Become your own Yoga teacher
Everything in nature is constantly changing or evolving. And so are we. But are you aware of this every day?
Some days the body feels flexible and capable, and on other days it feels stiff and tired. Having a regular self-practice routine can help you scan your body and give it what it needs for the day. Many of us either lack motivation or have no idea what to do as a yoga self- practice when there is no teacher or video to guide us. If that is your case, read on!
ELEMENTS OF A SELF PRACTICE: In my methodology I propose 3 simple elements of a self-practice:
CENTERING – MOVEMENT - CALMING
1. Start with CENTERING your FOCUS
When we wake up, our mind is calm and empty of thoughts. However, we very easily and quickly fill it up (for example by looking at our phone!). Try to not look at your phone or emails and get on to your mat after you wake up.
Start by CENTERING yourself by just observing your breath; inhaling and exhaling with a count (atleast 5 times) Exhale must always be double of the inhale. Rub your palms together, place them on your eyes, open your eyes and get yourself ready for the next step.
2. MOVEMENT through SURYANAMASKAR
“Surya” in Hindi means Sun and “Namaskar” means salutation. The sun is the source of life for all nature on our planet, including us. Bowing to the sun that rises every morning, symbolizes acknowledging the gift of life we get every morning and taking in the strength of the sun to remove inertia and replace with energy to make the day count.
1. Start in Mountain Pose or TADASANA , feet together, shoulders rolled back and palms facing forward
2. Inhale to join palms, raise hands, back bend or ARDHA CHAKRASANA 3. Exhale to tilt pelvic and fold forward, UTTANASANA, slight bend in the knee keeping back straight
4. Inhale to step left foot back into, knee down, hands raising up, palms joined into ANJANEYASANA or Low lunge
5. HOLD BREATH, bring both pals down, step both feet back into Plank, PALAKASANA
6. Exhale to shift weight forward, bringing knees, chest and chin down into ASHTANGA NAMASKAR
7. Inhale to roll shoulders back, chest coming forward into Cobra or BHUJANGASANA
8. Exhale to push the hips up to the sky, flatten the back into Down-dog or ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA
9. Inhale to step the left leg forward, right knee down, hands raising up, palms joined into ANJANEYASANA or Low lunge
10. Exhale bringing both feet together, palms on the side of the feet into Forward fold or UTTANASANA
11. Inhale raising hands up , slight back bend or ARDHA CHANDRASANA 12. Exhale to bring the hands towards your sides, palms facing forward in Mountain pose or TADASANA
How many times should I do a SURYANAMASKAR?
The answer is how many ever times your body needs it, and the time you have given your pace that day. Go as fast or slow as you need but do every movement with INTENTION. You can try to do at least 8 rounds of SURYANAMASKAR to have a complete practice and on some days in the year you could try 108 rounds!
3. Finish your practice with CALMING your MIND through meditation.
Try to focus on your breath, observe your thoughts, let them come and go. Listen and respect your body every day as it is. Watch it grow with your daily practice. Try not to let your ego or comparison dictate your self-practice.
There are no end goals in yoga. It is just you and your body, CENTERING, MOVING and CALMING while enjoying the journey.
If you would like to discover more Yoga practice videos, please subscribe to my free YouTube channel La Ve Sattvic, where I share yoga and wellness videos.