Establishing a home yoga practise
Establishing a regular daily yoga practise at home can be a great support for mental and physical well-being. However, like most things that are good for us, getting started can be challenging so I have created this short 15 minute video to see if I can help you get started.
I have kept the video short so that it is easier to fit it into your schedule and so that you can focus on the quality of the practise rather than the length. Once you have got into the habit of doing a little bit of yoga regularly, you might want to try some of the 20-30 minute videos that I will be introducing over the coming weeks so that you can start explore a greater range of postures and techniques.
I would advise using this video for 3 or 4 days and then going solo, using the guide sheet as a prompt or muting the audio so that you can work at your own pace. It is important that you work within your breath length to experience the full benefit of yoga and yours may be longer or shorter than mine was on this video.
You could use this practice in the morning or in the evening to frame your day. I prefer to practise in the mornings as I am less likely to get distracted and it helps me to start the day feeling more focussed and physically at ease. However, you might prefer to practise later in the day, after work or once the children have gone to bed etc. This could allow for a period of transition where you can release any stress, tension or tightness that has built up in the body and declutter the mind. You may find if you have difficulty sleeping that establishing an evening yoga routine could lead to improved quality of sleep.
If you are new to yoga and have any health conditions or injuries that might affect your practise you may want to consult a medical professional to check it is safe for you to practise before using this video. Remember it is very important to listen to your body and work within a comfortable range of movement to ensure you don’t injure yourself. Regardless of your age, physical ability and fitness levels if you experience pain, your body is telling you to stop or modify what you are doing in order to prevent long lasting damage. One of the benefits of paying close attention to breathing whilst you practise yoga is that the quality of your breath provides you with a good indication of whether you are trying too hard. If your breathing becomes laboured, irregular or you are holding your breath then you are likely to be holding tension, creating too much resistance and working too forcefully. If you can maintain a smooth, even and easy pattern of breathing you are more likely to be supporting your body in a healthy way as you move.
In this 25 minute practice we will build on some of the ideas and postures we worked with in the previous 15 minute video. I will guide you through some standing postures, a kneeling sequence incorporating movements in the kneeling forward bend, the cat posture and downward dog, a different variation of two-foot support (Dvi Pads Pitham), some passive stretching for the hip flexors and adductors and a short seated meditation with some gentle movements of the head to ease tension in the neck. If you are unsure about any of my instructions or if you find that any of the postures are causing you any discomfort then I can offer you modifications to protect the lower back / wrists etc. Please feel free to get in touch.
Twisting postures both cleanse and energise the body. They compress the abdomen to stimulate the digestive organs and they open the chest by strengthening and mobilising the shoulder girdle and the upper back. In this practice we are going to explore a couple of different variations of a standing twist and a lying twist, incorporating some strengthening movements for the back muscles. Please remember to listen to your body and to stay with the modifications that work best for you to ensure you are working within a pain free range of movement. If you have a history of vertebral disc related injury, twists may be contraindicative and you may want to consult with me (or a health professional) first to check if this practice is suitable for you at the moment. Let me know how you get on with the practice and give me a shout if you have any questions. Enjoy.