Developing a home practice is a key element in the advancement of any serious yoga practitioner.
This is a time that you set aside for developing your relationship to all that is YOU: body, mind and spirit. It is a sacred period of renewal. When we commit to a home practice on a daily basis our lives begin to blossom in unimaginable ways. Get ready for the ride of your life!
When developing a home practice I ask the following questions:
How much time do I have to practice?
Many of us start out with great enthusiasm and often bite off more than we can chew when juggling busy lives. Make sure the time you choose is realistic and something you can sustain over time.
What time of day works best?
Traditionally we practice first thing in the morning, before the busyness of the day takes over and our energy is pulled 'outward.’ Yogi Bhajan spoke of it as the difference between fate and destiny: fate we get out of bed and roll with the punches of life. Destiny, we get up, we set our energy for the day and attract circumstances that reflect the energy we have taken time to cultivate :)
If the morning does not work for you, then pick a time of day that does, and try to practice at the same time every day so the routine helps to form a positive habit.
What do I wish to work on in my practice?
Pick a theme and tone for your practice. Perhaps you wish to work on heart openers, hip openers, core strength, or postures that help to stabilize your mind. Perhaps you want to work on a breath and meditation practice and you choose to take asana classes at your local studio. Choose what is important to you right now. If you get stuck then talk to your favorite teacher and ask for their suggestions and support.
How many days am I committing to do this practice for?
I find it helps to set a goal so that your practice becomes non-negotiable. Just like brushing your teeth, you body/energy/mind need to be cleaned on a daily basis. Sustained practice over time brings the best and most long term effects. In Kundalini yoga we say it takes 40 days to break any negative habits that block you from expansion related to your practice. If you Practice every day for 90 days straight it will change you in a very deep way. If you practice for 120 days the positive benefits of the kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.