One of the biggest challenges for a yoga practitioner is to build up a self-practice at home. Why?
For me, it used to be a challenge to get out of bed early in the morning and practice at my place, though it was not an issue to jump and run to the yoga studio for my practice. Then, since my last journey to India to study Ashtanga Yoga at KPJAYI in Mysore (four months ago) I’ve become much better in alternating a home practice with a studio practice. What’s changed? Several subtle things.
These are the things I have learned:
1. Start building a home practice soon after you’ve gone through an intensive workshop, retreat, and so on. Those build momentum; then it’s much easier for you to keep it going.
2. Keep the rhythm; don’t stop! Once you start practicing at home, make it a routine—at least at the very beginning. It’s always tougher to start it again; if you build a history of interruptions, it will be difficult for you to pick the self-practice up again.
3. Celebrate what you have achieved in the self-practice. Your home practice at the beginning won’t be as ripe as your practice at your usual yoga studio. This is a matter of fact—it will take some time to zero in on the difference. In the meantime, focus on what you’re building instead of what you’re lacking.
4. Convince a friend/partner to practice with you. It will be a great support, particularly at the beginning.
5. Get the chosen place ready for your practice. Clean it, burn incense in advance if you like, put in a Ganesha or Buddha or whichever statue or picture you feel empathy with. Briefly, make the place sacred and create plenty of positive energy.
6. Define before starting which posture you will practice. When your mind tells you that maybe you can skip a few asanas that day, just smile and keep going.
7. Finally, keep going to a yoga studio whenever you can or whenever you feel like it, especially if you’re going through a tough time. The energy of the kula will support you and a proper teacher will help you deepen your practice.
Rosa Tagliafierro is a professional photographer as well as a passionate and daily yoga practitioner currently based in Milan, Italy. She is the first Italian photographer specialized in yogascapes, pictures combining yoga and landscapes. ‘Yoga Anywhere, Anyhow’: this is the message Rosa tries to convey through her pictures that become ‘images of yoga, instants of life’. Yoga was life changing to her and since she met Ashtanga yoga, Rosa regularly flies to Mysore, India, to study it at the source. She has an intense desire to share that life transformation hoping to be of inspiration to others and she does it through her pictures, her teaching Ashtanga yoga and her website theprimerosephotography.com
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assistant Ed: Terri Tremblett