My yoga practice has evolved over the last 15 years in too many ways to write about here. I’m not just referring to the physical practice because yoga is so much more …it has changed my life. Along with yoga comes a community of fellow practitioners and friends where we study, travel and share time together. I have met some of my closest friends through yoga.
I would often hear my fellow yogis chatting up about their “home practice”. There was a time I could not imagine pulling out my mat at home. Why would I? But over time I found myself needing a down dog but not wanting to leave the house. About four years ago, through my yoga community, I found the tool I needed to kick start my home practice. Darren Rhodes put out an iPhone app - YogaHour - that made this once far fetched idea come to life.
The app provides instruction and challenge for all levels of your yoga practice. I use YogaHour to give me some direction then I veer off to where I need to go.
Today I have some basic poses that seem to always find a way into my flow. I don’t always last an hour but I’ve learned to understand what I need and how much of it. Pure bliss. Right at home.
I always start with a seated meditation. I sit on a blanket so I can comfortably spend as many quiet minutes as possible to clear my head. If I need to, I use earplugs. And yes this is often a family affair.
After some simple warm up stretching, I find my way to down dog. This really gets me moving. Pigeon is usually my first transition. We hold a lot of stress in our hips and with the exercising I do during the week, I can’t wait to relieve them.
Balance and the act of balance is a meditation of its own. You immediately clear your head when finding balance - otherwise you will fall. I also try to do a handstand every time I pull out my mat so I don’t lose what I call my “kick up” which would leave me unable to get upside down on my own.
I met my best friend Shannon through yoga and we recently have been working on our teacher certifications. Not that we every thought we would teach - but we wanted to take our practice to the next level. I had dinner with this week and asked her how her home practice started.
We have both been practicing yoga for over a decade - when did you start practicing at home?
My yoga started at home not in a studio. Madonna was talking about her yoga (see why she is my BFF??) and she was pregnant with her daughter and so was I. I thought it was so cool. So I bought some Ali MacGraw tapes and got started.
When did you start going to the studio?
I went to Debbie’s Forest House Grand Opening. It was on Earth Day and she asked me when I was coming in…
Is your home practice a routine or does something inspire you to pull your mat out?
Well I do a mandatory dog down every day. But otherwise my body just tells me I need to work on something - like my back or my hips. Stretching is usually my focus.
What about meditation? Is it part of your home practice?
This is my struggle. Once I close my eyes I get overwhelmed and my mind cannot be quiet. Something inside my head is saying “I’ve got her now”. But this is my work. There is always something.
I was never a big Whitney fan but when I heard a mixed version of It’s Not Right but It’s Ok in my spin class this week I remembered how much I loved the My Love is Your Love album. It was a strange time in my life and it was right before I found yoga. The songs fit that moment.
It’s Not Right but It’s Ok
I Bow Out
In My Business
Lavender is big in Croatia - specifically Hvar. I picked this jar up from a street vendor and just used it for the first time this week. It’s so fragrant and perfect. Can I go back now?
"Necessity knows no magic formula — they are all left to chance. Chance and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and day out, is mute. Only chance can speak to us." - Milan Kundera