6 Ways to Keep Your Yoga Practice Going Over the Winter Break!
You get the most benefit from your Yoga and Meditation practices when you do them consistently. Coming to class once a week is good, but practicing more will go further in helping you meet your health and wholeness goals.
These suggestions will keep you maintain your current level of being at the least. Of course, the more of these ideas you embrace, the greater benefits you will reap:
1. Try Luann’s ‘Five-Minute Rule.’ Students often ask, “How do I start a Home Practice?” and “How long should my practice be at home?” Luann says, “Start with five minutes every day.” To start a new habit, consistency is more important than duration. Even if you don’t feel like doing yoga, go to your mat and lay down in Corpse Pose. Savasana—or relaxing and focusing on your breath—or putting your legs up the wall…could be your whole practice. But don’t be surprised! You might feel so renewed that you want to do some stretching or more poses. Committing to a short time is key…as, for most folks, the longer they say they’re going to practice, the more reasons/excuses come up for why they don’t have the time to do so.
2. Remember why you want to practice. How has yoga or meditation helped you? How might it help you more? Consider physical benefits like lowering stress levels, blood pressure or cholesterol; greater flexibility; better posture and breathing; weight loss; more strength; enhanced brain function; pain management; better digestion and sleep; less fatigue; or other. But also consider non-physical benefits—peace of mind; becoming a kinder, more compassionate being; feeling more grounded and connected; living more fully in the moment; strengthened relationships; being more comfortable in your own skin; being more creative; feeling more alive.
3. Sign up for Dream’s Interim Workshops. Make time to attend. Plus bring others who will support you in, and share, the experience. The more people you have in your life who do yoga and meditation, the easier it will be for you to practice and live the teachings. [Workshop Registration]
4. Explore what are often called “essential yoga poses.” Study and play with them using the guidance from a book that supplies details. Possibilities include:
- Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat;
- B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga;
- Jean Couch’s The Runner’s Yoga Book;
- Asana Pranayama, Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Sarawati; and
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Yoga.
Good poses to work with include Downward Facing Dog, Plank to Up Dog, Triangle Pose, Warrior I and II, Tree Pose, Fish, Bridge, Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu-Sirsana), Seated or Lying Twist, Shoulderstand or Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani). Don’t forget, the Six Movements of the Spine (warm-ups) are also essential, and Lunges are key to healthy hamstrings and back.
5. Call Dream to set up a Private Session with one of Dream’s instructors. A private class is an excellent way to deepen your understanding of specific postures, and breathing and meditation practices; or to explore how these practices may be adapted therapeutically to heal or strengthen your body, mind and spirit. You can also ask for Home Practice Routine designed especially for you! Find more information about private sessions and fees here.
6. Practice with a yoga CD or DVD. Dream Yoga carries the Kripalu DVDs for Gentle and Dynamic practices. Or you can find yoga sequences and guided meditations to follow on the Web. Possible resources include Yoga-Poses.com, an index to free yoga videos available on: