, diligence, and a willingness to work through obstacles. In the beginning distractions may seem abundant. Hang in there! As you move deeper into your home practice those distractions will start to fade.

The beauty of a home practice is that you can tailor it to fit your needs. Some days you might need a vigorous practice that challenges your strength, balance, or focus. Other days you feel depleted and a restorative or yin practice is more appropriate. Start by assessing your energy level and decide what you need today.

Eliminate Distractions

Before you begin, be proactive and eliminate as many potential distractions as you can. Find a space that’s free of clutter. If the weather’s nice, consider practicing outdoors. Dust, vacuum, and sweep so you’re not obsessing about it once you start. Put away your phone and turn off the television. Set the tone with lighting and music. Decide how long you want to practice and commit to it. In the beginning you will be tempted to quit early and you may experience boredom. Stay with it!

Plan Your Session

A well-rounded practice can be achieved even if you don’t have a lot of experience. The next time you take a class pay close attention to the sequencing. How did the class start and end? How did you move from one pose to the next? You don’t have to remember everything! Maybe there was a section that you really enjoyed. Take notes right after class while the practice is still fresh on your mind.

The following is a sample of a very basic but well-rounded vinyasa flow. Use this as a starting point and add on where you’d like. The importance of warming up cannot be understated. Take cues from your body and know when to work an edge and when to back off. Try to hold each pose for 3-5 breaths. A good rule of thumb is to allow your time in Savasana to comprise at least 10% of your practice.

Warm Up

Child’s pose (Balasana) Tune in and practice being present

Cat/Cow flow

Cobra rolls (Bhujangasana)

Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskara A) Complete at least 3 rounds

Standing Poses

Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)

Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2)

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Side Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana)

Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Revolved Crescent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)

Balancing Poses

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

Revolved Half Moon (Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana)

Floor Work

Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Reclined Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Shoulder Stand or Legs up the Wall (Sarvangasana)

A home practice can help you move closer to yourself and deeper into awareness. Use that boredom that you may be confronted with in the beginning to notice how you respond to the poses. Become more aware of the sensations that you’re experiencing. Practice the art of staying right where you are and see what happens. You may be surprised by what you discover.

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