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How to practice yoga asana every day

Let's park the fact that yoga is more than just asana (physical postures), and a daily practice is as much about opening the heart and mind to all that is around us (with opportunities for that being endless if you are human). That being said, our body is often the most accessible way of connecting with ourselves and it is usually the first place that we notice the benefits of a yoga practice. So how do we do a physical practice every day if we are busy urban beings, with more demands on our time than we would like. This was the nature of conversation after Saturday morning's class.

I am often asked if I practice every day, and the answer is yes. However my daily practice is not like the 60 minute class that I teach. I'll do a couple of sessions like that a week, usually to prepare for teaching. But for my own daily practice, it looks something like this: 1. Meditation (15 minutes) 2. Asana (15 minutes).

The one thing for me that has made the most difference in being able to sustain a daily practice is to keep it really simple. Having a place where I can easily roll out my mat each day; a time to practice when it is quiet (early morning for me); and a straightforward sequence.

This graphic shows the sequence that I have been practicing for the last 6 weeks or so. What I like about it is that I get to work all parts of the body (via the the Sun Salutations) as well as targeting my lower back area which benefits from some attention. It contains my least favourite pose (Dhanurasana / Bow pose - see pic) but its a quick sequence so that doesn't put me off. If I ask my body what it wants to do, it will tend to favour long-hold forward folds. Noticing this preference has made me adjust my practice to incorporate more back bends. This sequence contains quite a few back bends (Sphinx, Seal and Bow pose) which are energising poses and really good to do in the morning. You might want to give it a go. Let me know what you think!

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