I love the structure of actually going to the yoga studio to do my practice (well, really I love the structure of Ashtanga Yoga, period). But as you know from my last post, sometimes I can’t get to the studio and have to make do. Before Ashtanga, I wasn’t making do; it was more like do do. I’m sure it would have been an award-winning comedy to film me trying to make it up as I went along by stringing together a bunch of unrelated postures from pictures in a Yoga Journal magazine.
Here was my routine. I’d start in that “comfortable seated posture” that every teacher tells you to do. Then I’d do some seated twists followed by a couple of down dogs, a warrior or two and end up in happy baby pose before savasana.
Thanks to Todd and Stephanie at Ashtanga Yoga Atlanta, I now have a practice that I can do anywhere. I may not always do it right, but I know what to do. And while I prefer the studio when possible, there are some advantages to doing a home practice when you can’t get to class. Here are some that I discovered this past weekend:
- you can wear that ratty old Ronnie Land “Pray for ATL” t-shirt that you love. Heck, you can where whatever you want, let body parts hang out of whatever you’re wearing, leave wardrobe malfunctions unattended to, or wear nothing at all
- You decide when practice starts and ends or if it starts at all
- You don’t have to worry about your armpits (aroma, hair or both)
- In navasanna (boat pose), you don’t have to be embarrassed when your legs tremble more than Lois Rietzes’ voice excitedly introducing Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D. By the way, my boat pose can best be described as a leaking dinghy with no life vests on board
- Speaking of Lois Rietzes, you can listen to Second Cup on NPR or play your favorite Flying Mystics music
- you can add things to your Ashtanga series such as grunting, swearing, whining or wind releasing pose (not that I’ve ever done any of these things)
- you can burn incense or just enjoy the smell of the coffee you’ve got brewing in the kitchen
- you can even insert coffee breaks if you want. On that note, I suppose you could add in breaks for Red Bull or 5-hour Energy if that floats your navasanna
- Not that I usually do this, but you don’t have to paint your toenails
- you can take a vacation from the teacher adjustments you hate – oh wait, I don’t hate any adjustments.
- You can alter the series however you’d like such as replacing jump backs with child’s pose or inserting Lion’s pose whenever the mood strikes you. If you don’t know what Lion’s pose is, my favorite version is by Julia Sugarbaker.
- You can avoid the postures that give you grief; or here’s a crazy idea, you could take your time and try harder at them.
- Similarly, since you know you won’t be doing assisted back bends, you can give 110% on your own back bends (or not)
- And lastly, you can get to the Epsom salts bath more quickly
This pretty much sounds like a half-assed yogi home practice, huh? Happy Valentine’s Day Yogis!