iYoga Glasgow is a community of Iyengar teachers and practitioners whose purpose is to share and promote the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar.
We are a member institute of Iyengar Yoga (UK) and a not-for-profit organisation.

Home Practice

The importance of Home Practice.
If you regularly attend classes you may notice that in class the instructions, needing to be general, may not fit with your own personal starting point.

Remember that yoga is a journey. Everyone starts from a different place and moves at an individual pace.
The class should serve to orient you on the path of yoga by familiarising you with the basic asanas.

You may well find that you do your most rewarding practice at home, by yourself, or with a friend.
You will be able to explore how you feel and how your body responds to the postures without the distraction of a teacher giving instructions and making adjustments.
You can move at your own pace.
The more you practice, the more satisfying it becomes and the more progress is made.

We know that it can be challenging to get started on a home practice, so here are some pointers.

Some tips for home practice.

Live your yoga – don’t feel you have to set an hour or so aside to do full poses
– 5 minutes is better than nothing.
Take a moment to bring your awareness to alignment in everyday life eg while waiting for a bus feel the position of the pelvis and the weight even on the feet, or do shoulder stretches when waiting for the kettle to boil.

Use a good reference book – Iyengar Yoga for Beginners or Yoga The Path to Holistic Health. Both are published by DK and include wonderful colour photos of asanas and use of props.

However,

We recommend that you do not try poses you have not been taught

Useful websitewww.iyengarnyc.org (Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York) gives sequences for all abilities with useful diagrams:

Level 1 Home Practice Sequence – PDF
Level 2 Home Practice Sequence – PDF

It’s a helpful reminder to include poses you would avoid. Be honest about your level.

Remember Ahimsa – this is the principle of non-violence. Don’t injure yourself!

5 minute test – if you don’t feel like practising, give it 5 minutes. You may find your body wants to practice and you continue, but its equally ok to roll up your mat if you can’t concentrate. Don’t feel guilty (see Ahimsa above).

Warm up -especially in winter. Do “basic” stretches like Parvattasana or Padangustasana (it lengthens the hamstrings and is the basic work for all the standing poses.

Improvise -find a clear wall at home for alignment in Trikonasana etc or a worktop or table for supported Uttanasana.

Mark your own mat -its helpful to mark a line down the central length of your mat for alignment.

Gradual build up -beginners should not try to recreate a whole class, but work on one pose until they are familiar with it, then add one at a time as they progress.

Repetition -explore each pose -its never the same twice, and you can work on different aspects by repeating it. Aim for effortless effort.

Experiment – Mr Iyengar says that yoga is an art and a science. Explore your body; rediscover childhood in poses like arm balance.
Take time to enjoy the asana -after you’ve made your adjustments, just savour the pose.

“Abide in the pose”
– B K S Iyengar

Importance of Sequencing – Sirsasana (head balance) is never done after Sarvangasana (shoulder balance), and back bends are generally done before forward extensions (don’t alternate the two).

Always do Savasana – it’s an opportunity to relax and recover.
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Sneaky poses – sit in supported poses ­ Baddhakonasana, Sukhasana, etc while watching TV, etc. It opens the hips and makes other poses accessible.
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Equipment – mats and props are available from www.yogamad.com or www.yogamatters.com.

Enjoy your practice – the key to progress is attending more than one class a week, attending workshops and regular home practice.


Quotes

Yoga is the golden key that unlocks the door to peace, tranquility and joy.
BKS Iyengar

BKS-photo

BKS Iyengar14th December 1918 - 20th August 2014

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