Home Practice

I love to travel. Problem is, when I travel, I tend to put yoga on the backburner. I do carry around my travel mat – just in case.

This past trip, I did manage to squeeze in some yoga, some meditation, and some gentle stretching.

Despite teaching a mostly physical/power/vinyasa class, I personally don’t aim to kill myself when I’m doing my home practice. My last 2 weeks consisted of some slow vinyasa, lots of yin stretches, and mostly feel-good stretches. The only “intense” thing that I did were a few planks for core, as well as a few handstands.

Today I took my first instructor-led class of 2014… and it was a power class. Despite not going full-on for the last 2 weeks (and mostly cutting myself a break), I had a great (physical) class. Mentally I am still somewhat all over the map from jetlag (I’ve only been back for less than 30 hours!), but I actually felt more flexible and less inflamed. I felt stronger and less worn out.

As I work through the last year of my 20s, I’ve learned to listen to my body more. I’ve discovered that I take a little bit longer to recover than I used to – and that’s fine. The hiking, kayaking and beaching was a good break from my “intense” yoga practice. A slow steady practice with gentle stretching was all I needed to decompress from the day.

That’s one of the best things about a home practice. You get to do whatever you want to do and not something that a teacher is telling you. You get to truly tune-in to your body and see what it needs. I’m not discounting instructor-led classes at all – those are great for learning something new, and for someone to constantly remind you of things that might fall to the wayside in a home practice.

It’s a new year. Be gentle with yourself and listen. A sustainable practice is more important than putting your foot behind your head.

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