Recently, I have noticed how much I enjoy yoga practice without guidance. There is some magic going on in following your own body needs and practice on your own. I believe that each of you is ready to create an amazing practice for yourself so you release what needs to be released, you work on what you want to work and you feel that your body as well as mind are energized and relaxed afterwards. I’m sharing with you tips which work for me in the process of creating my own self-tailored yoga practice.
Know How to Feel Your Body
Knowing how you are feeling at the present moment is important for yoga practice as well as for the day-to-day life off the mat. Process of learning/feeling how to practice yoga on your own without guidance takes some time but it is worth it, once you learn how to do it, you can create a self-tailored class for yourself any time you need. It’s one of the best yoga classes you can give yourself because only you know what exactly your body and mind need to feel balanced and happy!
At the beginning, there is usually some guided practice needed because it’s the way how to explore the asanas (yoga poses). You can get this knowledge either on a yoga class in a studio (once this corona crisis is over) or there are so many amazing free classes on youtube. Each of us has to find an own teacher who is going to resonate with us and we will learn the most from him/her. I can give you some tips but you have to do the work and find the right teacher for yourself.
Beside the fact that you want to enjoy the practice, you might want to learn two aspects which will help you to create your own yoga sequences, the aspects are:
- How the asana should look like (what’s the alignment; where is the awareness, etc.)? Zgung creates amazing tutorials which can also help you.
- How does this asana/sequence feel like (physically, energetically, mentally, emotionally)? Is it energizing or not? How does it affect my mental and emotional state?
If you are practicing yoga at home, following a video, you can pause it and explore the position carefully. How do you feel in a downward facing dog? How do you feel in a bridge pose? How do these poses affect you physically, energetically, mentally and emotionally?
This process of exploration takes some time but set an intention that you would love to create your own practice and you will get there step by step! Intentions work really well! You might not even notice it but you might start to subconsciously observe the asanas more often and then it’s going to be easy for you to create the perfect asana practice.
So you already know the asana’s aspects and now you need to find out your needs. Then you just connect these two parts and that’s it. You have the right practice for you for any time
Check-in: Find your needs
Before I start any movement, I sit silently and I listen to my body and the mind. I observe with no judgement what’s going on inside. It takes just 1-3 minutes. 😊
- How do I feel physically? Here you can use a simple body scan. Scan your body from the feet to the head, notice how each body part feels, if there are any tensions in your body, be aware of what’s going on inside, but with no judgement.
- How is my energy level today?
- What’s going on in my mind? Is it quiet or busy? Just notice.
- What’s my emotional state? Am I sad, happy, neutral? Be the observer.
Ask yourself the questions above in your mind and wait for answers. Most of the time the answers will just pop up for you. Sometimes they will not and that’s okay, let it be as it is. The answer might come later. This check-in with yourself is a skill, all skills need some practice and time to be mastered. Be patient with yourself. ♥
As soon as, you get answers, you can start to imagine the perfect yoga practice which will meet your current needs. Then you can start the practice.
Example: Sun Salutation
There is so many ways how you can practice sun salutation sequences. At first there are at least three types of them: sun salutation A, sun salutation B and classical sun salutation. Moreover, you can create your own modifications at any part of the sequence.
The second thing is that you can practice them in a different way, for example: IF YOU WANT TO…
- feel energized → practice the sun salutation faster
- move the whole body, but you don’t feel like doing dynamic practice → go slower, stay in each position for few breaths
- calm the mind → focus carefully on each inhale and exhale, on the sensations of the breath
- open your the chest, release a tension in that area, get in a more positive mood → stay longer in a cobra position
- warm up and get ready for a following strong practice → practice sun salutation B
This is the idea how you can work with the information you get in your check-in. Be creative and give yourself time to feel the body.
Ideally, all the yoga practice should start and end in stillness. At the beginning, it helps to tune in and to be aware of the physical, energetical, mental and emotional state. At the end you can check the state again. But more importantly, a shavasana or a different relaxation position should be a final position because they are the asanas where all the previous practice can integrate in the body. The integration is needed because each asana creates some shifts in the body as you strech and strengthen the muscles, massage the inner organs, etc.
Some days you will find out, you want to lie down on the mat and just be. That’s okay and it is a yoga practice too! It’s what your body needs right at that moment. You might either start to intuitively move after a little while or you stay lying in shavasana the whole practice time. You gain more rest by doing this than by checking your phone instead. Allow yourself to do what is your body asking you for. That’s the way how to get to your centre, how to feel balanced. 😊
1) Set an intention.
2) Be aware of details and feelings of the positions/movements when you practice a guided yoga class.
3) Notice what’s going on in your body before you begin to practice. What do the body and the mind need right now? Use the questions given above.
4) Step by step create your own practice based on your current needs.
5) Enjoy the process. ♥
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me either in comments below or text me on Instagram.
Have a lovely day!