Creating a Space for Yoga at Home
October 15, 2010
Enjoying the solace and protection of practicing Yoga in a studio, under the ennobled care of a teacher, can become a sanctuary which a lot of us discover can be difficult to leave behind. Going to the studio is often the equivalent of walking into a castle monastery and not having to worry that its gates will be breached. This safety net gives you the freedom to concentrate on your inner development and to explore that space within yourself where you experience the tranquility and balance of yoga.
However, the greatest roadblock to home practice is creating a space and fashioning it into a motivational center for your psycho-somatic connection. You imagine the studio you have come to enjoy and attempt to recreate an identical fantasy studio within your home. However, when the reality of your existing home space gives way to the illusionary home space you have created in your mind, you sometimes allow your shattered hopes and dreams, for the perfect yoga space, to reverse the many benefits that home practice should bring you. . Overcoming this destructive perception compels you to focus on what yoga does for you; yoga offers a gift of sustenance for the body, mind and spirit.
The connection to this personal empowerment takes place on the mat between yourself and the surface upon which you practise. When your focal point is on the present and not the process, it serves you to search for the advantage of practicing in seclusion.
Home practice delivers benefits that merit reflection and action. Yoga becomes a part of the day which you look forward to. The continual advancement you experience takes you on an inner journey away from your external responsibilities and helps you to disconnect and realign yourself with your internal presence. Practicing at home doesn't require transportation or punctuality. You are able to adopt your own routine, maintain your favorite poses a bit longer, adapt the temperature to fit your own body and spend as little or as long practicing as you want.
You are able to participate more often and at the time of day that fits your biology and other commitments. You can try ambitious postures and repeat sequences that provide YOU with an energy boost. You can experience your own deep internal focus and expand your consciousness in a more personal style without being influenced by those around you. You can react to those invariable shifts in your body, mind and spirit when they develop and as you're able to accept them.
Shifts in the mental and spiritual sphere are an internal process whereas the body, although internally connected, can be further enhanced by using external aids. To get the best out of our practice there are tools that can help you flex, stretch, reach and raise the level of your practice further than you could do on your own--yoga props! However, the first thing that comes to mind is, what sort of equipment should you use to practice within your own space?
Yoga doesn't require much gear, however, there are a few props that will serve you in your practice by providing support and promoting correct alignment. Here is a short list of the items that I use in my home practise.
• A sticky yoga mat offers a non-slip surface which is rather useful in certain poses where your feet could slide away. It also affords you some cushioning.
• Yoga cushions such as a meditation Zafu are extremely useful in recuperative poses. They can be used to support your back and open your chest.
• Yoga blocks enable you to shift into certain poses much easier by lending you a bit of height, as a result bringing the floor closer to you.
• Yoga Straps can help you in deepening your pose, and are very useful for bound poses when your hands don't reach each other or for poses where you need to hold onto your feet but can't reach them.
• Blankets are used to sit on, to render support and to allow for a little added height in seated postures. They are also great to keep you warm and comfortable during relaxation.
A home practice, with the right equipment, can bring you a huge array of benefits, however, combining this with a great teacher to guide you along the way is always recommended. Creating that perfect space will help you to build a yoga practice that is distinctly you and from which you are able to easily answer the unique demands of your body and mind on a particular day.
Whether you're feeling tension, the first signs of the flu, sore muscles or a need to experience the immaculate pleasure of yoga, practicing at home is your personal yoga, not anyone else's. Find your space, embrace your spirit and enjoy the private conscious presence your yoga practice will bring you.