Self-practice

Your own practice is the cornerstone of your development in yoga. This is where you play and explore, experiment and discover, and practice what you learned in classes. Maybe you want to practice at home, but it is difficult to find the motivation, space or props. And there’s nobody around to give you a hand. We offer you the opportunity to practice in our studio – you do your own thing, but you’re together. You will see teachers in the room, you can ask questions or work together. It is somewhat like practicing in the Iyengar Institute in Pune (but with more space – see picture).

How does it work?
What do you do? For how long? And how do you know if you’re doing the right thing? These are questions we hear a lot. We even wrote a blog post about it some time ago.  Below we will give some short hints on developing your self-practice. You can do this at the studio, but also at home of course! 

How long should I practice?
It depends! Your own practice is not necessarily the same as a class in time of intensity. Start with 15-20 minutes. BKS Iyengar says: ’It’s better to do a little, a lot than to do a lot, a little’. In the beginning you might be able to hold a pose between 30-45 seconds, and you can focus on more repetitions instead of longer timings. After some time this will increase.

How do you know what to do?
Start by doing what you remember from the classes. Or look in a book, at the pictures or video’s to the right, or click the links below. Don’t worry too much about doing it ‘right’ in the beginning.  You learn from your mistakes, and over time, you will gain more understanding of sequencing. Experiment! Building a good sequence is a bit like cooking: you have to work with the ingredients that are available, and the result depends on many factors…

On breath and relaxation
You have to  be able to maintain a steady breath during your practice. If your breath stops or becomes very heavy, it’s time to come out of the pose. You want to use the muscles you need, and release where you can. For instance around the diaphragm, throat, jaws, tongue, lips and eyes.

Links
Bobby Clennell has a wonderful page where she gives detailed instruction with beautiful illustrations about 1 pose every month – you can practice the poses in sequence
Home practice sequence Level 1
Home practice sequence Level 2
Great sequences and instructions on Joan White’s website
A collection of sequences on our Pinterest board