TAKING YOUR PRACTICE HOME
Going to class regularly is wonderful and has many benefits; enhancing your knowledge, sequencing to get you into a pose safely and receiving corrections. But without a home practice, it is like taking tennis/bridge/golf lessons and not practicing what you have learned!
It is in a home practice that real knowledge develops, giving you the opportunity to create your own timings to see what happens as you persist in the pose. But what to do, where to start?
First, take a look around your house and see what can be used to help you hold an asana without fatiguing yourself. If this sort of practice is done with some frequency, then when it comes to studying with your teacher, your confidence and strength will be that much greater. You will also find that you experience less fatigue during and after class.
Included, are several photographs that might suggest how to utilize furniture, a kitchen counter, a railing………..the options are endless. It matters not if the pose is perfect, it only matters that you enjoyed it.
In the first, I’m using an island and the gap between the two surfaces to work on balancing asanas that are difficult for me to hold for a long time. Being supported allows me to find the balance in my feet, strengthen my legs and observe the reaction of each action. Trikonasana and Virabhadrasana 2 also benefit from counters for support.
I’ve used a bench to practice Uttanasana and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. I’ve also used coffee tables and ottomans. If doing Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, the only important thing is to lift the support under the head and shoulders to a height that feels safe and comfortable. My legs are belted to keep the thighs spinning in and the groins soft.
And railings…….I love railings! All the standing poses are delicious done on a railing. In a yoga studio, we would use a trestler to get the same effect but who has one of those hanging around the house? I only wish my granddaughter, the photographer, would have told me to move my upper arm to align with the tree. The backbend on the railing was so divine, I didn’t want to come out.
A medicine ball……..this particular one is wrapped in some funny fabric that makes it look like an acorn. I normally use it to sit at my computer in the living room. You will note that in the first pose, my arms are straight out…and when my body had released, I was able take my arms further down the wall.
Lastly is an earlier photo of me doing Adho Mukha Svanasana on the swing set (head supported, but not necessary)………..truly, there are no limits.
I hope this inspires you to try a few different poses with what you have around you, both inside and outside. And if you are fortunate enough to have a photographer to capture such a moment, send it to me and we will post it to encourage others to find new ways to love their yoga practice.