Very Merry Winter Holidays and a Happy New Year

Relaxing yoga pose on floorAs the year draws to an end, here are a few dates for 2020 to look forward to:

Renew and Relax
Saturday, 18 January 2020, 14.00 – 16.00

Look forward to two hours of nourishing yoga including poses which will help you gently detoxify, stretch and strengthen the body. Learn to set a Sankalpa, an intention for the new year. Enjoy a restorative Yin Yoga sequence and a guided Yoga Nidra meditation to deeply relax and support the process of letting go of the past year and welcoming the year ahead.

Progress Your Practice: Building Strength
Saturday, 29 February 2020, 14.00 – 16.00

Developing strength can be one of the most satisfying aspects of yoga practice as it as an immediate positive effect not only on executing poses during class but also on daily functional movements, stability, balance, posture and inner confidence. This workshop focusses on building strength in major muscles groups and explains the principles of strength training. You will also be supported in developing a plan for a home practice to help you achieve your goals.

Book these workshops directly with The Secret Space Hertford

 

Yoga Retreat Day
Saturday, 21 March 2020, 10.00 – 16.30

Will you join me for this yoga retreat day, dedicated to your health and well-being through yoga, meditation, relaxation, good food and friendly company? Or maybe you’d like to give this treat to someone as a Christmas present?

Email me at irene@yogavita.co.uk to find out more or to reserve your place.

 

How to Practice Yoga at Home

Don’t want to give up on yoga over the festive period? Maybe now is the time to start a yoga home practice. Many people are put off practicing yoga at home because they think they need a whole hour with lesson plan etc etc. So I just want to say: Keep it simple. A few rounds of Sun Salutation is enough. Or try the Five Tibetean Rites. If you prefer more guidance, have a go at Adriene’s 30 days of yoga challenge. Or simply stretch a bit. Whether it is a yoga pose or not. Move, breathe, and enjoy.

Schedule time into your diary

If you want to be consistent with yoga at home, then practicing when we ‘have half an hour to spare’ simply doesn’t work. There will always be other things demanding our attention. In order to succeed it really helps to block the time in our diary. Even better if we can keep our home yoga practice at the same time every day. This will help establish the new habit more easily.

One of the main barriers to practising yoga at home I hear is ‘I don’t have enough time in the day’. And yes, it feels like life is busier than ever before for many of us. Even the old yoga texts recognised various obstacles on the path of yoga. But taking care of our own body and mind surely has to be a top priority for us. If we do not take care, who will?

A little bit each day

It helped me read once that Barack Obama started each morning with a workout. If the former president of the United States could find the time, the rest of us should be able to. Even 10 to 20 minutes are still a yoga practice and definietyly count. It does not always have to be a strenuous extended yoga session. As with many other things, a little practice each day leads to better results than one big session once a week.

A dedicated space

Having a dedicated space for your home yoga practice can help getting into the swing of things, too. Maybe you have the luxury of converting a spare bedroom into your yoga room. If not, a corner in the living room or bedroom, free of clutter, where you can roll out your mat is all you need. Make sure any props are at hand: a yoga block, one or two bricks, a blanket, a belt. A spare wall makes a great prop, too, especially for standing poses and balances. Music, candles or incence can help create a special atmosphere but are by no means essential.

Stay safe

This is the most important caveat of all. Especially when we use videos for our practice we might get caught up in trying out poses which are not suitable for us in an attempt to keep up with the teacher/instructor. It is much better to stick with poses we are familiar with and learn new and more challenging poses under the guidance of a yoga teacher. Always respect your boundaries and be mindful of the fact that your body feels differently each day. Whenever there are any painful sensations it is only common sense to stop and back off. If you are pregnant or have any other health issues, speak to your yoga teacher about advice on your yoga home practice.

Beyond asana

Remember that there is more to yoga that the practice of poses. On some days you may decide to simply relax, for example by listening to a yoga nidra recording. On other days you may focus on breathing techniques or meditation during your yoga home practice time. Whatever you do, keep a supportive, appreciative and positive attitude towards yourself and your efforts.

“Constant practice alone is the secret to success.”
(Hatha Yoga Pradipika)