The practice of yoga is a deeply personal experience and that is why you should also have a personalized yoga practice.
The practice of yoga is a deeply personal experience and that is why you should also have a home yoga practice. Each time we step onto our mats, or sit in meditation, or read an ancient text, or 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 this practice is about self-discovery, it is important that we also have a home yoga practice.
Yes, it is wonderful to practice in a studio, to find a community to share experiences with, to have a teacher guide us 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.
When you add in personalized asana, pranayama, meditation, studying of texts, and the other limbs of the practice you will see your practice deepen much quicker. You will deepen your connection to yourself in ways a group class cannot offer. Your practice will become more sacred and alive, and it will take your practice to a new level.
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 figure out the following so you will be better able to construct a home practice that meets your needs.
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 vibes with you and talk to them about working together to design a home practice to meet your unique needs.
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 here.