The practice of yoga is a deeply personal experience and that is why you should also have a personalized yoga practice.
Each time we step onto our mats, sit in meditation, read an ancient text, explore our deep inner knowing, or we practice the yamas and niyamas, we are on a journey to self-discovery, freedom, and bliss. Because the nature of the yoga practice is about self-discovery, it is important that we also have a personalized home yoga practice.
Yoga was originally taught one one one with a student and a teacher. As yoga has gained popularity a lot of the history of yoga has been lost and it has become known mostly as a physical practice group classes have replaced personalized yoga practices. As both a teacher and a student this makes me very sad because I know the value of personalized yoga practices first hand. In my own practice the work I have done with teachers one on one has greatly benefited my practice and my life.
As a teacher I love having the time to create practices that are designed specifically for the needs of my students. It truly allows them to make their practice their own while connecting to themselves and their bodies on a much deeper level.
Yes, it is wonderful to practice in a studio, to find a community to share experiences with, to have a teacher guide you through asana and offer adjustments, but it is not enough. We are all unique and we also need to have part of our practice that is designed 100% for us and only us.
Group classes are often designed for the teacher, for general health concerns, or specific ways to build strength or flexibility. Due to the nature of having many different body types, skill levels, mindsets, and intentions, teachers who teach group classes do their best to create a class that meets the needs of all of the people in the room.
Because of this when we go to group classes we might feel like something is missing, that we might need a few extra poses to complete our practice, or we needed a certain type of pranayama or a longer time spent in meditation. This is why it is so important to add in a personal home yoga practice in addition to group classes.
So how do you start a personalized practice? It really depend on you and your needs. What you are needing to work on physically within your body, what your intentions for your practice are, and how quickly you would like to progress in your practice.
My suggestion is to ask yourself the following questions so that you are clear on your intentions for your practice and how your yoga practice will fit in with your lifestyle. Once you have answers to these questions creating a customized yoga practice is a lot easier.
How much time do you have to devote to your practice?
What are your intentions for your practice?
What areas of your body do you wish to work on?
How do you wish to integrate the practice of yoga into your lifestyle?
Are you self-directed or do you need an accountability partner?
Do you know how to safely design an asana sequence?
What do you wish to cultivate through your practice of yoga?
If you don’t feel ready to design your own home yoga practice, find an experienced yoga teacher that you vibe with and knows how to create safe and beneficial yoga sequences. It is really important to find a teacher who is experienced because the nature of yoga is that it is repetitive. Which means that it is very important to have the right alignment in each pose. It is also important that the sequences you practice are put together in a way that is safe and supports you having a life long practice.
No one envisions starting their yoga practice and ending up injured and being unable to practice until they heal. Yet this happens too often because many teachers have not been properly educated on alignement in poses and how to create safe sequences that prioritize the longevity of the yoga practice.
Yoga is an amazing practice and gift when done correctly so make sure that you find a teacher you are confident in.
Shameless plug: I would love to be that yoga teacher, one of my favorite things is working one on one with students to help them deepen their yoga practice and their connection to themselves. I believe that the practice of yoga was intended to be customized to our unique minds, bodies, and souls. If this is something you are interested you can learn more about having me create a customized yoga practice for you here.
If you have any questions about yoga or your yoga practice I would be more than happy to connect with you and help in any way that I can. Yoga has been an amazing tool for transformation in my life and being able to share that with others is one of my passions and callings. So don’t hesitate to reach out if I can support you or if you have any questions at all. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope that this post has been informative and helped you to better understand the benefits of having a yoga practice that has been specifically created for you, your body, and your lifestyle.