inner west

yoga

BLOG POST

Resources for a home practice

This week I received a request for some yoga homework. Over my nearly 20 year practice, this has never been something that I have ever sought. It's always been something that I know would be hugely beneficial (like meditation), but it requires a certain discipline and dedication. Needless to say I was super impressed when one of my students, Rupert, asked for a sequence that he could do at home between classes.

The class that I teach on a Monday night is a gentle practice. Some of the students have injuries or conditions that make weight bearing on certain joints challenging; others are new to yoga; and others prefer the opportunity to slow down. This graphic shows a gentle flowing sequence of which we do a version at almost every class. It contains a good range of movement patterns to work into all parts of the body.

The first few times doing this at home may feel clumsy and there may be a need to constantly refer to the pictures. Over time, the self consciousness of how to move is likely to give way to an intuition to respond to what the body is asking for, rather than what's shown in the pictures. This is the part of yoga that is personal. Everyone will have a different experience, and the key is to be present to it. I would encourage students to ask questions, talk to others and be curious about the experience. This is what our yoga community is for, and in Sanskrit this community is referred to as our sangha.

Another resource I'd like to share is Classic Flow on ABC Radio. These are recordings of yoga instruction that can be downloaded and listened to as if in a real class. With no teacher visible, it allows for the practice of only listening to instructions, and enjoy the flow of being guided through a practice. Its also accompanied by some beautiful classical music, which I often like to play in my classes.

For those who prefer both visual and audio cues, another student Sandi, recommends the site Do Yoga With Me. She says "Here is the free yoga site I mentioned. You can choose a class based on how much time you have, intensity you want, or by instructor. My favourite is Fiji McAlpine. She is amazing."

Hope this helps, and love to hear how it goes for you. Please feel free to share any other resources, questions or comments.