Obstacles to developing a routine that really works:
Not being in the present moment.
- The mind deciding what practice we need without checking in.
- Usually this “decision” is to complete a hardcore session of Asanas/phyical poses alone.
- Over-ambition. 10 hours of Yoga or nothing kinda thinking!
There is a beautiful saying :
“It is never not the present moment.”
The present moment has the steps you need to take.
- Check in! The way you are feeling this morning is part of your practice. Do not ignore it. If you are feeling anxious, worried, depressed there are your steps; how can your practice reflect this?
- Start small. Aim for 10 mins, then if you want to do more, fine.
- Practice what you already know. This is why it is called practice!
Why I am not into Salute to the Sun first thing
With reference to A Question of Style, no matter what kind of “style” you generally practice a “just-out-of-bed” session will invariably be gentler and slower. Allow for this.
Shockingly enough, I am not into Salute to the sun first thing! I am talking pre-breakfast here. Nor, when asked do i advise the virtues of S.T.T.S to new Yogis. If your Sun Salute is flawless and you can fine-tune and incorporate a moving meditation -go for it. Often the structures of the lumbo-sacral spine get “left out” however, so honestly what is the point?
A More Mindful Option
Dismantle the anxiety pumping to-do or what-should-I-do lists. Mornings are the best times to fish-out negative thought patterns and swap them for life-affirming habits.
Get into your breath! Awareness of the breath brings mindfulness. Prioritise the breath over the Asanas. Remember the adage: “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” Try 3 mins.
Involve your entire being. Incorporating and acknowledge negative “what’s the point” or “I am too tired” feelings. This is the “clay” of your practice.
- Seated meditation pose.
If you only practice one thing, do this! Practice on the floor, on a block, against the wall, or from a chair. Just do it!
- Lengthen up through the spine.
- Picture the “midline” running through your body; hug everything in.
- Find the centre of your sit-bones. Push down.
Perfection doesn’t exist!
- Bring hands into Namaste in front of heart centre.
- Turn your gaze in begin!
- Use the techniques I teach. Check in with the physical and spiritual self.
- Lie on your back.
- Inhale through the nostrils and belly button.
- Fill the abdomen and lower body with breath first.
- Exhale slowly. Repeat 5 times.
- Come to stand at the wall. Ardha Uttanasana/Half Forward bend
(Keep hands hip height as shown in class)
- Uttanasana variation using the wall. 3 mins.
(Bring feet a little further away from the wall then pictured for a gentler stretch. Bend knees if necessary)
- Downward Facing Dog. (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Really do the warm-up variations I teach you. Go softly!
- Cobra or variation.
Be completely honest with yourself here. The aim is to lengthen, stretch and strengthen the spine and core. This is extremely beneficial for the lower back in particular, but only if done correctly.
- Roll the shoulders up and back keeping elbows tucked and bring towards heels.
- Top chest should lift off ground.
- Stay here or lift half way up elbows bent.
- Another down dog.
- Seated meditation
Set your intention for the day. I’ll leave that to you!
Call me to learn more, organise a Yoga One-to-One and establish a routine. Happy to be of assistance!
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