Let’s talk about Self-Yoga Practice, how to do in safety and why it’s so important.
One of the main passions I have, especially when I work with private programs, is to share my knowledge, tips and strategies with my student – so that they can start to practice with freedom and independently.
This is an important aspect of my work: I want to support women in creating their own Self-Yoga practice. I want them to be independent and able to practice what they truly need.
However, during my last 9 years of teaching, I saw resistances coming up in the students, despite their desire to integrate more and more Yoga daily.
One of them, that I will address today is the fear of hurting ourselves if we practice without the presence of the guidance of our teacher.
At the end, it’s a concern about safety.
And in today’s Blog Post, this is exactly what I would love to address and share with you that.With the right care and attention, we can start to build a nourishing and regular practice at home.
To feel refreshed, energized and ready to move with confidence again.
Let’s dive in together in 4 main aspects it’s essential to follow to practice in safety.
Focus on Your Breath
The main core of any yoga class is to keep breathing with awareness (probably you heard it millions of times).
When we focus our attention on the breath, our mind is concentrated in what and how we are doing. We are present in the body; we move slowly and follow the natural ebbing and flowing of the inhale and exhale.
When we are in that space, we are deeply connected to our needs (physical, emotional and mental level) and limits. We know how to respect ourselves without pushing over a limit we know it would hurt ourselves.
Anytime I got injured during a Yoga class, it was due to my distraction.
Exactly in that moment my mind was somewhere else and I didn’t pay attention. That was a big lesson for me that I had to learn the hard way.
Function over the Form
I invite you to forget any Yoga pictures/poses you saw in Instagram, Facebook or in the web in general. In my opinion, it’s a distorted image of a what a Yoga practice is.
Next time you practice and you start comparing yourself to someone else, I invite you to flip this thought and ask yourself this question:
“How can this Yoga Practice or Yoga position serve and support me, my body, mind and heart?”
“Why am I choosing this particular asana?”
“What’s the function of this pose?”
When we approach the practice in this way, we shift from a FORM to a FUNCTION of a position.
If we focus our attention on the function, the practice can support and grow with us. We learn how to respect our bodies, limits and a particular period of our life. It means that we can practice in safety, as we are not pushing.
We have different bodies and we need something different every day.
Think about the 4 phases of our menstrual cycle: follicular, ovulation, luteal and bleeding time. In a month we experience hormones’ fluctuations and different energetic qualities, moods and emotions.
It is my opinion, that it’s unrealistic to expect from ourselves the same type of practice during the ovulation period or bleeding time.
If you want to read more about Yoga during menstruation, CLICK HERE.
Every day we are white canvas
In order to move in safety and with awareness, there are some few instructions we need to follow during the practice.
- Joint’s alignment
- Muscle engagement
Joint’s Alignment & Muscle Engagement
Anytime you are in a Yoga pose, observe yourself and the position of your body, specifically the alignment of the joints. Ask yourself:
Are my joints aligned? Am I engaging the muscles?
For example, when I am in a standing position, I make sure that my ankle, knee and hip are in the same line and that the muscle of my legs are well engage to stabilize my lower part of the body.
A classic example is Virabadrasana B (Warrior 2) and the alignment of the front knee.
In the foto below, you can see how my front knee is falling in, and it’s misaligned with my hip and ankle. As a result, there is a lot of pressure in my knee and I can’t really engage the muscles of my tight.
In order to practice this pose in safety, I need to engage my quads, rotate the knee outward, and bring it back in line with my hip and ankle.
You can easily follow this principle in any standing and sitting position.
Nourish curiosity for your practice and your habits, without judging yourself. That’s the path of yoga, it’s a self-inquiry practice.
Get creative with Props
I invite you to get really creative in how you could use props in your Yoga Practice. They will support you and teach you how you can create the foundations of a safe Yoga practice at home.
Don’t worry if you don’t have fancy props at home, here’s how you can replace them:
- Use fat books instead of Yoga blocks
- Use a pillow from the couch (solid, compact) if you don’t have a bolster
- Use a scarf if you don’t have a Yoga belt
- Integrate blankets, chair and any form of support you can find at home.
Breathing with awareness, observing ourselves and getting creative with props, are the main ingredient for a safe self-Yoga Practice at home.
Lastly, follow the intelligence of your body, quite your inner critic and lite up your inner wisdom.
Inside us resides a deep and ancient wisdom, and we know exactly what to do in a specific moment. Trust your inner wisdom voice and everything will be fine.
Your next step
Now there are no excuse to jump on your mat and start practicing.
Practice Sun Salutations with me where you can follow the main ingridients I shared with you today:
- Focus on your Breath
- Function over Form
- Observe yourself, basic alignment
- Get creative with props
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS SUN SALUTATIONS
Let me know how it goes: did you feel safe while you were practicing?
Share a comment below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am here for you!
with love and gratitude