Many people love going to a yoga class, but get overwhelmed when it comes to a home practice. They often rely on trying to recreate classes they have attended with varying levels of success. Today we hear from Janet Brown, one of the yoga teachers at The Wellness Center and a massage therapist with Heidi Ella Wellness and Massage to learn more about how to establish a home practice.
How do you recommend people start?
I always start by asking people what their goal is. From there you can build a sustainable home practice. You can also create one that will result in measurable outcomes based on their expected goals. If you were hoping to improve your core, it is less productive to work on multiple hip opening sequences, etc.
What should people expect of a home practice?
First and foremost, a home practice is not the same level of intensity and focus as a class would be. That is another thing I feel is important to bring up when working with private clients. Home practice is for you. It is maintenance. It keeps you present and able to decide to challenge yourself in the safer environment of class where you have a second set of eyes trained to check your alignment.
What style of yoga is best for a home practice?
Again, this goes back to their goals. I encourage people to practice a variation on what they do in class in order to maintain a certain level. But I find that it is difficult for some to integrate some of the more challenging (power or ashtanga) yoga styles into a home practice without years of experience. That is not to say it cannot be done. It is just a reality that you do not work solo the same way you would in a class setting.
Do you have any tips for sequencing for a home practice?
I would say, unless you are coming up with a series of routines that you will work through, creating a full body sequence is more important that targeting one specific area. Also, like creating a home practice based on a goal, it is important to think about time of day you will be practicing. A gentle practice may be more appropriate for the end of the day. While a more intense practice may lend itself to an early morning session. You know your body best. Listen to it.
Janet Brown and Alicia Cross teach group and private yoga classes at The Wellness Center. Each are available to work with you to develop a home practice that will be safe and effective. For more information, check out the Yoga page of The Wellness Center.